Happy Independence Day!!!! Well, maybe a little late. I hope you had a fantastic time celebrating with family and friends, watching fireworks, eating hot dogs (which my brother says are constitutionally mandated on Independence Day, but I refuse to even touch them), and celebrating the birth of the greatest country on earth. Truly, we are blessed to live in a country that gives us the freedom to pursue God wholeheartedly, to share our beliefs with others, and to obey God without fear of government persecution. I pray that we will always have these liberties and that we will always use them to help people come to salvation through Jesus because that is the true mission of every Christian.
While we are all in a “God and country” state of mind, I wanted to take a minute and share a very rare political blog. I promise, this will be very rare, because I believe it is my calling to help make people citizens of Heaven not promote any political party. Honestly, even this blog is more about being a citizen of Heaven and a child of God than anything else. It’s about obeying Biblical principles and being a light in a dark world so that people will want to come to Jesus. Yet, it addresses a large societal problem that is unfortunately seeping into the church.
So here it is: For just a moment we are going to talk about respecting our leaders. “Oh, come on, you are really going to go there?” Yes—because it’s important—-so important that it is addressed in Scripture. In fact, it’s talked about alot. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says,
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Peter 2:13-17 says,
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.”
Romans 13:1 says,
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
These verses clearly state that it is the responsibility of every Christian to respect their leaders, to be obey to them, and to pray for them. It’s important to remember that when these verses were written, the emperor was Nero—a truly horrendous man known for his horrendous sin, persecuting Christians and even killing his own mother. Not a great guy. And yet…the Bible says that Christians were to be respectful, pray for Him, and obey the laws to the best of their ability. Lately, I’ve been wondering how this teaching has been lost on the modern day church. Yet here’s the truth—whatever your political party or personal feelings about a leader, whether it be local, state, or federal, in the Senate, House of Representatives, the White House, or even a school board, as a Christian, your responsibility is to follow these Biblical commandments. I’ll be honest, over my lifetime there have been many political leaders that I did not like and many more that I did not agree with. Even though as an American I have the opportunity to vote against them and even campaign against their issues, at the end of the day when the votes are counted and their leadership is decided, it is my responsibility to trust God, to obey the laws and to pray for those in leadership. It is also my Christian responsibility to have an attitude of respect. Even if I can’t respect what they believe—-I need to respect that God allowed them to have authority.
“Does that mean I can’t have a political voice?” No—that’s the great thing about America. You can stand up for an issue or against an issue and still maintain an attitude of Christ-like character.
For instance, I have friends who are VERY political. They are also very outspoken about what they believe. And yet, over and over again I have heard people who disagree with them say, “The best thing about you is that you can say what you believe and yet still respect people, treat them with love, and walk away friends with those who agree and those who disagree.”
What a testimony! All of us need to follow their example. When it comes to our leaders, we need to avoid is name-calling, disrespectful memes, and especially getting into bitter arguments that hurt and offend those who disagree with you politically. Instead, we need to pray. Pray for our leaders, pray for our country, and pray for our communities and the people in them.
Remember that your true citizenship is in Heaven, and your deepest devotion should be to obey God and helping people find salvation for their souls. How can we do that if we have alienated them because they don’t agree with us politically? Instead, we need to say what we believe, vote what we believe, and live as followers of Christ. We need to be kind, respectful, obey the laws, and pray for the future of our nation. We need to remember that politics are politics; but people are what matter. God never called us to make the world into our political party—-He called us to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. That should be our first and highest calling. If you don’t like a particular leader—don’t disrespect him or her—pray for them. Then get on with your life and make the most of the liberties we are given to live for Jesus and bring many more people to Him.
Have a great week!
To Read More About Discovering Your Place as a Citizen of Heaven, read: