Election day is here! I have been criss-crossing the country teaching, debating, doing radio interviews, and answering emails on the road by Christians who want to know what to do in this election. Some are pushing third-party candidates claiming that this is the only "righteous" way to vote.
Franklin was not known as orthodox in his religious beliefs, but there is no doubt that he understood what made nations great. It wasn’t geography, natural resources, or monetary prosperity. The self-taught candlemaker’s son, author of Poor Richard’s Almanac, world traveler, inventor of the lightning rod and bifocals, knew that the key to national success was the acknowledgment that God establishes empires, and He requires that they be built in a certain way.
For decades, Christians have been reluctant to get involved in politics. These Christians either don’t vote or when they do vote they do so in terms of what government can do for them. Government is seen as their earthly savior. They are more concerned about where their next flu shot is coming from rather than the appointment of judges who with one vote can turn the Constitution on its head.
As with most theological positions, there are a variety of interpretations of this passage: (1) The salvation of every racial/ethnic Jew. This is an impossible interpretation.
God established civil government to be an avenger who brings wrath upon those who practice evil. The civil government’s power to use the sword is legitimate in certain limited cases. The Bible has mandated that the power of the sword is to keep the peace, to protect those who do what is right.