Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Election Day is Over

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.


Mike Cook said...

A question, in regards to Romans 13:1-2 and Rom. 13:7, what do you say to the people who proclaim that this is a nation founded on Christian values? When it seem that the act of revolution itself was a very anti-Christian act.

Not even counting all the meek shall inherit, turn the other cheek, render unto Caesar stuff.

Brad Williams said...

That's a great question, Mike. Personally, I am not convinced that the American Revolution was a just war. I'm not saying that didn't have just grievances, I mean that I am not so certain that it should have led to war. I think that you are probably familiar with "just war" theory as espoused by Augustine. If you look it those criteria, it's tough to say that we should have started shooting folks.

As to the country being founded on "Christian values." I think this is a classic case of needing to define terms. If you simply mean that the founders of the country were shaped by Christian values and a Christian world view, I think that is obvious. If someone means that most of the founders were Christian, then I would say that is highly suspect. Certainly, there were Christians amongst those guys. I would simply say that when the Christians/Deists/whatevers in the group spoke of "justice" and "liberty", what they meant was shaped by a Biblical understanding of the terms, even if they weren't all Christians.

Hopefully, that helps you get started in how I would begin to talk about those things.

Mike Cook said...

That's a reasonable answer. We really need to have a beer and argue about stuff some time. :)

Brad Williams said...

Yes! We can bring pictures of our children and argue about who has the most adorable baby girl ever.