3 Principles for Relating to the Government

Juan Sanchez | May 13, 2016

“Almost any government is better than no government,” Mark Dever once said. But he said it before this primary season. Perhaps you look at the current race and the choice likely to face us all in the general election come November and think, Really?

Yet we likely wouldn’t think the U. S. situation is so bad if we lived in Syria or Yemen. Those who’ve experienced no government will know what the Bible teaches, but it’s easy to forget in the relatively peaceful West that government is a gift of God’s grace. Lack of human authority combined with the human tendency to sin is never a recipe for peace or prosperity. Almost any government is better than no government.

But how—as subjects of a greater King who deserves and demands our primary obedience—are we to relate to our government? Are we to be revolutionaries, or patriots, or conscientious objectors, or constant complainers?

Peter’s first letter speaks to the heart of our uneasy relationship with government. The apostle gives us three principles for an attitude check—a check we’ll need repeatedly between now and November 8, and beyond.


1. Submit, don’t worship.

First, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution”—literally to every human “creature” (1 Pet. 2:13). Peter is making a…

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