Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We may only support those who can fairly be characterized as judicially righteous. By judicially righteous I mean one who will uphold the just law of God. God's law defines true righteousness (this is how we discern good from evil, cf. Heb. 5). "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Prov. 14:34). A leader may or may not be personally regenerate (though this would certainly be desirable), yet he must be judicially righteous before he can receive the positive support of believers (this is not the same thing as honoring our leaders).
Winning an election is not our primary objective. God is the one who establishes our rulers, including wicked rulers sent to judge sinful people ("For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God" Rom. 13:1). Our duty must not be confused with God's duty. Just as Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase, our political duty is to establish righteous rulers and God's work is to establish the rulers our nation needs or deserves. If we faithfully work for a righteousness candidate who loses an election, and thereby see the election of an unrighteous ruler, we can have a clear conscience before God and rest (and even rejoice) in His righteous judgments. "Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,' says the Lord" (Jer. 9:23-24). The Christian faith can (and often does) prosper under adversity in ways that it doesn't when things are going well.