Maybe you think Mark Twain said it best:
“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." - Mark Twain
It’s not hard to think less of our elected officials. Whether we look to Washington, the State Capital or City Hall, it can be easy to find fault. And with our form of government, we have the responsibility to involve ourselves in the political process. So we have to choose candidates, voice our opinions and publicly discuss the issues. However, it seems as of late the process has become a little more animated maybe than it ought to be. While it is important to be good citizen of our country, we must also remember that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). And the Bible has something to say about how we speak about our government officials:
Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear the LORD and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise,
Titus 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities,
Romans 13:7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Exodus 22:28 You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
Ecclesiastes 8:2 I say, "Keep the command of the king because of the oath before God.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Romans 13:1 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.
The Bible takes a pretty clear stance in the way we should respect those in positions of political power. While we might not agree with their actions and might dislike the leaders themselves, it is not our place to rebel and ridicule. We might have a “right” to attack, criticize and complain but that doesn’t make it right for a Christian. We can’t elevate the kingdom of Christ by becoming involved in the mudsling. You can voice our opinions without degrading others. We can select a candidate without besmirching another. We can be politically involved without being divisive. We must remember that while we may have passion about the issues that can’t be an excuse for us to abandon the principles of Christianity.
In 1st Peter 2:13-17 we see the what the Scriptures teach on this issue perfectly summed up for us;
“Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king”.
As the election season heat up, let’s make sure we don’t. Exercise you duty as a citizen but don’t do so in a way that might jeopardize your status in the Kingdom of Christ!