Bob Shank is one of the people I respect most in my life. I consider him a friend and mentor. He runs the Master’s Program which is an incredible leadership experience. Interestingly enough, many of the leaders on the HomeWord board went through this Master’s Program and I have the benefit of their focused energy with HomeWord.
I really liked what Bob wrote this past week about our job after the election. His voice is a clear, well thought out and Biblical voice for right living. As you probably know, HomeWord does not comment on politics. And yes, there are times I get some pushback on that. But we believe that both Republicans and Democrats love their family and we want to come alongside all families with our Christian message of hope and healing. Although Bob’s blog below is not partisan in nature it’s an important message as we approach the election here in the United States.
Politics is – along with religion – a taboo subject in social settings. Despite that timeless ground rule, you can’t find a dinner table in October ’20 where the conversation hasn’t turned to the election – or, protests, or societal issues that are woven into presidential platforms – with passion.
There’s a man whose wisdom I regard highly who gave me some sound advice about that matter. This was his counsel, to me, in these challenging times:
Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly – not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
That’s also why you pay taxes – so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.
I think he’s pretty savvy, don’t you? That’s what Paul told me – and, you – in a letter he first wrote to the Christians in Rome (Romans 13, in The Message). Those believers were a disparaged minority living under the corrupt government of the Emperor Nero. He became infamous for his personal debaucheries and extravagances and was behind the persecution and deaths of many followers of the Jesus, the Jewish Messiah. He was responsible for burning down Rome, which he blamed on Christians.
The outcomes of the election just three weeks away will stripe the lanes for the highway into our future. Here’s what I know, for sure: there will be millions of people in America who are unhappy with the results. With no option but to live with the hierarchy whose terms commence in January, how will those dissatisfied with their new local/state/federal overseers conduct themselves?
The ultimate solution: establish a relationship with an eternal King, under whom all human governments exist. Act responsibly. Follow the rules, unless they violate the King’s rules. Be orderly; keep short accounts. Show respect to the men and women God has allowed to lead. Be a model citizen.
At The Master’s Program, we’re stepping into the line of fire. Six years ago, we launched our Warrior Program, allowing Master’s grads to scholarship active and veteran military leaders in TMP. Since then, 147 heroes have become part of our Kingdom leadership community.
One of our early Warrior grads has the vision to see the same opportunity extended to leaders in the law enforcement community. In early ‘21, we’ll begin a targeted service to these vital public servants, to provide the biblical leadership mentoring that we’ve refined over the last quarter century.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Jesus; Matthew 5:9).