Thinking about the Election from a Biblical Point of View (Sam Storms)

This past week I came across a statement by Marvin Olasky concerning the national election on Tuesday:

“Sinful humans with all our quirks will decide who controls the White House and Congress.

But under a sovereign God, the election is no crapshoot.”

You may not find comfort in the truth of that statement, but I certainly do. Yes, I am offended and fed up with the hostility in the current campaign. The lies and spin and distortions and underhanded things that people will do to get elected make me sick. Yes, in my weaker moments I get somewhat anxious, and occasionally terrified, about what “sinful humans” with all their “quirks” might decide two days from now. And my guess is that most of you feel the same way, regardless of which political party you support.

But Marvin Olasky is right: “under a sovereign God, the election is no crapshoot.” Who ultimately ends up in Congress and the White House is not, in the final analysis, subject to the whims and moods of the American people. From a purely human point of view, it may appear to be a “crapshoot”, but I assure you that God is in complete control.

So what I propose to do in this article is set before you eight biblical principles that I hope and pray will both inform you about how you and I ought to think of government and politics as well as inspire you with unshakable confidence in the supremacy and sovereignty of God over all things.

And rest assured, I have no intention of endorsing a particular candidate or political party. I do intend to articulate some truths from God’s Word that ought to give direction to how you should vote. But in the final analysis, when you step into that booth on Tuesday, you are bound by your conscience, not mine. I’ve got enough “quirks” of my own to worry about!

Eight Theses on God and Government

(1) Human government is not inherently evil. The structures of authority in any particular political system are not per se wicked. All human governmental authority comes ultimately from the hand of God. Government is used for evil because people are sinful, not because the authority of the ruling party is wicked or should be abolished.

I don’t know how to say it with greater clarity than Paul did in Romans 13:1 – “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” God never sanctions anarchy.

Some appeal to Luke 4:6 to prove that all government is demonic. There Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said: “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.” But there is no reason to trust what Satan says. As Jesus says in John 8:44, “there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

There are numerous passages that affirm government to be a gift of God and controlled by God. So, are we going to believe Satan or are we going to believe Paul in Romans 13? If that were not enough, consider this. Satan claimed that he had authority to “give” power in earthly kingdoms to whomever he wills. Yet in Daniel 4:17 we read that “the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of men” and that he, God, “gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” Whom are you going to believe? I choose to believe Daniel and the Spirit of God speaking through him.

What is also clear from these texts is that the legitimacy of earthly governmental power is not dependent upon how someone comes to power. Whether a government exists because a monarch has appointed his son to rule, or a tribal chieftain has slaughtered his rivals, or a candidate has garnered the required number of votes in an electoral college, all governmental authority is there because God put it there.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter ethically or morally or legally how someone came to power. Of course it does. The Bible is not endorsing the stealing of votes or the manipulation of an election. It is simply reminding us that even the sinful shenanigans of human beings are never outside God’s control and that his purpose will be accomplished, even if it means he has to use the wicked ways of men to bring it about.

Man did not create government. God did. Man does not sustain it. God does. Civil authority is God’s idea in this age.

(2) God is absolutely sovereign and authoritative over who rules, where they exercise their power (its boundaries and extent), over whom they have authority, and for how long.

God spoke to one of the most wicked and powerful rulers in human history, the Pharaoh of Egypt, and said: “But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16; see Romans 9:17).

Daniel spoke to the corrupt and barbaric Nebuchadnezzar, king over Babylon, and declared: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:20-21a; cf. vv. 36-38).

Later Daniel said much the same to Belshazzar, declaring: “O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty” (Daniel 5:18; cf. vv. 24-37 and Jer. 27:5-7).

Note well: Daniel makes these affirmations of God’s sovereignty in the context of the domination of the Jews by Gentiles! In other words, God not only controls the history of his own people (whether Israel or the Church), but also of the “secular” world as well. And the oppression of his own people is no indication that he has lost control or that he is any less sovereign than when his people are safe and blessed.

Consider the divisions at Barnes & Noble or any other bookstore between the “Religion” section and all others such as “European History” or “U. S. History”, or “Current Events”, etc., as if God is active and relevant only in overtly “religious” matters! According to Daniel, his sovereignty is limitless and all-inclusive!

Or think about what Jesus himself said to Pontius Pilate, who from a human perspective appeared to hold the fate of Jesus in his hands: When Pilate said to Jesus, “Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:10-11a).

Jeroboam was one of the most wicked kings of Israel, and yet 1 Kings 12:15 describes the political intrigue that put him in place and says: “It was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord.”

And if God is responsible for the establishment of every governmental authority, he must of necessity also be responsible for the disestablishment of all! This is precisely what we read in Daniel 2:21 – “he removes kings and sets up kings.” Again, in Isaiah 40:23-24 we read that God:

“brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they [princes and rulers] planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble” (Isaiah 40:23-24).

(3) God is not only sovereign in that he decides who shall rule and for how long, but he also can exert omnipotent and irresistible influence over the hearts and minds of kings and rulers and presidents to do what he wants done.

If this one strikes you as somewhat extreme, consider just a handful of biblical examples that prove my point:

“But Sihon the king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him, for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, [so] that he might give him into your hand, as he is this day” (Deuteronomy 2:30).

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). And if it’s true of the “king” then it is no less true of presidents, senators, congressmen, governors, and mayors!

“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, [in order] that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing” (Ezra 1:1).

“And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:22).

“Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 7:27).

“[God] says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose’; saying of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be built,’ and of the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid.’ Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: ‘I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name. For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me’” (Isaiah 44:28-45:5).

Because all authority to rule and to govern comes from God, those in authority are called God’s “ministers” (Romans 13:4) and God’s “servants” (Romans 13:6; Jer. 25:9) and even his “shepherd” (Isaiah 44:28) and his “anointed” (Isaiah 45:1). These words are descriptive of their function, and say nothing about any supposed religious or spiritual or personal relationship to God. They are God’s servants and ministers because they accomplish his will in history, not because they believe in him or love him.

“[F]or truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27-28; see also Revelation 17:17).

It was God who stirred up Nebuchadnezzar to launch an assault on Israel (Jeremiah 25:8-9) and it was God who determined the outcome of the battle:

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god” (Daniel 1:1-2).

Observe that “the Lord gave” . . . Ultimately it was neither the sin and weakness of Jehoiakim nor the brilliance and strength of Nebuchadnezzar, not even the impotence or inactivity of God, but the sovereign good pleasure of Yahweh that determined the historical outcome (cf. Dan. 2:20-23). The Israelites “are not mere pawns on a political and geographical chessboard. To be in the hand of Nebuchadnezzar is not to be out of the control of God” (John Goldingay, 22).

This is one reason Paul urges “that supplications, prayer, 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). We are to pray that the Most High God would stir their spirits, move upon their hearts, change their thinking, shape their character, and incite them to enact legislation all to accomplish what would be most beneficial to the church, the people of God.

(4) Although we are ultimately citizens of a heavenly kingdom and only secondarily citizens of an earthly state, we are not for that reason exempt from submitting to the laws of the land where we live (1 Peter 2:13-17).

Our responsibility to honor and submit to the government of our country is not dependent on whether or not we voted for its leaders or like them. Perhaps I should repeat that!

Let me explain. Peter knew what it was like to live under tyranny and barbarism. He was born under the rule of the Emperor Augustus. But the more direct authority over his life in those early days in Galilee would have been King Herod the Great who ordered the slaughter of the male infants in and around Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the new born Jesus.

Peter would also have experienced the rule of Herod Antipas who executed John the Baptist and not only presided over the mock trial of Jesus but joined with the soldiers under his authority to torment and ridicule our Lord. Peter would have known Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, who washed his hands of Jesus’ murder, had him beaten, and delivered him over to be crucified. Peter was especially acquainted with Herod Agrippa, who executed James, the brother of John, and arrested Peter with the intent of doing the same to him. Then, of course, Peter lived under the tyrannical rule of Nero.

My point is simply to argue that Peter wasn’t naïve about the potential for corruption and evil in those who held governmental and political power. He didn’t live in a “Christian nation”. He knew all too well about the depravity of these men who wielded authority in Rome and Palestine. And yet here he tells us, without hesitation, to “be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,” whether emperors or kings, and to “honor” them.

It’s important to hear what Peter says in this text because his description of Christians as “exiles” and “aliens” and “sojourners” on the earth (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11) might lead some to think that they are exempt from earthly rules and laws and obligations to human authorities. After all, if I am a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, why should I bother obeying the dictates of an earthly system? If this world is not my ultimate home, being as I am an alien and exile in this world, I shouldn’t have to care about following the standards and rules that govern those who know nothing of God or his heavenly kingdom. Right? Wrong!

It is, of course, true that Christians are not first citizens of any earthly nation but citizens of the kingdom of God. Paul write sin Philippians 3:20, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Christians are aliens, exiles, and mere sojourners in America. But that does not mean we are free to live in anarchy or in defiance of the government that God has placed over us.

Peter may also have been anticipating the possibility that some might call for our complete withdrawal from the world and from society. On numerous occasions in history Christian communities have created their own spiritual ghettos and enclaves and communes in which they swear allegiance only to themselves and refuse to acknowledge the authority of the state in any respect. I think Peter is saying, No, you can’t do that.

There is yet another reason Peter says what he does in this passage. Look at v. 15. Just as our conduct in general can be used of God to bring people to saving faith in Christ, so also our law-abiding obedience to the governing authorities can silence the unwarranted accusations of those who oppose us.

Although there is much in this passage, what I want you to see is that all of life, even our political lives, in relation to the governing authorities, must be grounded in God and for God and reflect our relationship to God. Why do I say that?

Let’s start with v. 13 where Peter justifies his exhortation: it is “for the Lord’s sake.” Our obedience to the governing authorities is at best only secondary. Our primary allegiance is to God. We obey them because we obey him. Peter also intends to say by this that our ultimate aim in obedience to the law of the land is the glory of God. It is for his “sake,” i.e., to bring honor to him and to make known his greatness and his majesty that we give our lives in obedience to the emperor or king or president or whoever is in power.

We do not simply obey in order to preserve our reputation but to enhance and promote his!

This God-centered approach to our civic duties is again made clear in v. 15. We live in obedience to the law because it is “the will of God” that in doing so we silence those who persist in accusing us and slandering us (recall 1 Peter 2:12). Again, according to v. 16 we are to live in this world not primarily as the subjects of an earthly president but as “servants of God.”

(5) Although we are submissive to the authority of government, Christians have a responsibility as citizens of both heaven and earth to influence for good the government under which they live.

Let me mention only a couple of examples where believers publicly criticized government and its leaders and sought to exert a positive influence on governmental officials and held them accountable to biblical values of morality.

“Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Daniel 4:27).

“So with many other exhortations he [John the Baptist] preached good news to the people. But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison” (Luke 3:18-20).

“After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, ‘Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you’” (Acts 24:24-25).

When Paul says that God ordains human government and invests it with authority, he does not mean to suggest that government is therefore free to do as it pleases. It is subject to God and his will. Government is not morally autonomous. The church is the conscience of the state. Let’s not forget that in 1 Peter 5:13 Peter calls Rome “Babylon”!

On what issues ought we seek to exert our influence? Certainly it would include such matters as sexual morality, dignity of life (i.e., abortion), education, the environment, poverty and homelessness, war and national defense, the principles of right and wrong that govern the economy, and marriage and family, just to mention a few.

We read in Romans 13 and elsewhere that the primary purpose of the state is to preserve and protect public morality, justice, and to insure the punishment of the offender. It is not the purpose of the state to promote the gospel, but to provide a legal and moral atmosphere in which the church can do its work (1 Tim. 2:1-2).

Thus when you vote you should ask the question: Which candidates or which political party is most effective in promoting moral righteousness and praising good when it appears and who is most committed to punishing and prohibiting evil? Which candidates or which political party is most sincerely committed to the advancement of biblical values.

If someone says that in doing this we are legislating our morality, we should respond by saying, “Well, yes, of course we are!” But if we don’t legislate our morality you can rest assured they will legislate theirs. All laws are moral statements. Every law that forbids some action or requires another is declaring that something is either wrong or right, that it is either beneficial or destructive to society.

(6) Although Christians are responsible to exert a positive influence on government, nowhere in the NT do we see that Elders in the local church, by virtue of their being Elders, have authority in or responsibility over local, state, or national government decision-making. Elders can certainly hold public office, but they do so as private citizens and not because of their office in the local church. Likewise, nowhere in the NT do we see governmental officials exerting authority over the local church or selecting its officers or dictating what it must believe or how its people must behave.

(7) No government or earthly authority or political party platform ever sent anyone to hell. Politics has no such power. On the other hand, unrepentant pride and immorality and rebellion and unbelief do send people to hell. They have precisely that power. Similarly, no government or earthly authority or political platform can save a single human soul. On the other hand, Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone can.

I hope that provides you with a measure of perspective as you vote on Tuesday. I hope that puts your fears to rest and fills your heart with joy irrespective of the outcome of Tuesday’s election or any election in the years to come.

(8) The confession that “Jesus is Lord” is not simply a declaration of faith and an acknowledgement that He is the Master of our lives individually and as a church. It is also a political statement.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18), declares Jesus. And he means it! That includes every government in the world. It includes every president, premier, prime minister, and peasant.

It means that how we live every day in relation to the government and our neighbors and our friends and our enemies is to be shaped and energized by the inescapable reality that Jesus has authority over them and over us.

So, with this I close.

Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is the Savior of the world. Neither is the Savior of America! Whoever is elected President on Tuesday, he is among those small ‘k’ “kings” over whom Jesus rules as capital ‘K’ “King”! Regardless of who wins on Tuesday, Jesus is still “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16; 17:14).

No matter how things turn out on Tuesday or on any day thereafter, Jesus is still seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday, Jesus will not have failed. Political events are always and ever in his hands, no matter the results. And regardless of how you vote and regardless of who wins, be certain that your faith and confidence and hope are in Jesus Christ, Lord over all of life in heaven and upon the earth!

23 Responses to “Thinking about the Election from a Biblical Point of View (Sam Storms)”

  1. “thinking about the ELECTION” I thought it was going to be something about calvinism, haha.

  2. “Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilization, what there is particularly immortal about yours?” Chesterton

    What if, under your paradigm, God has willed an end to the American empire? Surely the end of every past empire has been willed and brought to pass by him.

  3. This is good, and I agree with almost all of it. I especially liked the last part. But I’d love it if you could comment on the Pilgrims’ escape to the Americas and especially the American Revolution. No doubt God is sovereign, but what would you say to the participating individuals? And what, if anything, does it mean for us? Thank you very much.

  4. Nicely ties in to your sermon from Sunday. I was tidying up the coffee area through most of your sermon but routinely I could be heard uttering a hearty “Aaaaamen”. (Old Baptists habits, die hard. Aaaamen.)

  5. I see no biblical reference to support your number five point and neither do you supply any (as you know, narrative doesn’t count – not to mention that the Luke and Acts references are more examples of confronting personal sin and sharing ones faith than attempts at influencing government). To say that “Christians have a responsibility as citizens of both heaven and earth to influence for good the government under which they live” means that if I don’t influence government or chose not to influence government I have been at least irresponsible, and even worse I have sinned since you make influencing government an immperiative. There is absolutely no biblical imperative to do as you suggest. Or am I missing one? It’s a pretty strong thing to say that we have a RESPONSIBILITY to do something when God never says any such thing. It seems to me that influencing government is a freedom area concerning which we have no business judging other brothers’ and sisters’ choices of how they exercise that freedom. Let’s stop put legalistic law on the backs of the saints. I’m very surprised at your soddy work regarding this point. I would never have thought you of all teachers would miss so badly. I have appreciated and benefitted from much of what you have said previously. I hope you will not only respond, but seriously consider changing your mind, retract the point and give an explantion as to why you have. Or, that you will give a better biblical defense for the original point you make. Show us from the Bible where Christians are given the responsibility (not the none bidding opportunity) to influence government. Respectfully…

  6. Yes, and… like Scott, I am quite interested in knowing what you think of the many revolutions of the ages passed, American revolution in particular. Specifically, for someone who is caught up in an ongoing revolution, how do they decide which path follows the path of God?

    I also agree that “It is not the purpose of the state to promote the gospel, but to provide a legal atmosphere in which the church can do its work (1 Tim. 2:1-2).” I took away the word “moral”, because I disagree that “legislating our morality” is a way “to provide a legal and moral atmosphere in which the church can do its work”. I don’t think that is what 1 Tim 2 is saying. Moreover, under such a framework, the Pharisees, who enforced biblical laws, would have provide a much better political atmosphere than did Romans, who allowed for all sorts of moral debaucheries. Paul therefore had every reason to condemn the Roman monarchy, instead of asking Christians to obey them.

    Nonetheless, I do agree with most of the points highlighted above. Bravo!

  7. Dear Sam,
    Thank you for tackling a difficult subject. You offer much to refect on, especially with the timing of the election, and the reasons we cast our votes. You have provided many valid scriptures to support your theses points, most notably items 1 thru 5, and 8. For what it’s worth, I agree with the entirity of your perspective. I admit, I am no theologian, but I can think and discern. I suppose some could find holes in a few points such as the morality statement, but I am not among them. I would like your input concerning the great wars of the twentieth century and the fact that God allowed or put into place evil powers which caused the deaths of so many millions of people. I know man is inherantly evil, and that power corrupts, but in light of the fact that God is in control why do you think He allowed so many to suffer and die in WWI and WW2? Did the peoples of earth need cleansing, punishing, humbling? Your insight would be most appreciated. Also, as others have mentioned, how did the revolutionaries of America justify making war with England? Did they really have a biblical right to do so? I have often wondered about this. I appreciate your ministry and your time. Michael

  8. Greetings from Canada, actually province of New Brunswick! Have watched with interest the upcoming election but have little insight on the issues. I guess as Sam has stated vote with your conscience and know GOD is there. Whatever the outcome our hope remains in him , through our Saviour Jesus Christ. For the sake of those who died for your freedom, please DO vote. I shall watch from afar, well actually I’m about 20 miles from the Maine border. God’s blessing!

  9. Sam- two minor thoughts on parts of your excellent article:

    You wrote: “God is absolutely sovereign and authoritative over who rules, where they exercise their power (its boundaries and extent), over whom they have authority, and for how long.”
    Defining God’s sovereignty in this manner would mean that this type of “control” over government can only mean that God exerts this type of control over all things and beings. God would therefore be “absolutely sovereign and authoritative” over every person and the sins they commit. And this would therefore mean that there is NOTHING that comes to pass that God does not “CASUE” or “FORCE” to come to pass.
    The Bible says the “powers that be are ordained of God”. Powers not persons. It is clear that he allows those who come to power.
    Your definition of “sovereignty” at best impugns God, and at worst causes God to be the source, architect and builder of all sins and sinners.
    Secondly you wrote: “On the other hand, unrepentant pride and immorality and rebellion and unbelief do send people to hell. They have precisely that power.”
    God is the one who casts people in Hell, not “unrepentant pride and immorality and rebellion”. Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (It is God who casts into Hell, not the individual’s unrepentant pride and immorality and rebellion —- see also Eze 31:16; Mt 5:29-30; 18:9; Mr 9:45,47; Lu 12:5; 2Pe 2:4; Re 20:14)
    Additionally, “unrepentant pride and immorality and rebellion” are not what sends a person to Hell (even indirectly). The reason one is cast into Hell, and ultimately the lake of fire, by God is because they do not have eternal life (i.e. names written in the lamb’s book of life). And the ONLY WAY A PERSON GETS ETERNAL LIFE IS BY BELIEVING ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. No one receives eternal life by “becoming repentant, being humble and becoming moral and obedient”.

  10. Great post. I think it would have been stronger by explicitly addressing Hitler (the revolution point is a good one too), and also the early Christian church’s refusal to submit to the call of Rome to call Caesar Lord. Government’s authority is established by God, but is subsidiary to God’s rule. We are not obligated to violate God’s explicit commandments in scripture so that we might to submit to govt.

    The post comes from a Calvinistic tyep viewpoint with a high view of the sovereignty of God. It’s one that profoundly troubles me. But Jeff, at some level predestination/strong sovereignty is inescapble, even in a Deistic world. If God foreknows the future, and can do whatever He wants, then He still arranged the circumstances of the world to produce the outcomes He desires. How is this not predestination? For example, God didn’t have to put the serpent in the garden, but He did. That was not man’s work. God surely knew positively the result that would follow. If He created the world this way anyway, how is that not a sovereign expression of His power? If God is not sovereign, then He is not in control of our lives – sinful men with free will are.

    I don’t know if it’s been proven, but it seems axiomatic that all metaphysical systems produce apparent paradox and problems. For example, we appear to have free will and operate as if we do, yet in a metaphysics of philsophical naturalism, this is an illusion. The universe is deterministic (or perhaps more accurately probibilistic). How do we reconcile?

    The mystery of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will is something to which I’ve never read a compelling answer. I believe it will always be one of those things through which we continue to see through a glass darkly. Or maybe one of you has an answer :)

    In the meantime, I choose to trust in the Lord.

  11. I enjoyed the references to Daniel in these thoughts. It reminded me of how Daniel stood up against the law of the Land when deception was used bythe other govenors of the Land and they had Darius enact a law that anyone caught praying to another God would be punished by being thrown in the Lions Den. These men knew that Daniel would be faithful to his God and continue to pray to him as he always did.Since Daniel was caught doing so he was cast into the Lions Den. We all know what happened at that point. God Blessed Daniels obedience, and spared him. How do we fit this into our scenario of being respectful to waht we know is wrong?

  12. We have seen the enemy and it is us.
    Jesus says to give up everything you have and come follow me. I think Chritians need to know what to do exactly. They have been dictated to by the culture and have bought into an ungodly American Dream. To begin, start by spending an hour each morning receiving direction from God. Have home church with your family on a regular basis. The basic unit of sanity in the Bible is the home and the marriage. Not the Sunday church building once a week. But, we have no home life anymore. Our lives belong to the corporations and to our activities, etc. Quit your job if you have to. Spend time with God seeking to know Him and seeking his Way not your own idea of how to live. Start sleeping and eating in a healthy God-honoring way. Lower your lifestyle if you have to. In fact do if even if you don’t have to . Make radical changes to prove to yourself that you are devoted to God. Go ahead, give up life as you have known it. It is not working for us. Start a new solid foundation based on God’s principles. Become who you really are. Don’t compromise. When we have done this with our families and ourselves, then we can talk about what to do for our neighbor, community and government. Until we have changed ourselves, we cannot ask others to change who know no better.

  13. Lighten up on deering a little, this was not his attempt to totally explain everything that God has to say about what a christian can and can’t do involving our Government, and was not a total 100% every scripture of every written view on GODS sovereignty either, Come on Christian brothers and sisters, are we not all under the grace of Jesus Christ? this is not a forum for debate , but an opportunity for each of us to sharpen our iron, with insite and our personal understanding of Gods word, Not one of us has fully arrived to the point of full understanding of the written word, and if you think you have God shall give you a lesson in Humility. Part of the problem with us christians is that we are quick to jump on one another with our own limited knowledge of the scriptures and want to sometimes act as if we are a privledged individual, who knows more than the next Christian, where is the grace and Humility in some of these commentsstriking out at Deering and challenging him to what would seem a dualing match, We are not to attack each other , but rather to have encouraging dialog so as to spur one another on to an equal understanding of the word that would create unity not, anamosity between brothers and sisters, the scripture Ephisians 4:11-16 specifically vs.15 speaking the truth in love,is wwhat I see as missingin some of your comments, and I see no umility in them.If you have a view of another christians view of scripture the bible clearly states that we should in love discern the truth at all times, not to rebuke another borther or sister, but to enlighten him to your view, to study the scriptures together, and to seek the advice of many councelors, sometimes we have to agree to disagree, even about the scriptures and their interpretations,scripture will interpret scripture and we should study tigether to ariuve at the truth together as much as it is possible, and when no clear answer comes to us we must inquire of the Lord and the Holy spirit to reveal…

  14. I would simply add to deerings post here that as christians God has direct that we are to be in the world but not of the world, we as christians should stand frim on the word of God, we shoould make our stand when it involves anything pertaining to this world that we are in , but not of. the Best thing we as christians can and have failed to do is 100% every christian vote for the man/ woman who aligns morally and ethicly with our christian values. How did our government get so far from them, when you consider that the Forefathers had Judeo Christian values and were inspired to write the U.S. CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS! I have ask many people for the last 4 years this question, who governs our government, best answer i got was from a non christian farmer who new about GOd But was not a christan believer in Jesus Christ,his answer”It used to be GOD, but these fools think that they are god!” when only 1 /4 christians bother to vote, it doesn’t take to many math skills to see how we have arrived to a point where non christains for the most part are out side of GOD running our Government, we have allowed those lacking integrity, honesty, and morrals to be elected by those of the world who do not accept the Judeo Christian views, thus we have men who embrace gay marriage, abortion, which God calls murder, men who are more concerned about their own incomes and well being than their fellow man the citizens of this country, we were originally defined As America by these very same christian values, mostly aligined by the ten commandments, but now because we have failed to vote for Godly menand hold them to accountability to our identity as a christian nation we have what we deserve! If God does intervein on behalf of Christian we shall never be restored as a truely christian Nation, and al this was allowed by God , in spite of our selves, We as christians failed to hold our officails feet to the fire and measure them with the rod of truth, we failed not the…


  1. 8 Theses on God and Government – Justin Taylor - November 5, 2012

    […] Sam Storms: (1) Human government is not inherently evil. The structures of authority in any particular political system are not per se wicked. All human governmental authority comes ultimately from the hand of God. Government is used for evil because people are sinful, not because the authority of the ruling party is wicked or should be abolished. […]

  2. Thoughts on the Election « The Beginning of the End - November 5, 2012

    […] Thinking about the Election from a Biblical Point of View (Sam Storms) […]

  3. Links I Like | Blogging Theologically - November 6, 2012

    […] Thinking about the Election from a Biblical Point of View […]

  4. Praying and voting « Stray Thoughts - November 6, 2012

    […] Thinking about the election from a Biblical point of view. […]

  5. Glen Davis » … - November 6, 2012

    […] Thinking about the Election from a Biblical Point of View (Sam Storms) | Parchment and Pen […]

  6. Destinations « Luggaged - November 6, 2012

    […] Day is here. Sam Storms offers some Biblical sanity on this day of decision. The last point he makes is my favorite: The […]

  7. Christian Carnival 2012: November Issue | The Bible Archive - November 8, 2012

    […] Sam Storms takes a Biblical View on The Election. […]

  8. Election Roundup | Aliens and Exiles - November 11, 2012

    […] So, the election has passed and we now know that President Obama was the victor. As one of the article titles below indicates, some Christians may now be feeling elation, and others despair. We may be asking what this election means for our future personally and for the future of the nation both in the next four years and beyond. Some may be wondering how we should respond and what kind of positive action can be taken both now and in preparation for future elections. Others may be thinking about the theological implications of this victory: is God really in control? Was it in accordance with the will of God that President Obama won the election? If so, why? As we contemplate and discuss these issues and others, I feel it is vitally important that, as Christians, we are doing so from a biblical point of view. It is imperative that we allow the word of God (and not our sin nature) to be our guide in these things. Before I cease posting on politics (at least for a while), I wanted to post one last group of articles that I found to be wonderfully helpful in considering these issues from a Christian perspective. Thinking About the Election From a Biblical Point of View […]

  9. Eight Theses on God and Government | Caffeinated Thoughts - October 11, 2013

    […] you go to the polls today here are eight theses from Sam Storms on God and […]

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