Christians and respect for authority
Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Pastor Tim Bayly often posts on social media about respect for authority and always gets pushback from conservative Christians when he does it. It is certainly possible to disagree with him on specific points, and I do not always agree with what he says.
But the important thing to recognize is that these posts are calling out a particular trend, and that trend is sinful. We hate authority generally. Scripture is clear that authority is delegated by God, and we respect our civil authorities because we love and respect the God who delegated that authority. The point he is making is the disrespect, disdain and rebellion are of a fabric. You may think this particular refusal to submit or that particular criticism is in its proper place, and it may well be. The point is the overall trend is a sinful one. After all, 1 Samuel 15:23 says rebellion is witchcraft and idolatry. This is a very serious matter.
Defiance against the civil magistrate has long been present with conservative Christians, and the restrictions of COVID-19 have brought that rebellion out in a big way. Now, look: Yes, many of the "leaders" have been hypocrites in how they deal with COVID-19 and have refused to follow their own rules. Some of the restrictions put in place are arbitrary and overly burdensome. Worst of all, public health experts and some elected officials have tried to develop a cult mentality, treating themselves as saviors who will protect us against the angry "god" of the novel coronavirus. This idolatry is indeed wicked. But that does not mean we get to react sinfully, and much of the anger and rebellion we see in Christendom have certainly been sinful.
If you follow Pastor Bayly on social media, you certainly do not have to agree with everything he says. But for those who react so strongly to his posts, I am saying you need to search your own heart and ask why you are reacting so strongly. Do you need to repent of your own disdain toward the authority that God has placed over you? Do you have a spirit of rebellion, motivated by your own pride? Is the reason you react so strongly is you are being convicted? Think about it carefully.