Yesterday was my daughter’s 3rd birthday. She is passing out of that Toddler stage, no longer toddling along through life. She has coherent speech that is getting better each day. She is running, walking and climbing with the ease of defined movements as one who is training and growing. Through consistent discipline she has grown to do her chores with help, due to height and attention span inadequacies. She has been taught to respect mom and dad, love her sister and have manners for those around her. I am proud of who she is and I can still see the imperfections of total depravity in her. I try to keep a balanced perspective of her, despite her amazing growth that God has blessed her with. Romans 3:23 says that even she is fallen and I have come to terms with this I see the evidence of it every day. I do my best to raise her with under God’s standards for us all, giving her grace, love and discipline as God the Father gives me.
This is a great picture of Christians whether we like it or not. God is not just the love as we sing about on Sundays. He is not an ocean of grace drowning us in his graceful presence. God is a Father raising up His Son’s Body of believers, adopting us, training us, disciplining us and getting us grow despite our human responsibility and the things we choose to do. I am stubborn with this sometimes. My hurts, habits and hang-ups get in the way of God’s fathering and my personal growth. I am convicted of this every Sunday, Monday and Thursday at our congregation’s services and sermons, as well as my congregation’s branch of Celebrate Recovery and its step study that I belong to. My human responsibility is flawed and I tend to lean away from God’s commands. I need accountability and community to keep me in line with God. The Bible commands community and accountability and I have submitted to both over time. Through it I have seen and experienced great growth and I am so glad.
Unfortunately, I see so little accountability with yesterday’s events of the election and today’s reactions. America is in a great four-way division (i.e. Republican, democrats, independents, and those fed up with the party system) especially in relation to the Body of Christ and her views on American politics through its implications on her activism. It is so unfortunate, because the differing views do little to bring discussion, reform and unity. So far, it has divided generational gaps, families and local congregations. The Body of Christ will not fall apart of because of American politics, but the American Church could, just as many biblical congregations did (i.e. Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Laodicea, Corinth, etc). Though they were eventually destroyed by different reasons that God stated as early warnings in the early chapters Revelation, this is a warning to our country’s congregations as well. When we do not follow God, the result is God removing our lampstand that is supposed to be a light to the world, God will use His Word as a witness against us, He will bring destruction and suffering through the sins of which we commit, He will come like a thief in the night and destroy the life we have built without him, spitting us out if we are neither passionately for him or refreshingly going to him for growth and fruitfulness.
These are all warnings that God has historically given to Churches. It is unfortunate, but those congregations all failed to heed his warnings and his commands given to us all found in the Scriptures. We face all these warnings and in this moment other prominent commands. Romans 13 demands that we as Christians honor our rulers and authorities, as Paul wrote under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. God’s word is inerrant and made through human authors and divinely inspired by God and his glorifying purposes. If we believe this to be true, then we as the Body of Christ should be convicted and found guilty of this passage.
The American Church has been split and divided by our behavior today as some raise up President Elect Donald Trump and tear down his opposition (Hillary Clinton is already a ruler and authority in America as a senator and a presidential cabinet member). Another side other side tends to be that some did not want Trump to win, fighting hard for it not to happen. When he did win the election they used public conversations and group discussion to tear down our President Elect. Still there are other groups that either remain quiet on the issue and let other dishonor the candidates which already serve in office or are being trained to do so. Then there are some that follow through with honoring him in his win and do not bash his opposition that lost.
There is only one way to interpret this passage of Romans 13. God put these rulers of countries into power or allowed it, because one way or another God is glorified by how He uses them. Trump and the previous possibility of Clinton were not and are not exempt from this proclamation from God. God gave our rulers the sword, not to preserve our earthly freedoms, but to preserve peace and order. Do not confuse our country’s laws with God’s laws. Religious freedom is great, because it gives people time and ways to come to Him in faith, but it is not biblical. God has not, nor will he ever condone religious freedom. There is one religion, one way to him. Even Christians can misuse the bible to suggest we need a country with religious freedom or the Church will fall. This is not the case as seen by the persecuted church across the world. A great man and theologian, Tertullian, once said that, “The seed bed of the Church is grown by the blood of the martyrs.” It is not by comfort, specific laws, supreme court justices, or extra-biblical freedom that will save the Church when God comes back. As seen throughout Scripture, it is a heartfelt repentance (a literal turning away from their sin) and fruitful growth in God’s community through the Sacrifice and blood of Jesus the Christ, despite what is happening in our culture, nation or world around us.
It saddens me to see a lack of honor for Trump AND Hillary, both of which have, currently still are, OR are in the process of being trained for authority as a ruler for our country. Trump is now your President Elect and demands your God-glorifying respect and Honor. Hillary is in office still for at least two more months until her position is fulfilled. She demands your God-glorifying honor. Do not dishonor God by dishonoring your rulers and authorities. You only do injustice of the Body of Christ and we will inevitably reap the sword that God warned Christians about in Romans 13:1-7.
Please join with me in this conviction of Scripture and use this day, and the future to honor and respect our authorities God Bless!
 Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
 Revelation 2:5 – Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.
 Revelation 2:16 – Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
 Revelation 2:22-23 – So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
 Revelation 3:3 – Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
 Revelation 3:15-16 – I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
 Romans 13:1-7 – Let everyone be subject 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, whoever 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 you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents 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 as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
 Romans 13:1-2 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.