It might be my imagination, but it sure seems to me that our country is getting more polarized every year. Politically, of course—election seasons seem to get nastier each cycle—but also socially, economically, racially, and across gender lines. Angry demonstrators call themselves “the Resistance.” Football players and even cheerleaders and band members kneel during the national anthem to show how disgusted they are with their country.
There will always be a gap between the high ideals on which our country was founded and the actual reality of day-to-day life, but that doesn’t justify contempt for our elected officials. Obedience to the law shouldn’t be conditional on whether or not we like the political party that’s running Congress.
Christ and the apostles lived in a political system that was far less free than ours, and they modeled for us the Christian way of civic life: “Show proper respect to everyone . . . fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17). The land of Israel, small and weak at their time, had not been a truly independent country for centuries, but God’s church flourished anyway. The Roman Empire, though often violent and corrupt, provided some significant opportunities for the church to grow. Flawed government is better than chaos.
Think of how many Christians today live in countries far more oppressive than ours, and yet God is not calling the believers there to start political revolutions. Since we are citizens of an eternal kingdom in heaven, we don’t have to try to get it all now.