It was my freshman year in college and I was rushing to return to my college dormitory to drop off my books and head to the dining hall. When I entered the dorm, I was surprised to see a large crowd huddled around the front desk. They were all glued to the small television broadcasting a news event. I couldn’t decipher the newscaster’s message so I asked in a loud voice, “What’s going on?”
One of the students shouted, “President Reagan’s been shot!” Another immediately chimed in, “Yeah! He was shot!” He was pumping his fist and maniacally smiling. I watched a few more seconds to confirm the grim news. I reviewed the now-familiar images of March 30th, 1981, when a lone gunman, attempted to assassinate then-President Reagan. I was horrified by the event but was even more appalled by the response of my college classmates.
“Cmon guys!” I said as if speaking to a blank wall. “This is the President who was shot!”
“Good!” came the sardonic reply.
I lingered a few more seconds and then shuffled off to my room. It was my first introduction to how hostile political loyalties can warp our moral sensibilities. Even if I do not agree with the political policies of our leaders, I have never wished death upon them. Apparently, on that day, I was definitely in the minority. Thank goodness we, as a nation, have evolved since then!
In this hyper-politically charged world we live, violence has frequently erupted against someone if they even suggest they are supporting one political party or candidate over another. Christians are not immune to this name-calling. It is foolish and narrow-minded to label all Christians as conservatives just as it is equally foolhardy to label all liberals as humanists. Life and politics are not that black and white. We should respect and honor our leaders, regardless of whether we agree with their policies and ideologies. Sadly, this is no longer the case as anyone living in this world can attest.
What is the Christian response to this?
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (ESV)
Christians are commanded to pray and honor all of our leaders. While we may not agree with all of their policies, we should support them as long as their policies do not go against the teachings of God and the Bible. As the Apostle Peter stated to the Roman authorities when they were asked to stop preaching Jesus Christ, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29 ESV)
Since that day in 1981, there have been five presidents. I have certainly not agreed with all of their policies, regardless of their political affiliations, but I have prayed for all of them and will continue to do so. All leaders will someday answer to God for their actions. I pray that God will always guide our leaders to do what is best for our nation and our world.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.