Warning: This is a long post, and I am sure it will engender much discussion, but the topic has been heavy on my heart for several days now. As you read this, please know that I am speaking as much to myself as to others.

I am becoming increasingly disturbed by all of the political mudslinging I am seeing on Facebook. The issue is this, as a Christian, how should I respond to what I see going on around me in the world of politics? What is my example, and did Jesus have something to say about it. This last Saturday the teaching was on different types of authority… and an important message was conveyed about how we, as believers in Messiah should respond to authority in government. It made me realize why I’ve been so disturbed by the postings I’ve been seeing.

Does disagreeing with a political candidate give me the right to mock, laugh at, make fun of, demean, and degrade public figures currently in authority. Or putting it bluntly… do I have the right, as a Christian, to put down the current President of the United States, or of Israel, or of Egypt, or of Iran?

I realized that I do a lot more thinking about how terrible certain governmental regimes are, how wrong certain people are, and how much I don’t like them, rather than doing what Scripture commands me, as a follower of Jesus Christ (Messiah) to do.

As I watch people respond to the world’s insanity, I see myself, and others, responding in a far from Godly way. We proclaim the so-called “godliness” of the US Constitution, but I dare ask, since when was a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” a Godly goal? I suppose, if the people are righteous, perhaps. But have we learned nothing from history and our own sinful natures? We don’t need a government of the people, we need the government of God… and as Christians, we claim to be under His government. We pray for our leaders in prayer meetings and church, and mock them in our spare time. We claim that the we believe the Bible, and follow it, but too often, we do not let the Bible affect our politics. If we did, political campaigns and the Christian impact on the political arena would be quite different, at least in the USA where we have an incredible privilege to vote.

What happened to Romans 13:1–7? (I’ve pasted the text in at the end of this post.) This scripture is just as important to my daily life as Romans 8. Romans 8 deals with my relationship with God, Romans 13 extends this to how that should affect my behavior in society and my attitude towards the governing authorities. We forget that Paul wrote this during the reign of the notorious Caesar, Nero. The same Nero who had Christians tied to torches and hung in his gardens, and burned alive to provide light at his parties.

Jesus made a very simple statement about government: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” All the above stems out of understanding who gives authority (God) and who is the ultimate authority (God).

Looking at the Old Testament, we forget that God called Nebuchadnezzar “my servant” (Jeremiah 30:10). We forget that David didn’t dear to cut the robe of King Saul, despite all the wrong Saul had done to him. David knew it was up to God to deal with Saul, and he did.

If I, and other Christians, spent as much time praying to God to have mercy on our nations, and on the nations of the world, and for Him to work in the hearts of the nations leaders, such as Netanyahu, Obama, and Ahmadinejad, things just might change. If we spent more time asking for God’s love for these men (because God does not want that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance 2 Peter 3:9)—we just might see change in them and how they rule.

You may laugh to yourself and say, “not likely,” but no one believed it at first, when Paul repented (see Acts 9:26).

I hope and pray that this post would be an encouragement to all of us, to pray, pray, and the pray again, crying out to God for His mercy on the nations. Remembering that it is God’s will that we pray for ALL who are in high positions (not just the ones in our own country), that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

May you find that mixing religion with politics can work, by crying out to God for the all those in authority, everywhere. And may we always remember, our hope, even for a Godly society, is not based on worldly authority, but on God’s authority having full sway in our lives.

Romans 13:1-7 ESV

 [1] Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. [2] Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. [3] For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, [4] for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. [5] Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. [6] For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. [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.