|This Guy Is Always On The Move!|
Or a Democrat!
This post will not be the sweetest one I’ve ever written.
There. That’s out of the way.
Now then, who can explain to me the Christian justification for the ongoing vilification of the elected leaders of (our nation, our state, our county, our school system . . . fill in your favorite bureaucracy here)?
Our pastor is teaching on 1 Timothy these days. And Sunday, his sermon focused on the opening verses of 1 Timothy 2:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NASB)
Do you see that? Pray for everyone. Pray for kings. Pray for people in authority (that means elected officials, among others). Just as I can’t judge hearts, and have no business trying, I’m supposed to pray for leaders whether I voted for them or not.
I’m not buying the explanation that we can pray for people in one breath and wish for their downfall in the next. It’s either not honest prayer or not honest wishing; it is inauthentic to compare our president to the devil at one moment and follow the instruction of 1 Timothy 2:2 in the next.
[In the interest of equal time, the same is true with respect to conservative candidates for that office.]
If the verses from Timothy don’t convince you, let’s review a few others.
Here are the words of Jesus Christ, from Luke 6:
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Luke 6:27-31 (NASB)
And here, Paul instructs the Romans:
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:17-18 (NASB)
There you have it. Pray for everyone. Pray for your leaders. Love your enemies. Live in peace.
But wait! There’s more!
In the very next verse of Romans 12, Paul reminds us:
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
God’s got it. He’s still on His throne. When we set out to avenge evil, we’re treading on His turf.
David understood this:
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:1-4 (NASB)
I think Christian activism is awesome. And Christ told us what to do:
32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:32-40 (NASB)
He also told us what He would do. Note Who’s separating the sheeps from the goats and who’s feeding the hungry.
I’m all for more cups of cold water and less fanning the flames. I’m all for living a humble life and not attempting tasks God has set apart for Himself. Who’s with me?
PS: Thanks for reading. I’ll be back to something lighter (and a decent photo, instead of my childish doodles) before you know it.
I’m joining Michelle DeRusha for Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday. Please stop by!