Government of the people, by the people, and for the people!

Fear God and honor the king! (1)

Fearing God is the easier of the two parts of this command.  

Honor the king!  I am having a problem with this one, especially as the narcissistic stalemate in Washington DC, continues to rule on the basis of self-interest, money, and power.

Our leaders have abandoned the form of government advocated by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people!”

Paul’s statement that all sin and fall short of the glory of God (2) is hard to dispute when examining the current political culture of the United States.

Christians have historically struggled with Jesus’ teaching “Give to Caesar what is his and give to God what is His.” (3)

Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, has provided the best explanation of what Jesus meant:

The secular government doesn’t extend any further than external and physical matters. God can tolerate secular government because it doesn’t concern itself with sin, good works, or spiritual matters. Instead, it handles other matters, such as guarding cities, building bridges, collecting tolls and taxes, providing protection, defending the land and the people, and punishing criminals. 

So Christians should obey government officials as long as these officials don’t command them to do something against their consciences.

If an emperor or prince were to ask me about my faith, I surely would tell him, not because of his governmental authority, but because I should confess my faith publicly. 

If, however, he ordered me to believe this or that, I would say, “Sir, take care of the secular government. You have no authority intruding on God’s kingdom. I will not obey you. You cannot tolerate anyone intruding on your domain. If someone oversteps their boundary without your permission, you shoot them. Do you think that God should tolerate your desire to push him off his throne and seat yourself in his place?” (4)

As the people of God we need to pray and work to keep the civil government from meddling in the affairs of God.

As you celebrate our nation’s independence today, established primarily to protect religious liberties, pray for our leaders, more and more of them believe everything belongs to Caesar.

As fear of God is replaced by expanding honor for the king our great nation grows weaker.

+ + +

  1. 1 Peter 2:17 .
  2. Romans 3:23.
  3. Matthew 22:21.
  4. Luther, Martin; Galvin, James C. (2009-05-19). Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (p. 185). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
About these ads
This entry was posted in Dumb things we do, God Speaks, God's Will, Humility, Sin, Trusting God and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Government of the people, by the people, and for the people!

  1. Ed Fowler says:

    Great thoughts.

  2. Mark Van Buskirk says:

    So Christians should obey government officials as long as these officials don’t command them to do something against their consciences. A great definition of liberty…

    • Rus Howard says:

      Mark, I am not sure this if you planned to say more after the the word liberty when you wrote … I am not certain this is the best definition of liberty. I do believe it is a worthy explanation of what Jesus meant in response to what obedience should be given to Caesar, the State. Many have argued against Luther’s explanation feeling it cedes more to government than Jesus would. My concern is that the religious liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution are being limited and that our government’s reach has expanded beyond what it should. I still obey civil laws. However, I will not yield honor to the king, which belongs to God. God is our Savior, not the State.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s