Who's Really in Charge Anyway?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Making Sense of Chaos


While I may not be living in America right now, it is impossible not to observe the tension, cynicism, and toxic rhetoric that is engulfing the social dialog within the nation right now over its leadership.  This morning, I watched a video on social media that asked the question, “How can Any Christian Support Trump?”

While the presentation was a little more than a crude, profanity-laced, judgment of the nation’s leader, it does raise an interesting question that is worth consideration, “Who’s really in charge anyway?” And as a Christian, “What should we make of all of this?”

The Social World War

Unfortunately, thoughtful debate died on the social battlefield a long time ago.  Criticism and slander have risen in its place and they’ve had little difficulty in recruiting soldiers to their cause.  Ad hominem has become the weapon of choice in the pointless war of blind opposition.  Victory is measured in “likes” and little restraint is shown in order to win the battles.  The spoil of this war is human pride, and the coffers are overflowing.

This is the modern portrait of the social world.  With our own personal bias, it can be difficult to not join in.  However, we are not to be conformed to the world as Paul commands in Romans 12:2, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we may prove what the will of God is!  While we may not be predisposed to like the character of those who have been put in authority over us, it does not give us the right as Christians to oppose or usurp those authorities.

Who’s in Charge Anyway?

As we ponder that thought, let us remember Romans 13:1-2 (NASB):

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”

God is clearly in control.  He has established our authorities over us and if we openly rebel against those authorities, we openly rebel against Him!  The hypocrisy would be that in our own pride, we would give a voice to the notion that God has made a mistake.  How could we claim to be a follower of Christ, but not of God's choices for His purposes?

We find support for this in 1 Peter 2:13-16 (NASB):

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.”

As difficult as this may be for some to accept when weighed against their own pride, this applies to both good and evil leaders.  We need to remember that God has established that authority according to His will, not our own.  When we meditate on this truth, it ought to motivate us towards obedience, not towards rebellion.

The Christian Response

So what should we make of all of this?  Rather than to criticize and slander our leaders, we are exhorted to lift our leaders up in prayer as in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NASB):

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”

Rather than to engage in social warfare, we ought to strive to walk in obedience and submit to the authority of our leaders to the extent the law of God allows, lift them up in prayer, and trust that God is in control and working all things for His purposes and glory.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of where you fall on the American political spectrum, we are ultimately subject to the authority of our Lord, and so are our leaders.  If you find that you are frustrated and angry over our leaders and engaged in discourse the belies your new nature in Christ, I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict you to repent, that you may experience peace with God through faith in accordance with His word.

Remember, God is in control and we can be certain that He knows what He’s doing.

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