It is extremely likely that Joe Biden will take office as the 46th President of these United States on January 20. That is certainly not the outcome I wanted, and over 70 million people – including millions of Christians – voted with me to keep the incumbent in office. But will we submit to President Biden as someone that God has placed in authority over us, or will we treat him with contempt and scorn? Will we follow the commands of Scripture in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2:13-17?
I understand the objections. Donald Trump was not treated with respect and was falsely called an illegitimate President for four years. George W. Bush was not treated with respect either. Biden has personally shown a nasty streak, especially with his morally indefensible remark that Mitt Romney – arguably the most milquetoast Republican nominee in decades – would put black people “back in chains.”
For the sake of argument, let’s grant that Biden himself is unworthy of respect or honor. We are not personally honoring Biden by treating him with dignity. We are honoring the office of the President. We treat Biden with respect not because he personally deserves it, but because all authority is established by God and flows from Him. We honor earthly authority because we honor God and obey His commandments.
No, this does not mean we cannot disagree with the President, and make our opinions public. There will be many times when we will need to be a witness against Biden’s policies. But we can do that in a way that honors the office of the President. Let’s set an example for the world as we disagree with Biden forcefully but respectfully – criticizing him when he deserves it but honoring the office he holds.