Super bowl Sunday, Bill O’Reilly from the Fox news network asked President Trump in an interview if he respected Vladimir Putin. When President Trump answered that he did, O’Reilly seemed outraged. President Trump actual answer was, “I do respect him, but I respect a lot of people. That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.”
Growing up I was taught to respect my fellow man regardless of their beliefs, respect my elders and respect authority (which meant elders, law enforcement, teachers and adults in general). There was no litmus test for respect. You may earn additional respect for some achievement, but you received respect in general because you were a fellow man. It in no way indicated agreement with a person’s choices, support for their lifestyle or that you wanted to hang out with them. It was just plain and simple, your acknowledgement of them and your acceptance of them as a fellow traveler in the journey of life.
I believe that President Putin deserves respect because he is the leader of Russia. Romans 13:1 says, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Verse 7 goes on to say, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” Isn’t that respect? I am not a fan of President Putin or of President Trump for that matter, but shouldn’t we respect those in authority? Every human being was made in the image of God ( Genesis 1:27 ). That means they are born with the same potential of pleasing their creator as I was. They may not be living up to their potential, but maybe I am not either. When did we become the judge of who is worthy of respect and who isn’t?
In the same interview on The O’ Reilly Factor, on Fox News Channel, President Trump asked the question of Bill O’Reilly, “do you think our country is innocent?” I have read the comments today from that interview. Many people were disturbed that President Trump is not approaching Russia from the perspective of our moral superiority. Are we morally superior? Are we really innocent as a nation? After declaring that the whole world is guilty of sin in Romans 3:9, God declares in Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous, not even one.” Are we in a position to judge who is morally superior? This past week the outcry has sounded forth about banning people from entering our country until they can be safely vetted for security. The thought that one person might be sent back or refused entrance to our country and suffer death or imprisonment because we did not give them refuge is unthinkable to most people. It bothers me too. We are supposed to be a haven for the innocent, but are we really? Since Roe versus Wade in 1973 we have reported 50, 622, 067 abortions of innocent babies. Over 50 million! We gave those voiceless, innocent infants no choice at all! We have been trying to save the environment, the whales, the seals and other endangered species while we have been quietly terminating the lives of 50 million human beings. We worry about our future with global warming while we choke out the future of those who cannot defend themselves. We put to death the voiceless while we welcome anyone fleeing nations where they have no voice.
I appreciate that others hold different opinions than I do on a multitude of issues. I respect that. In fact, I respect them, because I believe that they have a right to their own opinions. I am saying that as a nation and as individuals, maybe we should not be so quick to climb on the pedestal of moral superiority just yet. Maybe we should look at our own record. Maybe, as a nation, we should just wait and let God be the judge of who is morally superior. Maybe we should remind ourselves that one day, He will.