[stextbox id=”custom”]This is the 11th article in the “What does the Bible say about” series. Here’s the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th.[/stextbox]

Another important area of your life where God has specifically revealed His will is regarding your need to be submissive. Rather than be bossy, domineering, or self-seeking, Christians are to be submissive, both to one another and to the government ruling over them.

In today’s contemporary American society, there are some Christians who place a rather unhealthy emphasis on politics or social issues, both to the detriment of the gospel and to their own personal testimony. At the same time, however, there are far too many Christians who are of the mindset that Christians should have little or nothing to do with politics altogether. Both groups, I believe, would do well to reconsider their position according to what the Scriptures teach. Indeed, God has an opinion about this very issue as well.

God’s desire for you is that you,

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king” (1 Peter 2:13-17; underline mine).

Submission to government (and higher authority) is important to God, because there is no government in existence that is not ordained by God. Some governments prove to be both cruel and terrible, but each person in authority will give an account of their actions to their Creator come judgment day. Your responsibility is to be in submission to whichever government you find yourself under at the moment. For American Christians, this could change every four years or so.

Americans are governed by the Constitution of the United States and not, necessarily, by whoever sits in the oval office come Election Day. Ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Under this political system of democracy, we are granted certain rights and responsibilities.

We have the freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and the right to vote. Therefore, to insist that all Christians should remove themselves from politics altogether is a gross error and, frankly, it goes against God’s revealed will to be submissive to our American government.

If there ever comes a time when you personally find yourself under the rule of a different government, then God’s desire for you is to be submissive to that authority, do what is right, silence ignorant men by nothing more than your superior behavior, respect everyone around you, love other believers, and honor the king.

Submission is God’s revealed will for you.

QUESTION: What do you think about Christians, politics, and how the two mix together?


* Image credit: Daniel R (Creation Swap) 

[stextbox id=”custom”]This article is from the knowing “God’s Will For Your Life” series. Here’s the 1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th11th, and 12th from the series.[/stextbox]

Reader Interactions


    • October 25, 2014 2:30 AM
      Hey Charles, I served almost 4 years as a Commissioner of our Twp. Had to resign because we moved. Long story. I was told by some of our citizens I was suppose to be there, I was needed. I always tried to fight for what was right and fair, good for the community. I know I made a difference. Prayed on the decision when asked to run. They asked me. I decided OK if this is what GOD wants me to do I will. I won by two absentee ballots. Yes we can make a difference. He might place you where you would never think of going.

  1. It is a real challenge for Christians to find the right place to stand in a participative democratic republic. We ARE the government, when you get right down to it. Yet after we elect people to be our representatives and our agents in the realm of legislation, judicial interpretation, and administration, we have an obligation to be submissive to the laws that give these roles power. I feel very strongly that we must be attentive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit when we speak politically. We must not confuse government with God, and we must not let government supplant God. In a kingdom, it is easier to understand the requirement to be submissive, but even a kingdom is subject to try to put itself in God’s place.
    Our current government is very much attempting to stand in the place of God. It is so profoundly shaped by secular thinking that it actually believes that Christians ought not to act on Christian principles in business or social services, because those are completely secular activities. We walk a tightrope in situations like this in our attempts to show respect for a government of laws, not men, while simultaneously refusing to obey men rather than God. It is my daily prayer to understand God’s wisdom as I navigate this minefield.

    • Katherine, thanks for your comments on this “touchy” subject.

      I agree that this is a challenging one to have a definitive opinion on. At least that is how I feel.

      Most Christians that “agree with the Bible” would agree that we need to be subject to the king or the governing authorities, and I agree to that also. Each government is different and I feel that must be taken into consideration.

      The Roman government in the Bible governed one way, so did the Persians, and the Babylonians, and the theocracy of the Jews for that matter. But we live in none of those, nor do we Americans live under the rule of today’s Russian government, or China, or…fill in the blank.

      Our government is based on the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (and the courts that interpret those documents judicially). It seems to be a grey area from my perspective about how much liberty we can exercise, from a Christian perspective, about the current President, his proposed bills, etc. I mean, if we wanted to take it to the extreme, then it could be argued that since President Obama is the current president that it would be going against our government to even vote against him at the next election. Granted, I believe that is extreme, but I venture to guess there are some Christians out there who believe that and they could try to support it from Scripture.

      But certainly the Scripture gives us Christians the right to oppose the dictations of our government if the government demands that we do things that God has specifically said we should not do, or to not do something God has specifically said we should. I believe that is a given.

      In short, when you get it all figured out, let me know. I’ll have you write a post about it here on CAC.

      • Charles, For reasons of my own, 11 months after you posted the reply to Katherine Harms I am in search of differing points of view on Christians in government and politics. I have a particular question for you. In your last complete paragraph you stated that “But certainly the Scripture gives us Christians the right to oppose…”. Please could you tell me where in the Bible you found that? I’m not doubting you or trying to be contentious. I’m merely gathering information. Thanks much.

  2. “If there ever comes a time when you personally find yourself under the rule of a different government, then God’s desire for you is to be submissive to that authority, do what is right, silence ignorant men by nothing more than your superior behavior, respect everyone around you, love other believers, and honor the king.”

    Aren’t we called to love everyone? Not just believers….

    • Hello Terri-Anne, and thanks for your comment and question.

      You’re correct in that we are to love everyone, not just believers. But my article has little to do with loving other people and more to do with how Christians are to respond to government. I think those are two different topics.

      Christians are to love everyone (our neighbor), but we are also supposed to use wisdom and proper judgment.

      But maybe I am misunderstanding your questions as well? Please let me know if I am. Thanks!

  3.  This blog appears to be biased.  God is the epitome of love, for he created us in his likeness.  We have the ability to not only love, his number one commandment, but are also given free will.  We are not to judge others including our neighbors.  Are not politicians and presidents our neighbors as well?  God is willing to love them and the rest of us; therefore, we are called upon love one another.

    If the president or supreme ruler of the state acts in defiance against God’s low, intentionally misrepresents the written laws, or uses his “freedom as a covering for evil”, we are required by God’s will to respect and submit to the leader…even if our heart tells us something his wrong!  Remember, it is God who will judge us in the end, not ourselves.  Let God fight your battle for you like he said he would! 

    If President Obama is corrupt and we re-elect him, his judgment will fit his actions.  If President Obama is serving God through his presidency, then honestly the only way I have been able to discern his intentions is through prayer.  It is through the Spirit that we will know what is true.  So keep praying America and God will surely reveal what is right for you to do on election day, just as he has revealed to me.

    • Hey, thanks for stopping by!

      Oh, this blog is most definitely biased, but only because I am biased. And I mean that in a good way, Lord willing. After all, how boring would it be to read stuff where no one ever took a position?
      To answer your comment above, Christians are definitely expected to make sound judgments, use wisdom and discretion, and act in a way that pleases God, rather than people. We are to submit to the governing authorities whenever (without question) it doesn’t go against what God has already given to us in His Word. Does that make sense?

      In Acts 5:27-29, the apostle Peter put it this way when he was forced to deal with the issue:

      And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

  4. What do you think about pastors that teach their political views in a church??? It seems wrong to do. I would think the church is thte house of God and is there for spiritual growth and wisdom rather than taking sides on wordly affairs. Is there any verses in the bible that can possibly speak against this type of behavior?

    • I would agree that it would be wrong to speak about “political views” or even “specific candidates” in a “church worship service.” But if it was a town hall meeting type then that might be different. However, there is nothing wrong with speaking about politically charged issues, in my opinion.

      For example, I would have no problem teaching what the Bible says about issues such as abortion, foreign aid, and medical health benefits. But we should speak about the issues and not the individual candidates. 

  5.  1st America was founded as a Constitutional Republic and or a Limited Federal Republic.No were in the US Constitution or Bill of Rights does it say democracy.
     Our rights are guaranteed by God and the US Constitution.
    Remember what Isaiah said 10:1,2  “Woe to those who decree unjust statutes and to those who continually record unjust decisions, to deprive the needy of justice, and to rob the poor of My people of their rights…”
    “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”  Marbury vs. Madison

  6. If all here spoken in favor of those who have their spiritual beliefs be a part of Government, why then does the bible say , to be not of this world. to be separate. to not trust in the things of this world, and knowing that God could not look upon his own sons face when taking the worlds sin on himself, why do we today think it’s ok to be unequally yoked with either political side, who speak against the other that Christ also died for? Many republicans which are the party of Evangelicals and talk of God and Country, are evil doers, liars, swindlers, Thieves, Fornicators, adulterers, and non-Christian. But because they have a few issues that Evangelicals agree on, they flock together and stand at rallies side by side as if they approve of the whole party, God couldn’t do that because of the sin in their lives. and Christians have the spirit of God in them , how can they stand with sinful people?

    • Romans 13 might be helpful for you to study with regards to why we are to be submissive to government.

      Also, consider the religious and government leaders during the times of Jesus and the early church. Even Jesus and Paul submitted to the governing leaders except when they violated Scripture.

  7. i have a major Question, is it okay for Christians to join government offices?

    i need scripture references thanks!

    • Braden, maybe the better question to ask would be: Where in the Bible does it say that Christians SHOULDN’T join government offices?

      I can think of noplaces where the Bible says God’s people shouldn’t do that. Moreover, being a soldier or tax collector was a government job. When these employees asked John the Baptist how they should conduct business, John didn’t tell them to find new jobs. Rather, he told them in Luke 3:10-14:

      10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”

      11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”

      12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”

      13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”

      14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?”

      So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”