It is good to be a citizen of the United States of America. This morning, we awake again to a peaceful transition of power in the House of Representatives. It may not seem peaceful with all the rhetoric and accusations that fly about during election cycles, but it is. I am so very thankful that even my political enemies will ascend to Capitol Hill with mud-stained and not blood-stained vestments.
For the Christian "non-statesman", it is time to get back to the work that God has called us to do. That is, we are to "be subject to the governing authorities." And, we are to remember that "There is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment" (Romans 13:1-2). And again Paul says, "Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed" (Rom. 13:7). If Paul wrote this concerning a regime that would eventually chop off his head, surely Christians can pray for Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid.
It is true that some government officials are immoral rascals. It is imminently true that all government officials are capable of the most heinous crimes, even our darling favorites. G.K. Chesterton puts it nicely: "It is a part of Christian dogma that any man in any rank may take bribes. It is a part of Christian dogma; it also happens by a curious coincidence that it is a part of obvious human history...In the best Utopia, I must be prepared for the moral fall of any man in any position at any moment; especially for my fall from my position at this moment."
This is why it is the duty of Christians everywhere to pray for and to support those who rule over them. We are to encourage our officials; we are to help our officials. This does not mean we are not to speak the truth to them, or that we are not allowed to disagree, or that we should not give our opinions. These things are all helpful to our leaders. We must, however, always conduct ourselves with a posture of submission, humility, and respect. We are never to speak slanderously of our rulers, and we are never to debase them by name-calling. Such things ought never to happen amongst Christians, yet it does and the faith suffers.
So Christian, pray for your leaders today. Remember that your hope rests in the kingdom that is coming. King Jesus will be here soon enough. Until he appears, obey him by submitting to the leaders he has appointed.
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