Criticizing the Government: What Is the Biblical Christian Response?
Question: Is it right for a Christian who comments on current events to offer pointed criticisms of the government and its leaders? Shouldn’t I, instead, humbly accept whatever the government does, in the spirit of Christ?
Fair question. Here’s my response.
Read the prophets and realize that those prophetic books are filled with declarations of how the government has denied God’s truth and is poised to suffer His judgment.
Go over to the New Testament.
Read about how John the Baptist criticized both the civil and religious leaders of his day. He spoke directly and forcibly. And what of Jesus? Did He sin when he took a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the Temple because they were profaning the worship of God? Did He spare the feelings of the Pharisees when he called them whitewashed tombs?
I’m afraid some Christians have a false image of what it means to be the representatives of Christ on earth. Yes, we offer the love of God. Yes, we show people how they can receive His forgiveness and become part of His family, now and into eternity. But in order to receive God’s love and forgiveness, people need to be confronted with their sins first. They need to grasp the need for repentance and lay down their pride.
We also have a commission to do what the apostle Paul described in his second letter to the Corinthians:
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Every generation has its speculations and lofty ideas that contradict the truth of God’s Word. We are commissioned to combat those false notions with His truth. No one in a society, no matter the position, from the lowest to the highest, is exempt from criticism when that person is deviating from the truth.
That applies especially to those who wield immense influence over others. When a president endorses abortion on demand, exalts the sin of homosexuality and seeks to destroy the Biblical concept of marriage, oversteps all legal boundaries on his authority, attempts to silence those who disagree with him, uses his office to divide the nation into groups continually at odds with one another, and constantly displays an arrogance and sense of entitlement that directs all his actions, one would be derelict of one’s Christian duty to simply accept this and say nothing in opposition to the nature of this president’s reign.
Christians are to be salt, preserving the good in a society. Christians are to be light, revealing the path of righteousness. One cannot preserve the good or show the path of righteousness without simultaneously highlighting that which is evil and unrighteous. Both are essential.
That is what I attempt to do. That is what I will continue to do.
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