• Jack Selcher

Government and You

Poking fun at the government helps keep late night TV hosts in business. In Russia, such behavior would significantly decrease life expectancy! Since 2000, the average approval ratings of USA Presidents have been less than 50 percent.1 Congressional job approval is currently 20 percent.2 In the last twenty years, most people haven’t been happy with their government. Nevertheless, Romans 13:1–7 commands us to respect our government. Sometimes, I struggle with that.

Christians are citizens of both earth and heaven (Philippians 3:20). We have responsibilities to both realms. God establishes human government to give order to our lives and to punish criminals who violate that order. Therefore, we’re to place ourselves under government’s authority.

It’s mysterious. God establishes even corrupt governments. God has given even the Hitlers of this world their positions. He’s also given Satan authority. I don’t understand why, and you probably don’t either. “And he [Satan] said to him [Jesus], “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want” (Luke 4:6, NIV).

We’re citizens of two kingdoms. Sometimes, their demands pull us in opposite directions. However, that tug-a-war isn’t in view in these verses. In fact, those who rebel against the state are fighting what God has established. They bring judgment on themselves that carries God’s stamp of approval.

Government officials are God’s servants for good. 1 Timothy 2:2 (NIV) describes government’s purpose: “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” A society without boundaries or rules would be in constant turmoil. It would be like the chaos in Israel before it had a king. The people all did whatever they wanted whenever they wanted (Judges 21:25).

Is revolution against the government ever justified? If history is the story of God’s unfolding will, some revolutions against existing governments must be God-ordained. How do I know? Some of them succeeded! Such revolution is justified when the state isn’t carrying out its God-given function of rewarding good and suppressing evil.

Paul mentions two reasons to submit to the state. The first is the likelihood of punishment if we don’t. The second is for the sake of conscience out of a sense of obligation to God. “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority” (1 Peter 2:13, NIV).

When we understand that government is God’s servant, paying taxes becomes reasonable, assuming we’re benefitting from that tax money. Government needs money.

The USA is one nation under God. Staying under God means staying under the authority of government. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources

1. Presidential Approval Ratings | Gallup Historical Statistics and Trends

2. RealClearPolitics - 2022 - Latest Polls

I invite you to check out my book, His Power for Your Weakness, a devotional discipleship resource and to share it with others: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B09NZG9W7L&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FSRD4SGCXC35KMZ6ED5R

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

Photo: One Nation Under God | Boulder Theatre 1225 Arizona St Bould… | Flickr

You can find this blog at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/post/government-and-you

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