The Christian and governance

Several Scriptures including Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 and others teach about the Christian’s influence in government. The question is, are they in the Bible simply as a matter of intellectual curiosity for Christians who will read them privately, but never use them to speak to government officials about how God understands their roles and responsibilities? Does God intend this material to be concealed from people in government and kept by Christians who read it and silently moan about how far government has strayed from what God wants it to be?

Certainly, God has put them there not only to inform Christians about how they relate to civil governments, but also in order that people with governmental responsibilities could know what God Himself expects of them. This also pertains to other passages in the Bible that instruct us about God’s moral standards, about the nature and purpose of human beings made in God’s image, about God’s purpose for the earth and about principles concerning good and bad governments. All of these teachings are relevant for those who serve in governmental office and we should speak and teach about them when we have opportunity to do so.

The other argument for significant Christian influence on government that applies to anyone who lives in a democracy, because in a democracy a significant portion of the ruling power of government is entrusted to the citizens generally through the ballot box. To be able to vote is to have a share of ruling power. Therefore, all citizens who are eligible to vote have a responsibility before God to know what God expects of civil governments and what kind of moral and legal standards he wants government to follow. But how can citizens learn what kind of government God is seeking? They can they learn this only if churches teach about government and politics from the Bible and not just through human secularism.

Pastors obviously will differ in the degree of detail they wish to teach with specific political issues facing the nation. Who else is going to teach Christians about exactly how the Bible applies to specific political issues? Would pastors think it right to leave their congregations with such vague guidance in other areas of life? Would we say, “you have a responsibility to bring up your children according to Christian principles,” and then never explain to them what these Christian principles are?

Would we think it is right to say, “you have a responsibility to work in the business world according to Christian principles”, and then never give them any details about what these principles are? No, the responsibility of pastors is to give wise holistic Biblical teachings, explaining exactly how the teachings of the Bible apply to various specific situations in life, and this should certainly include instruction about some policy in government and politics. Bear in the mind the Bible is more than just another book; it gives us “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth ” and contains more subject matters than any other book.

We know that there will always be those who would say that there is and must be separating of Church and State, what they simply mean is that the state must not and should not control the Church since the Church must be and should always be that prophetic voice in the nation. The Church should never be muzzled and remain silent, but should be the voice of conscience speaking to whole aspect of governance, not just within the four walls, but throughout the nation. In biblical times, a nation was judged as consequence of the leader’s behaviour.

Politics and governance affect all us and as a Church we must be vocal and move away from the deafening ear and address the issues not always from a confrontational perspective but offering biblical solutions. Jesus Christ did it, the Apostles did it, and we too in this dispensation must do likewise. However, we can only do through an informed position. Remember the words of the prophet, “my people are destroyed because they lack knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).