In our culture we are encouraged to question authority and boldly protest against what we don't like. I've been wondering how our current ways align with what bible says about governmental authority. What is fitting for a follower of Christ?
All earthly authority is given by God. This is hard to wrap my mind around because I foolishly want to believe that all people are good and God would only allow good rulers to reign. The truth is God has allowed ruthless leaders to be in authority throughout time. When Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt it was from a ruthless Pharaoh. The bible clearly says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 7:3). Ultimately, this was for God's glory and the Israelite's freedom. At the time the Israelite's did the same thing we do now, grumbled and complained against their authorities, not seeing the entire picture.
As Christ followers we have a clear chain of authority to follow. As wives we submit to husbands, children to parent's, church members to their pastors, employees to employers etc. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:3 that we are to, "Render to Caesar (government) what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Our submission in this life is practice for our submission to Christ in the next. God is a God of order in all things. Our job is to follow the order regardless of emotion.
David is a fine example of biblical submission. In 1 Samuel 24 Saul is hunting David down to kill him. Saul is jealous of David and fears for his throne. David has the opportunity to kill Saul, but he doesn't. He cuts off a piece of his robe and confronts Saul with it. As he is talking to Saul he says, "I will not lift a hand against my master, because he is the Lord's anointed one." David knew it was his duty and responsibility to follow Saul. Just as it is ours now to follow our authorities in government, as long as they do not require or ask us to sin.
There are many details that we can find that could be sinful in following our leaders. There are so many issues that are reason for concern such as abortion, assisted suicide, cloning, gay marriage, etc. As tax payers these are very real concerns, none of us want to encourage sinful acts with our money or votes. So what is a Christ follower to do? I admit I don't know and I wrestle with this issue. But, there are a couple of things I am sure of, the answer will not be found in disparaging and disrespectful talk about the current leaders in authority. Our slanderous talk is a reflection of our hearts, in which love cannot be heard if we are speaking harshly of the authorities God has allowed to be over us. Another thing we must do is get on our knee's and cry out to God for our country. The last thing I am certain of is that we must vote wisely, based on biblical standards.
One of my favorite verses is 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." My heart is so encouraged by this. What hope their is for our future in this verse. We must be diligent in spreading the good news of the gospel. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. We have so much work to do, but it is not too late!
Our votes can count, as much as the world's lie is that we don't matter, we do! Study up on who is a worthy candidate and then vote for them. Don't vote based on popularity, trying to keep someone else out of office or party affiliation. There are more than 2 parties. Vote based on how closely the candidate will lead according to God's standard. We will give an account for our choices here on earth.
The state of our country is declining and severely immoral. God has been kicked out of our nation and I believe we are under his judgement for our lustful, prideful, greedy and selfish ways. We deserve every bit of judgement we get for the terrible way we have treated our Creator and maligned his word. But, remember their is hope if we will turn our hearts towards the Lord, if we will trust him, follow him and rise above the disrespectful rhetoric and fear many groups are trying to incite us to. Awaken your heart to believe God's truths, walk in his ways and pray! We can rise above these immoral and dark ways of our country. We need not stand by and watch it decline. Pray for our leaders, pray for our people and tirelessly work for the name of Jesus. All praise be to Jesus our true King!