“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
The age old affair that divides or unites.
Some of us are passionate about our politics. Others of us are apathetic. While others of us are indecisive as to which group we belong to.
Nonetheless, politics have become (or perhaps always have been) a channel where hatred is justified and bitter gossip is vindicated. And somehow, we as Christians have involved ourselves in this immoral hatred and bitterness.
I understand that at the core of politics are many moral issues. I understand that we as a church can take a stand on those issues and use the American given right we have to voice them.
But, I must ask, at what expense are we voicing them?
Do we fight for the many moral issues only to immorally spew hatred and gossip toward our president and government officials and others who do not agree with us?
Can we fight darkness with darkness? No.
Let’s consider the words of Christ who, after He was confronted for healing the demon possessed, was told He was from the devil. What did Jesus say?
“How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” -Mark 3:23–25
We need to realize as “the Church” that there is much more at stake during the 2016 Elections than who is President and where the country is going.
The unity of the Church is at stake.
Lost souls are at stake.
If we truly care for both our country at large, the Church nationwide and the individual souls that make up our country, we need to hold fast to a biblical perspective during the 2016 Election.
Can we not fight darkness with light, and hatred with love?
I know we can.
Here are 3 things you need to know as a Christian during the 2016 Election.
1. The Bible says that no matter who becomes President, you need to honor them.
“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” -1 Peter 2:17
I’ll never forget the horrifying day of preaching a message on this verse at a local church years ago. As I exposited this verse word by word and began discussing the definition and implications of honoring the president, the church just about went into an uproar.
One gentleman sitting near the front stood up, shook his head at me with a glare, and then proceeded to storm out of the sanctuary while whispering God knows what under his breath.
Well that was awkward. But it wasn’t over yet.
As I continued to preach, it wasn’t moments later that another gentleman in the back interrupted the message and was clearly looking for a political fight. He was able to spew out about a sentence of bitter talk toward the president before I kindly asked him to be quiet. I told him if he wanted to talk to me after the service I would be more than willing to do that.
At that point, so many people were squirming in their chairs and others still making a scene by leaving the sanctuary that I was in complete disbelief. I could barely get through the rest of my message without bursting into tears with how grieved I was.
Here’s a question for you: Are you going to walk away from what the Bible clearly teaches because you don’t like the president?
I know what some of you are thinking: “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute! I can still honor the position, but not the man in it.”
Is God’s Word that shallow? And His commandments that obscure? When God says to “honor your father and mother”, what then? We only need to honor the position of parenthood, but not our actual father and mother?
I can tell you right now that is completely unbiblical thinking.
The word “honor” used here by Peter (and used nearly 20 other times in the New Testament) meant “to value or reward someone because of who they were.”
I know. I know. This is a hard pill to swallow.
But did not Peter write these very words while much more cruel and barbaric kings were reigning? -kings who were putting Christians to death for their faith?
This is a high calling for the church, and we must take this command seriously. Honor the president.
“Render therefore… honor to whom honor is due.” -Romans 13:7
2. The Bible says that no matter who becomes President, God has appointed them.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” -Romans 13:1
Hey, don’t ask me. I don’t know how it works.
Yes, you vote and our collective votes as a country weigh in on who becomes our next president. Yet, God in His sovereignty also weighs in to appoint the next president and gives them their authority.
God has a sovereign plan and even though we may not fully understand how it works, we must trust that whoever becomes Commander in Chief next is there because of God -not you. Our confidence ought to be in God, not in the next president.
“It is better to trust in the LORD, Than to put confidence in princes.” -Psalm 118:9
There is no authority except from God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
Because of this truth, this makes our response as Christians during the presidential elections all the more significant… and critical.
If we respond in disrespect, hate and bitterness towards the president (now and in the future), then 5 things will result:
First, we would show our country that we do not trust God, even though we keep fighting hard for the tagline “In God We Trust!”
Second, we would show our country that we have the right to behave as godlessly as others over the issue of politics -which in turn tarnishes our witness.
Third, we would show our country that we don’t think God knows what He’s doing up there.
Fourth, we would show our country that we battle against flesh and blood, when in truth we know that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12
- Lastly, we would show our country that the Church is a divided organization based on who is president, rather than a living organism that stands united under God, trusting His plan even when we lose the vote.
3. The Bible says that no matter who becomes President, we must offer our service to them.
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” -1 Peter 2:13–17
“Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work” -Titus 3:1
The Bible couldn’t be more clear on the subject of servanthood.
We are called to serve our president, not as a U.S. citizen, but as a citizen of God’s Kingdom as bondservants of God.
Is God not the beginning and the end of all things? If so, is He not the focus of our service and good works no matter who the subject may be?
No matter how much you disagree with the President’s politics, views or actions you can still serve him as a bondservant of God. When you serve the President, you serve God.
This is a two way street.
Paul warns us in Romans 13,
“Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God…” -Romans 13:2
To not serve and to resist means we are in turn resisting God.
Do I have to tell you that resisting God is not be a good thing!?
We must be prepared to serve whoever is in office. If Polycarp could serve a dinner to his executioners in the name of Jesus, we surely can serve anyone during any time -especially the authorities God has given us.
This is just the raw, straight up truth from God’s Word. We just have to decide if we’re serious about taking God seriously at His Word, even on such topics as politics.
One thing is for sure, God is very serious about this subject and whatever God is serious about we must be serious about also.
I’d like to know your thoughts. Please feel free to share by commenting below.