I love a great debate. Through no effort of my own, I seem to hide that fact well. I also take my faith seriously. It affects all I am and all I do. I've been praying much lately. Praying for my family, for our friends, and for our nation. Change is here, to be sure. And I'm not liking what I see. Most believers know that we should pray for our leaders, whether we agree with them or not. I hope every Christian is praying for our President and other leaders, right down to the local level, as the scripture exhorts us to in I Timothy 2:1-2. I hope that every Christian obeys the law (Romans 13:1-7), so long as it does not usurp the law of God, revealed in the Holy Bible.
What is meant by this? Well, for example, if the law of the land allowed only one child per family, would you agree to abort your second, third, or any following children? Of course not, and you, then would be in disobedience to the law of the land. However, in such cases it should be obvious that we are ultimately responsible to God in all things. We cannot in good conscience disobey the Word while obeying the law of the land.
And what about praying for our leaders? I would urge you to pray for them, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. And where does this leave us in the national debate? Does the command to pray for our President, Senators, Congressmen, judges and others preclude us from voicing our thoughts concerning public policy or even concerning the behavior and political inclinations of the leaders themselves? I would say not.
For instance, if you are of a "liberal" persuasion, should you have kept quiet about your opposition to the policies of the Bush administration? No one would have expected you to do that. If you think certain sexual practices outside of the bonds of marriage are reprehensible, should you have kept your opinions of our 42nd President to yourself? What if your child or a teenager you know asked you about those news reports and wondered if said President was wrong for doing such a thing? What about speaking publicly concerning your ideas about our leaders and/or their policies? Is it wrong to try to convince others to agree with you in your convictions? Current cultural thought police might want you to believe so, but nothing in scripture would condemn you for it. The Bible encourages us to "speak the truth in love." The whole of Ephesians chapter 4 is a study in public opinion making.
So, can I pray for President Obama and other leaders and still voice how thoroughly I disagree with the direction in which he is leading our beloved nation? Most assuredly. Being holy does not mean keeping quiet in fear of offending those who disagree with you. You are allowed by God to win people to Christ, and you have permission to persuade people to agree with your point of view with a great debate motivated by love.