November 9, 2018 Brethren Letter
This past Tuesday, November 6th, was a day of voting across our nation. Obviously, some candidates were pleased with the election results, while others were greatly disappointed. Once again, political commercials were broadcast many times over in the weeks prior to the election. Candidates often attacked the reputations of their opponents, hoping to gain more votes for themselves. That’s POLITICS!
When I was a teenager, a young man in our neighborhood ran for political office. It seems he ran for some type of county position. He had big plans for a lifelong political career, studying “political science” in college. However, the year he ran, it did not turn out well. He lost the election and found himself deeply in debt. He became disillusioned with the whole process of running for office and his political aspirations ended abruptly! That’s POLITICS!
Why do we in the Church of God, NOT get involved in this world’s politics?
In II Corinthians, we see that converted Christians are called “AMBASSADORS for Christ.” “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20). Christ taught that His Kingdom was “not of this world,” or of this time. “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).
As AMBASSADORS for Christ, we represent the Kingdom of God, not this world’s present system. Therefore, we do not get involved in its politics! “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20).
Church members don’t run for office, nor do they get involved in earthly politics, but they ARE SUBJECT to those in authority. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1). We are to obey man’s laws, unless they conflict with the laws of God (Acts 5:29)!
Mr. Armstrong wrote the following on the subject of submission to man’s government in the January, 1964 Plain Truth, “Personal from the Editor”:
I wonder how many of our readers know that the Bible commands us to pray for the heads of our nations? The Bible does NOT command us to take part in this world’s politics — strange as that may seem to many. But it DOES emphatically teach RESPECT for, and SUBMISSION TO the government of man that is over us.
Jesus Christ took no part whatsoever in human government — but He did command, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” — meaning taxes, as well as subjection and respect.
Actually Jesus Christ came to qualify to become KING over the whole world. But His kingdom was not of THIS present world.
…But though Christ’s Church is forbidden to be a PART of this world’s governments, IT IS STRICTLY COMMANDED TO BE SUBJECT to the worldly government — to honor and pray for its rulers.
While we do pray for leaders in man’s government, we also know that when the Kingdom of God begins, “POLITICS AS USUAL” (the current system), will be a thing of the past. God’s RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT will rule this earth instead! “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
Please have a wonderful Sabbath, everyone!
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,