Scripture is the standard for politics, and it’s not neutral on the subject. Nowhere does Scripture give the state complete authority, exempt from obeying the Lord. Didn’t John the Baptist reprimand Herod for uncovering the nakedness of his brother’s wife? Didn’t Paul write that the rulers are not a terror to good conduct but to bad conduct? Didn’t he write that rulers are ministers (deacons) to do good? Didn’t Isaiah say the government would rest on Christ’s shoulders, that He would be the King of kings?
It’s lunacy to say rulers must do good and that they can define what “good” is. Abortion, homosexual mirage, and adultery is “good” if our rulers set the standard. So what’s the Bible say about leadership? More specifically, what should we look for in a ruler?
Exodus 18:21 says we are to elect leaders who “fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness”. When Jethro spoke these words to Moses, he was encouraging him to find men who would “serve as God’s representatives”, men who could “teach them God’s law, so they will know what to do. They will learn to govern themselves.” (Gary Demar, Ruler of Nations) So what do we see in these instructions that make men capable of teaching the people God’s law? Let’s break this down.
We find in Psalm 111:10 that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Do you see how this Psalm makes the connection between those who fear the Lord and those that keep His word? Those who obey the commandments of the Lord are those who fear Him. We can discern which leader fear the Lord by looking at their obedience. Do the leaders you want elected fear God? Do they keep his commandments?
Remember: Jesus said those who love the Lord keep His commandments (John 14:15). Does your candidate show his love for the Lord by keeping the commandments? There’s no middle ground with your candidate. We must not vote for the “lesser of two evils”, but elect one who fears the Lord. Gary Demar writes: “The representative is under God and sworn to uphold God’s law. He represents men before God and God before men. He speaks in God’s name.”
Men of Truth
Jethro instructs Moses to select a man of truth. This is clarified later in chapter 23: “Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.” Not only does being truthful keep a person from his own sin, it also keeps those under the ruler’s authority safe. The righteous go free, living in liberty, and the wicked receive their just punishments. The righteous should not suffer injustice at a leader’s hands. Christians who do not hold leaders accountable to the truth are asking to be judged by God through that particular leader.
In Exodus 23, Moses writes: “And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.” Neither the person who takes bribes nor the one who gives bribes is fit for leadership. The greatest political leader ceases to be eligible if found to be caught in bribery. They are blinded and corrupted by the whims of those to whom they are enslaved. R. J. Rushdoony wrote, “The judge thus must be blind to the persons in the case, and must see the issues involved. A bribe reverses this order, and the judge is then blind to the issues and sees only the persons”. We cannot ignore this seemingly trivial transgression in order to elect the party we desire or the person we look up to.
Since God has given us a standard, we must abide by it willingly and joyfully. It is tragic how often we look to the lesser of evils rather than the greatest of goods! If we look past these standards, we are despising God’s blessing on our nation in order to pander to political parties. Instead, we should say with the Psalmist: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12).