85. Are Christians and Muslims meant to respect authority?

Peter teaches that people who do not respect authority have an evil heart. 2 Peter 2 verses 10 – 11 states: ‘God is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling. But the angels, who are far greater in power and strength, do not dare to bring from the Lord a charge of blasphemy against those supernatural beings.’ If we do not respect those in authority, we will not receive respect when we become leaders and people with authority. Disrespect for authority leads to anarchy, a state of chaos in society. It is very difficult to develop

Christian community where there is an absence of love, respect and trust. Respect for all members of a community is essential for a loving caring community to function. Paul writes to Timothy concerning deacons: ‘A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others, and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus’ (1 Timothy 3:12 – 13).

Most Muslims live in countries where the values of society are based on honour and shame, as was the culture of Israel at the time of Jesus. These values teach people to respect parents and elders, and to honour those in positions of authority. The core values of Islâmic beliefs are based on respect and reverence for Allâh (4:59).

Muslims are not required to respect non-Muslim governments. They are regarded as the rule of the infidels and Muslims should not have to live under the authority of pagan governments.