Summary: Be careful little hand what lever you pull for the Father above is looking down in ?
From time to time, I hear folks say, “I don’t talk about politics or religion.” Interestingly, both subjects influence a great part of our lives and it certainly is prudent for us to seek to be right in both areas. Germans made a mistake in the last century and we had a man who should have never got past being a small man with delusions of grandeur become a dictator that plunged the world in war and murdered six millions Jews. Being wrong in politics can make your life seem like Hell on earth, but being wrong about religion can damn your soul to the real Hell forever. It is a good thing to talk about and analyze your views on both issues frequently.
Many think that the Bible teaches a sort of political neutrality since Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world and Paul said we should obey and pray for the higher powers. Jesus even said of tax money to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. So that means we aren’t be really involved in government or politics, right? Hardly.
God sets up and tears down kingdoms and he led the righteous kings of Israel and judged the wicked ones. He also took issue with the pagan kingdoms. Nehemiah was given the wealth and resources of a pagan king to rebuild the temple. God allowed Esther, Daniel and Joseph to be very influential in pagan kingdoms. Paul won some that were in Caesar’s house. I would suspect that they had a different influence in the government and upon Caesar after their conversion.
It is true that Jesus’ primary mission was to save that which was lost and not set up or even directly interfere with the established government. He had principalities and powers much higher than Rome and Herod to defeat and conquer. No matter how self-aggrandized Caesar and Herod might have been they were just small fry in the eternal scheme of things. The power of the Gospel and the love of God would overcome the hearts of men and changing society as He changed them. Satan and his henchmen were the ones that had to be taken down by His Cross. His love could work after that.
It is only in the very recent centuries that common men had any real influence in the government of a country. Kings often had sole and absolute rule and like Esther, Daniel and Joseph you had to influence the rulers in indirect ways or effect change by marriage, death, war or all three. The Magna Carta was actually the first chance that I can remember where the ruled affected a major influence on the ruler unless you consider the ten tribes leaving when Rehoboam took over and gave in to peer pressure.
In Hebrews 11:33, we are told that people of faith subdued kingdoms and while that primarily means by war there is no reason why we cannot now subdue kingdoms via spiritual warfare. We are in the world but not of it but yet we must use this world without abuse. If the world allows us to have influence on our government via the ballot box then we can use it but not abuse it nor see it as the primary method of influencing the government or the nation. Regeneration of the individual is the only way to bring about salvation to the nation and we have been falling down on that job.
1 Pet 2:13-14
13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (KJV)
Some would use this passage to say that we should just obey whatever the government comes up with and not worry about it. That is not the intent of this passage at all.
28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (KJV)
The Sanhedrin had the delegated right to “silence” people. The Romans allowed them to institute some rules and ordinances. However, the Apostles would not submit to rules that violated the commandments of God.
There was an ancient culture that required every woman to commit at least one act of prostitution in their life after they were married. Would you submit to this as good Christians or find a way to change it or disobey it? What about Shadrach and the boys not bowing to the image? According to some Christians’ viewpoint of government interaction and submitting to every ordinance they would have bowed and said nothing.