22 Feb What Does the Bible Say About the President?
Understanding What the Bible Says About the President
In America, we have the great privilege and responsibility of electing our government officials. However, this process does not always provide us with the results for which we were hoping. Whether you agree with the policies and procedures of our current president or not, it is important to understand what the Bible says on this topic.
So, what does the Bible say about the president? The Bible does not address the topic of presidents specifically. However, it has countless insights on leaders, kings, rules, and leadership. From the Bible, we know that every earthly leader is placed in their position by God Himself – for reasons that may be beyond our human understanding. It is our responsibility and calling to honor and respect their leadership while acknowledging God as our ultimate authority and leader.
Unfortunately, many Christians have been taught unhealthy ways of dealing with and viewing presidents who disagree with their religious beliefs. As Christians, we must realize that the world is constantly watching how we will react and respond to changes in our culture and society.
In this post, we will discuss some of the lessons we learn regarding a Biblical perspective on leadership. We will also share some practical tips for respecting and responding to government leaders, whether or not you agree with their policies.
Developing a Biblical View of The President
As with every area of our lives, we must strive to develop a Biblical view of the government and our president. Far too often, Christians have a stereotype of strongly supporting or vehemently opposing the president, depending on their political affiliations. We have every right and privilege to develop and maintain our own political beliefs. However, we must submit ourselves to the lessons of leadership taught in the Scriptures.
Christians Are Called to Respect Authority
One of the most important lessons we can learn as we develop a Biblical view of the president is that we are called to respect authority. In America, the president represents the highest level of governmental authority in our country. While we may not agree with their decisions or policies, we must nevertheless respect them as an individual.
We must root this respect in the knowledge that God Himself places them in the role of presdient. Respecting authorities, especially those with whom we do not agree, provides an example to the world around us.
In Romans 13:1-3 we read, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval.”
1 Peter 2:13-16 says, “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.”
It may be obvious to our human intellect or far beyond our understanding. God has appointed our president to serve at a unique point in history. He will bring about His plan and purpose, though (and despite) the individual holding the title of president.
Christians’ Duty to God Precedes Human Authority
We have a moral obligation and Biblical calling to respect our president. However, we must realize that our ultimate duty to God precedes human authority.
We find one of the best Biblical examples of this in Acts 5:27-29. These verses read as follows, “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
There may be times when our government authority, may command us to act in a way that directly opposes Scripture. While this is quite rare in America today, we must understand when it is appropriate to act in civil disobedience. Above all else, we must seek to honor and obey God. By growing in relationship with Him, we will gain the ability to decipher what is true to His Word and will.
Christians Are Called to Encourage & Pray For the President
1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
As Christians, one of our most important callings is to pray for and encourage those in positions of leadership, including our president. Regardless of whether or not we agree with their beliefs or policies, they are performing one of the toughest jobs in our country. While it is easy to pray for presidents and authorities with whom we agree, we must also pray for those who have beliefs that directly oppose our own.
Practical Ways for Christians to Respond to The President
Unfortunately, many individuals in the Christian community do not have a proper response to the president. This is especially when the president does not align with Christian beliefs. Here are some practical ways to respond to our government authorities, regardless of their political stance.
Educate Yourself on Your Political Beliefs
Far too often, Christians believe what those in their circles believe. While this is not necessarily bad, it is important to educate yourself to establish your own set of political beliefs. Instead of viewing a leader as “bad” simply based on their political affiliation, educate yourself on why you do or do not agree with their policies. Doing so will allow you to better communicate your beliefs with individuals on both sides of the spectrum.
Involve Yourself in Politics
It is far too easy to take a step back when you do not feel as if politics are trending in your favor as a Christian. We must remember that our world will never be a comfortable place that caters to Christians. Nevertheless, we must strive to implement changes that reflect our convictions and beliefs.
Not every Christian has a calling to run for political office. However, if this is in your skillset, you should not shy away from the opportunity. Holding a political office at any level provides you with an incredible platform. From this platform, you can affect changes in our society.
If you do not have a calling to run for political office (and most of us are not), there are other ways you can participate. As Christians, we must take advantage of our right and privilege to vote for political leaders, specifically our president. In doing so, we can appoint leaders who more closely reflect our beliefs and convictions.
Obey the President Unless it Directly Opposes the Bible
Unfortunately, many Christians use their personal beliefs as justification for disrespect or opposition to our leaders. This is especially true when it involves a president who does not reflect their personal beliefs. It is important to obey the president (and other individuals in authority, for that matter) at all times.
The one exception to this rule is if they are requiring us to do something that directly opposes the Bible. When we feel as if our religious beliefs or convictions are in jeopardy, we must closely inspect Scripture. Doing so will ensure that we are not using this as justification for things that do not align with our preferences.
There may come a time when our leaders command us to act in a way that opposes Scripture. In these times, we must prepare ourselves to stand boldly in the face of opposition and the possible persecution that may follow.
You can learn more about what the Bible says about obeying the government here.
Seeking Biblical Wisdom Regarding the President
As we read the pages of the Bible, we will find countless examples of both good and bad leaders. Those who very clearly worked to further God’s will and those who were opposed. This is encouraging as we see this very thing in our society today!
It may be easy to become discouraged with a president who may not reflect your religious beliefs or convictions. However, we must remember that God has placed the individual in their role for such a time as this.