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First West

Blog - Politics: Donkeys and Elephants

Politics: Donkeys and Elephants

Posted by Michael Wood on

If you are watching television at all right now, you know that there are political ads playing for upcoming races.  The fur is flying between the Donkeys (Democratic Party) and the Elephants (Republicans).In the next few months, we’ll begin to see presidential political ads. It seems as they never go away. The money spent on advertising campaigns for candidates is at an all-time high.

And it’s driving many of us crazy.

But that does not mean we should run away and hide. In fact, I’d encourage you to think through your role in the political process.

Let's chase an elephant (not a republican) today. Here are some thoughts about our role in politics.

Our Supreme Rule is found in Christ.

Well, this may seem like an obvious statement coming from a pastor. But when the political process is at play, just like it is now, at times we forget that. We lean heavily into what a man or woman can do for us.

No man or woman will ever be able to solve every problem that we face. With that in mind, we must lean in to our need for God. 

Phillipians 3:20 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We must allow Christ to guide us and rule us.

What does this have to do with politics? It has everything to do with how we should be guided in the political process. 

God created a civil/political Process

In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelite people begged and groaned for a king to lead them. Samuel asked the people to consider that if a king were to rule the people, what would happen? Sons and daughters would become servants of that new king. He would take a tenth of all they had for his service.

It was going to be bad.

But God allowed a king to rule the people in their stubbornness. And we know what happened to Israelite people throughout history, based on Scripture.

God’s plan was for the people of God to allow Him to provide everything they needed. When the people failed to believe in the faithfulness and provision of God, He created a system that would allow for people to rule over individuals, at a cost.

What does all of this mean? God allowed for the people of God to be ruled on earth, even though God’s plan was to rule over them supremely. Today, we are still benefactors of this.  

Romans 13:1-5 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Even though we have a rule of law and a system in place, we are subject to God, even in the political/civil process. 

We must choose to honor God as we engage the political process.

The point of the “Chasing Elephants” series has been to help shape our worldview.

Let me encourage you to be careful about the things you say about a candidate.

I asked Sunday, “Would a candidate come to our church, based on the things you’ve said on your personal social media page?”

That doesn’t mean we remove ourselves from the political process.

We must, as followers of Christ, endorse Christ in all things. The Bible even speaks to this.

Mark 12:17 says, “Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marveled at him.”

Jesus knew and understand the responsibility to give what is due to the government based on civil law of the land.  When we choose to do differently, we break the heart of God.

Romans 13:6-7 says, “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

We must be engaged in the civil and political process because Christ has asked us to.

But be careful. Be mindful. Be respectful. Be kind.

If you view the culture through the lens of anything other than the Kingdom of God, it will skew your understanding of God and how He is at work in it.

Too often, we view politics and people based on our personal thoughts and beliefs. Let me challenge you to view the political process through the lens of the Gospel.

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