The idea of being zealous (passionate) is nothing new. The Bible is full of example of zelotry (passion).

  • Simeon and Levi took zealous vengeance by killing the men of Shechem for the rape of their sister Dinah (Gen 34:1–31).
  • Elijah was “zealous for the Lord” in killing the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:36–4019:10–18.
  • King Jehu slaughtered all who worshipped Baal (2 Kgs 10:16–27).
  • And King Josiah rooted out idolatry from the land (2 Kgs 22:1–23:30).
  • Paul the apostle identified himself as a former zealot who persecuted Christians to death on behalf of the traditions of the forefathers (Gal 1:13–14Phil 3:6; cf. Acts 22:3 and Rom 10:1–4).
  • In the NT, there were 4 main religious groups; Pharisees, Saducees, Essenes, and Zelots. It was the Zelots who believed that any cooperation with the Government was a violation of the first commandment to not have any false gods.

Being zealous, either for Government or against it, is nothing new.  In America, I think we are blessed by God with the right to vote.  We, as Christians, should be active in voting our faith, but politics should not be our passion.  Our zeal, should really be for something far more important.  Here are a few thoughts from some key passages in the Bible that relate to politics and passion.

Be Zealous for Good Works

Titus 3:1-4
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,

Be Zealous for the Gospel

Using political power to force others to do “good things” is not the same as doing good works.  Our passion should be to help those in need and in so doing we demonstrate the kindness of God.

Acts 5:27
When they had brought them, they stood them 1before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and 1yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 “The God of our fathers braised up Jesus, 1whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a 2cross. 31 “He is the one whom God exalted 1to His right hand as a 2bPrince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Be Zealous for Mercy

Sometimes we are forced to disobey the authorities for the sake of the Gospel.  Our passion for Jesus sometimes runs counter to the desires of politicians and in these times we must let our passions rule.

Titus 3:5-11
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs 1according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

Be Zealous for Spiritual Battle

How sad when our Christian faith is defined by the foolish controversies that ensnare politicians.  Regardless of the political system over us; Democracy, Socialism, or Fascism, our passion for mercy should rise above it all.

Eph. 6:10-13
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

In a Republican-Democracy, we have the blessing of voting our conscience. In obedience to the authorities over us, we should participate in the system. But our enemy is not the Republicans or the Democrats. Our enemy is not Roe v. Wade, Nationalized Healthcare, Gay Marriage, or the Military. Our enemy is the spiritual powers that seek to destroy us and hinder the Gospel.

Read more of my article on Faith & Politics @ TheFaithNews.com

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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