Canadians have decided – Canada will have a liberal majority government led by Justin Trudeau.
I’m a Christian, so you may think I would be upset because the “Christian” progressive conservatives are no longer in power. The reality is, “Christian” politics don’t really exist. It can’t exist. The Canadian government is required to lead Canada, and Canada proudly celebrates diversity and thus everyone is not Christian. In a democratic society with religious freedom, religion can’t define a government. Instead, the government must be defined and measured by how policy allows for religious freedom.
Here’s my message to Christians who may be upset with a changing government: you serve a God who is in complete control, and His Word tells you to respect the government in power while continuing to serve Him.
God is in control and God instituted the governing authorities.
While I pay attention to the political story and vote accordingly, the party who receives the most votes is completely in God’s hands. I have to trust that. The reality of the policy changes that may occur (for, or against my faith-based views), will happen for God’s purposes. Whether I understand that or not, I have to trust God is in control.
“For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”i
God expects us to respect the governing authorities.
If God has ordained the governing authorities, than we must respect God’s authority by respecting those He has ordained. Anything less than that would be going against what God has put in place.
“…whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”ii
We may never fully understand why certain people are elected and others are not, or why certain policies are created, enacted or reversed. The point is, God has planned this and it’s not the Christian’s job to simply resist such leadership.
“…one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”iii
We live in a free country. As Christians, our job is to be faithful to the calling on our lives, not create fights with a government who doesn’t hold scripture as their authority. Their definitions, view points and understandings aren’t necessarily based on scripture – they’re based on general acceptance, and let’s face it – general acceptance means more votes. In our faithful journey, we must respect the leaders God has placed in our lives, and give…
“…taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”iv
So, what happens if policy stops me from being faithful to God?
Be a Daniel – Remain faithful to God, and God will remain faithful.
God is always faithful to those who are faithful to Him. What I’ve noticed, however, is that many Christians get upset over potential faith-based issues before becoming truly faithful to God. When there are no arising issues, attention moves away from remaining faithful and towards being comfortable. God is calling a generation to be faithful to Him at all times. If I had to breakdown the Daniel story into three main points, this is what I would say:
- Daniel was faithful BEFORE it was illegal to do so.
Daniel was faithful from the beginning – before trouble came his way. Everything from remaining clean and observing Jewish food lawsv to praying three times a day.vi He didn’t wait for policy to change – he was faithful from the beginning.
- Daniel respected the governing authorities.
Daniel was faithful to his king.vii Even after God was faithful in sparing his life in the lions’ den, Daniel’s response was clear:
“O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”viii
- God was faithful when Daniel stood strong.
Daniel respectively stood firm on his devotion to God when he was faced with policy changes. He respectively declined unclean food and chose to live off of vegetables to do so. God was faithful, as Daniel’s appearance was not only healthy, but stronger than those who did eat the king’s unclean food.ix Daniel also experienced God’s faithfulness when he was tossed in the lion’s den for praying to God. God’s faithfulness was evident in his life.
No matter how we may view the governing authorities, we must remember that God is in complete control, He expects us to respect those in authority, and remain faithful as we serve Him. We will never fully agree with every policy. Some policies will be more “Christian” than others; however, at the end of the day, our goal should be to simply be faithful to God and trust who he places in government. The days ahead are not glum; the days ahead are bright. The question is: will you be a Daniel and be an effective instrument for God?