- “Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan
- “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers
- “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman
- “Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli
But if you are a Christian, the Bible calls you to not give in to the cynicism that many feel toward our government. As aliens and strangers on Earth, we are called to to interact with government officials in a peculiar way.
In a single word, the Bible calls us to submit. The Greek word that both Peter (1 Peter 2:13) and Paul use (Romans 13:1, 5) has a couple of definitions. On the one hand it carries a military meaning to arrange troops under the command of a leader. On the other hand, it’s also a voluntary attitude of cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden for the common good.
No where does submission imply letting leaders abuse us, or remaining silent and uninvolved if their activities are immoral or unbiblical. Instead submission recognizes that government officials have been placed in their positions by God (Daniel 4:25, 32—the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men, and gives them to anyone He wishes), and that they are God’s servants (Romans 13:4, 6) who have to give an accounting to God for their actions.
Our alien response of properly submitting is our way of supporting them in their God-given responsibilities. How do we do this?
- Treat them with respect (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:17).
- Separate the person [loved by God] from the policy [may or may not line up biblically], then disagree with the policy, not with the person.
- Pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Here’s a good question to ask ourselves: Are we submitting like servants of the King of kings?