You’ve probably heard the term, “There’s nothing new under the sun.”
It’s actually Ecclesiastes 1:9 – a book of the Bible that is about 3000 years old.
And the older I get the more I find this to be true.
As an example, I give you American politics.
As I check in to Facebook each morning, I read post after post on my newsfeed about people upset about this or upset about that. I read that people are protesting this or protesting that.
And the replies to these posts! I’d like to say they are unbelievable!
But they aren’t. Not really.
Reading posts and replies from young people, born after 1980, one might get the impression that we in America are in uncharted waters.
But we aren’t. Not really.
I’m old enough to remember – if only vaguely – the protests and the level of upset-ness in the early 1970’s.
I remember better the rhetoric of the early 1980’s.
I lived through the bitterness of the 2000 elections.
By that time, Facebook and Twitter had come along and everyone now can remember how upset so many people are!
But Ecclesiastes is still true – there is nothing new under the sun!
We’ve all been here before. Especially in American politics and government. While we hear about certain people being scrutinized before they immigrate to the United States, this is nothing new.
Our government interred Japanese Americans in camps during the early 1940’s!
The question is, what should Christians do about this political climate? What should we say about it?
Because of the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter, it is easier to say what we feel than it has ever been. But it is not easier to know what we should feel or how we should act.
One of the best places in the Bible for us to go is Romans 13.
St. Paul was a Christian missionary in a time when the government was, at the best of times, indifferent to Christianity, but most of the time was brutally hostile to the faith.
And yet St. Paul would write to Christians living in Rome to submit themselves to the governing authorities.
We, as Christians, don’t have to like what the government does or doesn’t do. But we do have to submit to the governing authorities.
The reason for this is because all authority is from God. And a Christian submits to God’s will.
Those who follow me on Facebook know that I rarely post anything “political.” I use my Facebook page to tell other people about Jesus Christ by sharing links to these and other devotions and blogs, etc.
I don’t agree with everything the government – federal, state, and local. But I do submit to the government, unless doing so would disobey what God says I am to do.
St. Peter told us about this in the book of Acts, “We must obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29).
This seems hard to do in a climate where it is so easy to reveal how you feel at the moment you feel it.
For me, it is important to remember that Jesus Christ bled and died to forgive my sin and to give me eternal life by grace through faith.
Jesus also did this for the entire world! And he wants this salvation for all people, even people I disagree with!
So I have to choose to tell people about Jesus instead of how I feel about what they say, think, or do.
As for the political climate, especially in America, these words from Martin Luther – the 16th Century Reformer – help me immensely:
“In [Romans] Chapter 13 [Paul] teaches honor and obedience to worldly government. Although worldly government does not make people righteous before God, nevertheless it is instituted in order to accomplish at least this much, that the good may have outward peace and protection and the bad may not be free to do evil in peace and quietness, and without fear. Therefore the good too are to honor it even though they themselves do not need it. Finally, he comprehends it all in love, and sums it up in the example of Christ: as he has done for us, we are also to do, following in his footsteps” (AE 35:379 – as quoted in the Lutheran Study Bible notes on page 1936).
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