Being Christian in America Today

Elections and inaugurations are always a time of simultaneous rejoicing and lamentation.  Those whose candidate won rejoice and those whose candidate lost lament.  The recent Presidential election is certainly no different in that respect than any other.  Yet the current election seems to have polarized people of good will and Christian faith in a way that is unusual and in some respects unprecedented.  In some cases acrimony and hostility have erupted.  To say this is unfortunate is an understatement because no matter who wins or loses elections Jesus is still Lord and God is still on his throne.

Additionally, Christians are uniquely obliged by Scripture to live as good members of society.  As Paul tells the Romans

“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. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.  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.  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.   Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.  Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.   (Rom. 13:1-7).”

Government, Paul insists, is instituted by God for the punishment of wrongdoing and the protection of well-doers.  When government fulfills its responsibility then Christians are to cooperate with it in its aims and goals always, however, remembering that when the Government, or anyone, commands disobedience to God, it should be resisted.  Indeed, it is always ‘better to obey God than men’.

With that in mind every Christian, whether their candidate won or lost, should pray for the civil authorities, that they carry out their God mandated commission and that persons in authority live for and under the Lordship of Christ.  We all, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and everything else, still live under the banner of the Cross and it still unites us even if our politics divide us.  What we share in common, Christ, is worth more than everything else so that, however we view things politically, we should still love one another.  After all, the world will know we belong to Christ because we have love for one another.  Not because we share every single political viewpoint.