I knew it would come up ugly after the 2015 Canadian General Election
It did not take long. People really act out when they do not get their way. On the 19th of October, Canadians turned out in the largest numbers in twenty years, to vote for change, and it was a resounding rumble that turned to a roar from the Maritimes to the West Coast. The red wave replaced the orange wave that had been projected to be the only challenger to the Conservative Party of Canada (CBC). The Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) came through by capturing the more socialist left vote from the New Democratic Party (NDP), and taking away the soft conservative and centrist vote. The red wave crushed the orange and the blue and the green. The Liberals ended up with a complete majority, which in Canada, pretty well guarantees dictatorial type leadership where the government is able to pass whatever legislation they please, no matter the outcry from the other parties or the Canadian public.
The cry was for change, and change is what we have
The cry across the country going as far back as eighteen months ago had been for change. People were tired of Stephen Harper and his style of leadership and his abrasive approach to issues that upset Canadians. The main theme was “change” and “stop Harper”. The one constant from the CPC side was that Harper refused to make any changes and just kept pimping his views on a stable economy and jobs. That was never going to be enough for the Canadian people, and they showed up in large numbers to turf out the then ruling CPC. The people of Canada voted for change and change is what we now have. I just wonder how long the honeymoon will last with all those who voted for change.
The actions of a few zealous Christians is becoming a disturbing trend
This election perhaps more than any other previous election revealed a growing trend among Charismatic Evangelicals in particular, in Canada, which sadly mirrors much of what I have seen happening in the United States. There is a disturbing understanding and application to the role of the state and the Church in the world, and an equally disturbing understanding of spiritual warfare and how Charismatic Evangelicals engage with society and culture. This is increasing in Canada, and I personally find this to be to the detriment to what it means to be the “Church” in society.
I am blessed to be in an Anabaptist fellowship, where people are encouraged to pray FOR people who are in government, and NOT against those who have become elected officials. The Sunday prior to the election, the 18th, one of the servant leaders spoke to and about our need to pray for the election and for those that are elected, without regard for whatever party comes to power.
Praying against a leader or party is demonic and you will reap it back into your life
Prior to the election, through social media and Christian web sites, as well as news articles, there were those calling for Christians to vote in a particular way, which I personally find to be very offensive and infringing on my citizen rights as a Canadian. As much as parties solicit your vote, Christians and Christian organizations need to STOP being political, and understand the bigger picture. The bigger picture quite frankly is that we are dual citizens, as we are both citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and of Canada. Paul the apostle who wrote most of the New Testament canon of Scripture was on point on this, as he echoed the teaching of Jesus, when Jesus said to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” [Mark 12:17; Matthew 22:21].
We first read of Paul in the Book of Acts and we find there his story, testimony and his adventures of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ across the Roman Empire. We find him using his Roman citizenship to defend his rights and use the laws of Rome when being threatened by Jewish opposition to him and the Gospel. He does this in several situations over and over (see Acts 22, 25) Paul spoke of our citizenship being in Heaven (Philippians 3:20-21) and kept a heart focused on the will of God even though he desired to depart this world, he saw the need to remain in this world for the sake of the Gospel and people (Philippians 1:24). He understood the tension between the “kingdoms of this world” and the “Kingdom of God”.
Paul’s insight on Roman government and government as a whole is found in Romans 13: 1-7.
1-3 Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
3-5 Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
6-7 That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.
We need to understand that the Roman form of government was not a Western Democracy. It was a dictatorship. Read the above words carefully. If you are a Christian, especially so, as this letter from Paul was directed to believers such as yourself. If you are not a Christian, read them anyway, for it shows clearly how ethically and morally Christians are to behave and conduct themselves in the affairs of state as citizens of that state.
So what does Paul say?
- You, we, are all to be good citizens.
- Governments are ordained by God.
- If there is peace and order it is God’s order.
- Live responsibly as a citizen. If you are irresponsible to the state then you are irresponsible to God, and God will hold you responsible.
- A reminder that the authorities are only a threat to you if you are trying to get away with something.
- Decent citizens have nothing to fear.
- You can be on good terms with the government by being a responsible citizen with government working to your advantage.
- If you are breaking the rules you will be held accountable as God has an interest in keeping order and He uses the authorities and their designated representatives of the law to keep order.
- Christians should live responsibly, not simply to avoid punishment but because it is the right thing to do morally and ethically.
- You pay taxes so that an orderly life can be maintained.
- Fulfill your citizen obligations of paying your taxes, pay your bills, and respect your leaders.
What I have seen from Christians over the last year, and this is not all Christians, but many who are in Charismatic ministries, publications, or have influence through social media and websites, is a call to pray, “wage warfare” against certain leaders and parties. What I saw happening in Canada was disgusting and disturbing, where these leaders were calling on Christians to not support certain leaders and parties, and that if you are a “real Christian” (whatever that is supposed to mean”, then you will support a certain party and its leader and candidates.
This is dangerous for two reasons
This is really dangerous for several reasons. First there is the issue that nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to pray against any human being. In fact the “spiritual warfare” passage that is often used is found in Ephesians 6, and there is nothing here about human beings, but rather the conflict is spiritual and it is between demonic and holy spiritual beings, and it is fought in the heavens. We are exhorted to pray FOR people and not against them, and we are called to love people, especially our enemies. So how does praying against Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada do anything good or God honoring? It does the very opposite.
Secondly, the universal principle of Scripture that affects believers and non-believers alike, is that we “reap what we sow”.
GALATIANS 6 [ESV]
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
So, in applying this principle, our heart attitudes that cause us to act and sow in a particular way that does not honor God or the people we pray for, causes in the spiritual realm to have the same thing come back into our own lives, and cause havoc in our own lives. We need to be aware that we cannot act irresponsibly when we pray and seek God. We will reap what we sow. To emphasize the power of that principle and its destructive nature if it done for the wrong intent, is found in Hosea 8:7
For they sow the wind,
and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads;
it shall yield no flour;
if it were to yield,
strangers would devour it.
Dear friends it matters a great deal, not only that you do pray, but also how you pray, and your attitude in praying. We all need to pray FOR people and situations, and for the rule of God in our lives and in our hearts and in the land. We need to pray for the leaders of our nation, NO MATTER what party they are affiliated with, and we need to earnestly support them as they seek to govern our land.
We can learn from the Scriptures
We have examples in the Christian Scriptures that show us how even Jews who were taken into captivity, ended advising rulers and becoming rulers themselves in the land in which they were living. One dramatic story of this kind is the life of Joseph. His being sold in slavery ended up being his means to fulfill his prophetic destiny, and saving his family. When there was the fall of Judea and Israel and the Babylonian captivity, Daniel and other wise young Jews were elevated in the ranks of the administration of the empire and were able to influence decisions. Others such as Mordecai in the story of Esther were in roles where they exerted great influence on the rule of the land, and in Mordecai’s case and Esther, both were used to save the Jewish people. Later we have the story of Nehemiah who served the king who used his influence to set the stage for the return of the Jewish people to Palestine.
The point being made here is simple
- It is really quite simple. Stop praying against people who exercised godly authority over your life. It is by God’s authority that they rule our nation. Stop praying these kinds of demonic prayers, for your will reap what you sow in your own life. If you care about God, your country and your own family and your own life, stop this foolishness before you regret what is unleashed in your own life.
- Start operating from an attitude of thankfulness that you can participate in a democracy, that is yes, imperfect, but it still works well enough and can be made better by cooperation rather than resistance. Start cooperating and start by praying for all our leaders.
- Pray that God positions people with godly character and righteousness that will exert influence on the decision makers in the nation. Pray that God raises up many believers who will serve our government leaders with integrity and righteousness and speak for God, simply by how they live out their lives with those leaders who were just elected.
- Pray for God to redeem and save those who do not yet know Him personally, who are our elected representatives in Parliament. Send emails and letters of encouragement and support to all Members of Parliament. Show them you care.
- Lastly, let us put away these silly and childish ways of dealing with our disappointments. The election is over. The Liberals are in for five years. Do not put stress on your life when you don’t need to. Return to prayer and asking God to bless our leaders and our nation. You will end up with less stress, fewer wrinkles, and less likely to suffer angina or a stroke. Just release your concerns to God in prayer and thankfulness.
Remember God was not taken by surprise by the results of the election.