What does God say about Christian citizenship—our responsibilities, our duties, our rights? Is the Bible against participating in politics? What are Christians to do and think about politics?
Many Christians simply drop out. Maybe they’ve given up hope. They’re just waiting for Jesus to come rescue them. Or they see politics as dirty. Some are intimidated by the American Civil Liberties Union. Cowering, they think Christians have no rights.
Where are the answers? Here in the Word of God. Our question isn’t “Should we be involved in government issues?” but “Can we be a Christian and not be involved?”
Romans 13:1-7 speaks clearly about Christian citizenship. Paul writes in verse 1, “The authorities that be are ordained of God.” Daniel 2:21 tells us, “He removes kings and sets up kings”—even wicked ones sometimes—using them to carry out His purposes.
Two Reasons for Human Government
God ordains human government to:
restrain evil (Romans 13:2)
reward good (Romans 13:3)
Government must be free to restrain evil so the church can be free to preach the Gospel. We uphold the standard of truth. We are the conscience of the state.
Our Constitution’s framers were extraordinarily wise. Where did such wisdom come from? They were soaked in the Word of God.
The Requirements of Christian Citizenship
Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). This is key to understanding our Christian responsibilities toward government.
1. Pay for your government. (Romans 13:7)
Jesus paid His taxes; you should pay yours.
2. Pray for your government. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
Should I pray for my leader if he’s wicked? Pray for him all the more! God can change a ruler, remove a ruler, and overrule a ruler (Proverbs 21:1). The greatest responsibility Christians have as citizens is to pray for our leaders.
3. Praise your government. (1 Peter 2:17)
When our government is good, praise it. Patriotism, love of the fatherland, is not wrong.
4. Preach to your government.
God’s people dare not be silent. Nor should we identify the Christian faith with either the Democratic or Republican party. We must tell both to repent and get right with God.
Nathan counseled David. Elijah confronted Ahab. Eleazar warned Jehoshaphat. Daniel spoke to Nebuchadnezzar. Moses warned Pharaoh. John the Baptist preached to Herod. As long as the government legalizes killing babies, practices infanticide, and normalizes sexual perversion, I won’t be silent.
5. Participate in your government.
Our government is “of the people, by the people, for the people.” If you don’t participate, get informed, and vote, you’re disobeying the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:21). It’s inconceivable that God would ordain human government and then tell His people to stay out of it. Who does that leave to run it? Christians must participate not on the basis of parties, persons, or politics, but principles.
6. Persuade your government.
Public opinion will determine the direction our government will take. Our goal must be to change public opinion. The only way we’ll do that is through the living, powerful Word of God.
We must get the Gospel out into the public square. We’re not going to out-argue the lost. They’re blind, they don’t see it. They’ve got to know Jesus Christ. We’re to persuade people, winning them back one at a time, bringing them to Christ.
It’s not political influence we need, it’s the power of God. If we change America, we’ll change politics.
Pray for America right now.
The Battle for the Soul of America contains timeless, foundational principles about human government, all rooted in biblical truth. Real truth never changes, and the truth about government is that it is God who ordains it, leaders who are responsible for it, and citizens who are accountable to it. In this book, pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers reminds us that the privilege of being called Americans comes with significant responsibilities—to God, to each other, and to the world.