Politics and Religion are the worst topics to bring up in conversation because they are so volatile. So, I thought it would be fun to write about both today. I’m not going to name names nor blame any of the political parties. What I really wanted to address is how Christians should discuss politics according to scripture.
It seems as though it is human nature to rebel and speak against those in authority. We begin as children and tend to carry that into adulthood. We talk about our parents, then our bosses, pastors, governors, senators, representatives and presidents.
Talking about authority figures
Scripture is pretty clear on the subject. Exodus 22:28 says, “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”
Ecclesiastes 10:20 commands “Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.”
This verse addresses our thought life. That’s where it all starts, isn’t it? We think about how terrible things are and let our thoughts grow and fester.
It’s easy to blame our authority figures for our troubles. They make a convenient target. (Tweet that)
The apostle Paul understood the importance of respecting our authorities. in Acts 23:1-5, when the high priest ordered Paul to be struck, he cursed him. But when he was told he cursed the high priest he quoted Exodus 22:28 and said, “…I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ “
Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.
So, what are we supposed to do?
Are we supposed to lay down and let things happen that we oppose? Not at all! We live in a country that allows and values free speech. Though we are more of a Republic, than a Democracy in structure, our votes still count for something and we should speak out and vote our conscience. However, we speak against policy without speaking against authority. It is possible to voice out opinions in a scriptural and Christian manner.
Social media is full of pictures and quotes from the President and the opposition. People on both sides have much to say about the evils of one, or the other. I don’t say that we should be silent on the issues. I just say, in light of scripture, we need to be careful how we talk about our authorities.
Titus 3:1-2 says to “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.”
Finally, the best practical advice is in I Timothy 2:1-3. It is to pray for those in authority.
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.
*Photo. A Christian flag, designed by Charles Overton in 1897 to represent Christians of all denominations via Creative Commons.
Wikipedia, “Render unto Caesar”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Render_unto_Caesar…