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When discussing civil government, people have a lot of different ideas as to what is needed to fix our broken governments. But actually, the fix is quite simple. We need to recognize that government is God’s institution, and that it takes statesmen to operate it the way God intended it to work.
When statesmen, not politicians, are in office, deeds consistent with the Word of God are the normal thing. Now it’s true, we haven’t seen very many of those people in office for a very long time—nearly a hundred years now. So where do we go for a comparison? How can we know if someone is a statesman, instead of a politician? Let me first describe the difference.
A politician is one who is skilled in how to get things done in government. This oftentimes takes the shape of manipulation or bribery. A statesman is one who stands in the gatherings of government and states the truth about issues. He stands for the truth no matter what the cost to him or his position. Because his great desire is to see the truth written into law, he goes to great length to make sure he knows the truth. This always leads him toward the God of the Bible, since Jesus is “…the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6). Thus, the true statesman will state and do only what Jesus says and does.
While there are few we can point to today and address as statesmen, there have been many in America’s past who qualified for this high calling. William Bradford, the Pilgrim’s Governor for thirty-five years, was such a man. He was not afraid to acknowledge Christ and His teaching as the reason they started this nation. When he wrote their history twenty-five years after they came to America, he used revealing language to tell why they first came together. He wrote:
“It is well known to the godly and judicious how since the first breaking out of the light of the gospel in our…nation of England, (which was the first of nations whom the Lord adorned therewith, after the gross darkness…), what wars and oppositions ever since, Satan, has raised…and continued against the Saints, from time to time, in one sort or other. Some times by bloody death and cruel torments; [at other times] imprisonments, banishments, and other [hardships]…being loath [that] his kingdom should go down, and truth prevail, and the churches of God revert to their ancient purity and recover their primitive order, liberty, and beauty.
“But when he could not prevail by these means against the main truths of the gospel, but…they began to take root in many places, being watered by the blood of the martyrs, and blessed from heaven with a gracious increase; he then began to take to his ancient stratagem used of old against the first Christians.
“Satan…forced in a number of vile…decrees, which have since been as snares to many…peaceable souls even to this day.”
(192. Bradford, William. 1650, in his famous work entitled, The History of Plymouth Plantation 1608-1650 (Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856; Boston, Massachusetts: Wright and Potter Printing Company, 1898, 1901, from the Original Manuscript, Library of Congress Rare Book Collection, Washington, D.C.; rendered in Modern English, Harold Paget, 1909; NY: Russell and Russell, 1968; NY: Random House, Inc., Modern Library College edition, 1981; San Antonio, TX: American Heritage Classics, Mantle Ministries, 228 Still Ridge, Bulverde, Texas, 1988))
In 2017, we’re ashamed to use this kind of language because we don’t know God like they did. But can our republic be maintained without knowing Christ like they did? Can we hope to avoid the enslavement of a dictator if we continue to embrace shame about Christ? Paul said,
“Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.” (Galatians 5:1)
Do we state the truth? Remember, our government servants are really just a perfect mirror—of us!
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.