Monday, June 18, 2012

The Bible and Politics

              The presidential elections are being held this year in November and the candidates are going on their campaigns. Everyone is starting to decide who to vote for and others are choosing to remain loyal to their registered party. But for a moment, let’s forget about political parties. What’s really important is what the person stands for and what their moral values are. Who is going to bring God back into our country? Is there anyone at all? What needs to happen is for the voters and citizens of our country to listen to what the candidates have to say and what’s important to them.
                Who should Christian voters vote for in 2012? All of the candidates profess faith in Christ, but faith does not equate to a calling to be President, nor does profession of faith equate to faith. In the past, many have touted their relationship with Jesus to draw support and votes from Christians during the primaries, only to turn their backs on us during and/or after the general election. America does need a righteous leader, one who is wise and capable and experienced, one with strong leadership ability. Ultimately, elected officials remain responsible under God for their actions and decisions, and we need to pray for whoever ends up in office.

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers,
intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings
and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives
in all godliness and holiness.”

-1 Timothy 2:1-2

                The issue is not whether we want a God-fearing president who will lead America well. Of course we do. The issue is that a church leadership or church body might back one candidate over all the others, as though the voice of God had spoken. One pastor may support the candidacy of Rick Perry and another pastor might support Barack Obama. The fact that a church leader backs a particular candidate does not necessarily give God’s view on the matter. Voters need to do their homework.
                First, we must recognize that God ordains who should lead.

“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

                The bible constantly states that leadership is a position given by God. That does not mean that those who became leaders obeyed God or served Him well. There are plenty of kings and rulers in Israel who turned away from God and followed their own desires. Yet, God still gave them the position for His purposes.

                The United States is a representative form of government, which means that the people of America have far more control and responsibility over what happens in their government than do the citizens of a dictatorship or a kingdom. The United States was formed as a government of, by, and for the people, and Christians have the same civic duties as all citizens. However, it seems that the leaders of our country, whether in the judicial, legislative, or executive branch, are becoming more tyrannical. Wicked leaders cause a country to fail, and that is what is starting to happen to America.

“By justice a king gives a country stability, but one
who is greedy for bribes tears it down.”

-Proverbs 29:4

“A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving
rain that leaves no crops.”

-Proverbs 28:3

“Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked
man ruling over a helpless people.”

-Proverbs 28:15

“When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding;
but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.”

-Proverbs 28:28

                Also, our nation’s government should not be so large. A smaller government is better for the country as a whole. Once one man becomes wicked, he poisons the whole system (Proverbs 29:12).

“When a county is rebellious, it has many rulers,
but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”

-Proverbs 28:2

                Regardless of how leaders conduct themselves, either in their personal lives or in carrying out their official duties, they must be obeyed. But their ungodly examples are not to be copied. By respecting those who hold offices through the authority and permission of God, we actually show respect to God Himself. While their personal conduct may be far from praiseworthy, even to the point where some corrupt the very government that they represent, they are still appointed by God to preserve order and punish law-breakers and wrongdoers.

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must
obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what
they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up
heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are
not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

-Matthew 23:2-4

                However, the salvation of the world ultimately lies in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, not the messy thing we call politics. Government decisions are important but only the blood of Jesus can save us.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me.”

-John 14:6

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given
among men, whereby we must be saved.”

-Acts 4:12