It should not surprise us that the world hates authority. It’s not a shock when unrepentant sinners disrespect and disregard leaders and other people in positions over them, or seek to discredit that authority altogether. That’s simply a function of their inherent rebelliousness—the same sinful self-interest and pride common to us all apart from Christ.
What has been a shock is to watch many in the church follow the world’s anti-authority attitude. What’s worse, some believers who ought to know better even cheer on the vitriol and violence that spring out of society’s natural antagonism for authority. Rather than the submissive attitude Scripture commands us to have for the God-ordained authority over us (1 Peter 2:13-17), they misguidedly foment dissent and outrage as paths to justice and peace.
Recent controversies and conflicts over police officers are a prime example, but that’s hardly the only place that this pervasive anti-authority attitude shows up today. How should the church react? And how can our reaction adorn the gospel and strengthen our testimony to the watching world?
We recently put those questions to John MacArthur; here’s what he had to say:
If society is imploding all around us, it’s all the more vital that we live distinct lives that shine the light of the gospel into this sin-blinded world.