As we approach the coming general election here in Aotearoa New Zealand, it is important and comforting to remember that according to the Bible, whoever ends up forming the next government of New Zealand, are authorised by God to exercise leadership of us.

This is important because civil government is a necessary institution that God has sanctioned to oversee orderly human society. We are commanded to recognise their important place in the world. Submission to governing authorities means taxes get paid, good behaviour gets promoted, and evildoing gets punished. Mostly.

And, remembering that the government is authorised by God to lead us, is comforting because governing authorities are called ‘God’s servants’ in scripture, and they are required to do us good. We can all rest assured that at the end of this world everyone will give account for how they managed what God gave them.

Submitting to a government doesn’t mean strict unquestioning obedience. The Bible actually says ‘Submit to the authorities, and obey God. Ultimately, it is God whom we obey forever, but clearly government is an institution that God has given to achieve some of his purposes.

This is why the Bible says in Romans 13, ‘Give everyone what you owe them – taxes, fees, respect and honour. Because government is a thing ordained by God. The Apostles Paul and Peter both instruct Christians to submit to these authorities, show them respect, and pray for them. And remember, they lived under tough pagan Roman rule!

God bless New Zealand. Kia kaha,


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