Posted by: Mike Willoughby | November 2, 2010

No Authority Except from God!

Today is election day in America and for the first time in my adult life, I am out of the country and unable to vote on election day.  In anticipation of my trip to Europe, I took the opportunity last week to vote early.   For those of you reading this Intersections article on Tuesday, I encourage you to take the time today to cast your vote if you have not already done so.  The opportunity we have to participate in the selection of our leaders in government is a precious right that we should each prize above all other American rights.  The right we have to determine the identity of our leaders and the positions we expect them to take when representing us is especially awesome when you consider the obligation we have as Christians to submit to our leaders once elected.  Take a look at what the apostle Paul says on the subject in Romans 13:1-7:

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, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Now, imagine you are reading this as a first century Christian in the Roman Empire!  You are obligated to submit to the authority of a government that is at best indifferent to your interests and at worst your sworn enemy determined to force you to deny your Lord and Savior or execute you and your family for your faith.  Instead, we live in a country that has encoded freedom and personal rights into our U.S. Constitution.  According to our Declaration of Independence, the rights and liberties secured by our Constitution are endowed by our creator and not by man.  The government created by the Constitution is in place to protect our rights and liberties and every leader we elect is obligated by their citizenship and their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as they submit to its provisions.  On every election day, we have the opportunity to use the most enormous lever ever granted to a citizenship to force a government to respect the will of the governed.  Their oath to preserve the Constitution with its very opening words, “We the People of the United States…” reminds them of the authority under which they serve.  I pray our leaders remember that there is “no authority except from God” as they serve us!

Today, we have the opportunity to use that enormous lever provided to us by the founding fathers who framed the Constitution to remind every elected leader they work for us.  What a precious gift we have been given by those who have fought and died for each of us to live in this country with these rights and liberties.  In recognition of the billions of people in the past and in the present who have not enjoyed this same opportunity to live in freedom, let us give thanks to God for our for our enormous blessings and let us commit to participate in exercising the power of self-determination through our right to vote.  Voting may not Christian duty, but it is certainly a precious gift that we should cherish and protect lest we lose it!  

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!

Previous Intersections Articles
 
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Responses

  1. Very well said Mike, be safe on your trip. You’re in my prayers.


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