by Dave Cunningham
Those of us who stand for the truth of God’s Word and vote with the Bible in our back pocket have been criticized, marginalized, and even victimized. While I get all of that, sometimes our behavior and words have not honored God. Sometimes when we exercise our constitutional right to say whatever we want, whenever and however we want, doing it under the guise of “righteous anger,” we violate the very Bible we say we believe. Here are six Biblical truths to consider.
- God is sovereign (Ps. 103:19; 135:6). He is the creator and sustainer (Col. 1:16–17). As Christians, we should be content that not only is He in control, but He is carrying out His purposes according to His eternal plan (Eph. 1:11).
- God places kings and rulers in authority over us (Dan. 2:21; Rom. 13:1). God is not obligated to give us the “whys” of what He does (Deut. 29:29). But we are obligated to give Him our trust (Prov. 3:5–6).
- As Christians and citizens of Heaven, we are only aliens and strangers on earth (1 Pet. 2:11; Phil. 3:20). While we American believers are blessed to live in a representative democracy, we need to remember to take limited stock in the things of this earth, maintain a heavenly mindset, and hold on to an eternal perspective (Col. 3:2; 1 John 2:15–17).
- We are to respect, honor, and submit to our leaders (1 Pet. 2:13–17). Have we forgotten the admonitions of Scripture to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44)? To “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28)? Not to “repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, [to] bless” (1 Pet. 3:9)? We are to respect, honor, and submit to our leaders, not because we necessarily agree with their lifestyles or policies, but as to the Lord. It is one thing to disagree with a leader’s behavior or politics; it is quite another to engage in destructive rhetoric that dishonors and disrespects those whom God has placed in authority.
- We are to earnestly pray for those whom God has placed in authority over us (1 Tim. 2:1–3). It is much harder to cross the line with our words and actions if we are praying for someone. Prayer is a powerful reminder of our submission to God’s will.
- The world is watching, and we have a testimony to uphold (1 Pet. 2:12). I know of a number of Christians who seem to know more about local and national politics than they do the Bible. They listen to far more political commentary than Biblical commentary.
Perhaps it is time for some recalibration. I trust that these Biblical reminders will serve as a help and encouragement to us all.
Dave Cunningham is pastor of GraceLife Church outside of Hershey, Pa.