Inauguration Day

So it is Inauguration Day 2021. At the time I am writing this Joseph R. Biden has been President of the United States for about 4 hours. The election results have been certified, court cases denied due to lack of evidence and Donald Trump has gone back to Florida. Yet, there are still Christians questioning the legitimacy of the Biden administration. It is no secret I was skeptical of Trump from the time he announced his candidacy and in the last days of his term a critic but I never once doubted that God had put him in the seat of power. I prayed for him and submitted to his authority like I will for Biden despite dislike for the man because scripture tells me that is what I should do. 

Romans 13:1-2 states: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those who exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement.  

Those are pretty strong words. There are of course obvious exceptions to this. If the government tells us to not spread the Gospel or to violate one of the two greatest commandments then sure we can disobey those laws we may still face the consequences but we can do so with a clear conscience. However in the everyday status quo we are to submit ourselves to the governing authorities. 

I am sure few Christians would argue against that but the bigger argument is with the legitimacy of the Biden administration. There are arguments for the legitimacy from a legal standpoint but those won’t get us anywhere. If you believe the vote was accurate you won’t be persuaded otherwise and vice versa. I am not here to argue the merits of the cases the Trump administration tried to bring against the election results I am here to talk about the Christians submission to authority. We as Christians are called to submit to Biden’s authority. How do I know? Because as the previously stated verse tells us all authority comes from God. 

Joe Biden for better or worse is the President of the United States and he got there one of two ways. Either he pulled a fast one on the all powerful all knowing God of the universe, or that God placed him in the position of authority. I don’t know about you but I am not willing to question the supremacy of God. 

So what do we as Christians do? Well we obey where we can obey and if we need to violate the law we do so in a way that shows Christ’s love. We do not resist the government simply to  resist God condemns that. We pray for Biden, Harris and the rest of those in power. We do our best to help them succeed because that success can lead to the blessing of those in need. We hold our leaders accountable, either by telling them what we believe they should do on our behalf or by voting them out when their name appears on a ballot. We do not take up arms against them and seek to overthrow the government. If the Apostles submitted to a government that at times actively sought to kill them we can submit to a government that disagrees with our beliefs from time to time. 


Love your enemy

I was angry yesterday. I am still angry today. The government of the United States of America was attacked yesterday by terrorists who can’t accept the fact that their chosen candidate lost an election that they have failed to prove in court was fraudulent. I am angry because there are people who claim to be Christians supporting this movement and the violence that it led to. I have been struggling internally a lot recently because of the amount of us versus them talk that has come out of Christians around me. I have had enough. 

As Christians we are not called to only love those who think and act like us and we certainly are not called to violently attack those who disagree with us. We are in fact called to the exact opposite. In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us to love our enemies and those who persecute us. (Side note CHRISTIANS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT BEING PERSECUTED.) But Jesus doesn’t just stop at telling us to do this he then tells us that if we only love those who love us we are no better than the world around us because they do that as well. It is easy to love those who love us. To treat someone who loves you poorly is not only strange its unnatural and dysfunctional. 

Maybe that passage isn’t enough for you. Maybe you need more of Jesus words to convince you well lets jump to another story. In Luke 10 a teacher of the law decided he wanted to test Jesus and try and trap him in something. He asks Jesus what he needs to do in order to gain eternal life. The outcome is Jesus affirms that you must love God and love your neighbors. That wasn’t enough though the teacher of the law decides to try and find a loophole he asks Jesus who his neighbor is. To which Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. For those who don’t know the story here is a basic rundown. A guy is traveling, he gets mugged beat up and left for dead. Two of the religious leaders of Israel see him dying and don’t just pass him they cross to the other side of the road. Then a guy who is this guys enemy comes along sees him and decides to help him. The enemy patches the guy up and takes him to a hotel in town to recuperate. The enemy gives the innkeeper some money and tells the innkeeper that he will be back to pay for anything else needed in order for this guy to get better. 

This is radical. The animosity between these two men would have been palpable but Jesus flips it on its head and the enemy becomes the caretaker. This looks nothing like the way I see many Christians acting right now. 

This makes me more angry than any attempted coup on the United States government. I enjoy living in this country. This country is by no means perfect but it has a lot of potential if we can continue to progress in the areas we have fallen short. However, this country is not my home. The United States does not have my ultimate loyalty. The kingdom of God is my home and does have my loyalty and that means living by the commands of my King. My King demands I love my neighbor and my King defines my neighbor as my enemy.