How Should the Church Respond to the New President?

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Yes, we now have a new president!  Our country just voted for a new president after a rollercoaster-like emotional campaign between two polarizing candidates.  In the aftermath, I’ve been reflecting on how best we, the church, can be open and supportive of our future president.

THE BIG QUESTION

While Americans have the right to protest, just as they have the right to assemble and worship God, should Christians protest against the new presidential selection?  The straight forward answer leads me to two prominent passages (below) in how Christians in the early church were taught to PRAY and SUBMIT to the governing authorities – the Roman Empire.  Yes, this is the same empire that barbecued Christians for their faith.

picture2 “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior”, (1 Tim 2:1-3 NLT).

“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished,” (Rom 13:1-2 NLT).

Oh my…this may be quite difficult or impossible for many believers of the faith.  How can Christians get behind and support anyone who has questionable character issues, temperament control, discernment in decision-making, and appear to have a difficult time accepting wise counsel?  This personal dilemma caused me to search the Bible for answers where I can follow these New Testament imperatives with good conscience.

Here’s the great news.  In both the OT and NT, we have a plethora of bad kings and good kings.  God’s people always had to live under the rule of some pretty bad dudes.  Then, God placed this proverb on my mind:

The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases, (Pro 21:1 NLT).

I want to share three inspiring truths from this verse regarding our new “king”.

WHAT CAN WE PRAY FOR OUR PRESIDENT?

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  • God has influenced kings with the whispers of faithful men and women.

Think about Joseph, Daniel, Esther, and Nehemiah.  They all served pagan kings of strong empires, yet God used them to influence their nation.  I am praying that God will surround our new president with wise counsel who are strong in the faith.  We can also be praying that these faithful and influential men and women will be courageous at the right moment, just like Queen Esther, “…Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this,” (Esth 4:14b NLT)?  I am confident that God has done it before, he can do it again with any king.

  • God’s WILL is always accomplished despite the government.

Great nations, like the Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Roman Empire, will rise and fall.  Yet, the Christian faith continued to flourish and the people never lost hope.  We evidenced that God sovereignly has worked overtly alongside government structures and covertly around them.  His WILL is not dependent on the government (cf. Jesus & Pilate, Jn 18:33-36), yet we are to be respectful to the government (cf. Jesus & Taxes, Mt 22:15-22, Mk 12:13-17, Lk 20:20-26).  While Jesus was innocently placed on trial by three different groups of government (King Herod, Pharisees, and Pilate), God’s WILL was still accomplished.  “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” (Mt 6:10 ESV).

  • God’s Will is Accomplished through the Church: the only HOPE for the world.

In any presidential election, there will always be winners and losers.  We haven’t seen a 100% for anyone.  The nation was divided and many people expressed extreme discontent.  After the election, the president asked for the people to be UNIFIED, begin HEALING, and remain HOPEFUL for a brighter future.  Here’s the irony; the church has always been about promoting this message!!  These qualities are the hallmark of the church, the bride of Christ.  We are to be a place where people can find hope, unity, and healing in Christ.  Our prayer is that the bride of Christ is highlighted over everything else.  We want people to know their hope can last longer than 4 or 8 years.  Our HOPE lasts forever.
 

THE ANSWER

Now, back to my original questions: Should Christians Protest against the new presidential selection?  NO!  Christians should PRAY for their new president.  We should PRAY for God to bless our new president with much favor, and to help him to seek after God like the great King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

“After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven.  My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever…. When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.  All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud,” (Dan 4:34-37 NLT).

I do believe this is the best country ever, and I also believe that the church is the best HOPE ever for the world.   Be encouraged, for God is still on the throne and is directing the king’s heart.

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About Kevin Nguyen

I am a Vietnamese-Texan Who doesn’t love both Pho and BBQ? And this is where I shall start… Introductions to Kevin Nguyen. Let me go ahead and introduce myself as best I can. My “Called” Name (what you go by): Legal name: Anh-Khoa Nguyen. Nickname: Kevin. Personal family name: Khoa (qua) Nationality: Vietnamese-Texan Kevin was picked up when I was trying to order pizza from Pizza Hut while in Texas. The guy asked how to spell my name. I mean, how hard is it to spell “K – H – O – A”, right? Those are not hard letters to hear over the phone. After several attempts – I couldn’t take it anymore — “Dude, my name is Kevin”. Finally, I can have my pizza. READ MORE here... http://nextgenerasianchurch.com/2012/02/01/i-am-a-vietnamese-texan/

2 responses to “How Should the Church Respond to the New President?”

  1. Bobby Lopez says :

    He is smart but smart people can be wrong and he is. He completely misapplied scripture. Kind of how slave owners use to use the Bible too justify slavery.

    Would someone please tell Dr. Martin Luther King Jr that Dr. Kevin Nguyen says Christians shouldn’t have protested and just prayed.

    On top of that Dr. Nguyen is using monarchy biblical references and applying them to a democracy. He is forgetting that in this democracy the people are allowed to protest because the supreme “governing authority” is the constitution which allows for protest in fact it was written by Christian protestors (Founding Fathers). So protesting is not “rebelling” when it’s approved by the supreme authority. Of course we should pray but “faith without works…” James 2:14. Those protestors (who I have actually sat down and talked too) should do what God has placed on their hearts not what someone who misapplied scriptures thinks they should do.

    Proverbs 31:9
    Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    Not only that In Matthew 21:12 Jesus staged a protest in the temple.

    Should Christians protest in a democracy…YES if that is what God puts on their hearts.

    • Kevin Nguyen says :

      Hi Bobby – I’m about to drop the turkey in the deep fryer, so I have some time to reply back on this Thanksgiving day.

      I don’t know you, but I think I would enjoy conversing with your passionate perspective on how Christians should better engage anyone in government leadership regardless of the era or person in office. First, thank you for taking the time to engage in this forum. I often find that mature believers have a hard time to raise topics up to discuss, disagree, and build up in an encouraging way. Why shouldn’t’ we?

      Now, I think the question was posed in a way that was more focused on the “transfer of leadership”. So regardless of candidate in any era, should we begin rallying as believers to pray and support our future government? There are so many crucial values we should fight for in the aftermath.

      By no means, I would never talk against PROTESTING in general. It’s the same Right to Freely Assemble that Christians have to assemble every weekend to worship God and speak their mind about their faith. Raising ones voice is powerful and a Civil Right we are blessed with in America.

      Now, to the Biblical merits of praying for our government, I think I listed several biblical references in OT and NT to find ways to be proactive and unifying to our current institution. And yes, you are right, it wasn’t a treatise for “protesting” in general.

      We could be more specific: Dr. King protested for civil rights, not on transfer of leadership of a new president. Democracy (a republic) was first started in the Roman-Greco era where many pagan kings were in power. Yet, Paul still challenges the believers to pray and submit for those in leadership. And yes, protesting is never rebelling. It’s a way to raise our voice so it can be known of our convictions. Thank God, we aren’t living in a time where that would be considered “rebellious” to the king.

      To summarize, my heart was always to help the church find meaningful ways to respond to our current government in a time of disarray in leadership transfer. God has always been about uniting his people rather than dividing them.

      I’m looking forward to more helpful conversations from you on the matter of the Church and Government.

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