By Robert Wayne La Coste
Here we are in the year 1992 on the eve of another national election. To most if not nearly all Americans, there is a “ho-hum” atmosphere existent. There are probably a number of reasons for this. People are bored with politics, fed up with mud-slinging and in general ready to barbeque anyone who calls himself a politician. In a nation that prides itself on being a winner at everything, it looks like we are losers if not at least lost when it comes to government. While we are yet the richest nation that has probably ever existed on God’s earth, yet we have devised and patented certain evils and sins that would cause other nations both past and present to blush. No one kills more unborn children, treats more cases of drug abuse, and has a higher crime and divorce rate. Who says that bigger or richer means better?
Yet, while all of this is true, this writer certainly would not want to live anywhere else. We yet have a land where many freedoms and liberties exist that would not be afforded us if we resided elsewhere. May we never take these blessings for granted and may we ever thank our God for them.
It is all so easy to get discouraged by the apathy toward sin and evil. Even among those professing to be God’s children, this “ho-hum, bah-humbug” attitude toward government is prevalent. As a result, many Christians continue to sit idly by, while the devil makes more inroads into our society. It is not the purpose of this article to do anything but hopefully remind each of us of certain important truths about the Christian and “the powers that be.” These truths become especially important in an election year.
Render Unto Caesar
Jesus did not come to be an earthly king (Jn. 6:15; 18:36), yet he commanded personal responsibility to those who were in positions of government. When asked about paying taxes, Jesus promptly responded, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things which are God’s.” The Jews paid taxes to Rome (Lk. 2:1) and, like most of us, probably did not like the way their taxes were being spent, but this did not dismiss them from that responsibility.
Paul wrote about this also to the church at Rome: “render to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom. 13:7).
A Christian’s Duty
Under our system of government we have certain privileges the Jews did not have. One of those is the right to vote. Judea, the home of the Jews, was ruled by Rome and as such, the Jews found themselves the servants of a tyrannical form of government. They had no say in who ruled them and certainly no voice in what laws were created or enacted.
I’m amazed that in a society which screams about “rights,” there is such apathy about voting. It seems reasonable, that when a person will not take a part in his government, he surely has no “beef” coming if he doesn’t like the way it is being run.
Every child of God should take advantage of every avenue afforded him for good. The ballot box is yet an important tool and can be used for good. We are the people who make up this government. We are the ones who send the honest or crooked politician to his respective office. We are the ones who can take him out. Government is to serve the people, not the other way around. Someone once said, that “all that is necessary for evil to prevail, is for enough good men to do nothing. ” Truer words were never spoken. As God’s peculiar people, we must be “zealous of good works” (2 Pet. 2:9). As a matter of fact, “he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jas. 4:16). Surely it is good to accept and carry out our civic duty as a Christian. More than good however, it is a command of the Lord.
A Christian’s Influence
Many people are prone to think, “I’m just one person, my voice and vote are unimportant.” This defeatist attitude should never be in the heart of God’s sons and daughters. Many individuals who thought little of their power and influence changed the course of history. Their names are household words: Noah, Joseph, Moses and Jonah just to name a few. Noah stood above his generation and only he and his family “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:9). Joseph, though from humble beginnings, and in spite of being sold like an animal to be a slave, rose above his surroundings and became ruler over Egypt, second only to the King himself. Moses didn’t think himself powerful enough a speaker to take on the likes of Pharaoh, but God also was with him and he prevailed. Jonah surely was rebellious and did not want to obey God, but in finally submitting, he converted the entire city of Nineveh and turned them back to God’s way.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of your will, life and influence for evil or good! There is absolutely no one quite like you in the entire universe. Your manner of decision and subsequent speech, and conduct will always influence someone to either good or evil.
There are a hosts of evils the Christian must continue to battle in life. Many of these evils are now in the political arena. Some of the worst remain abortion, “legalized gambling,” vile sexual sins and in essence humanism that has not only gone to seed, but become full grown!
Fight Christian! Your greatest sword is still the word of God (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12). However, the ballot box is also a sword. With both of these weapons let us “continue to fight the good fight of faith.”
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 15, pp. 460-461
August 6, 1992