The Bible doesn’t really say much about politics, at least not politics as such.
That’s not saying we shouldn’t care, only that there’s a conspicuous silence in the New Testament concerning approval or disapproval of Rome’s fiscal and foreign policies.
That brings up a question concerning what we ought to do in our post-election lives.
I believe the answer is the same as it would’ve been had this week’s presidential election turned out differently.
In the part of Paul’s writings where he got closer to talking politics than he did anywhere, he had some interesting things to say about how we ought to live.
He was writing in a time when Christians were viewed unfavorably by the ruling powers and persecution was increasing.
Should believers throw up their hands in despair?
Paul simply told them to be Christians.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:14-21).
Twenty-first-century America and first-century Rome are dissimilar in many ways, so we should be careful when drawing parallels.
But perhaps there’s a principle that transcends culture and applies to any country that’s pre-Christian, post-Christian, or anti-Christian.
What should we do when the prevailing ideology seems stacked against us?
Paul’s answer is simple to understand, if not always easy to practice.
Bless . . . Sympathize with others . . . Live peacefully . . . Treat everyone—including our enemies, especially our enemies—compassionately.
The values of our political leaders will usually be quite inconsistent with our own, but that’s always been true.
Our obligation is to live right, follow Jesus, and reflect his love to the world around us.
That’s what God told us to do, and that’s what the world needs.