With a Presidential Election coming up in the US, I’d like to take a shot at examining the spiritual lessons we can learn from this process of deciding who will soon have Executive authority in the world’s oldest democracy.
Some interesting studies have been done on where people get their ideas about who God is and what He’s like. It probably won’t come as any surprise that most people get their ideas about God from their father.
That puts a pretty strong onus on those of us who are fathers.
We’re teaching our children about the character and nature of God, so we’d better know about those things ourselves or we might teach our children the wrong lessons, and that can have eternal consequences.
But what about those who don’t have a father figure in their lives?
Often times, those without a father-figure in their lives, and sometimes even those who DO have a father figure, get their ideas about what God is like from their government.
I have a theory that one of the reasons all of the major powers in the world during WWII were led by a strong executive (including democratic countries as well as Totalitarian ones) was because it was a moment in human history when such a large percentage of the human race had grown up without a father.
WWI and the Spanish Influenza pandemic which followed it killed tens of millions of people worldwide, mostly men. It left massive numbers of children with no father figure, and that paved the way for demigods to assume that role for these children as they came of age, and that allowed them to become political strongmen.
The ultimate strongman, who the Bible calls the Anti-Christ, will likely arise and amass political power in a similar way, but on a global scale.
When one considers how many of the children in the world today don’t have any father figure in their lives, for whatever reason (very much including in the US) you can see why this is an issue worth examining.
How are we going to save ourselves, our children, and indeed as many more people as we possibly can, from falling under the power of the Anti-Christ?
As someone said in a movie once, the only way to fight an idea is with another idea.
If your enemy has a really compelling idea, you need a better one!
Happily, we DO have a better idea than the Enemy and his Anti-Christ and that message is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. But in order to effectively communicate that idea, we must first answer the question of Authority.
Who has authority, and just as importantly, who does not?
The answer to those questions are so simple, yet so difficult for those of us who grew up in democratic countries to grasp. Because when you grow up in a democratic country, you’re taught from the time you’re a small child that YOU have the Authority.
The tax-paying, voting citizen, have Authority because you have “rights” that are your sovereign birthright. No government can tell you what to do and if they try, you have the power to sue them in court, or take to the streets and protest, or vote them out of office.
The Bible, however, tells us that Jesus, our Priest, Prophet and King, has Authority.
As God, He is also the ultimate father figure, the one we need to convince people to love and respect instead of the false, counterfeit father figure offered by the Enemy.
That means, we don’t argue with Him. We don’t read His Word, find things that we don’t like and immediately try to find some “interpretation” that will allow us to do what we want to do instead of what He very plainly and obviously wants us to do.
It means we don’t protest, in the streets or in our own kehilote when the pastors which He has appointed to cover us spiritually speak into our lives and say things we don’t want to hear.
Hebrews 13:17; Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
It means we don’t demand our “rights” or complain about what He hasn’t given us that we think we deserve. Instead, we never cease praising Him and thanking Him for what He HAS given us, especially grace which we DON’T deserve.
It means we don’t “vote” for other gods by invoking Humanist philosophy as an argument against the clear and obvious meaning of Scripture.
In Matthew 8: 5-11, we have the story of a Roman Centurion who approached Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant. Jesus agreed and asked him to lead the way to the servant who needed healing so He could lay hands on him and heal him as He usually did with those who needed healing.
But the Centurion said that wasn’t necessary because Jesus had the Authority to simply order the sickness to leave the servant right then and there and the sickness was obliged to obey.
Jesus was astonished to find a man, who was not of the nation of Israel and probably a worshipper of pagan idols, who understood something that the Children of Israel who had been worshiping the God of the Bible for Millennia by then still didn’t understand.
The question of Authority, who has it and who does not, is indeed one which is difficult for those of us who are products of democratic societies to get our heads around. But we must, for our own sake and for the sake of all we hold dear.
May God give us all the grace and wisdom we need to correctly answer this most important of questions.