Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The morning after


It’s November 5. And as the old song from “The Poseidon Adventure” sang, “there’s got to be a morning after”. I realize that today’s news is likely captivating the attention of the majority of us who read this paper, so I don’t have any grand illusions that what a preacher writes today will gather much attention. But I want to speak to the Christian community in the aftermath of yesterday’s much anticipated vote.

There are some biblical principles that need to be remembered by us who claim faith in God regarding government and our responsibility to it. So whether this morning’s news makes you smile or kick the cat, these should apply to you. And take a minute to break out your Bible and read the passages I’ve included.

Human government isn’t perfect, but it is a God-ordained institution. Perfection was tossed out the window in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3) Whether your candidate is viewed as some kind of a messiah or the lesser of two evils, he isn’t going to usher in utopia. Yet God has created government to protect us from harm and to provide justice. (Romans 13:1-7) If our government misses those marks it will answer to God.

We’ve heard from all the politicians and pundits that our government is “broken”. Well, it was never perfect, not even when the ink was still drying on the Bill of Rights. (I will interject that it’s still the best the world has to offer!) Broken people can’t produce anything perfect. So, as God has done toward us, let’s extend a little grace.

Taxation is part of the deal and we’re to submit to it. Jesus gave that instruction to those listening and during great governmental corruption. (Matthew 22:21) Jesus said we’re to give to God what is God’s and to support our government. Caesar’s government, by the way, wasn’t known as being particularly fair. Regardless of what you may think, you still live a lifestyle higher than the rest of the world. Travel to a third world country and you’ll realize how blessed we are. Be grateful. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Sometimes we get what we deserve. Over and again when the nation of Israel in the Old Testament turned its collective heart away from dependence on God they found themselves in dire economic times. What’s a better wake up call? Unfortunately the American church in the last generation has tried to enact spiritual awakening via political and man-centered means. And judgment, we’re told begins in the “house of the Lord”, and rightly so. (1 Peter 4:17) Before we try to clean up our country we need to clean up ourselves first.

You have a dual citizenship. (Philippians 3:20) By God’s grace you are a citizen of a coming Kingdom. A perfect government is in our future. We just have to wait and be patient. The answer to all our ills is not in any man who occupies the Oval Office, sits on Capitol Hill or dons a black robe. Let’s hope things get better. But whether they do or don’t, your future is a bright one if Christ is your King.

One day wars will be over. (Isaiah 2:4) The economy won’t be a concern. No one will be needy or hungry or disenfranchised. Race won’t be an issue and borders will be removed. And we won’t have to watch any more political advertisements or hear any more speeches from candidates! We’ll live under the rule of a perfect Monarch, giving us a world we could never imagine. (Sorry John Lennon.)

Our responsibility is to pray for our leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Whether your man won or lost, it makes no difference. He needs your prayers. Why? “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord” (Proverbs 21:1). God is the only One Sovereign in the truest sense. He’s got things under control, whether we can see it or not.

Rick Lawrenson is the Lead Pastor of Nags Head Church.
© 2008 Rick Lawrenson

(This appears today in The Outer Banks Sentinel.)

18 comments:

Nancy Peacock said...

Very well said!
Thanks for the encouragement to do the right thing.

~j~ said...

needed to read this. and yes i too needed the encouragement to do the right thing.
thank you

Wendy Glosser said...

THANK YOU for this reminder...I will be sharing some of your words on my blog sometime today. I need people to see Jesus in me always...what a great reminder of that! (www.myspace.com/nursewendyg)

Mommy B said...

Thank you for your remarks. I think as a Christian it is hard to swallow what some of the Ultra-Liberals may push through, but I have to keep the end in sight and remain in prayer.

marcia said...

Excellent, Rick! Thank you! I just posted a link to this on the discussion forum on our church's website.

Melb. said...

Thank you for this post. I needed to read this today. I agree with all the comments posted before mine and I will be sharing your post today as well. Thank you again Pastor Rick for putting a Christian perspective on the outcome of the election.

elj377 said...

thanks for the encouragement...it's hard sometimes to remember!

marie said...

Knocked it outta the park!

Paul J. said...

Well spoken, Outer Banks dude.

Robin Porter said...

What an Awesome Post! Thank you for sharing this! Christ is the only one who can heal our land and we certainly need to pray that our leaders will look to him!

Ellen said...

Wonderful post, thanks.

Dirkey said...

sent this to my friends and posting a link here.
Thanks!

Kristi said...

I so needed to hear this today. Thank you so much for posting it. It was written so beautifully. I have been having a very hard day thinking about what the future holds for us, and your post reminded me that though it's not perfect, it's in God's hands and we should take comfort in that. I will be posting this on my blog for my blog readers. I'm sure they could use some encouraging words too today.

Megan and Company said...

Good thoughts Rick.The statements about taxation and rendering unto Caesar were also offered as arguments by well meaning Tories, including William Franklin, against our Declaration of Independence from England. Even today one can still find those who claim our war of Independence was anti- Biblical, especially since it was in direct rebellion against the ruling Monarch whom God had placed over the colonist. Oh, well. From Ag... not Meg, with all due respect.

coffespaz said...

Well said, Rick. Now, how can we get that out so even more people can read it?? I've put a link in my blog...hope that helps.

Rick Lawrenson said...

@ ag,
Re: taxation, all they did in the Revolution was bring Caesar across the pond. Taxation continued.

And since God ordained government, and government isn't free, God also endorses paying taxes.

Not that I like it any better...

John and Michelle said...

I posted this on my blog as well. I could not have said anything better. You're so smart. Thanks for this reminder of how we need to behave as followers of Christ.

robin schmitt said...

Excellent reminders, Rick! Very well said.