One of the throw-away lines that often gets missed in a discussion about civil government appears in Romans 13:6: “rulers are servants of God.” This line, and the truth behind it, ought to seem radical if you know a little bit of the history of Christianity.
In the history of Christianity, various positions with respect to the government have been proposed. Some have embraced a position that Christians are forbidden to serve in civil government office. Others have embraced a position that Christians can only serve in an explicitly Christian government. Still others have said civil government is evil and must be rejected outright.
But the Bible teaches that Christians can serve a secular state. Christians can serve a government agenda that might even be anti-Christian. Service in government for the Christian is a noble calling.
Take note of how government workers are described in Romans 13. In verse 2, they are talked about as serving the “ordinance of God.” Two verses later they are described as a “minister of God.” And in Romans 13:6, as already stated, they are described as “servants of God.”
It is not only pastors and missionaries that serve God, it is police officers, teachers, and military personnel. These public servants do not serve God in the same way as a pastor, but they still serve God. They do not, for example, have the authority to preach or administer the ordinances in the context of the gathered church. Rather, governing officials have authority in temporal affairs, like city zoning, civil laws, and collecting taxes.
This means that Donald Trump and Tim Walz are servants of God. And so are the several that serve in government office in our congregation at Grace Community Bible Church.
Regarding our current governing authorities, therefore, do you spend equal (or more) time in prayer for these officials as you do in criticism of them? Let us criticize less and pray more for the government leaders as they serve God.
Thank you, Lord, for those who serve in government office.