Unleavened Brett

Brett’s Friday Blog Post

UB Jun 7

Where did you get your political principles?

Few things are more polarizing than politics these days. They say the two things you should never discuss in public are religion & politics. Well, here goes. I’m not going to address specific politicians, parties or platforms though, but instead deal with foundational principles. For a Christian, that means we consult what God says. His Word shapes our worldview & values, so we should understand how to think biblically in all areas. If Jesus is Lord, then He’s Lord of our political views too.

Politicians are always promising to unite us, but that’s impossible since biblical principles are not commonly shared. This has never been more true in my lifetime than now, & I anticipate that such divisive animosity will only increase. Christians form a holy nation called the Church under King Jesus, where we’re united as fellow citizens pledging first allegiance to our heavenly eternal kingdom. But Jesus is ultimately King of kings over all people & States.

Yet we must make sure not to fall into the confusion of reversing the roles of Church & State. God has all authority, but He delegates some of His authority to the Church. He established the Church to provide spiritual salvation & sanctification, operating by grace to make disciples. God also established Government to maintain order, peace, & safety by restraining evil & upholding justice, with the authority he delegates to it (Rom. 13:1). The State has the power of forceful violence; the Church has the power of gracious love. Each has a different mission & role.

So the question is always–is the government fulfilling its God-given purpose? If government is made by man, then those principles can be changed. But if they’re from God, we have no right to change them. Jesus confirmed this when on trial before a cruel Roman governor: “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above” (John 19:11). Even though it was an unjust, corrupt, & idolatrous government, Jesus reminds Pilate that you’re only in charge because God’s allowing it. But one day Gov. Pilate & all those like him will stand trial before Jesus.

When questioned about taxation, Jesus said to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matt. 22:21). Everything belongs to God! That’s why Christianity was seen as such a dangerous thing then because they said, “Caesar is not Lord; Jesus is Lord!” In many nations today like China, North Korea, & Cuba, tyrants expect to be unquestionably obeyed, & never spoken against. That’s why the Church is the greatest threat to the State, & why dictators outlaw & oppress the Church because it reminds people that there IS a God who is greater than the Government.

The genius & beauty of the United States was the establishment of a Constitutional Republic that recognized God’s higher authority–that our rights come from God, not the State. The State is not God. That’s why if you were to ask my political persuasion, I would answer that I’m a Constitutionalist. Who do I vote for? Those who most closely honor our God-given rights in the Constitution.

Government works best when those in authority recognize they’re exercising delegated authority from God, & they’re answerable to God. America was founded on the idea of limited government with checks & balances because people are sinful & cannot be trusted with power. It would be ideal if Government at least encouraged trust in God (like our national motto & money purports) instead of discouraging it by pushing God out of the public square–which is what happens when it remains “neutral,” giving the impression that a secular view of life is just as valid as a biblical one.

When those in power do the opposite of what is just & right–protecting the evil while punishing the innocent; promoting & incentivizing vice while penalizing virtue; tolerating the killing & sexualizing of children; encouraging lawlessness; suppressing freedom; undermining the family; practicing corruption & deception; stealing through excessive taxation & devaluing of currency; pushing & profiting off non-defensive & unjust wars; then that nation deserves doom under God’s judgment because it has rejected God’s appointed role & misused His delegated authority (Is. 5:20).

As Christians, we don’t put our trust in political parties or our hope in office holders & candidates, but we filter all our views & decisions through the principles of Scripture. We want the State to do what God intended–to honor Him, protect our rights without showing favoritism, defend the innocent, & punish the guilty (Ps. 33:12, Lev. 19:15, Rom. 13:1-7, 1 Tim. 2:1-2).