Titus 3:1 / “ Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey them and to be ready to participate in every good activity, to insult no one, not to be quarrelsome, to be gentle, demonstrating full consideration for every person.”
In ancient Rome, Christians were walking a tightrope of being accepted or persecuted depending on who was in charge. Some were rounded up and went to their deaths, some escaped, and some fled to other areas where they tried to live by Titus 3:1.
In Antebellum America, people rose up to say the long tradition of black human slavery was wrong. They wrote books, preached sermons, and lobbied government for change in the name of abolition. Meanwhile, on the side of the slave holders books were written, sermons preached and government lobbied to keep the practice in place. Each side thought they were right, used the Bible to prove the point, and actively engaged in accomplishing what they thought was best for the nation.
In WW2 German pastor Dietrich Bonheoffer saw the abuses of the Nazi Party, the blind obedience and godlike adoration for Adolf Hitler, and witnessed the slow squeezing of opposing voices. He rebelled for what he saw happening to his Church, to what was happening to the Germany in had grown up in and for the abuses to humans made in God’s image. He wrestled with the dilemma of standing by and doing nothing to change the horrors he saw or doing something to stop the madness. He chose to act helping Jews escape to freedom and supported an attempt to assassinate Hitler. As a result, he died in prison.
One of the challenges for Christians is this issue. The chief goal of the verse is the concept of order, support, and being Christ like within society – as Christ said to go the extra mile and turn the cheek in encounters within abusive social contests. Situations can and will be imperfect but the Christian must always follow the higher road being light and salt in the world.