Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Thought

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by [the king] for the punishment of evil-doers and for the praise of those who do good.  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men – as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.”  1 Peter 2:13-16

I get that the context in which Peter writes, there are kings; and “governors” appointed by kings.  Peter’s words seem clear enough: no rebellion, no “civil disobedience”.  Good order and humble submission are required of us.  I wonder, however, if this dynamic changes when the “kings” and “governors” are elected by the people themselves?  How are we to respond to secular government that is actually a reflection of us?  When do “civil disobedience” and protest serve the divine good?  When there are enough of us to make a crowd?  When we think we’re in the right?  I can hardly think that “divine” good is determined by human desire.

Even with the best of intentions, it is important for the faithful to remember that human standards SHOULD be a reflection of divine understanding, but to suggest even for a moment that our standards can ever be equal to the Lord’s is pretty arrogant.  And spiritually risky.

Our “protest” is at the ballot box.  We choose our own representatives, senators, governors, etc.  And like the judgment Israel faced before the Exile, we lie in the bed we make for ourselves.  That is, we pay the price for our desires.  Looking at Israel’s downfall and America’s current state of affairs, I would respectfully suggest the price to be paid is too great for us to bear.

Be careful in politics.  We all have a stake in public policy but if we will always remember there is only one Savior who is neither Democrat nor Republican, maybe we won’t fall for every line we’re fed during election season.


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