Americans have always shown great passion when it comes to politics. We have very deeply held ideas about how things ought to be. I have observed over the last third of my life, the passion is no longer over ideas but over parties and personalities. We seem to have reached a stage where character assassination is the major part of the political process, and no matter who the candidate is, it is our duty to destroy them; not for their beliefs, but for their party. I firmly believe Christians should vote their consciences guided by the principles of Scripture. Scripture should be the guiding force in every decision we make. After all, they are God’s instruction to us for pleasing Him and living proper lives.
So, the election is over. How should those Christians who are not Obama backers conduct themselves in light of his election? As we do with everything that affects our lives, we should look to God’s word for guidance. Jesus recognized the authority Pilate possessed as He stood before him condemned by the Jewish leadership. He was not afraid to tell Pilate he would have no authority unless it had been given to him from above as recorded in John 19:11. It is clear those in authority have been given it by God. Many are convinced each individual in a position of authority was personally ordained by God to have that authority. I am not convinced of that position. I believe governing offices are ordained of God for a specific purpose in mind. He allows men to put into power, or occupy those offices of authority, as we choose. I do believe it is our duty to choose wisely.
Once a person is in one of these offices of authority, we as Christians, have an obligation to submit ourselves to that authority. Paul wrote in Romans 13 about this subject. Do you remember who was in power as he wrote? The pagan Caesars. Christians were about to undergo a persecution like we have never seen. The Roman Empire would place blame on Christians for every problem Rome had. These people would suffer torture and death for the cause of Christ. Yet, Paul told them in Romans 13:2 not to resist authority because it would be opposition to the ordinance of God. Peter also addressed this same subject to Christians scattered throughout the Roman Empire. In I Peter 2:13–20, he directed them to submit themselves to every authority including the king, who was their enemy, Caesar. Why? It is the will of God. The purpose for establishing authority was to bring peace to those who do what is right. It is of first importance to serve God when the authority is in direct opposition to God, as evidenced by Acts 4:19–20. That is the case even in the face of death.
You may be dismayed or distressed at the election’s outcome. But you do have an obligation to President Elect Obama, like him or not. Paul instructed Timothy in I Timothy 2:1–3 to pray for all men and for kings and all in authority. We pray for them “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (NASU).
Let’s pray for our new president.