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Human government God's idea?

Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.

What does God mean when He tells us to “submit to the governing authorities”? (See Romans 13:1-7).

The Sudanese parliament building, by the White Nile in Omdurman, can remind us that human government is God’s idea.

Those who rule nations serve God as they work – even if they do not know that they do. Because they are “God’s servants”, they are accountable to God. He is their ultimate Master, not the President, nor the Parliament, nor even the will of the People. God will judge them for everything they do – good and bad.

It can be difficult to submit to a government when you think it is doing bad things. Yet God does not say “submit to the governing authorities only when they do the things you want”.

In submitting to a government, you are in fact choosing to obey God. In rebelling against a government, you are disobeying what God has told you to do. You can, of course, exercise any legal rights Opposition may have.

Only if a government orders you to do something which is clearly against God’s will as shown in the Bible, can a Christian disobey. In this circumstance he or she must obey God rather than man.

Such Christians are called to accept the consequences of their disobedience. It is part of the price to be paid for being a Christian anywhere in the world. Salt sacrifices itself while giving flavour to a meal.

Take up your cross and follow Jesus.

This world does not honour God – Christians must show that they do!

Jesus told his immediate followers to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to give to God what belongs to God. The ways of this world belong to the rulers of this world. Christian ways belong to God.

May 2008.


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