Monday was a historical day. On MLK day our first black President was sworn into office for a second term. But there was something else. For the first time in an Inaugural speech, a President used the word “gay” to address sexual orientation and promote same-sex marriage.
President Obama also invoked “Stonewall” a gay bar in Greenwich, where in 1969 a police raid sparked riots. He placed it the same category as 1848 Women’s right convention in Seneca Falls, and the 1965 civil rights March in Selma, Alabama.
And what is my response?
I respectfully disagree. I believe that same-sex marriage is a violation of the Bible’s definition of marriage (Matt. 19:4-6), and that homosexuality is a sin (1Cor 6:9-11). And I will continue to preach the truth, our President’s agenda not withstanding.
So, how should be my response to our reelected President be expressed?
As a Christian I am called to attitudes and actions that rise above a selfish, sinful, secular world. Consider these Bible exhortations as they relate to Christians, their leaders and their government.
1 Tim 2:1-5
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…
1 Peter 2:13-17
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Everyone must submit himself 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, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves…. it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full-time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Based on these exhortations, these 9 principles should guide our response.
1. Pray for President Obama. Pray for peace. Tranquility. And an environment conducive to goodness and godliness.
2. Be respectful of the President and the leaders of our land. Pejorative remarks and unkind epitaphs are unbecoming to followers of Christ.
3. Show honor. Paul not only taught it. But practiced it in his interaction with ungodly rulers like Felix, Festus and Agrippa.
4. Obey the law. Our disagreement with enacted laws do not give us the right to violate them, unless they conflict with God’s divine laws (Acts 5:29)
5. Pay taxes. Will taxes increase over the next four years? Probably! What should I do? Pay them! Be honest. Be honorable.
6. Do good. Be good. Live godly.
7. Don’t use your liberty as a licence to sin. Or a cover up for ungodly attitudes. Or a cloak for malicious talk.
8. Be true to your spiritually trained conscience. Don’t violate what you know to be right.
9. Glorify God. We are merely foreigners here. We sojourn. While we have obligations to our elected officials, God is the One we serve. Honor. Fear. And He is why we rise above pettiness, ugliness, and harshness.
Certainly I have the right to disagree with policies. To petition for change. And to preach the Truth. But may it be done with the attitude of Christ, a spirit of love, and words and actions that honor King Jesus.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman