Godliness transcends partisanship and the politics of higher offices no matter their form within any nation. The bearers of godliness have always transcended the winds of politics. Yet, the crass conversation of politics has infiltrated the speech and attitude of those in Christ toward the very ones that God has commended His love to. At the same time, for some, godly hope has been misplaced for the treasure of earthly comfort, and affections on things on the earth and not set on things above.
As we have briefly examined in previous parts to leading the quiet and peaceable life we are to keep in memory the gospel. Our conversation and stance should reflect not a political agenda, but God’s will to have all men be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. Winning them to filthy rag morality instead of righteousness in Christ could work earthly good, but they may hold it all the way to hell. Therefore, our primary concern is not for others to politically agree with us, even if we are bringing godliness into our stand and vote, for men do not seek God and His things by nature, they are in Adam, under sin. This false expectation, misplaced by us, is not what God requires for them to be justified in Christ. We must replace this expectation with the one of disagreement and begin with citizens of this country and individuals around the world where God does, that is, with the gospel. We must be honest with the worldview our Father grants by His word and hold it in the midst of our heart. A worldview only beheld with the eyes of our understanding by believing the truth. The light of truth, therefore, ought to be the light in which we perceive all things and effect godliness in all things.
Why Quiet and Peaceable?
Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to charge others to teach, as well as, for all men to lead is profound and peculiar. Leading this kind of life is after the Spirit, good and acceptable in the sight of God. Beyond the essence of leading this kind of life and what it is in God’s sight, lies reason for our prayers for those in authority, that is, the will of God – the gospel. We lead a quiet and peaceable life because God is enduring with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath, the children of wrath and disobedience. We lead a quiet and peaceable life because our first objective with all men isn’t their persuasion for who we vote for, it isn’t their opinions, it isn’t their policies, it isn’t their stances, it isn’t their endorsement – it is and must always be in our minds their eternal life. We lead a quiet and peaceable life to draw attention, first, to their need of salvation. In truth, if we were true sources of light and life we would clearly and plainly know that no man, in Adam, can ever produce anything pleasing in God’s sight. If we were true sources of light and life we would be drawing all political agendas and policies back to Christ and the Spirit of God – we would be gospel-centered. We would use every opportunity that we urge citizens to vote, for unbelievers to believe the gospel. We would take the opportunity of proclaiming results to instead declare the sinners need of salvation. Why have we lost sight of this? Our tactics have changed from the will of God to social reform on an intellectual level – a fight that isn’t ours, a fight that isn’t the good fight. With so much news, social media uproar, and frustration about matters that are important, but not of first importance the evidence is stacked against the ambassadors for Christ. Our message and ministry instead of being for Christ have been for the donkey or elephant, some having stooped to the roots of grass. If these adamant attitudes and affections stemming from the hearts of believers for these things aren’t idolatry they draw too near the line.
The Right to Vote & Ministers of Christ
Satan’s will is for believers to adopt a form of godliness thus deny the power of godliness. He endeavors for us to mistake and misunderstand godliness for something it isn’t. Paul to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6 describes the supposition of many that will confuse gain for godliness. This or any country with their various forms of government are not godly or more godly now compared to history. Although some things toe the line of godliness in morality, derived from man’s conscience, based on man’s wisdom they can never be a substitute for godliness. Godliness transcends what we may have in abundance or what we lack individually, socially, and nationally at any given point in history or in our lives. Therefore, godliness with contentment is great gain. The gain comes from godliness, not from the gain of this world. The citizens of the United States of America being a constitutional republic have an earthly privilege that citizens of other countries don’t that is a vote, a vote for representatives to represent them in the offices of our government. Yet, our life is hidden in Christ, not a representative. We are representing Christ, not being represented. Nevertheless, we must realize that although the vote may have been cultivated on a doctrine in the Bible regarding freedom and liberty it isn’t a command or even exhortation in the scriptures. Does this mean we shouldn’t vote? No. There is nothing wrong with voting, utilize your earthly privilege of being a citizen of the United States, in accord with the amount of godliness you possess, but when we hold an imbalance toward the vote as a primary means of change we must not forget the supreme means of change the power of godliness and the proclamation of the gospel. Beloved, we are ministers of the most high God to take His truth to all people. This ought to thrill us and hold within our mind and hearts a Spirit-joy of our peculiar ambassadorship.
The Results Are In
I can recall recently watching a video of an American mounfully yelling when a presidential candidate was voted into office. Such is to be expected when unbelievers place their hope in an earthly utopia that suits their ideology that is antichrist, but the same response is often had by those in Christ. Disappointment and frustration when the voting results didn’t go the way one so deeply hoped – even to the point of resenting fellow citizens and their vote. Yes, Christians resenting and pointing blame for upcoming federal, state, and local government failures. We don’t find this in the scripture as a useful tactic for influencing others to be saved from what they are already guilty in the sight of God.
Yet, when we make manifest the savour of His knowledge in every place God always causes us to triumph. Moreover, when we suffer for Christ it redounds to the glory of God. We ought to campaign, in truth, for Christ by functioning as His ministers holding forth His sayings and hope of eternal life. It is Christ that effects change in this life and eternally.
The Hope of Godliness
The hope of godliness isn’t earthly comfortability nor suffering, nevertheless, we can do all things through Christ and the hope of godliness isn’t in this life, but the life to come. In truth, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. May our suffering be from living godly, not by proclaiming a counterfeit godliness. A form of godliness that promotes earthly change without the gospel. Godliness profits all things in this life and has promise of the life to come. We must always remember that the ever changing tides of partisanship resulting in prosperity or poverty does not effect the effectualness of godliness in the believer that exercises themselves unto it. Although we much prefer earthly comfortability and earthly freedom when that reality doesn’t align with preference godliness and the gospel cause us not to faint. In fact, one can easily learn in the scriptures that when comfortability and freedom lacked the light of truth and the fruit of that light manifested the excellency of the power of God greater than when comfortability and freedom abounded. This was primarily done that in the dire of situations under perverse government, crooked nations, and wicked citizens the light of the gospel shined forth through the apostle’s bold proclamation in love.
May we never forget Christ Who came into this world as the light of the world, rejected of men through the perverseness of the Jew’s nation, Israel, and the leading Gentile authority, Rome, that collaborated to put Christ to death. Christ suffered unto death and in the midst of such injustice, when he was reviled, reviled not again, nor did He threaten. Rather Christ committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.
Watching and Ready
Our fight isn’t carnal, but spiritual. Therefore, fight on the spiritual level. As soldiers fighting the good fight we must watch and be ready, not be entangled in the affairs of this life, withstanding with God’s armor, not ours: loins girt with truth, righteousness as our breastplate, feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, holding the shield of faith, and capped with the helmet of salvation. Our only offense – the sword of the Spirit, the word of God boldly proclaimed, meekly shared with those that oppose themselves, gently instructing, a prevailing patience, and ready to every good work.
Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher