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Rendering unto Caesar: Being a good Christian citizen under the world's rule.

January 27, 2017

"Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk.  And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.  Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?  Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way." c
Matthew 22:15-22

I'm sure as a Christian you probably want to just write in "Jesus" as your vote for the president this year because you can't stand any of those silly politicians anymore. After all, our kingdom is not of this world right? Does that mean can just do whatever we want? Aren't the rulers of this world only rulers over people who aren't saved?

Well, I hate to break it to you, but while we live here on Earth we're subject to the authorities thereof. Yes, Jesus is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He has told us that we need to give respect that is due to our leaders. But why? God laid down a law regarding foreigners celebrating Passover and I believe it applies to us in a way.

"And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it."
Exodus 12:48

Yes, this passage is specific to the Passover and ancient Israel. However, the purpose of this command is a matter of temporary citizenship in a strange land. If there were laws in Israel requiring foreigners to follow certain rules in order to stay there, how much more so do we as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven need to be good temporary citizens here on Earth? That includes voting. Not only voting, but respecting and praying for our leaders. Yes, let me repeat that: we need to respect and pray for our leaders, even if you think they're the biggest crooks on the face of the Earth!

If you truly believe that America is one nation under God, then we need to honor God by honoring our leaders. We should honor our leaders in the same way we need to honor our parents:

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you."
Exodus 20:12

One way to honor someone is to refrain from thinking or speaking evil of someone. Have compassion on them as you desire God to have compassion on you. Even the most rotten crook in the entire government is still a human being created by God in His image. Therefore, he/she is subject to the same punishment as the average sinner. He/she is also equally capable of getting saved as the average sinner. Why? Because Jesus died for the crooked politicians just as much as the "normal people."

In conclusion: On Election day, if you sincerely believe that CANDIDATE A is the absolute best choice to run America, vote accordingly. If you sincerely believe that CANDIDATE B is a far superior choice to CANDIDATE A, then let your vote reflect that. If you voted for CANDIDATE A and CANDIDATE B wins, pray for CANDIDATE B as though you voted for him/her. Jesus died for both.

"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
Colossians 4:6

 

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