The reason many people avoid Facebook posts and ignore the news. A source of strife between family members and friends. A subject generally to be avoided with coworkers. The subject of politics seems to have become the main source of contention in our country.
With such strongly differing views on issues including the definitions of murder, gender, government control, gun control and more, it’s no wonder our country has such volatile elections. And with the 2020 election on our horizons, it’s important to consider how we as Christians should behave. The Bible often speaks on the topic of government. God gives us specific instruction in three key areas.
First, we are to have respect for authority. In Romans 13:1, the Apostle Paul explains that we should obey those who have authority over us because God appointed them. When we resist those in authority, we are, in effect, resisting God.
The Apostle Peter also speaks to this issue and emphasizes honoring the king right after saying to fear God. 1 Peter 2:17 says, “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
Second, treating our authorities with respect includes respecting their laws. As long as it doesn’t conflict with God’s laws, we are to obey them. Jesus, when asked if the Jews should pay taxes to Caesar, said yes. “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” Jesus answered.
Even Caesar, who was not a Christian and who opposed Christians in every way, should still be obeyed, because God put him in that position for a reason. In 1 Peter 2:13-14, Peter says to be subject to every ordinance of man—every human law—for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to a supreme king or a governor.
Lastly, we are told to pray for those in authority over us. Paul instructs us to pray for all people in 1 Timothy 2, whether kings or anyone else in positions of authority. Paul further says that instead of being angry and arguing, we should instead use our energy to pray for others. “I desire then,” he says, “that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (1 Tim. 2:8).
So instead of arguing over which party is better or who should be elected, or spending our time making fun of or disrespecting those in authority, or even trying to ignore politics altogether, let’s instead focus on what we can do: respect authority, obey them and pray for them.