GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY AND GOD
Bible scholars are in general agreement that the Apostle Paul was in a Roman prison when he penned, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the book of Romans. Therefore it is interesting that we find these words, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Following these words he indicates that to rebel against the authority set over us is to rebel against God. As Christians we also know from Scripture that we are to obey God rather than man if a choice must be made.
Being a Christian in the United States presents challenges not present in the Roman world. There is no question that our nation was founded on Scriptural principles and a strong belief in God. Our system is based on decisions being made by majority rule through leaders that we choose. Personally, I believe it is the greatest form of government that exists in the world. Thomas Jefferson once stated that democracy depends on educated people as they make decisions.
It is also good to note that sin still exists in the world and that sin can taint decisions even that have good intentions. Although founded on Christian principles, we know that our history reveals mistakes in judgment and even sinful misunderstanding of Scripture. For instance, laws may allow certain actions, but as Christians we would not want to do them.
As we again look forward to the elections we want to do so prayerfully. It is good that we educate ourselves on the beliefs and philosophies of the candidates. Do the values reflect what seems to be sound with Scripture, whether or not the candidate, himself or herself, professes Christianity? Here is when education also includes the study of God’s Word. Our decisions would want to include how God wants us to continue to proclaim His message of salvation in love toward others, as we recognize the freedom we have for all to worship according to their consciences with love and acceptance toward all people.
Finally, we want to recognize that no matter the final outcome of the election, God has promised that He can and will work all things together for the good of those who remain faithful to Him and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. May God continue to bless our nation.
Rev. James W. Rhiver, Pastor