It's about one year until we elect a new president, and I really don't care who wins. That may be a bit of an overstatement, but for the most part it is exactly how I feel at this point.
As I listen to Christians in person and on TV, I hear many who are extremely concerned with who the next president will be. They act as if the rise or fall of the USA depends on it. Unfortunately, they also speak as if God has no control over it.
But what does the bible say about all this? In Romans 13:1 we read, "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."
What is Paul telling us here? First, we are told to be subject to our government. It is safe to say, however, that if the government enacts any laws that go against God's commands, then we should do what God wants.
Second, and more related to this post, Paul lets us know that God establishes and institutes all authority. This means that, ultimately, God selects who is in positions of governmental authority over us.
We may not understand why God chooses who He does, but we can rest in the fact that our good Lord is sovereign over whoever ends up being the next president.
On a related topic, why do we, as evangelicals, look to government to solve problems for us? Why do we look to government to restrain evil? After all, government is secular in nature. Although it is established by God, it is not intended by God to be His primary means of changing the world for the better.
Let us, as members of the universal church of God, be agents of change for the better in our society. We have no reason to expect good from government. We, as servants of Jesus, should take upon ourselves the responsibility of making our society a better place to live.
I'm not suggesting that we, as Christians, will somehow overcome Satan through our own strength. I also don't think we should be responsible for paving our roads or building tanks for the military. Also, I'm in no way saying that the first purpose of the church is to transform society. The church's primary function is to magnify the glory of the Lord.
What I am saying is that secular government should not be relied upon for making this a better country in which to live. This will only come by the power of the risen Christ through His followers.
So what can we do? We can meet needs as we see them. If our neighbor is thirsty or hungry, we should be there to give him something to drink or eat. If he has no shirt, let us clothe him. If he simply needs someone to talk to, let's listen (see here). This might not do much for the USA in general, but it will make his life better.
If we all treat our neighbor in this manner, this society will be transformed into a better (not good, but better) place. Also, if we minister in this way, we will open up a door for a gospel presentation.
So, I don't care who wins in 2008. I'm not depending on the next president to make our country better. As the church, let's do what we can (and should) to improve the place we live.