By the people, for the people…

(In which I remind and encourage myself and my loved ones to take this business seriously. And after which I'm convicted for having not yet read my own voter information guide.)

Who governs this country? Who serves this country? You do. I do. We actively govern and serve one another every time we vote. God has given each of us this small unit of authority, this small act of service. He will hold us accountable for how we use it. When we do not vote, we fail to govern; we fail to serve. We neglect our God-given responsibility to govern and to serve. When we vote, but do it carelessly, we’ve carried out our God-given responsibility recklessly. Like any task God gives us to do, we should do it carefully and conscientiously, as worship - for the sake of His glory.

As a Christian, I am a part of the body of Christ here on this earth. I am called to represent Him and His values here on earth. While my citizenship is in heaven, I am not there yet. I’ve been left here and given responsibilities here. As a member of a democratic nation, when I am presented with an issue on which to vote, I must make my decision using God’s standards, as set forth in Holy Scripture, to the best of my ability. If I am asked to legitimize (or legalize) anything God clearly forbids in Scripture, it is at the very least irresponsible for me, with the bit of authority God has given me, to agree to legitimize that thing. I am as responsible before God for my vote, as the President or any judge in this nation is for any decision he or she makes. I will answer to God for my vote. So I need to take this business seriously.

I’ve read some articles lately which seemed to imply it would be better to vote in ways that would ensure religious persecution, reasoning that persecution would then bring about growth in the church. Well, persecution often does, in fact, serve to weed out some false professors of faith as well as serve as a testimony to the world. However, when I look at Scripture, and even church history, I don’t see persecution regarded as something to be sought after, as a means of growing the church, rather, it is something to be expected and accepted, something that naturally follows a growing and thriving body of believers who preach and live the gospel, and desire quiet and peaceable lives . Peace and sound leadership are represented as good things, things to be prayed for and sought after.

Under the totalitarian rule of a Caesar, Paul had these words to say to Timothy: "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1Tim.2:1-4) Clearly Paul saw it as a worthy goal, for the sake of the gospel even, for us believers to lead a quiet and peaceable life. We do not, thanks be to God, live under a Caesar. We are governors in our nation. Our authority may be small, but it is real. We must use it, to the best of our abilities, to do what is right in the sight of God. Peter says, "Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right? But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in you hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused. Those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong." 1 Peter 3: 13-17. If we are to suffer persecution, let it come from standing up for what is right in the sight of God, like the apostles, like the prophets of old, like the martyrs through the centuries.

Comments

jeri said…
Wow, Laurie, well-said! This reads like a good editorial piece. And all true.
Andy C said…
I like what you said about persecution. The command to us is to go out and make disciples. We shouldn't seek persecution to hone us to a razor sharpness, it will come as a result of the enmity the world has towards Jesus, and to us, as we are His.

People who think they can take action to bring about persecution to refine the church, or take action to hasten His return are being somewhat prideful. As if their actions can change what He has already ordained to occur in His timing.

All in all, this was a great post to read, thanks!
All true for us here in New Zealand too. We go to the polls on Saturday.

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