Should Christians really support ungodly leaders? Should it be a King, the President, the CEO, the Minister or even the father in a household? I know such questions have been of great concern, particularly with national leaders.
Before I answer that question, let me emphasize the fact that I do have serious disagreements with many of our leaders today. In fact, these disagreements are based on what God teaches in the Holy Bible. Many of these disagreement issues are crucial such as the worship of other gods, embezzlement of funds, etc. Should we still support such leaders? The answer is this: Absolutely! Yes we must. Just as Pastors openly pray for our leaders to support them, we all must do that.
Here’s what the apostle Paul said, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Rom 13:1). That’s a foundational principle, and we should underscore that principle in our minds.
We should submit to and support political leaders with whom we strongly disagree; unless of course they command us to do specifically what God forbids. If he’s asking us to do something that God forbids, or if he’s preventing us from doing something that God demands, obviously we can’t accept that and there is biblical precedent for that. It follows that supporting your leader does not mean participating or helping them do the ungodly deeds but doing what is expected of you as a subordinate or follower. Let me make an example. You are expected tithe even though you know that the pastor abuses the money. Your part is tithing and that is it.
We have an opportunity to be good followers. We may disagree and that does not stop us from having our disagreements heard, but we can make a difference by serving our leaders but still voice our disagreements. Doing so, according to Paul, would make us live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1Timothy 2: 1-2). It is therefore expected for Christians and everybody else to be involved in political debates, education, and the arts, etc. but not anything else that God forbids.
Learn from the Apostles that were commanded by the Jewish ruling regime not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. What did Peter and John do? They said, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20). Of course what did they see and hear? The key to supporting your leader is obeying God before all other things. The only way to complete obedience to God is studying the Word of God, which is the Bible, and practice what it says.
Yes, the answer is; support your leader at all times.
This article has been inspired by the post in equip.org when addressing the topic ‘Supporting a President You Disagree with’. It has been altered to suit a neutral audience without specifically the Americans. You may want to view it here: http://www.equip.org/audio/supporting-a-president-you-disagree-with/