On June 2 apparently President Trump showed up to David’s church and ended up asking for prayer.
Why? Who knows, and who really should care.
David then prayed publicly for him, and the firestorm hit.
On David’s FB page thousands of comments.
The reaction was so great that David had to write an explanation for his church.
Overall it was a solid letter and gave a good explanation.
I was a bit annoyed with one part,
“I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision. This weighs heavy on my heart. I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God. So while I am thankful that we had an opportunity to obey 1 Timothy 2 in a unique way today, I don’t want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.”
Trump is a polarizing guy, but so was Obama, and so will be our next president.
Frankly, the people in the Church need to grow up. And we need to figure out what the bible says about the Christian’s response to government.
We thought it would be good to simply go through a few key passages and explain them and how they then apply to our nation and our response to our leaders.
Biblical texts related to the Church, the Christian and the government.
The key one is Romans 13.
"Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience ' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." (Rom. 13:1-7)
Walk through the logic and flow of the text.
Our over-arching position/attitude/expression has to be “subjection” for it is the main verb and is a command.
"These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,"
The job of a pastor is not to keep his people happy, or in their safe zone.
This is huge for the pastor today in America where everything is supposed hate speech and anything can “hurt” our people.
Notice how Paul goes right into the issue of “subjection” again with regard to government. Apparently this is nothing new.
Here he adds “obedient” just in case you are too eager to try to find a loophole in being submissive.
Rather than being a pain in the next every believer is to be actively looking for opportunities to do good deeds. Meaning deeds that bring benefit to those around them.
1 Peter 2:13-17
"Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."
Walk again through the underlined. Make sure to focus on the controlling verb of “submit.”
Notice, Peter acknowledges a “freedom,” which we Amercians love. So if this is true for anyone, it’s certainly true for us.
Yet notice the immediate command -- “do not use it for evil.”
This, of course begs the question of what is the “evil.”
Well in context, the command is sandwiched by two commands:
Not having an attitude of submission (v. 13).
and not honoring the king (v. 17).
So a person who understands their freedom in Christ rightly (or understands themself to be a slave of Christ (end of v.16), is one who expresses that through a true heart of submission.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,"
Note what is “first” on Paul’s mind here in the application of what he has taught.
And then see the “why” [to lead a tranquil and quiet life].
Finally the end result. [God is pleased- worship].
The pulpit must lead in this and too often it is not.
I believe that we are inviting God’s judgment upon the household of God in America by the loose and crafty words from too many teachers who are twisting the idea of justice and submission and citizenship into unrecognizable shapes
I also see this as becoming a watershed issue where churches will end up dividing.
I fear that we will all stand shocked one day when the government wields its “sword” against us and too many will twist it into persecution when it is really the hand of the Lord.