To begin with, does God appoint all leaders?
The Bible is clear, everyone must submit to the governing authorities, the authorities that exist have been appointed by God. Consequently, the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place (Romans 13:1). Jesus also said “You would have no authority over Me unless it were given to you from above” (John 19:11). Therefore a government will only exist if God allows it.
But why does He allow bad leaders to rule?
Biblical history tells us that God allowed evil leaders to rule but it does not say why. It appears amiss but God has used situations like this to judge a nation, test their faithfulness, and exposed their sins that eventually brought them judgment (2 Kings 20:17-18; Isaiah 13:19; Isaiah 10:5-19).
Bad news for corrupt leaders
Corrupt or evil leaders may have been allowed to rule, but it does not mean God condones their action. Everyone will be answerable to God (2 Corinthians 5:10). God removes kings and establishes kings (Daniel 2:21).
Should I submit even if my leader is wrong?
Christians are to submit to every ordinance of man (1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:2-5). All believers should be subject to rulers and authorities (Titus 3:1). However, if your leader is asking you to dishonor or disobey God, the Bible has caveats for you to dissent (Romans 13:1; Mark 12:17). “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
→ Should Christians criticize and rally against the government?
Civil disobedience in the Bible
Case and point: Moses’ family disobeyed Pharoah’s order and hid Moses.
→ The real political enemy of Filipino Christians.
What Filipino Christians can learn from Chinese
Although persecution remains in countries like China, the Philippines enjoy religious freedom. It was a crime to own a Bible in China a few decades ago yet Chinese Christians have access to Han Chinese Bibles today. Instead of mocking their leaders, the Chinese Christians chose to submit and pray instead – they do not show political leanings but submit to authority, just as the Bible says so.
→ Why Chinese Christians continue to expand, despite persecution.
God is not asking you to change the government
There is a growing number of Filipino Christians and church leaders who openly show their political preference and even encourage rally or support certain people to run in the government. Some mock and criticize the government. If you are disgusted with the way the government is run, remember that God is in control. As Christians, we must focus all opportunities in sharing the Gospel and not waste time in something God did not ask us to do – to change the government.