Monday, July 25, 2011

If God Puts World Leaders in Place, How Then Shall We Act?

A social media friend of mine recently sent me a question directly after I posted this message on the social media network:
Just finished reading "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin. Highly recommended for anyone thinking of running for office. And yes, we were had big.
Here is my friend's question:

I have a question that I would like your thoughts about because I honestly don't know what the answer is. You mentioned on you're wall in your post about Sarah Palin's book, that we've been 'had.' I assume you're talking about Obama. I've had people remind me of the scripture that says that God puts leaders in place and brings leaders down. Where do  our democratic choices and the whole voting thing fit into that? And if God uses circumstances to put a leader at the head of a nation, (even if we don't agree with him or like him) how should we as believers respond? I appreciate any help you can give me on this one. Thanks.

Here is my answer:

I see a number of questions in your message and I'll try to answer all of them to the best of my ability.

I did say in my post that "we were had big".  Let me explain what I meant by that.  After read Sarah Palin's book, I learned that good people do indeed usually finish last.  And it's not always their fault.  I believe the John McCain and Sarah Palin ticket lost the election in 2009 for three simple reasons:
  1. They were clean, decent folks and chose not to go after their opponents personally to the extent they could have, or unfortunately, in today's world, needed to, in order to win.
  2. The press in general were very, very hard on them and gave clean passes to Obama and Biden in many issues -- including their past, their present, and the stupid mistakes they made in their own comments.
  3. The people running the McCain campaign gave up way too early; and the people running Palin's campaign made major tactical errors.
When you put those three together, you get why Republicans lost the election.   My reference to "we were had big" is in reference to two things:
  1. The role of the press and the role of the RNC campaign managers.
  2. The out and out deception I believe that we were fed by the Obama promises.
God's Role in Global Appointments

I totally believe that God allows leaders to be put in place and he allows them to fall.  He is also very capable of actually putting them in place Himself and causing them to fall.  However, these two scenarios are different from each other.  One involves God's active participation in the life of a leader and another, His passive agreement.  I really do believe that.  I do not think that God causes everything.  He has a plan for His children and He is most actively involved in bringing those plans about.  But He also is in control of the whole world and as such, keeps on eye on what He allows.

In addition to the verses that many may remind you of that speak of God putting leaders in place and bringing leaders down, let me share some more that involve leaders:
  1. Take a look at Psalms 2:1-6  -- there the psalmist talks about kings going against God and God getting angry at them.
  2. Psalms 2:10 talks about kings and leaders needing to be careful and to be instructed.
  3. Isaiah 37, verses 11 and 18 talk about the havoc and desolation that some kings/leaders can cause.
  4. Hosea 8:4 is crucial -- in the section surrounding this verse, God is calling Israel back to Him, but note he says, "they have set up kings, but not by Me".  So all are not appointed by Him, although He allows them to be appointed.
  5. The book of Joshua is all about Joshua eliminating (killing) all the kings that were not Godly.
  6. Remember also that when God gave King Saul to Israel, it was against His desire.  He did not want them to have a king.  He wanted the people to recognize God as their King.  (I Samuel 8 and 9).  In fact, I Samuel 8:10-22 is very telling.
Those are just a few of hundreds of passages to kings (leaders) in the Scriptures.  And for the most part, God is not pleased with them.

I think it is important for us to always keep the big picture in mind.  God is not impressed with today's leaders.  I believe that to stick to the position of "God put them there, our job is to pray for them, support them (pay our taxes), and when God wants them removed, He'll remove them" is a position that the Enemy really wants us to have.  It renders us totally divided and useless against the Enemy and his own agenda for the world.

I do believe that we need to pray for our leaders -- but for me, that prayer is that they may know Jesus Christ and give Him their life.   It is not "God bless the king/leader and keep him/her safe from all harm so that he/she can live long and rule as they have been doing".   Certainly that is not my prayer for people like Barack Obama who has clearly shown he is not a man who loves the Word of God, and obeys it.  I also believe that we should pay our taxes and obey the laws of the land where they do not contradict the laws of God.  But, because they are the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time, etc., I believe we have the responsibility to God's people and to our children and grandchildren to do all we can to have them removed from office.  That is not contrary to loving them as people and praying for their salvation.

This is no different, for me, than what I am supposed to do for adulterers, bank robbers, swindlers, child abusers, etc.  We cannot condone what they do.  We can try to stop them.  But at all times we love them and pray for their salvation.

I then utilize freedom of speech to the extent possible (trying to be careful not to tell lies or to belittle the person) to point out his inappropriate positions and actions.  I use the democratic process to 'assemble together' and try to deliver votes to depose him without becoming violent in any protest, etc.

I think whatever we believe about God's role in the placement or allowing of leaders to lead, we are not excused from our responsibility to do good and keep evil away.   I think for many of us we fail to see the evil because we do not seek to view what is happening with God's eyes.

As I write these words, I have become aware of a group of Taliban rebels who hung (yes, hung) an eight-year-old boy this week because his father, and Afghanistan police officer would not give them what they wanted.  No matter how you look at that -- it is evil.  Yet we have leaders all over the world that will simply denounce such action but never lift a hand to stop it from happening again.  I am not certain that God would have us heed the world's instructions, "please stand by; do not adjust your set; life will continue in a moment".

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