Civil Assent to Government

I’m not writing to defend a party or a position … because the issue as I see it transcends Red State, Blue State or liberal and conservative.  This isn’t about Tea Parties or Green Rallies.

This is about obedience.
Not to government but to the Lord.

Let everyone be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is NO AUTHORITY except FROM GOD, and those which exist are ESTABLISHED BY GOD.  Romans 13:1 NASB (emphasis added)

We are subject to our government.  Period.

In fact, verse 2 of Romans 13 is very explicit:

Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

Given that Paul was writing to the church in Rome where believers were subject to one of the cruelest governmental regimes in history, I find it a compelling command.

But, what if we step back for a moment and consider this idea of submission to our government in this context of politeness.

Because the reality is … We are going to find particular policies and positions in opposition to the Word of God. And there will be times when, as faithful believers, we must rise up in voice and at the ballot box to herald the truth of Scripture.

The question is:  How will we do that?

Will we be mud-slinging, name-calling, trash-talking witnesses of God?
Or will we speak truth laced with love and compassion, seeking only to give glory to God through our words, attitudes, and actions?

The truth is … As believers, we are all witnesses of Christ.  We need to consider what sort of witnesses we are.   Even in our disagreement with government and politics, we must never compromise the name and character of Christ.

I wonder, as this election season begins to heat up, what would happen if we as Jesus-followers listened more than we spoke (James 1:19), in humility considered the needs of others before our own needs (Philippians 2:3-4), and were just kind (Ephesians 4:32)?  How would a massive groundswell of common courtesy affect the political process and our government?

Willing to give that a go with me?

Politely,

3 Replies to “Civil Assent to Government”

  1. Kristi Stephens says: Reply

    SO AGREE with you on this, friend. I'm often shocked at how slanderously and disrespectfully Christians are willing to speak of our government. Even if I disagree – even if I am absolutely Biblically in the right to disagree – the way I do that should be marked by grace and respect for the authorities over me.

    Tough to do, but something we have to wrestle with!

  2. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

    Thank you, Kristi. It's hard enough to disagree respectfully with a specific person that you have a relationship with … I think it's very easy to speak harshly when it's about people we don't even know. For some reason we seem to be deceived that it doesn't count … but it does!

  3. Great points- even in our disagreements we must be respectful, especially because we represent Christ. We also need to watch what we say in front of our children, who pick up on our disrespect, making it clear we may not agree with a decision or a position, but we don't attack a specific person.

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