Not too long ago, at the base of the 2012 election, we started a series- God, Politics, and Poverty. The goal was to help those who consider themselves Christians to be able to really think through what the Bible says about politics, inviting other people to share their opinions on The Average Advocate.
Please check out the introduction to this series here: Preview: God, Politics and Poverty
Today’s post is from Peggy, a strong-willed woman with a big heart. She is currently a housewife, incredibly shaped a couple years back by loosing her first child to SIDS. Peggy writes at Contemplation’s of a Housewife: Housewife Under Construction. She recently has been re-thinking her political beliefs, which she shares below. She will soon grace us with another post about how this specifically relates to poverty. Her changing attitude just might someday change the world!
So here’s to Peggy! (In case you can’t tell, she likes to introduce her posts with a series of Bible verses.)
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. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 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; 4 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. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.7 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. 8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
1 Peter 2:13-18
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine.
15 “By me kings reign,
And rulers decree justice.
16 “By me princes rule, and nobles,
All who judge rightly.
Politics. Revolutionary, mind changing, heart changing findings.
I’ve been praying about my attitude on politics, government and our nation’s leaders. I’ve known for awhile that maybe I don’t have it right, this attitude of mine. Maybe, just maybe . . . I’ve got my compass wrong. Maybe . . . just possibly . . . I am not obeying His Word on this matter.
So to the scriptures I went. I read and read. I found things that hit close to home. I found my stinking attitude. I found that my reasoning was wrong. It kind of hurts, this realization of mine.
1. As those scriptures above state, as a believer I am to KNOW that God brings kings, rulers and governments to power.
So I’m to pray for them, accepting the path they might take this country down, because it’s part of God’s plan.
2. As a believer, I’m to SUBMIT to their authority, as I would to Christ- because HE placed them there.
In which I’m to allow the policies and law to apply to my life, all while praying for God’s direction and guidance.
3. As a believer, if I RESIST these authorities, I’m in direct opposition of HIS word!
WOW! Now let me state this, we are to SUBMIT as long as they do not ask of us things that are opposite of HIS WORD. However, we are to still treat those in authority as we would God, because he placed them there!
4. As a believer, I’m to LOVE my neighbor, thus fulfilling the Law.
Wow . . . and now I know that my attitude hasn’t been loving. It’s been judging. Harsh. Vial. Full of malice. I could go on.
5. SUBMIT not only to those who are easy to submit too, but to those who are difficult to submit too.
So basically, submit to a leader placed by God, who may not be who I voted for. May not be someone I agree with.
Are you still with me? Good! It’s harsh isn’t it? It’s no surprise how I’ve acted and voiced my opinion on President Obama. It’s no big surprise that I haven’t been pleased with him, that I’ve disdained him, slandered him. But, oh my! How humbling and painful it is to know that I’ve done this to someone whom God placed in power for HIS purpose. That in some way, I’ve perpetuated the idea to myself and others, that God’s plans, His ideas for this country, ARE NOT GOOD.
Oh Lord, forgive me of my malice and spite towards Your chosen leader for this time. Please continue to soften my heart, sharpen my mind with Your Word, give me the wisdom and compassion that is from You.
*After sending this to my Mom to read, she sent me this prayer by Billy Graham for the country:
‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable… We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and Set us free. Amen!
To continue following Peggy’s thoughts as she processes through this, check out her next post, Are We Getting It Wrong?
Again, be sure to glance at the beginning of this series and consider contributing to it!