God’s Sovereignty vs. Political Obsession
Engage in dialog during our contemporary times, and you will likely hear the terms tyranny, fascism, and the Great Reset. Politics and world leadership are obsessions these days. Woes are delivered in dramatic fashion within conversations across politically aligned communities.
Furthermore, many cultural Christians connect the faith’s tenets to events like the American Revolutionary War. A spirit of rebellious pride often replaces the Holy Spirit in attitude and behavior. Too often, those who profess Christ are more than ready to take up arms. Lore and stories from history replace God’s commands to obey His ordained governments and to love enemies. A deep-held fascination exists…one of Minutemen leaving their families behind to end the dastardly lives of Red Coats. Based on human historical precedents, many see no need to pray for the enemy.
The Human Tendency to Place Limits on God
Even though most American Christians acknowledge God’s sovereignty, majorities install restrictions on His omnipotence when it comes to political leadership. But Scripture tells us that God does as He pleases (Psalm 115:2-3). All human events will meet His purpose. How quickly we forget that global leadership is ordained by God Himself (Romans 13:1-7, Titus 3:1-3). Response to immoral leaders is too often one that includes mockery, contempt, and hatred. But God’s word speaks of a different disposition.
For instance, when ordered to submit to a false idol, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not organize militias. Instead, they peacefully refused to submit to a graven image, and they left the rest to God. The end result was the enemy seeing the glory of God. Today, this type of scenario is difficult for multitudes to imagine…many would deem human aggression as a means to “glorify” God.
God Ordains All Leaders for His Purposes
In our era, perhaps God is appointing a certain leadership that not only demonstrates His sovereignty but also deals with a church body that does not live for Him…a church body that partakes in all of the world’s hedonistic pastimes and pleasures. It may be that, in His sovereignty, He uses governments that are oppressive to purify His Church. Instead of looking to the Second Amendment for protection, should we be reading Scripture and examining our hearts?
Humility is not Attractive to Fallen Human Nature
Unfortunately, the rebel spirit entices human nature. Political obsession and idolization develop pathways to potential violence. Gentleness and love for others are certainly perceived as weaknesses when the stakes are high. Malice is viewed as a remedy, and pride is offered as a template for God’s ordinances. Peacemakers are rarely highlighted in antiquity, and loving one’s enemy is viewed as foolhardy.
God Uses Human Rebellion to Accomplish His Will
Nonetheless, God interweaves and uses all human actions for His purposes. Even when we fail to follow His directives as individuals and as a nation, He will accomplish His will. He cannot be denied, it is impossible.
Sadly, very few in the world’s existence have believed God’s word. Society’s yesterday proves this out. Mankind embraces hate and anger in the name of self-righteousness, politics, economics, and power. The human will is contrary to Christ’s commands.
Ultimately, God is the Judge and the Giver of life (Genesis 2:7, Romans 12:19). In His sovereignty, we find our safety…and we should be encouraged and strengthened by this reality. He is in control…we have no need to obsess over politics.
Daniel 2:21 It is He who changes the times and the periods; He removes kings and appoints kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, And knowledge to people of understanding.
Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.
There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Even the Gentiles, do they not do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax." And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said to Him, "Caesar's." Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's." And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. "But IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
1 Peter 2:13-17
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.