In recent years, I’ve become more involved and energized by the political season surrounding each 4 years’ presidential election. Many people seem to fear or hate this time of the year. Me? I love it!
It’s that time of the 4 year cycle that we get to effect the future of our great country.
Being a lover of America, and where we’ve come from, I have spent much energy learning about our past. So much can be learned from one’s past. Yes, we’ve made some big mistakes. Yes, we’ve righted some wrongs. Yes, we’ve also done some great things. That’s what happens when people are involved.
The first part of this dilemma is when do we obey our government and when to we disobey? That’s quite easy. How we obey and disobey is much more difficult. I’d simply say that when your government requires of you something that does not contradict with the Word of God, you’re good. Do what you’re told. (or don’t do what you’re told not to do)
However, when your government makes a law that contradicts the Word, then you should know to follow the Spirit’s leading, toward disobedience. It’s really that easy. If my government decided that teaching my children that homosexuality is a sin, and tries to stop me from doing so, I’ll be disobeying.
As a Christian, I understand the human condition. All of us are sinners. We all do wrong things. Since we can’t fix it ourselves, without God’s intervention, we are bound to break some things. Our government and society are no different. They’re just the product of a bunch of us, doing things in unison.
Yes, the Lord has placed our governments over us. No one rules over a Christian, without God having ordained it. What does that mean for the Christian? How shall we obey our governments?
The answer to those questions is generally the same for all Christians. However, it becomes unique to us all, depending on what kind of government we live under.
Should the oppressed Christian who lives in China be concerned with the same issues of an American Christian? No.
In America, we have rights that the Chinese don’t have. How could the Chinese be motivated to effect his/her future, in a nation that doesn’t honor a real vote? Do we in American have to be concerned with attaining our freedom to worship?
Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” [Mark 12:17]
No, for the Chinese Christian, they have the more basic issue of righteousness to stand for in honoring the Lord’s calling on them. The Chinese Christian is faced with standing up for righteousness in different ways than I am. They must deal with issues like attaining better personal rights. Working to change their government from within. Secretly continuing to meet for corporate worship and Bible teaching. These are all things the Chinese Christian must be concerned with. Of course, there are more, I’m just using China as an example.
The issues facing the American Christian, I would venture to say, are disagreed upon by many God-fearing people. I’d also add that many are confused about why they believe what they believe, and why they should or shouldn’t be involved in certain political issues.
What’s my point? We Christians suck at how to be involved in the political process in America. I think the problem is one thing only. It is because of bad doctrine. We simply don’t have enough brave church leaders teaching God’s true Word. Why? That answer is for another post.
What’s the solution? Better understanding of Scripture. That’s it.
I propose that the verse quoted above, and many others, support a view of stewardship, for the politically informed Christian. We are called upon by the Lord to be good stewards of many things. In this issue, I think it applies as well. We are afforded many rights, some of which apply to our involvement and staying informed on political issues facing our nation. We must be good stewards of our opportunities to stand up for righteousness, in the public square. This is done primarily by making our voice heard with our vote.
This isn’t limited to voting for candidates or propositions. It’s also hearing the Spirit’s nudging of those called by God to stand up for righteousness by running for political office. This presidential election season, I think most would agree that neither candidate is a typical evangelical Christian. Neither have much of a track record for attending worship services where the Word is preached. Neither has spent much time working in any type of ministry.
Look to your own local candidates for office. Are there any who are clearly Bible-believing Christians? If not, why isn’t there one? Possibly because you haven’t jumped in the running.
If there aren’t any Christian’s to vote for, then maybe we should get some more in the race!
When we’re ready to be good stewards of the opportunities before us, then we’ll be applying the Truth as we’ve been taught.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39]
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” [Titus 3:1-2]
Lastly, we must also be continually praying for our government. What we pray for depends on where we live. But do not doubt that we should be on our knees before the Lord, on behalf of our leaders.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” [1 Timothy 2:1-2]
I completely forgot about the most pivitol verse to close my argument above…
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” [Romans 13:1]