Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Is it really about politics?

"Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.
Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them]." 
Romans 13:1-2

Bill Smith has been teaching on Romans in Sunday School and it's been awesome.  Not only does he know the Word, but he's also a history buff and really knows his stuff.  We haven't even gotten to these verses yet (we're taking the slow way--which I love!), but I had to ask him last Sunday, "Can you think of one instance in the New Testament where we're told to be politically active?"  None of us could think of an instance.  But Bill did go on to spell out what was going on in Rome at the time and how some verses referenced it.  (I know someone will come up with some verses for me!)

But my point was this:  I think we spend way too much time discussing politics and getting upset or even angry about our particular political stand.  Rome had some pretty nasty leaders and yet here they were told to submit to the governing authorities.  GOD had appointed them!  Now I also realize that sometimes God gives us what we deserve--there were some pretty bad kings in the Old Testament who were set up to bring discipline on a nation.  But if I'm reading this correctly, it's our own unsubmissive hearts which brings judgment.

This doesn't mean that I don't think we should be salt and light and affect our society.  But don't we do that with love?

I've also been reading Deuteronomy 30-31 this week.  Moses is giving a speech before he dies and the children of Israel go into the Promised Land.  Moses has been their leader for over 40 years.  I put myself in their place and thought, "They had to be afraid!  They'd put their focus on this one man for so long and trusted him.  That's why he keeps telling them not to be afraid."  In 30:20, Moses says, "And (you) may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days..."  Moses was trying to tell them, "Don't focus on me or Joshua.  It's not about us.  It's about God.  He wants to lead you.  Trust HIM!  Give Him your hearts!!"

I know that I've put a lot of confidence (or distrust) in men.  Even though this chapter in Romans is talking about civil authority, I think it relates to the church, as well.  CHRIST is the head.  Not man.  We like a pastor as long as he can be controlled or if he's doing what we think he should be doing.  Man may have voted, but it's GOD who put those leaders in those positions.  Many of us "leave" a pastor before God ever takes him out of that appointment.

I think our homes, our churches, our nation, our world would be a different place if we looked to God and not man...or politics.  It would be different if we gave God our whole heart and submitted to His plan.  In fact, the crux of the matter is just that...submission.  Do I think we should vote?  Absolutely!  It's a privilege we've been given.  But I don't think it's political.  It's spiritual.  We submit our hearts to God and trust His appointments.  If we resist and rebel, we bring judgment on ourselves.


cyndy said...


Marcy Faye Hallden said...

I like this post a lot. My views have changed so much from living in a different country. It's NOT about politics at all, but just loving people without judgement. I've set aside my political arguing because there is NO point, and I've been trying to make my life more about giving and loving.