The Bahamas has just completed another election. This recent election was very different than most, occurring in the midst of a pandemic, economic crisis and a myriad of other challenges. There are many questions arising out of the election and much to analyze. There are questions and lessons and more questions. For the believer/Christian/kingdom citizen, what does it mean and what should our response be going forward?
The first thing to remember is that regardless of who won or lost, if you follow the tenets of the Bible and the words of Jesus, we have to first of all realize that we have a government that supersedes the existing governments. In a sense, it does not matter who won or lost because our responsibilities remain the same. Our first responsibility is always to our king (supreme leader) who is never up for re-election. Our government is not democratic and there are no votes on policies. We simply submit to and obey the laws of our king. Scriptures are very clear on what we should do and how we should interact with earth-based governments.
Here is what I believe scripture advises us to do as believers:
Pray for whoever is in power: The Bible admonishes to always pray for those in authority. We are told to pray, so that our lives would be peaceful, and we can advance the kingdom agenda in the earth because the most important agenda of all is the kingdom agenda (which is why Jesus said seek FIRST the kingdom).
We should submit to authority: We should always seek to be good citizens and submit to legitimate governing authorities. If we have a government that is elected democratically, we should all submit to the will of the electorate and allow that government to do its job. It does not mean we agree with every policy, and not let our voices be heard, but it does mean we submit to the rule of law to ensure that there is order in society. The only time when we do not submit is when authorities attempt to dictate our beliefs and determine for us what is right or wrong, or they blatantly attack clearly delineated spiritual values and principles.
Stay involved politically: This one may seem strange to some believers. Many want to stay out of politics and stick with spiritual matters. The problem with that idea is that we then allow only people who are non-believers to govern, which is clearly not what it should be. The Bible tells us when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice. We need to have righteous people involved in all levels of governing and politics to ensure that righteous people are available to govern. We need good people in all parties because government is not just about the party in power. Good government comes from a good pool of people, and we need the righteous in power and opposition. Stay active in all positions of governance, including school and community boards, business and civic organizations.
Ascend to positions of power and influence wherever they may be: I believe we should always seek to have a seat at the table where decisions are made. Decisions that are made affect everyone and only those who are not represented lose out. As a believer, the more positions of influence you occupy, the easier it is to ensure that fairness and goodness prevail. Ownership in business, positions of authority in the community and society are essential, so do not be shy about seeking and securing positions of power and influence. Do not leave power and influence up to corrupt individuals or unrighteous individuals.
Empower yourself: Pursue self-development and self-actualization. Become the very best you can be. Maximize your potential and develop every skill you have. Do not wait for things to happen or others to make a way for you, empower yourself, so that you are in a position to benefit from your God-given opportunities.
Take the principles of the kingdom wherever you go: The principles of the kingdom of God are clear. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, love your neighbor as yourself, seek good and pursue it, be a blessing to everyone you meet. Take these time-tested principles with you wherever you go.
Elections will happen again in five years, but we should never wait on or allow elections and who wins or loses elections to determine how we live and interact. Our attitude and policies should be fixed based upon scriptural principles and we judge politics from that vantage point. We should never bow to political pressure or “favors for wins”. Our position should be steadfast and sure and we should insist on the same things – no matter who is elected or who is in power.
• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange.