Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God
has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels
against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring down
judgement on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do
you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For
the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear
the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also
as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5 (NIV)
When applied to the political theater that plays out now-a-days on any form of media that you care to choose, the verses above can be a bit confusing. Who exactly is “the one in authority”? Our Government is huge! When you just consider the top members of the three federal branches, legislative, judicial, and executive, there are 536 men and woman who have been put there by us (presumably because we believe they will act in the good faith that we've placed in them) and 9 who have been appointed and/or approved by those members, though never that I can recall with all parties in 100% agreement. These are the people who, when you get right down to it, are just like you and me. No better, no worse. No smarter, no dumber (as hard as that can be to believe sometimes).
The first question I have is this: Do we trust them?
According to the verses above we don't have to, because God has given them their authority. Okay, but how did he do that? By allowing us to vote for them. So, it seems pretty clear that we can rest easy with the knowledge that they're all acting in our best interest and that of the country.
I think most of us have heard that old saying; Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, why would God tell us to be subject to people who we know can be corrupt? If you can answer that one, you have a much better understanding of our Lord's motives than I do. Maybe it's so we can be vigilant when it comes to holding those people who we've trusted with the responsibility of governing us accountable. And if they don't do what they said they'd do when we voted for them, we can vote for someone else to replace them next time. I know that it might seem like a never-ending process, but maybe that's the point. So, here's my second question:
When did we stop caring?
We see it happening. We talk and complain about it happening. But what do we do about it?
About ten years ago, a friend of mine, Tim Price (as well as others) had a vision for an organization of Christian men who would come together weekly to have fellowship and pray for our community, our schools and our governments, local, state and federal. I know this because I was there, the night before our first IronMen breakfast in the parlor at First Baptist Church, Centerville, being instructed on how, as a table leader, I was to conduct myself and what our goals were. For a while we stayed true to the mission that we had set for ourselves. But like most things that men are involved in, our focus waivered whenever the wind changed direction. Now, don't get me wrong, that can be a very good thing. The ability to be responsive to changing scenarios is an invaluable trait in any organization that wants to be successful over the long haul. But when the time rolled around for us to set our sites on our core focus, we turned back to what was really important, the 2016 elections. I, myself, wrote several articles about the abysmal turnout by Christians in the previous elections, focusing mainly on the disastrous consequences we endured under the (inept) ministrations of a president who shall remain nameless here. Now, I can't take credit for the fact that an “awakening” happened throughout the country, but I'd sure like to try. Because, when it seemed like we were about to elect another president who would continue down the road of socialism that had been paved by the previous one, the unthinkable happened. Completely unexpectedly, we voted into that most powerful of positions a man who is … well to use a word that I've used to describe him before … a little despicable. This is a man whom many people (somewhat understandably) loath and will seemingly do anything to remove from the office in which we placed him. But here's the thing …
Who are we to question God's judgement?
He's been trying, and has had a good bit of success despite the opposition, to do exactly what it was that I voted for him to do.
Question three: What do we do now?
Well, I don't have all the answers, but my suggestion would be for us to return our focus to the coming election as we did four years ago. Let's start praying that Christians all over the country will get energized and organized and encourage others to do the same and get out and vote for the candidates that will do what the people want them to do. And if that means that we put people into office who will take us to a place—socialism—that I sure-as-heck don't want to go, then so-be-it! I, for one, will hate what happens to this, the country that I have loved for coming up on (gulp!) six decades, but if God has a message that He wants us to hear as a result, then … reluctantly … I'll listen and obey.
Please God, don't let that happen! Amen.
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
G. J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and First Baptist Church, Centerville, GA. Look for his novels on Amazon on Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.GerardFortier.com