Thursday, September 3, 2009

To Those Who Disparage Their Rulers

Something has been eating away at me in the background for several months now, and tonight I want to let it out. I want to talk about President Bashing. But first I'll talk about a subject I know almost nothing about, Armchair Quarterbacking.

Although I am completely outside the community of those who worship at the feet of the football gods, I am neither deaf nor impervious to their debates, clubs and catcalls. My father and brother were avid football fans when I was growing up, and so I was in the house during many game recaps and predictions. As I've aged, my circle of friends has never been without the odd football lover or two, so my "knowledge" has grown a little bit. But one thing that has always irritated me about sports fans in general, is the phenomena of "armchair quarterbacking". You of course all know what I mean, the tendency of fans to relive the game by judging, after the fact, each play and choice made by the team or coach or quarterback. I'm not sure why Fan 1 is so convinced that what they saw on the TV qualifies them as an expert on how that play shoulda gone down, but he/she is, and away they go, back and forth, approving or disproving each decision made, each play run. It is one of the reasons I dislike sports, because of all the judgement and hoopla that surrounds it.

Another sector of society also gets an inordinate amount of second-guessing, and its another sector of society I don't like talking about much. Of course I am talking about politicians. Now part of the reason I don't like talking about politics is because when it comes to politics I'm a Viking in Green Bay territory. Although I am neither a staunch Democrat, nor did I vote for our current "quarterback", I am a person who is politically a little left of center, and that is not a popular position amongst the majority of my friends and family. (Thank God for Tami!)

I am no expert on politics, although I have several in my extended family, and I don't spend a great deal of time searching the various media for updates on that front. I do believe that one of the things I most love about this country is that one can truly speak their mind, even when it is not a majority position, and fear nothing more than being ignored.

I am also not an expert on doctrine, although I also have several of those in my extended family, but I do know that the UGLY second-guessing and MOCKING and DERISION I have heard coming from the mouths of many among my family, friends and acquaintances feels very ungodly to me.

In Romans 13, Paul says

"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. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law."

I don't think what this is recommending is passivity and neither do I. By all means pay attention, campaign when it is the season, and lobby for the things that you have prayerfully considered. But I do think this passage is calling for respect, for entrusting the leadership of our country to God, who is over all leaders, even the President of the United States. The criticism I have heard in the first eight months of this young president's tenure takes my breath away. Oh we of little faith. God tells us with the faith of a mustard seed we can move a mountain with a single word, but we do not believe that God can guide this leader, that God can "mean it for our good".

This is the president and administration that we have. I don't care who you are, you do not have more information, have not been better informed, and do not have a clearer perspective on the complicated nature of that position than the man to whom God has entrusted that task. Pray blessing upon him. Thank God for His supreme position over all leaders. Have just a modicum of hope and faith that this young man, who entered the arena just a few months ago, during a time of great financial turmoil, will be used by God to further His kingdom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well put and thank you for the reminder of our responsibility as a nation. Deanna


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