A LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN FRIEND
GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC OFFICE
[The basic premise here is that a true "born again" believer in Christ should want God to put in public office a candidate which will accomplish GOD'S OVERALL PURPOSES, not that which a person might decide is the best choice; and thus we should be in much prayer and not possibly acting in opposition to the mind of God. We do better to avoid involvement in matters that might defile a saint and go contrary to God's purposes. There are better means of serving the common good. The following letter from years past tries to address the issue in a scriptural way. It does not speak, however, against general employment by saints within the government (note Phil. 4: 22).] --R.L.D.
Dear brother, Bill:
Your campaign letter has been received and I want to respond, since I know you as a brother in Christ and think well of you. As a Christian I do not believe I can vote for you, or any other candidate, and be in accord with the mind of God. Allow me to explain.
I believe Christians should pray (not vote) for "Kings and all that are in authority; that we (true believers) may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty" (1 Tim.2:2). Our calling is unto Christ and a path of separation from "this present evil world" (Gal.1:4). Read also Matthew 7:13-14; John 17:14-17; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Cor.1:26-31; Eph.2:1-10; Eph.5:11; 2 Tim. 4:9-11; Titus 2:11-14; James 1:27; James 4:4; 1 John 1:3-6; 1 John 2:15-17. I do not find anywhere in the Word of God that believers should be involved in political affairs or any other worldly ways and values, but rather the opposite (2 Cor.6:14-18); and that for the danger that we might be opposing and dishonoring God, and even bringing trouble upon ourselves.
The picture God gives us, I believe, is of a world condemned and waiting for judgment to fall (see also Gen.19:29; John 12:31; 1 John 5:19; Rev.6,8,9,11,16). God is saving souls out of it. Christians are viewed by God as pilgrims and sojourners here in this wilderness land. Our citizenship is in heaven (Psa.39:12; Phil.3:20; Heb.11:13; 1 Pet.1:17). We are left here as ambassadors (John 17:18; 2 Cor. 5:20), not political activists. We are to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Luke 20:24-25), obey the laws (Rom.13:1; Titus 3:1), and "walk circumspectly" (Eph.5: 15). We are not to be "yoked together" in this world's schemes.
God has a great deal to say about this world that rejects His Son, but little to say to it. The world belongs to God and He loves all souls, but not the flesh and the world system (Satan's domain). It is altogether corrupt and condemned (John 3:16-19). The saints might long for righteousness and moral order, but we must wait for Christ to come---that is the hope of the church. One day, "A King shall reign in righteousness" (Isa.32:1).
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (I Tim.1:15). He did not come to make the world a better place (John 12:46-47; John 17:6,9,14). He did not run for public office or establish His kingdom (John 18:36). His work was redemption, not social reform (John 4:34; John 12:24,26; John 14: 21-23). The message of God is repentance and separation, and that should be our testimony in conforming to Christ (Rom.8:29; Rom.12:2; 2 Tim.1:8-12).
Let us not settle down "in the well-watered plains" like Lot (Gen.13:11). It proved to be a shame and very costly for him (Gen.19). We are born of God by the Spirit and are not of this world (John 1:12-13; Gal.6:14; 1 John 4:13). Brother, it is not the time to reign (Rev.5:10). I can understand Christians wanting to change government and the laws for good, but that is not the work of an "ambassador for Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20). An Ambassador only represents the one who sent him where he is. I don't believe we should go beyond Scripture and reason our way. Let us bow to the Word of God!
Well, dear friend, I pray for your good. I hope you will not take offense with my remarks. I just wanted to share my understanding of the Word of Truth. Kindest regards to you and Carol.
- In Christ, Robert DeWitt (- early 1970's: GL01; 04/08.)
NOTE: Sometime later a brief and pleasant reply was received, which stated that although Bill did not win, he received much support and believes God would want him to try again. Not one verse of Scripture was used to support his position. Let us take "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), "rightly dividing the Word of truth" (II Tim.2:15).