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A Biblical Response to the Presidency

By November 21, 2020November 22nd, 202015 Comments

Although it’s almost 3 weeks since the Presidential election, the outcome is still being contested. Regardless of who ultimately is certified as the winner, how should  followers of Yeshua (Jesus) respond to the outcome?

Whoever is certified as the winner of the Presidential election, there will be some Yeshua followers who will be disappointed. You may find it hard to believe, but there are fellow Messiah followers who didn’t vote as you did and wanted the other guy to win. Regardless of who wins an election, the Bible directs us in our response to whoever ultimately sits in the Oval Office. Here are four principles to guide us.

First, we have to trust that God Himself is sovereign over the election, even when the candidate I chose, loses. In a democracy as we have in the United States, we presume that “we the people” determine who becomes president. And while that is true in a sense, God remains sovereign over the election. This principle is found in Proverbs 16:33: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” A modern paraphrase would be, “Mark your ballot and cast your vote but the election outcome is from the Lord.”

Therefore, whoever takes the Presidential oath of office on January 20, he will be sworn in because of God’s decision. In a passage about the pagan and prideful King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4:17 says, “the Most High is ruler over the kingdom of men, he gives it to anyone He wants and sets over it the lowliest of men.” This verse reminds us that God is in charge of the presidency and He is the one who places people in office.

Second, we need to be respectful of the office of President regardless of who fills it. The Apostle Peter gave advice to persecuted believers and told them to “Honor the Emperor” (1 Pet 2:17). Let’s be real. Some of you feel you could never show honor to an office holder who disrespected the sanctity of marriage and spoke abominably of women. Others say they could never respect someone who is opposed to the sanctity of life. Just remember, Peter gave this exhortation when Nero was the Roman Emperor. If Peter could call for respect for the office of Roman emperor when one of the most notorious and wicked men held that position, then it seems like believers need to show respect for the office of President, no matter which candidate becomes President.

Third, we need to commit to pray for the President and all our political leaders whether we like them or not. Paul’s first letter to Timothy was also written during Nero’s reign and he said this: “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity”  (1 Tim 2:1-2).

My first pastorate began in July of 1983, near the end of the first Reagan administration. During the pastoral prayer every week, I resolutely prayed for President Reagan in obedience to 1 Tim 2:1-2. And every week, some of the Democrats in the congregation grumbled and chided me. At the same time, the Republicans in the congregation thought I was unusually wise for such a young pastor. Flash forward ten years. I was still a pastor when Bill Clinton entered the Oval Office. And much to the chagrin of my Republican congregants, I prayed for President Clinton every week. The Democrats in our congregation thought I had finally smartened up after being such a foolish youth. The point is, we don’t pray based on the party affiliation of the President. We need to pray for anyone who holds that office.

Why should we pray for whoever is President? There are two reasons to pray for those in office. First, they need it . . .  desperately. We can’t even imagine what passes the President’s desk daily, the tough decisions that he needs to make, the wisdom that he will need to lead our nation. If there’s ever someone that needed prayer, it’s the President of the United States. Second, we need it. Paul’s reminder is that a successful presidency will enable us to lead a “tranquil and quiet life.” After a year like 2020, boy do we ever need a tranquil and quiet life.

Finally, we need to remember whom we ultimately serve. It’s not the President or a political party. We live to serve our master and King, the Lord Yeshua. Remembering that He’s on His throne, seated next to His Father, and planning His return to sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, to rule Israel and the world, should comfort us. Trusting Him will make it possible to honor and pray for anyone in the White House in Washington.  That’s because we recognize our true leader, the King of all the earth.

15 Comments

  • Avatar Diane says:

    I love this. This is why I wear a face covering, I Tim 2. Many are trying angrily to impeach our governor, and perhaps he is wrong, maybe not. He decides with what he knows. I thought I was a passivist because I won’t carry a gun. Actually, I’m not. My warfare is not carnal. Spiritual warare with the armor of God through faith and unto good works is a winning battle. Thank you for putting it so clearly with encouragement to pray.

  • Avatar Stewart Thompson says:

    Well said Dr. Rydelnik. When we here well they… we must remember that peace and respect and the beginning of restoration of our divided country starts with me.

  • Avatar Beth says:

    Excellent! First and foremost, we must pray for our president and for our country!

  • Avatar Alma says:

    What an amazing teaching!!!

  • Avatar Pamela Hammersmith says:

    Thank you so much for speaking truth with scripture. Not your opinion but actual truth! Have a blessed Thanksgiving 🙏❤️

  • Avatar Joe Cohen says:

    Spot on if you ate a religious person.
    If you’re a heathen, you will be defiant until you become filled with Love. It’s the greatest gift of all.
    If you are an atheist or agnostic we need to pray that Y-shua will put someone or something in your path to nudge you in a corrected direction.
    Toda for trying your best to keep us grounded in our faith.
    🙌Numbers 6:24-26🙌
    Amen

  • Avatar Joy Poteet says:

    Thanks!

  • Avatar Linelle Hibbard says:

    Dr. Rydelnik, thank you for putting this on your blog. Should former Vice President Biden win, I will refer to it often. I will need the Lord’s guidance to acknowledge that someone as reprobate, corrupt and reprehensible is our 46th President. God help us all. I don’t think we can have a # tranquil and quiet life” under Joe Biden and Kamela Harris.
    Linelle Hibbard
    Tampa FL. WKES Radio Station

  • Avatar Roxanne Forshtay says:

    I believe you are right. I’m a sojourner. My home is heaven. Respectfully will support the ultimate decision.

  • Avatar Lisa Blackmore says:

    Loved this!!!

  • Avatar DP says:

    Is the Bible a suicide pact? I think not. In America, we are given, by our Founding Fathers, in fact required, the unique Right and ability to defend the Constitution. It is the ultimate authority in this country, overriding ANY president.

    • Dr. Michael Rydelnik Dr. Michael Rydelnik says:

      The Bible is not a suicide pact but for our good we are to obey it. Moreover, if we love the constitution, we will allow the courts to determine the integrity of the election.

  • Avatar Mary Carpenter says:

    I appreciate the reminders from scripture. With loved ones (True Believers) who take quite opposing views on what the response of Christians should be, I have this question: Does scripture speak to this? Governors and other admins. issuing mandates with threat of fines/jail, when only the legislature is to make law. I am referring to face mask mandates, (which in some situations are truly absurd), limiting the number of people that we can have in our private homes, forbidding singing and reciting scriptures and prayers together in worship and closing selected businesses etc

  • Avatar Louise White says:

    I don’t like this blog, but I love your show and support it. However, I believe this blog was premature since the election is not over. Earlier in the year, you gave a compelling blog about the Houston Astros and their cheating. Baseball is a game, but as you had pointed out many people were unfairly impacted by the deceit. I recommend you to add to this blog that everyone who cares for this country should takes a serious look at the irregularities in this election supported by sworn statements by so many citizens and statistical analysis. This is more than a game, it could be the end of free and fair elections. Historically, the next freedom attacked is our ability to practice our religious beliefs. Thomas Jefferson said “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    • Dr. Michael Rydelnik Dr. Michael Rydelnik says:

      Thanks for listening to and supporting Open Line. Perhaps you should re-read the blogpost because I clearly state that the outcome of the election is still being contested. My point was as follows: “Whoever is certified as the winner of the Presidential election, there will be some Yeshua followers who will be disappointed. You may find it hard to believe, but there are fellow Messiah followers who didn’t vote as you did and wanted the other guy to win. Regardless of who wins an election, the Bible directs us in our response to whoever ultimately sits in the Oval Office.”

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