Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Christians in Government

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1).

In order to be effective missionaries to our culture, we need to consider several realms of life in which we as Christians live. Today we shall briefly consider the sphere of civil government.

Christianity is pervasively political. This may seem a strange thing to assert, but consider: Throughout the New Testament what is announced is the kingdom of God, and that Christ Jesus is King. True, this kingdom is far broader than only civil government, but it surely embraces politics as it embraces all things.

The Bible says that all men are to obey the civil magistrate. Our obedience to God must be reflected consistently by our obedience to His delegated authorities, including those in the state. The civil government is instituted to promote justice, and for that purpose has been endowed by God with the power of capital punishment. Thus, obedience to civil authorities is a religious obligation.

Since governing authorities are ordained, instituted, and regulated by God, resistance to such authority results in divine judgment. At the same time, Christians sometimes must disobey the powers that be. Whenever the earthly authority commands us to do something that God forbids, or forbids us from doing something that God commands, it is our duty to disobey the earthly authorities. We must always place our obedience to God first. The basic emphasis, however, is being submissive in a spirit of humility whenever possible as long as we do not compromise our commitment to God.

Finally, it is certainly legitimate, and in some cases desirable, for Christians to be actively involved in the political process. This does not mean that we take the church into the state, but that we take Christians and their obedient lifestyle into government.

Our country has become state-centered in recent years, making us a highly politicized nation. Political activity, thus, can form a ready platform for wielding Christian influence within the society. With elections only weeks away, how informed are you on issues and candidates? Are you prepared to cast a biblically intelligent vote?