I have written about this before. Bears repeating, especially as the 2016 election heats up. Too often during political seasons we put our hope in politicians and also predict doom and gloom when someone we don’t like or agree with gets elected. Nothing wrong with that – unless you are a Christian. We believe God is in control, right? Anyway, just another post with very few edits. Just starting writing and putting down thoughts for the purpose, as always, to Put in Your Theological Pipe…
“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 ESV)
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”
(Proverbs 21:1 ESV)
Are you a Christian first or a Republican or Democrat first?
Just think about that for a minute and then realize God will not look down from His throne on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after the election, and say, “Whhhaattttt? He or she was elected? Uh, Son, back to the drawing board.”
The Bible makes it clear that God is a Sovereign God and that He is the one who grants leaders authority and He is the one who directs their paths. If you are a Christian and you believe the Bible it would be beneficial to remember that as this election season heats up.
As your chosen candidate (be they the Republican nominee or Democrat nominee) campaigns they will undoubtedly use the age-old tactics of attacking and demonizing their opponents and their followers. And just because this tactic works it doesn’t mean it is something we should take part in or agree with. The Bible says the world will know we are Christians by our love and it doesn’t make exceptions for politics. With the rise of social media it is easier than ever to broadcast your feelings for not only your friends and families to see, but their friends and their families, and their friends friends and families families and so on and so on. Remembering that God is in control is vital for us as we post memes and links to articles calling politicians and their followers Nazis or Communists or Fascists or whatever. Heck, that may even be true…and if God, in His infinite wisdom decides to put one of them in power, our job is to continue to love others and to trust God and to be the face of Jesus to everyone and also to pray for that leader, whoever they may be and even if we disagree with them (that’s Biblical too).
Many think the opposition candidate is going to be evil personified. Fine. Go back are read a little about the Roman leaders that ruled during Christ’s time. They used to capture Christians and burn them alive in the garden so they could enjoy the flowers at night. Guess what, God was the one who gave them authority. I don’t know why, but God’s ways are higher than ours. Yes, at times it seems crazy and even stupid that He would allow certain leaders to come to power, but He does. It does not change His Sovereignty and it should not change our trust in Him. Oh sure, we can question Him and even wonder if He has lost His mind, but He hasn’t and we need to always return to trusting Him and being ambassadors for His Son.
Here is a little secret, when you go to church on Sunday mornings – you are worshipping with Republicans and Democrats and Independents and Libertarians and people who could care less about politics. Heck, there are probably some people who are very conservative on some issues and very liberal on other issues and middle of the road on others…the thing is – God loves them all. God’s requirement for salvation is repentance of sin and trust in His Son. There is no political party requirement and our love should shine for all to see – even those who do not hold the same political beliefs.
I know what some of you are thinking. But, the Bible says this and that and my party is for this and that, so therefore I am right. OK, let’s pretend that is true and that your party would actually follow through with their promises. Is that what you are resting your hope on – Your political party doing what they promised (which hardly ever happens)? Or is your hope in Jesus? It better be on Jesus.
You see, Jesus often taught His disciples to avow themselves of the democratic process and to get involved in political fights and to use the power of the government to affect change in the world. Oh wait, no He didn’t. In fact, quite the opposite, his few mentions of the government and governing authorities were to submit yourselves to them. Jesus understood and taught that this world is not our home and that even though we live here in this time and under the governments that are in place, there is another kingdom – the Kingdom of God – and for the Christian that should take precedence. It is in that Kingdom and that Kingdom alone that you will find your true God-given nature and find the satisfaction you are seeking.
We are told to preach the Kingdom of God, not the benefits of being a democrat or republican or libertarian or socialist or whatever. The Kingdom of God is where God rules and we were told by John the Baptist that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Kingdom will be fully established when Jesus returns. Our job then is to prepare ourselves and others.
We prepare ourselves by repenting of our sins, trusting Jesus for our salvation, and being baptized. Once we do that we become citizens of the Kingdom…and our focus should be preaching that Kingdom to others…and when we preach forgiveness of sin and the mercy and grace and love of God that is shown through the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus it would be extremely hypocritical to do so and to then turn around and call people names and demonize them for their political beliefs and to put your hope in politicians.
So, should you vote? Yes. Should you discuss your political beliefs, sure, but in love. And it should all be done knowing and trusting that in the end God is in control. He always has been and always will be. It may not make sense that such and such candidate is elected, it may even seem crazy – heck it may be totally crazy – but that is just what God wants and He will use it to fulfill His plans.
So Christians, put your trust in God, not in politicians or political parties. If you trust Him, you will. And also, be aware of what face you are showing to the world at home, at the store, at work, and on social media. Are you showing the face of your political leader/party of choice or of Jesus?