In such cases, as St. Isidore of Pelusium writes,
“(The ruler) has been allowed to spew out this evil, like Pharaoh, and, in such an instance, to carry out extreme punishment or to chastise those for whom great cruelty is required, as when the king of Babylon chastised the Jews.”Or, as St. Irenaeus of Lyons puts it:
“Some rulers are given by God with a view to the improvement and benefit of their subjects and the preservation of justice; others are given with a view to producing fear, punishment and reproof; yet others are given with a view to displaying mockery, insult and pride – in each case in accordance with the deserts of the subjects. Thus... God’s just judgement falls equally on all men.”
However, such submission must never turn into sympathy with the aims or faith of the heterodox ruler, otherwise they will receive the same rebuke that King Jehoshaphat of Judah received from the Prophet Jehu: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from the Lord” (II Chronicles 19.2).