Elections are coming up soon in November and it is always a healthy exercise to review our biblical responsibilities as Christian in the world of politics. How can a Christian make a difference in politics? What is a Christian’s role when it comes to government? I would like to submit 5 responsibilities that every Christian must practice.
1. Obey Them – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is not power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” -Romans 13:1-2
We must submit ourselves to all authorities that God places in our lives, even the government. God always blesses obedience to authority. We must be careful to obey every speed limit, not text and drive (if that law applies in your state), and pay our taxes! When we resist obeying our civil authority we actually directly disobey God and place ourselves in a dangerous position that God will not prosper.
2. Pay Them – “For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” – Romans 13:6-7 As hard and unfair as this may seem sometimes we must pay the government not only our money, but our honor and praise. Why do we pay the government?
First, so they can punish evil doers, Romans 13:3a “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?”
Second, so they can praise those who are good, Romans 13:3b “…do that which is good, and thou shall have praise of the same.” We pay the government so they can honor those who do right. For example, in Washington D.C. there are many WW2 monuments and memorials honoring soldiers of their worthy and sacrificial service to our country that were erected with our tax money. That’s biblical!
Third, so they can protect those who do good, Romans 13:4 “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” A government that is punishing evil doers and honoring good doers will diligently protect the good doers.
3. Pray for Them – “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
We as born-again believers must be faithfully praying for our governmental (local, state, and national) officials. In those prayers we must thank God for them. We must pray for their salvation. We must pray for their decision making. Why? Because this is good and acceptable in God’s eyes! A Christian who is faithfully praying for his or her governmental officials will not have time to criticize them.
4. Honor Them – “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” – Romans 13:5
We can go through our life and outwardly obey our civil authorities, but how much do we actually inwardly honor them? Do we value them and appreciate what they do for us? Do we genuinely respect them? Those are hard questions to honestly answer, but demand answers! Think about it, we ought to be thankful for the government we do have, because that is better than having not government at all. Otherwise, there would be chaos and everyone would be doing what is right in their own eyes. Let’s resolve to honor our authorities! God blesses that!
5. Sway Them – No doubt there are some remaining questions that deal with honoring and obeying a government that is progressively wicked and deceitful. What must a Christian do? Sway them! “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16
Instead of doing what most Christians do and resent them, disobey them, and disrespect them let’s spend our time persuading them to do right! Let’s sway them by sending letters and emails, making phone calls, and faithfully voting according to biblical standards. This will take time, but if every Christian does his or her part God will bless our efforts.
One thing I remind myself and others is that true hope and change is not in political reform, but in the gospel! Let’s implement these five biblical responsibilities and watch God work in great and might ways!
*Photo above taken by: Clarinex