America was horrified this week to see protestors storm the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to interrupt the ratification of the electoral votes. The images of violent efforts seeking to interfere with the lawful process of selecting the next President of the United States are stunning. One would expect this to happen in a third world country, not in the greatest democratic republic the world has ever known.
Concerns over fraud in the election process and strong disagreement with the incoming President leave many wishing he would not be inaugurated. However, all Christians must be clear that violence and the illegal interruption of lawful processes is never right. The actions of the violent protesters in Washington, D.C. are just as deserving of condemnation as the actions of the violent protesters across the nation last summer. No Christian should give the least suggestion of supporting such criminal thuggery.
Christians in America have the freedom to use any legal means to oppose or combat the election results. If those means are not successful, then rebellion or rejection is not an option. We must acknowledge President Biden as our President. We can continue to oppose all ungodly policies and denounce all immoral legislation, but we must always do so with honor, grace and respect. The command “Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17) is taught by Jesus and repeated by the apostles. The New Testament teaches Christians to pray for our new President and obey all of our nation’s laws, except those that would cause us to disobey clear Biblical commands.
The Bible gives no exceptions to these commands when the ruler is believed to be corrupt or illegitimate. David’s response to crazed King Saul who had been abandoned by God exemplifies how the American Christian ought to respond to a President. David was unfailing in his respect and honor of the King because he knew God had appointed Saul king. God still appoints the rulers of nations today. (Romans 13:1) The prophets told the people of Judah to live in peace and cooperation with the kings who conquered them. Daniel respected and obeyed the various kings over him, even though he was their captive. An argument can be made that none of these rulers were legitimate, but the Bible does not leave room for the individual to decide if a ruler is rightful or not. We must honor the President, pray for all in authority and obey the laws of the land.
Most importantly, never forget that God is still in control of all these things. The protestors are accomplishing nothing but God’s will. Joe Biden’s president will accomplish God’s will. God appoints governments, whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, pro-Christian or anti-Christian, or corrupt or good. He sets up everyone of them as His servants to minister good and oppose evil. The Christian must never forget that God orders the rise and fall of nations so that men may know Him. (Acts 17:26-27) He brings judgment on men that all mankind will remember it’s mortality and so that humanity will know men are not gods who control over their own destinies. (Psalm 9:20) Let us trust God to know what He is doing and use this time of turmoil to point others to the only Prince of Peace.