Are Christians too Anti-Government and too Anti-American? I can not speak for everyone, but I do think that it is a temptation that is easy to fall into. I have often heard dismissive sentiment toward government in general and of the American form of government specifically as if it is unholy or somehow not godly, but in doing that we neglect our most basic role as human beings.

The Bible says in Genesis1:28 “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” This is rightly understood to give man his place as the highest created being and also to give him his job as ruler of all of creation. We were designed to rule over the natural order and, by inference, to rule and govern ourselves. In Romans 13:1 we find that God establishes government to rule: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities for there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God”.

Our first charge as people is to rule the earth. It is a charge that supercedes the “Great Commission” to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. I would not and could not minimize the importance of Jesus’ charge to His disciples; it was after all one of the last things that He told them and it speaks of the most important decision that anyone can ever make. That being said this great charge to the disciples still comes under the umbrella of the first charge to mankind found in Genesis. We are to rule over the earth.

The American culture, by most observers, is deteriorating: drug and alcohol use, promiscuity, violence, broken families, financial crisis, corruption in business and government. While all this is happening Barna indicates that church attendance is falling and indicators of spiritual commitment are on the wane.America is turning away from God at a time when we most need to turn to Him. Would godly rule help?

The answer to this spiritual backsliding is almost always that we need to share the gospel with the lost so that they will repent and begin to live Godly lives – The Great Commission! I agree to a point; the ultimate check on any society is the internal check of the Holy Spirit. The scripture validates this by recognizing that the law was insufficient to change the heart of man andIsraelsinned and wandered far from God. However, saying that the law is insufficient is not the same as saying that the law is pointless or worthless or even of only secondary value. Romans 7:7 says, “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law”. Paul sees the benefit of law and its ability to show us our shortcomings, but if the law is no law, then lawlessness abounds. It seems to me that the law must precede the Great Commission for the message of the G.C. to have the proper effect. 

This is where I think Americans and, specifically, American Christians miss a crucial part of our faith. We were made to rule. God was incredibly gracious in carving out of the morass of corrupt governments and tyrannies, a government of the people, by the people and for the people that held certain rights inalienable, given by God, including the rights of life and liberty. It was a government formed on law, not the rule of man, but on unalterable principals that applied to everyone from the richest to the poorest. He gave us a nation that espoused equal justice under the law. These are godly principals and we were the exception to the norm or standard of governments around the world. We of all people in the world were entrusted with something that was uniquely right. This type of government had never been attempted on this grand a scale and it was, and is, a great gift from God for which we have been left stewards. As people whose charge it is to rule, and as believers who should understand better than most what makes for good rule, how have we handled that stewardship?

Have we dismissed politics, governance and economics as somehow secular and irrelevant to the great commission, or have we embraced these areas as somehow part of the infrastructure that facilitates the Great Commission? I can’t answer that for you, but I can for me and I do not like what my answer is.

Just as the church is abandoning its place in the public square, the society increasingly turns its back on Christians and God, with disastrous results for society as indicated above. It seems pretty apparent that theUnited States of Americacould use some Godly wisdom in establishing rule.

It is time to ask God what we can do. I suggest it start with repentance of our neglect of a stewardship from God and ask Him to forgive us and give us grace to do what is right. If we don’t engage the process, if we don’t inform ourselves and inform our friends and family, how will we answer the stewardship question that Jesus will inevitably ask us about what did we do with the talents that we have been given?