Saint Paul says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Because our first aim is to perfection ourselves, and not to fight with others, so for this we need to have a stable and peaceful environment.
Saint Paul has a good deal to say on this matter in his other epistles also, placing subjects under their rulers in the same way that household servants are under their masters. He does this to show that Christ did not introduce his laws for the purpose of undermining the state but, rather, so that it should be better governed.
He does not speak about individual rulers but about the principle of authority itself—for it is the work of God’s wisdom that there should be rulers and ruled, and that things should not just lapse into anarchy, with people swaying like waves from one extreme to the other.
However, we must stress the fact that, in our discussion, a nation can take two paths: one which goes towards God that is towards humbleness, peace and happiness and another path which goes towards worldly pleasures, various forms of hatred (rivalry, denigration etc.), exploitation, pressure, lies, etc.
If a nation takes the first path, then God gives a leading structure which will help the people on this path. If a nation takes the second path, then God gives harsh authorities who will concretely show, through their behavior, toward the people that the road which they took is wrong, and they must humble themselves and pray for help.
The Byzantine Emperor (Flavius) Phocas was very brutal, incompetent and unjust. Saint Anastasios of Persia prayed intensely, “Lord Jesus Christ, why did You gave us such a ruler?”
He prayed unceasingly with a lot of tears and fasting, until the living Christ appeared in front of him. Then Saint Anastasios kneeled in front of Him and said, “My Lord, why?”
Then, the King of kings replied, “I didn’t found someone worse.”
We always receive the rulers we deserve. Let us continuously repent if we want to have a serene life.
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