What is the relationship between the church and the government? How should citizens of the kingdom of God (Philippians 3:20) relate to their citizenship in the country in which they lay their head? There have been various answers suggested over the history of the church. The two extremes in responses to these questions are complete involvement to no involvement. Whichever extreme one picks, there is one truth that lives large: God puts the government ruling over your nation there. Here is how St. Paul writes about this:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).
Over the years I have met followers of Jesus who struggle respecting those God has put over them. I have met Democrat followers of Jesus who spoke with disdain of Republican presidents; I have met Republican followers of Jesus who spoke with scorn of Democratic presidents. Both of these groups will tell you they believe God is in charge and that God puts up kings and puts down kings (Daniel 2:21). It is time to act like we actually believe these words.
One final word, obey God’s command to pray for your leaders (I Timothy 2:1-2).
Ronald Friesen © 2015