Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Voting Without Fear

I'm not political.

I mean, really, I'm not. Sure, there are issues that I feel strongly about and I'll have a discussio with anyone about why I feel strongly about them. BUT, there is something that I value above politics. Those who know me will guess this answer, but it's simple: Jesus.

I know, that seems to trivialize eveything but I see it more like simplifying everything. The reliaty is, no matter who is elected tomorrow, there will be those angry, afraid, excited, terrifed, disgrunteled, elated, celebratory, or depressed about it becuase, for some, their hopes and dreams rest on who sits in the oval office.

If you are a Jesus-follower, that's simply not true for you. In fact, it may rub you the wrong way to think about this, but whoever is elected is someone we must honor. (1 Peter 2:13-17)

Okay, who cringed out there? It's all right to admit that may be tough, but it's not alright to simply move past those verses with reasons like "but she______" or "but he_______". It doesn't matter. It's clear from the Bible that God is the One who allows our rulers to be instituted. No matter how terrible we may think either of them are, they are still there for a reason.

And this brings me to the really really hard part. The part I was convicted about on Sunday when one ofour pastor's spoke about this very passage. He asked us to stop the name calling.

>>> cringes<<<

I'm guilty of this. I'm sure I'm not the only one. And maybe it's not name calling in the sense that you're teasing a kid on the playground, but it is talk that isn't honoring. Saying Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are "the devil" is just childish and honestly we could all use a little conscience-tugging. Becuase, as of tomorrow, we'll all be charged (by God) to honor the one who becomes our presdient.

Now don't get "honor" and "agree" mixed up. They are not the same thing. We don't have to agree with what they stand for, but we are requried to submit to their authoriy as long as it doesn't make us do something against what God, first and foremost as our true leader, asks of us. Our rulers and government are in place "to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good". They are there to, in essence, legislate morality, to an extent (also something the pastor spoke on).  

If you're like me, at first you may try to refute these ideas. Like the thought that Peter couldn't have mean't us honoring someone like >insert name of your least favorite candidate< But, at the time he wrote this, the Nero was Emperior.
"[Nero] is best known for his debaucheries, political murders, [and] persecution of Christians..." (source)
Not the type of person you'd want to honor. And yet, those were Peter's words. "Honor the emperor."(2 Peter 2:17b) 

This whole concept is hard, but ultimately it's better becuase we can trust in the fact that God truly is in control. I'm not afraid of what happens tomorrow and I'm not afraid of what happens ten years from now becuase God it my comfrot, my ultimate ruler, and my strength. He is the one who establishes nations and tears them down. He is the one who allows poor (and good) rulers to reign. And He is the one who has a purpose far greather than I could ever understand.

That is a God I want to trust in.

So, for this election season feel fre to debate and discuss, but don't forget Who is in charge and the fact that tomorrow you will need to honor the new presiedent, regardless or not of if you voted for them.
Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

1 Peter 2:13-17 

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