Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The elections are over. Now what?

            By now we should know who the next President of the United States will be for the next four years. I say, ‘we should know’ since the election results, if close, could be challenged or recounted. It’s happened before.
            More than likely, by the time you read this, it will all be over. Mailers will no longer fill your mail box. Political ads will disappear from television and radio. The unending stream of political phone calls from political advocates will, thankfully, be over. Life may return to normal – at least for a while.
            Given the intensity of the campaigns the side that wins will rejoice and maybe even gloat. The side that loses will wonder how it happened and may even be bitter. There will likely be accusations of voter fraud. The makeup of Congress will receive lots of attention as it will determine what legislation is likely to get considered and passed.
            News commentators, talk show hosts, and political analysts will be looking ahead at the political landscape and making predictions on how things will go down the road. Everyone will stake out their positions and lay out their plans.
            I am writing these words two days before our final votes will be cast. I have no idea who will be the next President of the United States or those who will serve in the many other positions up for grabs across our land. What I do know is the God tells us to honor and obey those who are in positions of authority over us. We may not agree with their political ideology. We may feel strongly about the issues. We have the freedom to voice those feelings and objections.
            What we don’t have the right to do is to show disrespect for the President or anyone else whom God has placed over us. That applies to the policeman, the state trooper, the mayor, all those who are our leaders. Through the Apostle Paul, the Lord says, “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." Those who lead us are God’s representatives. God may not approve of all they do. They must answer for that. Our job is to obey.
            This same principle applies as we read in Romans 13:7 and following. “This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 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.  8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
            God’s message is clear. Show honor, respect, obey, be subject to those in authority over you. They have been placed there by God and are his representatives. Keep them in your prayers.