- CHRISTIANS AND GOVERNMENT
It’s vital for Christians in a democracy not only to pray for those in authority, but also for many righteous and prepared people to become those in authority. . . not only at the highest level, but at every level of our governments, from city councils and school boards on up.
John Jay, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and America’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice wrote, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
But in some elections there’s no professed believer running for office. It also makes our decision more difficult when a candidate professes to be a Christian but continues quietly to espouse unrighteous causes.
We pray; we vote—but sometimes we get fooled. If you don’t know where a candidate stands spiritually, at least find out where he or she stands righteously. Look beyond the rhetoric and check the record.
Pray over the elections—that God will help us elect legislators who are righteous and wise; that he’ll save those who are lost, that he’ll pull down those who adamantly refuse his grace and legislate ungodliness. If we do this with faith and patience, just watch! God will work!
Some Christians question the need of involvement, citing the scripture, “Don’t get tied up in worldly affairs” (see 2 Timothy 2:4 TLB). But abdicating responsibility for our government isn’t what that Scripture means. Where we’re free to influence government, God holds us to account for our nation’s wellbeing.
The Church as a whole is called to permeate every area of society. We’re responsible to maintain righteous influence and to blockade corruption and darkness.
A Choice and a Voice
Paul told Timothy to have the church pray for government so they could have conditions conducive to the spread of the gospel. (See 1 Timothy 2:1-6). Timothy’s people had no voice in government; prayer was their only resource. In America, prayer is our most important resource, too; but we also have a choice and a voice! We need to use them so we won’t lose them.
If we remain silent and evil overtakes us, aren’t we as guilty as the servant who hid his talent and lost everything? (see Matthew 25:14-30). If we see corruption growing and don’t try to stop it, aren’t we like the farmer who sees his field being taken over by weeds but can’t be bothered to do anything about it?
Soon he’ll have no harvest. His field will be taken from him and given to another.
We are responsible to preserve the freedoms God and our forefathers gave us. We’re here to spread the Kingdom of God by pushing back the kingdom of darkness wherever it manifests. In government, entertainment, education, or wherever it rears its ugly head—that becomes our spiritual battlefield.
Joseph and Daniel were sovereignly placed in government by God. Esther was given a place of governmental influence. Many courageous prophets have spoken against corruption in government. John the Baptist raised his voice against corrupt government and lost his life in the struggle.
God gave each of these a voice and authority to affect a nation. Many were persecuted and some died for it. We Christians in democracies have it easy. If we fail because we’ve chosen not to try, how will we answer for it?
(First posted 10/16/2012)