27th February 2017

The Trump Effect

“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.”
Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

The recent election of Donald Trump as President of the USA has certainly caused a reaction, with demonstrations against him and his policies. Perhaps understandable in the United States, but why here in the UK and Europe?

I hope there were no Christians at the demonstrations, but I am sure that some were there, believing that was the right thing to do. What does the bible say about the attitude we should have, as Christians, to those in authority over us?

Scriptures make it pretty clear that we should respect those in authority over us at all levels. Romans 13:6-7 continues the thought from verses 1-2 quoted above with, “This is 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 honour, then honour.” 

So, while we may not always agree with what those in authority over us say and do, it is clear that we should always be willing to submit to those in authority over us and to properly respect the office they hold. Jude 9 (ISV) says “Even the archangel Michael, when he argued with the devil and fought over the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him. Instead, he said, ‘May the Lord rebuke you!’” We need to remember that no ruler in this world, now or in the past, good or bad, can hold their office unless God allows them to.

That does not mean God is endorsing a bad ruler, simply that at this time God is giving humanity freewill and we inevitably misuse it. So it’s disappointing to see demonstrations against the lawfully elected President of the United States, especially when Christians take sides for or against an individual or political party. When Christians get too closely involved in politics, either supporting or opposing a candidate, or party, or office, we can too easily forget where our real loyalties lie. Our ruler is Jesus Christ and our loyalty is to the Kingdom of God. Only where a ruler seeks to make us disregard God do we have permission to disobey and follow God (Acts 5:29 ).

We should not presume to know whether Donald Trump will make a good or bad President, because only time will tell. We should pray that God will give him, and all our leaders, the wisdom and understanding they need to do their job. 

Gracious and loving Father, help us to remember that no individual, however powerful their role, can change the long term future that you have planned for humanity. Give our leaders wisdom, understanding and respect for Christians and Christianity, so that we may be free to worship you and live a Christian life. In Jesus name we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick


About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Community Centre
Pendas Way

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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