Faithful Politics

Being faithful with our politics, not political with our faith.

Responding to those God puts in power.

As Christians we believe that all power is given from God and that those in power are put there by God. As shown in Romans 13, Mark 12:17, and John 19:11 that God gives power to those he wishes.

How are Christians to respond to those in power with whom they disagree in a democracy?

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  1. I think that anytime we deal with the difficult topic of the role of government we need to proceed cautiously. Obviously, the Bible has precious little to say on the concept of democracy. To me their are two principles that we need to keep in mind here. First, no matter what type of government we are under we need to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). For all the press this concept recieves in our churches around election day, I feel that few of us do this as often as we should. Secondly, following Jesus’ teachng, we need to “render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar’s” (Mark 12:17). In our Constitutional Republic our Ceasar requires participation from us. Therefore, when we disagree with our elected officials we have two responsibilities: to pray, and to participate. Prayer keeps us humble and helps us recognize that the elected leader has value in God’s sight, participation allows us to have a prophetic voice to those elected leaders with whom we disagree.

  2. I think that the Bible make it clear that our first responsibility to the governing authorities is respect. Whether we agree or disagree with their policies or private life, we are expected to respect their authority as God’s appointed over us. What’s great about a democracy is that we have a mechanism to put a different person in office that we agree with more policy-wise without disrespecting the authority already in office. By respect I think the Bible means acknowledgment of authority and a desire to comply with their mandates as long as they do not go against God’s law.

    We are definitely called to pray for our leaders, as Kolburt said. Sometimes the prayers I hear are only praying they get kicked out of office, which is not what I think was intended. I think we are to pray for them for wisdom, and godliness, and justice, as well as perhaps for their well-being.

    As for what to do when we disagree with our leaders, I think there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, is that with everyone there will be some points where you agree and disagree. No matter how similar or different two people are, they will have points of contention and connection. Second, difficult decisions have to be made by our leaders, sometimes with information we are not privy to, usually with many parties that will be affected, and often by people with more experience or expertise than ourselves. Our understanding of the situation may not be as full an understanding as we would hope. Third, we need to pray for them. Fourth, we have every right to work towards changing opinion if we believe something to be the right thing. We must do that with respect for our leaders and love for others.

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