Cal Thomas / October 3, 2019

Every and All

The debate about political power and authority among those who profess the Christian faith has raged since the 1st century.

The debate about political power and authority among those who profess the Christian faith has raged since the 1st century. In modern America, the debate raged throughout Jimmy Carter’s presidency and more recently through the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The debate now looms large for Donald Trump.

Newsweek magazine labeled 1976 “The Year of the Evangelical” because of Carter’s openness about his faith. At the time, commentators claimed that conservative Christians had finally found “a place at the table.” The marriage of church and state seemed to have been consummated.

There are three camps in which contemporary Christians have assembled. In one, these Christians believe God is on the side of pro-life, “values voting” Republicans. This begs the question – is God on holiday when Democrats with different political views are elected?

The second camp composed of more politically liberal Christians believes Scripture has much to say about social justice. They tend to vote for Democrats, whether Christian or not, because those politicians advance their temporal agenda.

Camp three (really a subset of camp one) ignores President Trump’s history, language and behavior toward his political foes, believing he is God’s choice, though he has said he doesn’t feel the need to ask for God’s forgiveness (a prerequisite Scripture teaches for becoming a Christian). Critics of this camp excoriate them for hypocrisy based on their attacks on Bill Clinton’s character and behavior.

Who is right? Each has a point, but none is entirely correct.

For non-Christians reading this column, knowing what believers think might help toward a better understanding of them. Better still are the instructions in Scripture, largely ignored or cherry-picked by all three camps when it comes to political power.

One verse states: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those that exist have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1). That seems unequivocal.

Does "every” mean every to my friends who believe in the “inerrancy of Scripture,” or only to conservative Republicans? Paul wrote this when he was under the authority of political dictators in Rome and the religious authorities of his day, which were unfriendly to him and to Jesus of Nazareth, to say the least.

How do conservative Christians reconcile what the writer of Hebrews says with their singular devotion to Republican presidents? “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

How many think President Trump, or any president, should be credited with keeping watch over their souls? And yet that’s what it says.

There is a strong case to be made for President Trump’s support of many issues that in some cases can be defended biblically, including judges who are pro-life. However, one should be careful about overt devotion that supersedes where Christians are supposed to put their sole trust and faith. It was He who said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” which is the ultimate declaration of where all power and authority lies.

Perhaps instead of trashing politicians they don’t like and revering other ones, politically conservative Christians should contemplate another powerful verse: “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men, for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior…” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Again, does “all” mean all?

© 2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.