The western world seems to be boiling with political unrest and intrigue. Brexit has thumbed its nose at the mighty EU while the anti-establishment, populist US president Donald Trump has dumped the global climate treaty. It’s as if the “powers and principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places” of Ephesians 6 are disturbed or are being disturbed as ideologies clash.
The Christian might well ask, “What should my response be?” For charismatic teacher and lecturer Lance Wallnau, President Trump is a prophetically reincarnated “Cyrus” coming as a wrecking ball against a corrupt political establishment imposing an anti-Christian agenda. But prominent Christian pastor and teacher Beth Moore has issued public warnings against the president. “The consistent casting off of restraint of any leader who wields considerable power – 1st & foremost in the house of God – ought to terrify us,” she Tweeted on July 2. “There are issues & times when we must land on 1 side or the other. This tweet is about going past party lines in allegiance to Jesus alone,” she added later on the same day.
So again, where does the Christian stand in the midst of this unrest? Left? Right? Centre? With Jesus only? The scriptures give us some clear guidance, Paul says:
“First of all, I exhort that petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all the ones being in high position, that we may lead a tranquil and quiet existence in all godliness and dignity. For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior” – 1 Timothy 2:1-3
Could there be a clearer instruction for the Christian in response to unrest in government? Our normal response to the inevitable failings of governments is to complain and protest. But we are not called to a normal response. In Romans Paul is again definitive in respect to government:
“Let every soul be subject to higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, but the existing authorities have been ordained by God. So that the one resisting authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and the ones opposing will receive judgment to themselves.” – Romans 13:1-2
Paul recognised government as ordained by God to bring order to human affairs. In his day the Roman emperors ruled with absolute power, but there was a system of law too. In Acts 22 and 23 we read of him using his legal status as a Roman citizen to avoid almost certain execution by the Jewish authorities.
It is obvious to those who observe with spiritual eyes, that those who wield great power and wealth can be subjected to, and influenced by, “spiritual wickedness in high places”.
In this time of unrest we need to be informed and pray into our governments with understanding.
I am Brent Melville from Mermaid Waters, Gold Coast. I am a semi-retired newspaper and radio journalist/sub-editor attending and serving at Hillsong Gold Coast. I trade shares for a living these days but keep active on Facebook and Twitter. You can see my professional background on LinkedIn.