Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
I started memorizing Bible verses when I was 3 years old. I remember my family's passion while listening to the election results on the radio when I was 4 years old. I became a Christian when I was 5 year old. Growing up, when other kids were enthralled with thoughts of professional sports teams, my thoughts were frequently on Democrats and Republicans. I went on to earn a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in Christian Apologetics.
Even though I have given up all my dreams and plans to be involved in politics professionally because I am a missionary/Christian apologist in Cambodia, I still pay attention to politics both as a hobby and from the perspective of an apologist because many of today's most divisive political issues such as religious freedom, abortion, euthanasia, climate change, LGBT+ issues, war, and much more, frequently overlap with Christian apologetics, whether we want them to or not. In the past, "separation of church and state" was an uneasy truce between Christians and politics but that wall has been broken down. It wasn't the church that broke down the wall and tried to take over the state--it was the reverse.
Christians have no choice but to engage in politics because EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL NOW! This is probably going to get worse before it gets better. So, how can we be faithful "ambassadors for Christ" in the world that we live in? Politics is much more than political issues and proposals, it involves people. How can we, as Christians (of any nation) relate to government leader Biblically?
1. Government Leaders Are Our Neighbors
Matthew 22:36-40 New Century Version (NCV) “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?” Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ All the law and the writings of the prophets depend on these two commands.”
Think of any government leader. Did you think them as your neighbor? Do you love them as you love yourself? Do you realize that Jesus Christ loves them just as much as He loves you?
2. Government Leaders Are People Who Need Prayer, Just Like You
1 Timothy 2:2 New Century Version (NCV) "Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God."
When government leaders are faced with important decisions, did you pray for them? When you are happy with their words and actions, do you pray for them? When you are angry about their words and actions do you pray for them?
3. Government Leaders Are Humans, With The Image of God, And Should Be Treated With Respect
The Bible is full of examples of God's people relating Biblically to Government leaders and other religious leaders with legal authority. None of these leaders were perfect. Some were better than others. Some were easier to love/like than others. I believe that after studying these Biblical "case-studies" you will be thankful for the government leaders we have today. Here are some examples:
Case Study #1: Joseph and Pharaoh (Genesis 39)
Case Study #2: Joseph and Pharaoh (Genesis 41+)
Case Study #3: Midwives and Pharaoh (Exodus 1) (civil disobedience)
Case Study #4: Moses and Pharaoh (Exodus 3-15) (confrontation)
Case Study #5: Samuel and Saul (1 Samuel 9+)
Case Study #6: David and Saul (1 Samuel 17+)
Case Study #7: Nathan and David (2 Samuel 12)
Case Study #8: Elijah and Ahab (1 Kings 17+)
Case Study #9: Nehemiah
Case Stud #10: Esther
Case Study #11: Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar and Darius
Case Study#12: Jesus and King Herod and Pilate
Case Study #13: Peter and Religious Leaders (Acts 5)
Case Study #14: Paul and Various Government Leaders
When I reflect on these case studies, there are some themes that emerge.
I hope that these thoughts will help you to engage in politics (which you must because you can't avoid it) with more confidence, peace, joy, and most of all LOVE. I encourage you to take a moment and pray for your government leaders and also pray that God will help you to love them not because they are perfect, but because Christ loves them and died on the cross for them.
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).