Posted by: goingfaraway | May 29, 2011

of queens and presidents

Soapbox #2 –  Politics

Part 2 in a series (see post: refreshed for pt 1)

In the last week the Emerald Isle has been buzzing as the people of Ireland welcomed the Queen of England and President Obama on official state visits. Of course, these visits, especially the latter, prompted lots of questions in my direction on my political orientation. I’m not a very political person. It’s healthier for me to stay out of it rather than get wound up or stressed about things I don’t agree with and can’t change. Living in the States gives us the right and privilege to express our opinions and vote for whomever we want. However, it’s disappointing that these rights are often taken to an extreme, causing us to stumble into sin. Disagreement is not a license to degrade or dehumanize leaders with our words and attitudes. I’m preaching to myself on this little rant just as much as I’m preaching to you.

This is what God’s Word has to say about political activism….

“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….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. OWE NOTHING TO ANYONE EXCEPT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13

“Remind them to be subject to rulers and 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.”

Titus 3: 1-2

We forget that political figures are also our neighbors, which means that these commands directly apply to the way we act toward them if we call ourselves Christians. Our obligation is to LOVE….not to malign (speak evil of)….show every consideration. Love does not mean agreement. [See 1 Cor 13 for a definition of what love is and is not.] Some leaders may be harder to love and obey than others, but at the end of the day, no matter who you vote for and how they govern, they are sinners. Imperfect. Flawed. Just like us.

There is no law in place that keeps us from loving our neighbor. I find that the less time I spend in judgment of others, and the more time I spend praying for them, the easier it becomes to love.  I’d say our leaders could use our prayers more than our complaints and condemnation.

We can’t control our leaders. But we can control ourselves and our attitudes toward them. We are allowed to disagree, but it’s how we choose to act when we disagree that will bring honor or dishonor to God’s name. In the end, the best way to spread our faith and the light of Christ is not through government legislations. We are to be the moral compass for the world in the way we choose to act in our everyday lives.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

[The end.]

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