Politics and piety - Hope 103.2

Politics and piety

By David ReayTuesday 3 Mar 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Peter 2:13-17

13-17 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities,whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good,you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God,not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. (THE MESSAGE)

It is easy to get cynical about politics. True,we get to elect our governments but whoever we vote for,a politician gets in. And we may sometimes wonder if voting differently makes any difference. Reminiscent of the old joke doing the rounds in Warsaw during the popular uprising against communist dictatorship. Question: “What is the difference between capitalism and communism?” Answer: “Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man; Communism is the reverse.”

However understandable cynicism might be,Christians are left with the clear biblical teaching that we are to respect those in authority. Paul says it,and here Peter says it. This doesn’t mean we agree with their policies: doubtless Peter didn’t agree with Roman policy on many matters. It does mean we respect the institution of civil authority. At its best it helps us get on with living good and godly lives.

Even when it is not at its best,Christians are still to be good citizens,not contributing to the problems of society but being part of the solution. Any wise government should welcome the positive presence of Christians. Sadly,some governments aren’t appreciative,and we have to admit some Christians don’t convey a positive presence.

But in the meantime we live with imperfect authorities who in some way mirror our own imperfections. We have some chance of living out the gospel in most political frameworks. We have no chance if there is anarchy.

David Reay