Newsletter, David Hino, January 13, 2012
God and politics are emotional charged topics. I even have a short comment about Tim Tebow at the end of this article. My views may not be accepted by everyone. It has taken years to formulate my thoughts and how to articulate these views. For the past few years, I feel more and more in conflict with the very vocal Christian conservative movement.
Even voting has taken on a strange self interest mindset. One viewpoint is to vote for the person who is best in line with your beliefs. A second viewpoint is to vote for the person who is most electable and can defeat the incumbent president. Those two viewpoints might sound reasonable, but what happened to voting for the person who is best qualified or voting for the person who God wants. Christian politicians should not get our vote simply because they are Christians. I may share many values with a Christian politician but sometimes they lack the qualifications to hold high office. Other times, these Christian politicians act contrary to many of my values.
God is neither liberal or conservative. God is not a Democrat or a Republican. I know wonderful Christians who are Democrats and Republicans.
Too many Christian political groups are formed out of anger and creating polarization rather than reconciliation. Christians are creating political viewpoints based on reaction to others and events. Christians should be called to action not to reaction. The Church’s primary calling is to love.
Christians are being shamed into voting for people. The rhetoric makes us feel if we don’t vote for a particular person or vote on a particular bill, we are less than Christian and the result will worsen our country. Righteousness should not be defined as voting for people or laws. Laws bring order but do not produce righteousness.
Today, many are without jobs and President Obama gets blamed. If the economy improves by next year, the media says Obama probably wins a reelection. Is something wrong with this picture? People are voting at an emotional level.
Here are some reminders as we head into this political year.
God is the ultimate authority over all governments. All rulers and governments are under God. God is more powerful than a Democratic president in the USA, a dictator in Iran or a village chief in a Pacific island.
Jesus honored the government, the laws and the political leaders. He did not condemn the government. Israel was suppose to be a theocracy but Jesus had no political agenda to change government or the laws. Jesus came to change the world and did so through touching lives by healing the sick, casting out demons and ultimately by dying on the cross for us.
There seems to be at least two main Purpose of the Government for Ancient Israel: 1. Justice and 2. Assist those in need. An argument could be made that creating an army was also a purpose of the government. With all the reasons and rhetoric being promoted by Christian conservative movements about the purpose of the American government, one can easily become carried away that God and America are one. When I read my Bible, Israel and God are still the dominant players. Today, God is reaching more people in the Third World countries. Norway has sent out more missionaries per capita than any other country in the world. Thousands of Chinese Christians are committed to give their lives to win the Arab world to Jesus.
The Responsibility to the Government is three fold: 1. Respect the government and honor the leaders. 2. Pay taxes to the government. 3. Pray for government leaders. Civil disobedience may be a American right, but is it a Biblical right? Why is it easier to protest those we disagree with rather than honor and pray for them? I believe if Christians would honor and pray more we would be protesting a lot less.
As Christians, we can bring love and hope in the midst of chaos. Joseph in the Bible lived in Egypt under a Pharaoh who served idols. Joseph did not change the Egyptian laws or try to convert the Pharaoh. Joseph touched a nation and the world by living in intimacy with God, exercising godly leadership, and moving in the supernatural gifts of dream interpretation. It is interesting that Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos is getting such amazing attention. Tebow is displaying intimacy with God, godly leadership and is on the side of some incredible wins. God has given Tebow a platform to become an influencer in our society. Today, God is looking for Josephs who are ready to penetrate into our society and become influencers.