Two things you should never talk about – politics and religion. Well, here is a religious column that is about to talk about what the Bible says about the body politic.
The fact that our founding fathers attempted to form a government around the teachings of Christianity is a rarely published truth and is fast becoming an unheard secret.
In the words of John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and second President of the United States, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
The newspaper you are reading could be filled from front to back with quotes from the men of the mid and late 1700s that formed our government and how it is Christ and Christianity that is the foundation for our Constitution and governmental system, but I only have so much space.
Isaiah 33:22 gives us our three branches of government, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.”
The “king” is the executive branch. We do not have a king of course, but the President serves as this section of government.
The House of Representatives and the Senate create our laws. The legislative branch is our “lawgiver.”
The Supreme Court is the “judge.” The judicial branch is in charge of the courts.
When Christ returns and sets up His kingdom, we will live in a perfect world, where the judge, the lawgiver, and the king, are God. In our imperfect world, our system consists of humans. Therefore, checks and balances were installed to keep things as righteous as possible.
All power, all authority comes from God. Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
“For there is no power but of God” – all power and authority come from God. President Trump, Speaker Pelosi, every Senator, every member of the House of Representatives, every person in government either elected or appointed. Even if they are part of a monarchy and born into power, all the authority they have comes from God.
This is true outside of government as well – the boss at work, mom and dad, teachers at school, a coach, even the pimply faced kid with “shift leader” on his name tag at the burger joint, all of them has some sort of authority, some more than others, but everyone has received their power from God.
God is the ultimate authority. He would have to be since all power and influence comes from Him. Since a person’s position comes from God, there is an inherent responsibility that all those in authority have to God.
What is God’s marching orders to every government official?
Romans 13:3, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:”
Rulers are to be “a terror” to those that do evil. With this authority comes the responsibility of punishing evildoers (Romans 13:4). Much of the problem we have today is, often sin is thought of as good and good is considered crime (Isaiah 5:20). As we have already seen, God is the lawgiver. By giving us the law, He is the one who defines good and evil, not us. When a leader is out of touch with Godly principles, it is more difficult for them to grasp right and wrong and perform their job accordingly. When evil instead of godliness is in the hearts of the leaders, then injustice, corruption, and scandal are the condition of the times.
What about the citizenry? What is our responsibility to the government?
The Old Testament tells us of David. David was anointed by God to be king, but Saul was still on the throne. Saul attempts to assassinate David on more than one occasion; many of David’s supporters advise David to kill Saul and take his rightful place in the palace, but David continues to refuse to raise his hand against Saul. The same principle applies in the New Testament as we are told to honor those in authority over us (Romans 13:7). However, we are to stand for God above all because He is the ultimate authority. Examples in Scripture would be Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Mordecai, and John the Baptist.
When officials, civilians, and a nation forget that God is the ultimate authority, they also cannot remember their God-given roles as leaders and citizens. Unless a nation remembers God, this situation will morph into the blind leading the blind and both falling into a ditch (Matthew 15:14).