WHAT IS LAW AND AUTHORITY?
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced by the government or social group to see to the affairs of a state or group of persons to regulate behaviour. It is particularly met for the peace and security of society.
Authority can be said to be the right to exercise power , which can be formalised by a state and exercised by way of appointed personnel. It also refers to a person or organisation having political or administrative power and control over a particular group of persons in a articular place. For more on Law please click Law
THE BIBLICAL VIEW ON SHOWING RESPECT TO CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY:
According to Apostle Paul in the book of Romans, for law and order to be established in the society for peaceful co-existence, there is need to have the right attitude towards the governing authority. The government of any country is a constituted authority. Therefore, Paul admonishes all Christians to be subject to the governing authorities for peaceful co-existence, for there is no authority except those from God. For the sake of peace, all existing authorities are instituted by God. Since authorities are instituted by God, it means therefore that, to resist them is to resist God. To disobey them is to disobey God. To insult them is to insult God. God frowns at resistance or disobedience to authorities for it will invite God’s wrath or judgement on us when we do this.
Paul said those in authority are not terrors of good conduct but to bad conduct. Therefore, good citizens should not exercise undue fear about those in authority as long as they obey the rulers and conduct themselves well. If they do what is right for peaceful co-existence, they will receive the commendation of the governing authorities, for they are God’s servants. On the other hand, if they do any wrong to disrupt peaceful co-existence, they should be afraid and be prepared for the consequences. The wrath of God would fall on such wrongdoers. Thus to live a life of good citizens, peacefully co-existing with others, Christians should always maintain a clear conscience. For peace and progress in society, Christians must pay their taxes as and when due; they must give respect to constituted authorities. We obey constituted authority when we obey the laws, rules and regulations of the land. We carry out our civic responsibilities when we pay our taxes, rates and levies promptly. We should vote if an adult and being counted in a census,. We must learn to express our grievances through constitutional means such as dialogue and not through violent demonstrations. We must shun membership of secret societies e.g Cults. We must take part in public enlightenment campaigns to eradicate illiteracy, partiality and discrimination, piracy, communicable diseases, child abuse, hard drug peddling, fraud and so on. We must take part in the activities of christian organisations. As adult, we must do honest job and promote the economy of our country. Parents must learn to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord by teaching them to be God-fearing, honest, contented and law abiding. Finally, we must never stop praying for our country and the world at large.
BIBLE VERSES ON SHOWING RESPECT TO CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY:
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.