by Richard Mansel, managing editor
A sister in Christ was vocal about her political beliefs. She filled her time with political television and radio. It was the center of her being.
One Sunday in Bible Class, we came to Peter’s command to “Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). She scoffed and with a disgusted look said she refused to honor the President. We then looked at Paul’s insistence that we pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Yet, she remained obstinate.
Only hate can cause us to look God in the eyes and defy him because of the way we feel about a human being. We can lose our souls because of this attitude. We cannot be in Christ if we have hate in our hearts (1 John 1:5; 2:9).
Jonah hated the people of Nineveh and refused to take the Word to them (Jonah 1:1-3). God got his attention before he begrudgingly complied (Jonah 3).
Hate fills our eyes with blood and we are unable to see the good in those we disdain. We assign evil motives to them no matter what they do.
Hate breeds suspicion and superiority. They are trapped in our web of delusion and we become a prison warden holding them in a maximum security super-cell.
As Christians, we must examine ourselves to determine our strengths and weaknesses. Sports, religion and politics are areas that can magnify character flaws. We must keep our heads and remember we are Christians before we are anything.
Christians can become filled with hatred and hostility as they use the Bible as a weapon of destruction. Instead of leading people to heaven, they want to send more people to hell.
Satan will take our weaknesses and manifest them. If politics or sports makes Satan’s job easier, then we must abandon sports and politics (Exodus 20:3-5; Matthew 5:29-30). Whatever we place in front of God, no matter how harmless or altruistic it may appear, has to be banished.
Nero was in power when Peter said to honor the king. He would eventually execute Peter and Paul. He blamed Christian for the burning of Rome and had some of his family executed to protect his power. Two leaders before Nero was Caligula, who was criminally insane.
Josef Stalin killed 40 million people. Hitler killed nine million in the Holocaust and millions more in World War II. Pol Pot killed one-third of Cambodia’s population and Idi Amin Dada killed more than half a million Ugandans.
We have never had a President who was in the league of these maniacs. The person in power is immaterial because God ordained the office, not the man.
In Romans 13, Paul outlines very clearly the responsibility we have as citizens. In 13:1, “every soul” is emphatic in Greek and refers to “every living being.” No one is immune.
The “authority of government is “ordained” of God and we must respect it. If we disobey the government we disobey God. When our government aligns itself against God’s, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, NKJV; cf. Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 9:17).
If these leaders conduct themselves contrary to God’s will, then we must continue to pray for them and to be more active in spreading the Truth of God’s Word. While it is unlikely that any of our Presidents will be Christians that does not change God’s directive to obey and honor our President.
We must be Christians first in everything. Whatever we do that endangers that goal must be banished from our lives because Christ must always have the glory (Ephesians 3:20-21).