By This All Men Will Know…

Every time I check Facebook, I see at least three posts slamming the government.  No, not some crazy regime like Syria or Kaddafi’s Libya, but our own leaders.  Stuff like the President is _____, Republicans are so _______, Democrats are all _______.  On and on and on.  Some days I don’t even check Facebook because I don’t particularly care for all the negativity.  But I think what really shocks me the most is how much of this stuff comes from people who claim to be Christians, some even in church leadership roles!

So why does a Christian saying (or posting) negative and nasty things about our country’s or state’s leaders bother me at all? Well, because it is one of those things I find the Bible to be very clear about.  Peter tells us:

For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
II Peter 2:13-14 

 

And Paul, who was talking to the Romans (and that government had no love for Christians at all), reminds his fellow believers:

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

“Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” Rom. 13:1-7

But the question comes to mind about why Peter and Paul, who had been beaten, stoned, imprisoned, and both ultimately executed by the governing authorities would say what they did.  I mean, it would make more sense for them to encourage their followers to mount an insurrection and establish a godly kingdom, right?  God has set us free from sin, so shouldn’t we try and free everyone else too?  If the government won’t follow what God wants us to do, it should be torn down!

Peter and Paul don’t say that though.  In fact, they go completely the other way.  Paul says that if we rebel against the government, we are rebelling against God.  And Peter teaches us what it really means to be free in Christ:

“It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.” II Peter 2:15-17

So is it wrong to have opinions about the government and politics?  Of course not!  I know I have my own opinions, but I keep them to myself.   So why do I  find it odd that Christians would say or post such negative, hateful things? I guess it is because to me a Christian is someone who is a Christ Follower; someone who represents Jesus to the rest of the world.  And Jesus gave His followers some very clear instructions:

“I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-25

When I see something on the news or some politician makes my blood boil, I try and take a breath and remember that Jesus told me to LOVE that person just like He loves me.  And He loves me so much He died to be with me.  So if I say or post something negative or hateful about that politician, I’m saying it about Jesus.

Posted on by GODencounters in Articles
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In reckless pursuit of GOD, 24/7.

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