I’m not going to break down the debate, or the Parties, or the current administration. Here’s what I want you to consider… Government is ordained by God. Leaders in those positions have been put there by God (however that works out.) In a democratic system like the one we have in America, we have a say in who governs us. That is heavy… heavier than we know. The apostle Paul, writing to a church leader named Timothy gives us this counsel…
“Don’t be too quick to appoint anyone as an elder, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22)
Another version says that we should not lay our hands on anyone too quickly. This means that your reputation is tied to the people you approve. So be careful to not put your good name and blessing behind someone who may be flashy but has no moral substance. This is important in the Church. But it is also a valid guideline in other areas of life… including politics.
One may say, “This is speaking specifically about leadership in the Church.” I won’t argue that. But with all of the references to the role of government leaders being in direct accountability to God as ordained ministers/magistrates, I think we can make a solid case that one should not put quickly lend their approval to a person who does not show stellar character in what they say and do. This cannot be found in a soundbite… even if that soundbite lines up with my own ideas. This can only be found by looking more deeply at the person.
As we progress in this political season, regardless of your political leanings, be careful to not ‘be too quick to appoint anyone as elder’… whether in your local church, or in Washington, D.C. Most people would defend their choices, saying that they have not approved anyone too quickly. But everyone likes to jump on bandwagons. Just re-evaluate your own choices and with prayer decide on the ones God would have you support.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.