Letters to the Editor: A historical and Biblical perspective of governments

Letters to the Editor: A historical and Biblical perspective of governments

Dear Editor,

Because of a lack of understanding and sound teaching, many people are not aware of the purpose and functions of civil government’s authority. Many people assume that the national government has absolute authority because it claims the authority for itself. However, the claim of authority does not validate the claim. No government is autonomous, a law unto itself. This is true for the country as it is for the family, school and church.

All authority and its limitations are delegated. No one government can claim its area of government authority as ultimate. Neither can any one governmental authority validate or invalidate another legitimate governmental authority. God is the only ultimate authority. He determines the proper function of any legitimate authority structure. Moreover, he establishes the limitations of these same governing authorities. If any authority sets itself up as the absolute authority, it has replaced the ultimate authority of God. Too often, people decide who they want to be their authority rather than acknowledge the absolute authority. But in rejecting the one authority, they accept another authority.

Those who rule should be “able men”. They should have proved themselves in some form of enterprise. The implication is that they are not to be professional politicians. They should “fear God”. They ultimately must answer to God; therefore, they should not fear the people or play the part of politician, making judgment in order to please the people. The rulers should be ”men of truth” — those who hate dishonest gain. Their dealings in business should be beyond reproach. No amount of financial gain promised to them by unscrupulous men should persuade them to follow a course contrary to the laws of God.

Two choices are set before a nation. Either God is the ultimate authority or man is.

No man can escape the problem of authority. Every man will consciously or unconsciously appeal to some authority as basic and ultimate and ultimately to life. Most authorities revered by man today are human authorities: the individual, the people, the elite thinkers and planners, science, reason, or the nation; these are all humanistic authorities.

Government: a God-ordained authority.

Introduction: God has instituted authorities on earth.

  • Government over all citizens (Gen. 9: 1-7);
  • Parents over all children (Gen. 2: 18-25, Eph. 6: 1 – 4); and
  • The church over all believers (Acts: 2).

Government: a God-ordained authority.

  • A human government is a divine institution installed by God when Noah exited the Ark (Gen. 9: 5-6);
  • God established the governments of the world (Acts 17: 24-28). This does not mean that God is responsible for the sins of tyrants but only that the origin of authorities come from him; and
  • Believers are commanded to do two things regarding governmental authority: obey them, except when obedience to civil authority would require disobedience to God’s word (Romans 13:1, Dan. 3: 16-18, Dan. 6: 7-10, Dan. 10, Acts 4:19-20, Acts 5:28-29) and pray for them (Tim. 2: 1-2).

Government authority (Rom. 13: 1-7): all men are to be subject to governing authority (Titus 3: 1-2).

This command is: unqualified, unlimited and unconditional.

Government authority is ordained by God (Dan. 4:17, Dan. 25, Dan. 34-35, Jer. 27:5, Psalm 75-7, Prov. 21).

All too often, man has been leaning to the left or right with their choices of political leaders. These choices can be driven by poverty, need, greed, lust and other factors usually based on the premise of promise. On common ground, one would expect that some sort of curriculum would be designed to educate the populace, especially before pre-voting age.

The criteria and principles herein listed are from the word of God and have always been here as guidelines to ensure productive livelihood for all as per our creator’s design.

I pray that the gatekeepers of the nation would take their position and “stand” on the word of God, lest the people become captive to the enticement, whims and dictates of Pharaoh.


Allan Ingraham

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