As our nation continues to bicker and sow seeds of discontent with the leadership, Christians need to remember that our job is to pray for peace and ensure we neither engage in nor condone the ungodly dialogue and protests occurring in the wake of the presidential election. Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion about our elected officials and I am not concerned about your view (positive or negative) of our President. My concern is strictly for your Spiritual fitness.
I have seen a number of posts which advocate Christians protesting against Civic leaders using the justification that Jesus Himself was a radical protester and protesting against tyranny and injustice. I completely agree that Immanuel participated in one of the greatest revolts in human history; however, that revolt was against the Jewish religious leaders who had misused their position and led the chosen people away from God. There is not a single reference in Scripture of Jesus protesting ANY Civil authority. On the contrary, He instructed us to obey civil authority (e.g., Mark 12:17; Matthew 5:41). Both Paul and Peter addressed the issue of the relationship between Christians and civic leaders in Romans 13:1-2 (Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities for there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.), and 1 Peter 2:13-14 (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.).
Scripture provides NO JUSTIFICATION for Christians protesting against civil authorities and Jesus certainly never advocated or endorsed such actions. ALL people (men, women, and children) should be protected from abuse and provided fair treatment from the government, but when that “fair treatment” becomes the “right” to violate God’s laws under the guise of “personal choice,” Christians must stand opposed.
Additionally, there is the issue of unity. Scripture emphasizes the importance of unity in the Church (e.g., 1 Cor. 1:10, Col. 3:13; Eph. 4:11), and also requires us to be obedient and submit ourselves to civil authorities. Many of the signs and speeches in the recent Women’s March clearly denounced the legitimacy of elected officials and openly declared the protester’s rebellion against them. Not what Jesus told His followers to do.
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. (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
We are commanded to pray for our civil authorities. We are also commanded to care for the widow, the orphan and the refugee and to seek justice for the oppressed. However, those commands are given to us (Christians) as the responsibility of the Body of Christ; not as citizens of any earthly nation. In other words, Scripture tells us it should be Christians helping those in need. By all means, when we as the Church see someone in need, we should help them.
Grace and Truth:
God loves EVERYONE. He will forgive EVERYONE who repents, puts their faith and trust in The Lord Jesus Christ, and commits to make Him the Lord of their life. Christians should love EVERYONE and forgive EVERYONE, but that doesn’t mean we should endorse or condone their sinful behavior. The world will accuse Christians of being narrow-minded, bigoted, and unloving because we don’t accept their “alternate lifestyle” of homosexuality or their “personal choice” of abortion. That’s ok, Jesus warned us that the world would hate us because the world hated Him (Matthew 10, John 15). As followers of Christ, we must choose truth and life over deception and death. God will always provide Grace, but not at the expense of righteousness and justice.
So, this week as we pray for our brothers and sisters, please also remember to pray for our Nation. That we may become once again, “One Nation UNDER God.”
-Pastor Dave Jones