Political Power and God

For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Romans 13:1

If you’re a Christian, read that verse again out loud.

Now, if all authorities that exist are appointed by God, should republicans, teapartiers, and evangelicals who embrace conservative Christian values oppose Obama and the democratic party as strongly as they do?

Should a “God fearing” speaker of the house draw a line in the sand that says “We won’t work with this person”?

Should Tea Partiers condemn and tear apart every speech and action of any and every democratic elected official?

Does God not look on the Just and the Unjust the same?

Who but God can say who is Just and Unjust? 

I write this on a day when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas prepares to hold a prayer rally for the nation in Houston.  The action in itself is harmless as I think more people should take time to reflect, meditate, or pray on their actions.  However, the political ramifications have stirred up the nation.  Some question his motives.  Others question whether it’s blurring the line of government and a state religion.  I’m a middle of the road person when it comes to politics, so frankly I don’t care.  What I do care about is intolerance.  Intolerance by any individual who believes that their political stance is 100% accurate and has no fault in any of the problems of the nation.  When religion is added as a vindication that’s when I get involved.  There are very few things in this life that you can be 100% certain of and any time you set yourself up as the final authority on something you open yourself up to criticism.  That is where we have come as a country.  And I’m tired of people who are not willing to humbly take responsibility for their actions (or in this case the actions of their political party).

In the sermon on the mount Jesus outlines the individuals who will “inherit the kingdom”.  Among them are the meek, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers.  None of these qualities I’m seeing exhibited by any religious person involved in politics.  Sadly it almost seems opposite.  The new sermon’s being preached are “Blessed are the proud, intolerant, motivated, and willing to protest for theirs is the United States of America”.

When you confront someone about this, they immediately respond with excuses or arguments why it doesn’t apply to them.  They are “Standing up to immorality”.  The response is never humble.  I always thought humility was a quality Jesus promoted and valued beyond argumentative politically motivated individuals.  It even affects our churches.  I’ve known many pastors run out of their churches by people who felt that the pastor just “wasn’t doing what he was told”.  One pastor I know grew a church from 65 to 350 in three years.  On his last day the head elder said “we don’t want you to leave, we just want you to do what we tell you”.  That church today has 25 in attendance.

Now this doesn’t mean I think that Christians and republicans should just roll over.  Our society and government are not set up for that.  But when Christians come out and tear down a President for fiscal policy, economics, military, etc. (all of the non-religious decisions he must make), that is insulting someone whom the Bible says was appointed by God.  So many people have come to thumping their Bibles and parading around telling other people how wrong they are, while ignoring other parts that would apply to them.

And don’t think this lets democrats off the hook.  I know many good, christian people who are liberal democrats in their political ideals.  And their vitriol for the other side of the political spectrum is equally strong.  The only difference is that the entire republican conservative party has defined itself as predominantly Christian, so it makes it easier to write off hate filled comments to those “Godless, liberal, Atheist, Homosexuals”.

So what definition do you want people to know you by first?

Are you Republican? Or Democrat? Or Tea Party?

Or are you Christian first?

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