a response to government

The headlines of the past weeks and months leave me greatly unsettled. Thanks to a world which expresses itself outright and leaves nothing hidden, it is not hard to tell where the government stands on any given issue and where every individual, Christian and non-Christian alike, stands in response.

Up to this point, I have remained fairly silent. Silent, not in my mind and in my heart. No, those are in constant turmoil in the evil days in which we live. But silent, yes, in my words.

Sometimes, I wonder if I should speak up. What good is it? I can change my profile picture to some such filtered statement for or against, share controversial blog posts, or join the nearest rally. But does that really make a difference, or does it simply get lost in the mad flow of opinions and shares and hashtags and demonstrations and prove to be anything but effective?

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And then I wonder, does obedience to Christ demand that I speak up, however effective or ineffective it may seem?

I didn’t wonder for long on that one. Christians cannot remain silent, because silence speaks.

I’m not the first one to say that. It’s one of those taglines that’s come through your feed many a time.

But now that I’ve determined I should speak, I wonder how I should speak. It seems that some Christians tend to lash out in anger over the raw, ugly sin which is slowly covering every inch of our land like a gross, black carpet. Many “raise awareness” with a flaming face and choice words to make sure everyone knows that they are against the government’s decision. Jokes aren’t out of the question. Neither are name-calling, slandering, shaming, and the like.

I’ve watched this scene, and I think it’s embarrassing.

When the government makes bad decisions, what should Christians do?

They should stand up for what is right and never compromise. They should hold truth up high and never give up the fight. And they should do these things with an attitude of submission and honor, not resisting the authorities God has ordained. And he has ordained them all.

I’m not the first one to say that.

Paul said it.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. One must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
{from Rom 13:1-7}

Peter said it.

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
{from 1 Peter 2:13-17}

Okay, so maybe we should talk about what it means to “be subject.” How it is that we’re supposed to live as Christians and not resist the governing authorities, I have not a clue. But without a doubt, when it comes to honoring them, it’s like we think we must honor only those with whom we agree.

I can’t help but wonder how effective our response might be if we actually obeyed what God says on the matter, that’s all.

It’s a thought.

 [image credit: flickr.com, journeyoftheword.com]


6 thoughts on “a response to government

  1. Of course we obey them as long as they do not try to force us to do things against God’s will.

    Acts 5:29
    Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

    And we are to pray for them.

    1 Timothy 2:1-3
    2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
    2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

    Now how are we to pray for them? We pray for they’re salvation and that they’re evil schemes fail in such a way that they see the power and glory of God and repent. And, while we are praying for all men that means we pray that the deeds of the wicked are stopped so that they do no harm the innocent because we certainly pray for the innocent and because praying for wicked plans to fail is actually better for the wicked than praying they succeed of course! How much good would it do the wicked to succeed in their plans?

    And since the authorities that exist are ordained of God, as you pointed out from Romans 13:1-7, we should pray for God to ordain good authorities to lead us and to redirect the evil ones to do good. That helps us and them 🙂 Also of course, we here in America are supposed to be a government by the people and for the people which means we need to vote according to God’s will and also do the work of the Great Commission to see that as much of our governing body of citizens are saved as possible (not to mention those of other countries 🙂 ).

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  2. We also of course can stand up and speak out to declare with respect what the Word of God says is right and wrong. There’s nothing wrong with saying what is right and wrong. It’s not judging but is restating the verdict of God’s already completed judgement on the matters, and people need to know it because it’s God’s Word!

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    1. Good thoughts. In my observation, Christians are so busy resisting the authorities (all the time, in every matter, it seems), they don’t take thought to honor, to be subject to, and to NOT resist the authorities in every way possible. In Romans, those are the instructions. No exceptions. Yes, we must take into consideration the whole of Scripture, but it’s interesting that Romans and 1 Peter stop where they do.

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  3. You’ve brought up a good topic. We are to treat everyone with respect. That would go a long way! All governments are under God. They are set up to serve Him (Rom. 13). When they step out of line on things that matter to God, we must stay lined up under God. The consequences may be painful. The Bible illustrates that too, Daniel and his friends and the midwives in Egypt are good examples of those who chose to obey God rather than their kings.

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  4. I think it is a difficult subject these days. I don’t agree with my government, but I honor the authority God has given it. I disagree with the President on issues, but I honor the President’s position as head of our nation. Thanks for sharing with us on Literacy Musing Mondays.

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  5. We are to obey God rather than man, Paul said that too. But currently in the issues at hand, 99.9% of us have not been forced by government to go against God in OUR OWN lives. I think it’s important to remember the Bible reminds us the way is NARROW… I don’t know how we ever got the impression that most should agree with the foundations of the Christian faith or adhere to its moral standards.

    If the WORLD hated Christ, they will hate us, we are to be in the world but not of it and quite frankly we are out of our God given roles to be attempting to enforce righteousness and moral conduct to unbelievers who do not have the work of Christ enabling their eyes to see the truth. It is by work of the Holy Spirit that a hard heart is set free from their own desires and freed from the bondage and enslavement of sin… Laws do not accomplish righteousness or save people from sin.

    Its undeniable that things aren’t going to always line up with our faith and if push came to shove and I PERSONALLY had to come face to face with a choice of obeying God over man, I would do well to face my governments punishment at the honor of my eternal King. Again, the biggest emphasis is simply if YOU are forced to make a choice between God and man. And you know, as it stands, currently its still legal for me to be a heterosexual, homeschooling mama in a traditional family, raising my children with Bibles in our home, praying to God, being able to keep each baby God gifts to our family, for me to choose to stay at home with them and for us to govern our household in accordance to the Christian faith. None of those things are illegal, and yes, while a multitude of other choices are now legal, I’m not nor have I ever been legally required to DO them.

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