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What The Bible Says About Government And Leaders

Posted by Job on June 19, 2007

from Dr. Tom Snyder of Movieguide.com. Original article here at Answers In Action.

What does the Bible, the fully inspired and inerrant Word of God, say about government and politics, including the modern social welfare state, public education, ownership of private property, and helping the needy?

Proverbs 8:15, 16 of the Bible, the inspired Word of God, says that governments should use wisdom to rule and to make laws that are just. Proverbs 17:7 says rulers also should not lie. Proverbs 20:26 says wise rulers always try to punish the wicked. Proverbs 28:2-4 and 29:4 urges rulers to maintain order justly, to follow God’s moral code and to avoid oppressing the poor.

Furthermore, both Romans 13:3-6 and 1 Peter 2:13-15 say that government officials, whether elected or not, are ministers and servants of God who punish and restrain wrongdoers and who commend or praise those who do good works according to God’s transcendent moral code revealed in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible. Government officials must do these things whether or not the people believe in God or the Bible.

The Tenth Commandment in Exodus 20:17 protects private property by commanding people not to covet their neighbor’s house or belongings. Exodus 23:3 says, “Do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.” Exodus 23:6 says, “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.” Leviticus 19:15 says, “Do not pervert justice; do not show favoritism to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.” Also, Exodus 22:21 orders believers not to mistreat or oppress aliens living among them, but Lev. 18:26 also says the aliens living among us, including immigrants, must obey God’s laws, including God’s Justice. Finally, in Deuteronomy 16:18-20, Moses tells all the people of the Nation of Israel, “Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

In other words, private property must be respected and forms of socialism, fascism, Communism, or Marxism that do not respect private property are evil or immoral. Also, the people should elect local government leaders, but those leaders must obey the moral laws of God, including God’s principle of equal justice under the law. Under such divine justice and morality, leaders who deny equal justice to the rich or the poor, and leaders who steal or who take bribes, are condemned. Thus, leaders must not oppress the poor, the rich, or the middle class, but neither should anyone get any special favors, including aliens or immigrants!

In Numbers 35:31, God says those who are guilty of committing first degree murder cannot buy themselves out of the death penalty by paying a ransom or a fee. If found guilty if first degree murder, they must be put to death by the government, no ifs, ands, or buts!

The Hebrew Scriptures condemn adultery, homosexual behavior, premarital sex, and incest. In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus calls all sex outside of marriage (also known as unlawful sex) evil, and compares such evil to murder, theft, deceit, slander, arrogance, envy, and greed, which are also evil. Thus, premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality, incest, and bestiality are all evil, and all people, including all government leaders, should not promote such evil.

Regarding government, Proverbs 16:10 also says, “The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice.” Proverbs 16:12 says, “Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.” Proverbs 17:7 says, “Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool — how much worse lying lips to a ruler!” Proverbs 20:18 says, “Make plans by seeking advice, if you wage war, obtain guidance.” Proverbs 20:26 says, “A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.” Proverbs 20:28 says, “Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.” Proverbs 28:3 says, “A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.” Proverbs 28:16 says, “A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.” Proverbs 29:4 says, “By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” Proverbs 29:12 says, “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.” Proverbs 29:14 says, “If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure.”

Furthermore, in 1 Samuel 8:7-18, God directly tells the people of Israel that taxes of 10 percent or more are A SIGN OF TYRANNY (see Gary DeMar’s Ruler of the Nations: Biblical Blueprints for Government, Ft. Worth, Texas: Dominion Press, 1987)! God strongly indicates in that passage that the people of God should oppose such high amounts of taxation. That passage also frowns on big government of any kind, including large standing armies.

In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God gives jurisdiction of a child’s education to his parents, not to the local church and especially not to government.

The Bible also says, in Deuteronomy 14:28, 29, Numbers 18:24, Matthew 6:1-4, and 1 Timothy 5:3-16, that help for the poor should come first from their own families and only then from individuals, churches, and private charities. Also, Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, that people should work for their own living and not be dependent on others. Thus, nowhere in the Bible does God obligate the government to take care of the poor and needy by using the taxes that it forcibly collects!

Finally, the Bible also has some things to say about self-government. For example, it condemns laziness and praises hard work and kindness, especially kindness to the needy. Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:21 says, “He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” The basic principle for such charitable giving is established in Deut. 14:28,29, where God commands His people to give one third of all their tithes to charity to needy widows, orphans and poor people. Even then, the money was not given just to anyone who showed up to get it. Those who are able to work but don’t work, do not qualify for such help. Also, those who have families to take care of them don’t qualify, nor do widows under age 60 qualify, according to 1 Timothy 5:3-16. Furthermore, Jesus Christ says in Matthew 6 that when believers give individual charity, they should give such charity secretly: “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

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39 Responses to “What The Bible Says About Government And Leaders”

  1. It is a good site regarding Bible teachings, I think. I want to know about the sayings of Bible regarding Justice more explainatory. It will be previlige if you people can send me my required stuff.

    • for tomorrow said

      Hi Muhammad.

      If you want to understand or know about the sayings of the bible regarding Justice, read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Before, during and after reading, go to God in prayer and ask for wisdom and discernment and be patient. He will reveal to you what is necessary.

      • for tomorrow said

        Jesus’ love for us displays exceeds justice, it is grace.

        • Thomas said

          Your wrong….if His Love exceeded His Justice then He would not have kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden. I guess you forgot about Esau and How God said He hated him before was born….God’s unconditional Love is creational only…in the fact that He creatded us. His relational Love comes with a condition…that wnot just believe….but we obey! Please quit taking God’s word out of context and giving people a false sense of security in God’s love! Justice, which is His righteousness and then Love….His Justice always has and always will trump His Love!

    • Phoenix Ellis said

      Hi here are a few places to feed ur spirit.
      Uckg.org
      Joyce meyer on you tube.
      Findinganswers.tv

      God life on facebook. Just a few. If u want more I can send u links just email me for more.

      God bless

  2. Hi Muhammad Awais,

    Regarding the Bible and justice, there is one key thing to grasp. That is, Jesus Christ will return to judge, because He is the Son of God and the Father has deemed that He will judge.

    John 5:22-27 (New American Standard Bible)

    22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,

    23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

    24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

    25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

    26 “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;

    27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

    So we see that Jesus will judge, that we MUST honor Him JUST AS we honor the Father. For judgment is with Jesus, so to avoid the wrath of judgment we must seek Him, Jesus Christ for salvation. Accepting the Father has deemed it so. There is no hope for justice, no hope for peace, no hope of Heaven unless one trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, to hear and believe His Word of truth. To do otherwise means suffering His judgment. Jesus via His death, burial and resurrection provided a sacrifice in place of us being judged. To believe on Him, His Word, His sacrifice and His resurrection as our ONLY hope grants one the right to be a son (that’s a small “s”) of God and inherit eternal life. Being filled with His Holy Spirit by faith when we repent of sin to Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Those who do not believe, there is no sacrifice for them and therefore they do not have salvation. Please see 1 Corinthians 15 and Hebrews 10:26-31.

    I’m going to stop there and allow you to respond and then we can continue further.

  3. Not sure how a wink ( ;) ) got into my prior comment. I was just trying to note that those who believe on Jesus Christ are sons of God in the sense of a small “s”, while Jesus is as His Father and Son with a large “S”, because Jesus is God in bodily form, Colossians 2:9.

  4. kturner said

    I want to know what the Bible says about calling the police on people.

  5. Job said

    Kturner:

    Please recall that Paul extended his life by appealing to the Roman authorities – indeed the Roman army! – when the Jewish leaders were trying to have him executed. Legitimate state power and uses thereof should be regarded as coming from God and being useful in restraining such evils as lawlessness, disorder, confusion, crime, etc. Meanwhile, refusing to call the police when there is criminal behavior supports sin and Satan and opposes God. You see the result of this in our urban centers, where the poor and the defenseless, especially women and children, are violated, victimized, and exploited routinely and with impunity.

  6. against death said

    Capital punishment is wrong! And christ came with a message of grace not of extermination!

    • Pastor Randy Edgar said

      I have to disagree with you on the “punishment” portion and your thoughts on “Grace”. In Romans 13:4 I believe it clearly speaks on the matter of punishment by our leaders.
      Romans 13:4 ESV For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
      And as far as the message of Grace? Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
      Jesus clearly states that He came to “weed out” so to speak and He really didn’t ask our opinions on it. Our “GRACE” is salvation itself if we get down to it. But you have to accept that Gift and live IN GRACE in order to receive it. G.ods R.iches A.t C.hrists E.xpense

    • Gary said

      Against Death, in your opinion capital punishment is wrong …. However, God’s opinion trumps yours. Numbers 35:30-31 is very explicit – murder is to be punished by execution of the person committing it. That is God’s law, not man’s opinion.

  7. alvin tignor said

    bible states “once officials are elected, the people should pray devine guidance and not complain and condem . can you assist me in where in the bible this is referenced. thank you

  8. dylan said

    This article seems like a list of neoconservative principles with bible passages attached to them.

    • Job said

      No. It is that neoconservatism and the Bible intersect at various points. Christianity is not neoconservatism, and neoconservatism is not Christianity. However, Christianity has influenced neoconservatism, just as it has influenced a lot of political, cultural and economic worldviews and ideologies.

  9. john kaniecki said

    Job,

    Hi hope you are well. I am glad to see activity again!!

    Regarding communal property you are correct that God has authorized private property. However in the Old Testament the harvesters were told not to go reap twice over the land. Instead they were to leave what remained for the poor. See the example of this in the book of Ruth.

    In a true Christian society where one Loved their neighbor there would be no homeless or poor. Except for the lazy who would get nothing to eat unless they worked!!

    However regarding societies structure the Word of God gives much liberty. For example a Socialist society with mass transportation, large nature reserves, medical benefits, etc would in fact be an extension of Christian Love through the governmennt.

    Let’s face the fact that there are many problems with Capitalism. When it is carried to it’s extreme it is idolatry where people make money their God!! We know from scripture the Love of Money is the root of all evil. Thus such a system will never achieve a tranquil environment. Many people with much money argue against contributing their financial assets to help society in general through taxes. However if you look at the wealthy the majority of them got to their gain through oppression and violence. This particurally true in the United States. Whether it would be the stealing of land from the Native Americans, the brutally forced slave labor of the African Americans, the exploitation of the immigrants, or the exploitation of masses of peoples in foreign lands. For exmample the people of Haiti working in the garment industry earning one dollar a day.

    The very principles of capitalism, social darwanism is the work of Satan. That is why the United States has more people in jail than any other country as it is an oppressive society. Where else do you read of people going ‘postal’ and gunning down coworkers and others?

    In fairness to the United States there are good attributes to the country. However these blessings were only attained and only maintained by the upheavals of the masses. For example it was not the intent of the ‘founding fathers’ to have a Bill of Rights and thus it had to be added later as an ammendment to the constitution. Soldiers killing innocent people in foreign lands to rob their resources do not make people free. People standing up for their rights and the rights of all is what gives us freedom. It is a struggle and a their is a long list of martyrs who died in that social struggle.

    Let us return to the Love of Christ and the Word of God where we are instructed that if man asks for your shirt give him your coat as well.

    Love,

    John Kaniecki

    • Lynn said

      Amen!

    • annonom Ius said

      What a load of crap you said
      The USA is the most gracious country on earth
      We fight and give our lives to help those who are oppressed
      We stand for right …. Until we got this Muslim lying pos imposter for a president ….. The Muslim belief is bad on lies and deceit pure evil trash
      The reason I’m commenting on the quran is that it’s obvious your a Muslim spreading lies
      The quran calls allah the greatest liar
      Lies are evil and only serve Satan

  10. dylan said

    Wow, Well said John!

    A lot of the points in this article seem like flimsy ways to prop up the author’s personal view of government. I would be in favor of seeing the article re-written to include only explicit Biblical references to the government and having the author’s extrabiblical views and editorialization removed completely.

  11. Mike Allen said

    I concur with Dylan and John. Quite frankly, this author has a set of political ideals that he is trying to justify by taking great liberties with the word of God. If Socialism is immoral, why did Joseph set up (at God’s instruction) a very socialistic scheme in which the government stole the “private property” of Egypt’s landowners onto huge bins (at a 50% tax rate) to “redistribute the wealth” not only to all of Egypt, but to Hebrew immigrants? If Communism is immoral, then why did the early church practice it in Acts 2 and Acts 4 (to each according to his need)? I will grant that capitalism seems to work better in a pragmatic sense, but ironically, only because it most allows for selfish pursuits, which is the heart of fallen makind. It certainly is not any more moral.

  12. dylan said

    Mike, can you point me in the direction of the verses about Joseph? I’ve been looking for it this morning but haven’t been able to find it…

  13. john kaniecki said

    Dylan,

    Hi hope you are well.

    See Genesis chapters 41 and 47.

    Love,

    John Kaniecki

  14. for tomorrow said

    This bias of this article breaks my heart. Are these verses interpreted with the wisdom and guidance of God or with the guidance of political beliefs that have been a part of your life before you knew what the bible had to say about these issues? Asses your intentions, please.

  15. for tomorrow said

    and wow, Mike, beautifully said!

  16. Ronda McCarty said

    This article needs to be sent to every Representative/Congressman/Senator till they get the conviction of God to help our Country instead of allowing Obama to destroy it.

    • guest said

      Ronda, Obama is not my favorite politician, but he is our leader appointed by the people through Jesus christ. He is not destroying the nation, he is simply doing as any president has before him in preparing the nation’s (emphasize the plural) for his return.

      • Meagan said

        Thank you. Making disrespectful comments about appointed leaders is not Christ-like behavior. Leave Obama alone please. Support and pray for him instead of bringing him down.

        From A devout Christian

      • annonom Ius said

        Speaking the truth about traitors and tyrants is right and good justifies the removal of these unjust lying traitors….. Obama the clintons holder pelosi reid the whole lot of demonrats are evil corrupt liars and traitors and God demands that we charge arrest try convict one hang such evil people so that these things will not happen in our societies

        I’m sick of the lies of the demonrat party
        Anyone remember what Ted Kennedy did at chappaquidick
        And the evil demonrats made a hero of him when he should have been properly punished thereby discouraging future crime

        The demonrats however reward criminal behavior and all you see in that party is debauchery theft lies cronieisim murder and president’s that have sec in the White House or who use the IRS TO TARGET CITIZENS FOR THEIR BELIEFS…. We have turned the other cheek and been struck again therefore is now time to do our God given duty to destroy corruption tyrany and punish these evil people sending them to be judged

    • Lynn said

      Why can’t you send the article to Obama and pray he makes better decisions instead of bashing him. Love thy neighbor. Excuse me if you are so perfect and never make mistakes.

      • annonom Ius said

        Obama is not making mistakes
        Obama is a liar and he is doing exactly what he intended to do in the beginning
        Obama is evil the worst kind of evil and deserves the death penalty for his comes of treason murder and fraud

    • Ken said

      I think it hilarious to read statements like Obama is destroying the nation but you had nothing to say during G.W.Bush’s administration. Where in the world were you from 2000-2008? Have you ever made a list of the mess that took place when this GOP president was in office? God forbid if the president isn’t a white man that ignores the masses. The actions of the GOP against Latinos and Hispanics is a direct violation of the Bible. President Obama has led this country through some of the worst financial crises this country has ever seen. I think the mess was a plan to decrease the number of haves as opposed to having a much larger number of indebted have-nots. Its modern slavery. Sorry if your plan ran into Obama and his plan.

      • annonom Ius said

        Your liberal evil trash
        You only know how to blame Bush and still your doing that ….
        Obama is not an American
        Obama is Muslim
        Obama is pure evil and a traitor
        Obama has been successful in destroying peace in the mid east
        Obama’s actions have advanced satans position on earth with deliberate intention at every turn…… These are the things we stand against
        Do you realize that you claim Bush was racist yet at every turn Obama
        Pulls the race card and you did just the same thing calling Bush racist
        The reason you did so was because you sir are racist and believe that something is owed to you because of your heritage
        THE GOP THE TEA PARTY AND CONSERVATIVES DON’T LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOUR an UNDESIRABLE LEACH NOT BECAUSE YOUR MEXICAN

        How can anyone possibly support Obama a liar a thief a murderer the most corrupt evil I have seen in our politics

    • ToTripoli said

      “As the government of the United States is not in any way founded on the Christian religion…” -John Adams, Treaty of Tripoli

  17. [...] are Christians, let me quote some verses from the bible about governments and politics. Taken from this website. "Proverbs 8:15, 16 of the Bible, the inspired Word of God, says that governments should use [...]

  18. Abbey said

    Dear Guest above. You are totally off the wall. Obama is destroying the nation. It’s people like you who keep this moron, anti-American in office. He is anti God. He made a mockery of the Bible, so please don’t say he was appointed through Jesus Christ. More like, he was appointed by stupid, ignorant people. Do you know who the God of this earth is? In case you don’t, it’s Satan.

  19. Visitor said

    Well said appointed by the people through Jesus Christ.

  20. Believer in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit said

    He who is without sin let him cast the first stone….

  21. Dan said

    Oh My. A little bit of knowledge is a terrible thing, if not quite dangerous.

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