A devotional thought from Marty Duren from “Christian Citizens”
In the oft-confused relationship between the kingdom of God and kingdoms of this world, some Christians are averse to any engagement at all in the public arena. Some Church Fathers believed the realms to be totally separate, so much so that Christians should have nothing to do with earthly government.
If God calls you into elected service, or if you are employed in a governmental role, here are three general principles to guide your participation in government as a Christian:
1. Be prayerful in your service to the government. Participating in political office can be difficult for the 21st-century Christian. One of the pitfalls that can be particularly dangerous is that of a prideful spirit for the power inherent in such a position. As you enter into an office of service to your government, pray for a humble heart, that God might use you for His glory and not your own fame.
2. Be determined to stand for justice. One of the primary reasons God established human government in Genesis is to carry out justice in the world. Isaiah 1:17 says: “Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.”
As Christian citizens, our participation in government must be characterized by our advocacy for justice and for those who cannot help themselves. Various believers see this carried out in different ways, but all followers of Christ should admit that seeking justice is an expectation of the gospel.
3. Be willing to stand alone for as long as it takes for righteousness to prevail. The broken, fallen world in which we live is no friend to the Christian. As Christian citizens participating in government, we must be willing to stand for what is right and godly even if we are alone in our conviction. Government, like other institutions implemented by God, must not terminate in itself—we are not to participate in government solely for the good of the government, but primarily for the good of the Kingdom.
Pause and Reflect:
• Do you know any Christians who have ran for political office at the local, state, or federal levels? If so, how did they connect their faith with their campaign aspirations?
• What are some issues of justice that Christians should be concerned about? Which injustices do you long for most to be corrected? See what you can do to take action.
• Pray that God would give you opportunities to seek justice in your community.