In America, it seems I am quite the odd-ball, a Christian who does not actively take part in the politics of the world.
You see, when I was in fellowship with brethren assemblies in Scotland, the common understanding was that a believer is a Citizen of Heaven (*1), and an Ambassador for Christ (*2). Based upon this Biblical thinking, which I agree with, we are to not get involved with politics, but rather to pray for the Lord's will to be done.
This morning as I was driving to Prestonsburg, KY, I listened to a series of cassettes containing ministry from the Aberdeen New Year Conference 2004. This set was given to me a few years back by Alan Taylor, my Father-in-the-Faith, a man who taught me well in the Scriptures, how to study and reason with them, and continues to be a wonderful source of support & information in my Christian walk.
The two tapes I listened to were by Jack Hay, an excellent teacher of the Word of God, who is from Perth, Scotland.
In his teaching from Romans 13, he read this portion of Scripture and expounded it:
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Jack Hay also referenced this verse in his message:
...In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.
(KJV = basest of men)
(Strongs = “lowliest (of station)”)
The cassettes are in the car, and I am currently sitting in a hotel room using my Asus EeePC 1000 Netbook, named Ervyn. Therefore I am at this time unable to review Jack Hay's teaching on this subject, and give you the words he used.
Suffice to give my own thoughts on the matter:
Since becoming a Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as reading and understanding these Scriptures, my own conscience has questioned being involved in the world's affairs.
This is not the absolute of why I do not get involved, but I always wonder that if I did go into a voting booth and voted for a candidate, and another believer voted at the same election for another candidate, is one of us voting against the will of God?
So, do I do nothing about local, state or national politics? No... actually I am quite active in praying that all those that have rule over me, for they are responsible unto God even if they do not know it.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
These are my own thoughts and convictions. Not meaning to attack anyone, certainly not the many believers I know and love that get involved in the world's systems with a clear conscience.
*1) Philippians 3:20
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
*2) 2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
[Note that ambassadors do not have voting rights in the country they find themselves in.]