This is the time of year where our state government is in full swing. Everybody has an opinion on what our leaders should do or not do. As a believer what should you do in respect to your government? What does the Bible say? Romans 13 deals the Christian’s role in government. Our duty as Christians, first and foremost, is to give ourselves entirely to God—our bodies, our minds, our wills. Beginning in verse 1 Paul says, a believer must yield to the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule, and no one rules now without that power from God. In verse 2 we read that all government officials are “ordained.” That is, God has set them apart for special service. No matter who our leaders are we as Christians have a responsibility to support the government, to impact the culture, and to be salt and light in the world. We may struggle to respect the individual, but even still, we pay that person honor because we respect the God-ordained office. Now there is one caveat here. In Acts 5, Peter is thrown in jail for preaching about Jesus. An angel appears to him and opens the doors to the jail and says in verse 20, “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” So, Peter obeys the Lord. He walks out of that jail, goes immediately into the public square and begins teaching about Christ. Of course, he is seized by the Jewish rulers and brought before the governing council and they tell him in verse 28, “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” And Peter and the other apostles respond in verse 29 “We ought to obey God rather than men.” If the government ever commands us to do anything contrary to the word of God, then we must stand up for God. However, so long as the requests of the government do not violate Scripture, then you and I are called to submit. Why? Because, again, these people have been appointed by God for their work.
In 1st Timothy 2:1-3 we read that we should pray for the government. We, as Christians, are not called to drag up every wrong deed in a person’s past and shame him by putting it on display. We should not be calling them names, but we should be calling out to God on their behalf.
Jesus said that we are to be salt and light in our community and in this nation. We have a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Unlike many other nations, all the people of American have a say in what goes on and we do that through voting. Your vote matters and you should exercise your right to have influence over the affairs of the nation. Want to change the direction of America? Introduce people to Jesus. One by one, they must turn to Christ. That is the greatest hope for America. Enjoy your coffee!
Love you all,
Gary W. Hall, Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.