For those who question the qualifications of President Trump to effectively govern this nation, there are some helpful directives in Scripture. What are the responsibilities of civic leaders in the Bible? They are found in passages referring to "governing authorities" and "human institutions" (Rom. 13:1-4, 1 Pet 2:13), not references concerning the qualifications for church leaders (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1:6-9 and 1 Pet. 5:1-3). Roles and responsibilities for civic leaders and church leaders are different, as are the qualities that characterize these leaders.
Where church leaders are given an extensive list of conditions, stipulations and expectations concerning their moral conduct and personal behavior, those who are called to govern the land are given but a few simple directives:
- Be a servant for the good of the people (Rom. 13:3-4).
- Punish ("bring terror to") wrongdoers and those who do evil (1 Pet. 2:13-14).
- Praise those who do good (1 Pet. 2:13-14).
When the Bible addresses leaders who govern human institutions, there is no mention of personal conduct or even "Christian" moral behavior. Rather, the emphasis is on following and upholding the laws of the land in order for the people to be secure and to flourish. Acknowledging this distinction should enable believers to rightly discern the effectiveness of our current president as a governing authority.
Since taking office in 2017, President Trump has consistently demonstrated his commitment to serving the good of the people. For example, his economic policies and achievements have put many people back to work and revived many American-made industries, bringing renewed hope and vigor to the workplace. He has taken initiative with hostile world leaders, not only making trade deals that were thought impossible but demonstrating a God-given authority to those who seek to do us harm. As such, he is fulfilling the responsibility of punishing wrongdoers. He praises those who do good: His partnership with evangelical leaders and support for persecuted Christians around the world has displayed honor and appreciation for faith-driven initiatives and those who fear God. His track record, thus far, is showing a resolve to be an effective leader and powerful change agent in this nation for the good of the people.
Even as we continue to pray that our elected officials would have a life-changing encounter with Christ that influences their role, this is not a qualifying factor for them to lead effectively. Throughout history, God has used leaders who may not have known Him as well as those who do (Gen. 41, Neh. 8, Isa. 45, Acts 26:30-32).
We must continue to pray for our current president and those who govern this land. Where their personal behavior or conduct may seem to be lacking by Christian standards, we can still rest our faith in God's ability and intent to use them for our good and for His glory.
- Pray for President Trump to have a soft heart towards the people of this nation, as a father would his children (Ps. 103:13).
- Pray for continued courage in confronting our enemies, both spiritual and natural, in order to free us from tyranny and terror (Deut. 31:6).
- Bless President Trump's actions and initiatives that are supporting Christians and partnering with the faith community for the good of the nation (Phil. 1:4-6).
Wanda Alger ministers with her husband in Winchester, Virginia. Follow her blog at wandaalger.me.
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