by Luke Amos
I came across this quote from Christian author Bob Moeller.
“Those who consider themselves political and moral conservatives have a unique opportunity at this point in our nation’s history. One option is to play hardball politics and rejoice as their opponents stumble; the other is to display love and mercy in the midst of a highly polarized and angry culture. Is it possible to show gentleness and compassion to a person we might disagree with on so many issues? That’s both the challenge and the opportunity. The President thinks he understands the mind of a moral and spiritual conservative. He believes it’s filled with hostility, anger, and a desire for power. What are we doing to change his mind?”
The Bible is very clear as to what our attitudes towards those in power should be. Romans chapter 13 urges us to honor and submit to civil authority.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:17 “Show proper respect to everyone: love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, and honor the king.” This was written during the reign of Nero. This is the Nero who ordered his mother and step-brother executed and fed Christians to dogs and crucified them.
And 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Proverbs 24:17 states “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”
I’m not saying all of this to say that Christians should be quiet in the realm of politics and force ourselves to hide in the background praying. I believe we have a moral responsibility and appointment from God to make sure our country is run in a way that glorifies him, shows love and compassion, and is morally just. Disagreeing with our leaders is not only the right given to us by the first amendment but required by God if they are violating what is right. Christians have the responsibility to oppose legislation and government initiatives that are not in America’s best interest. We should also criticize those making wrong decisions as it is a sign of wisdom to listen to those around us.
However, I feel that the vast majority of politically outspoken Christians are not doing this how God wishes us to. I think the Bible is clear in that God wants our criticisms to be done with love, mercy, forgiveness, and respect. We should pray for our leaders as the Bible urges us to. But temper our judgments with the love and respect that Christ-followers should exhibit.
This is not to say that the “other side” does not name call and slander the “right.” But that does not make it morally correct. In fact it makes us as Christians even more at fault because we know better. I did not vote for Obama nor do I support just about any of his administration’s policies. However, campaigning against him and his policies should be done respectfully.