How Should a Christian Respond to Those Who Govern Them?

The separation of church and state is a thin blue-red line when it comes to getting your vote.  You see faith based initiatives on both sides of the aisle.  On the democrat side you see it primarily on Civil Rights and in helping the poor.  On the Republican side you see it in the moral issues of abortion and homosexuality.  It seems candidates heartily extend their hand over the line of separation when it comes to you voting for them!

What does the Bible have to say about how our faith functions concerning our government?  I thought I would list some scriptures that came to my mind concerning this issue.  Feel free to add some or to debate the one’s chosen.  I think it would be healthy for Christians to actually think critically about what the scriptures have to say about how we should live under any government.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.  For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.   Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.  This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.  Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”  Romans 13:1-7

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”  1 Thessalonians 4:11-12


“Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ 

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.’ They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?’ 

‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. 

Then he said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’ 

When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.”  Matthew 22:17-22

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”  Titus 3:1-2

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:13-15

“Stop doing what is wrong, learn to do what is right!  Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”  Isaiah 1:17

“Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”  Deuteronomy 1:13

“Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.”  Exodus 22:28

“You will lend to many nations but borrow from no one.”  Deuteronomy 28:12

According to these verses how do you think God wants us to relate to our government?  What do they say about having a healthy government?  Can you think of any other verses that would apply to this question?


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