Good governance is as needful as food and drink. Human beings do not live in this world independently but as social groups. And as groups such as families and friends, unions or clubs, and societies or communities, as well as the nations in this world, it is important to have good governance over these groups of people for their joy to be full. According to scriptures, good governance is associated with the reign of the righteous. This assertion is briefly discussed briefly in this material.
The Reign of the Righteous
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Pro 29:2).
In order to properly understand the above scripture, it is needful to approach it with open-mindedness and understand the meaning of the `righteous` as used here. Righteous is but not limited to believing in God or expressing faith in Christ Jesus. According to Webster, the term righteous includes:
Just: “Regular, orderly, due, or suitable”. The original Hebrew and Greek words for ´just´ and ´justice´ are the same as those described as ´righteousness´ (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). Any king, irrespective of his faith, if he faithfully judges the poor, his throne shall be established forever (Pro 29:14). What God expects a ruler to do is not a mere confession of his or her faith but a commitment to mercy and truth (Psa 72:4). Scriptures say that justice and judgment are more acceptable to God than sacrifices (Pro 21:3) because they are the habitation of His throne, and that mercy and truth are before Him (Psa 89:14).
Equitable: “conforming exactly to the laws, and to principles of rectitude in social conduct, equitable in the distribution of justice”. It could be stated that it is very probable to have a non-believer who is committed to enforcing the laws and ensuring equitable distribution of resources than a Christian. A non-believer who knows the laws and is ready to make sure they are enforced would give equal right to all people to practice their faith.
Merited: This means deserved. I would consider it prudent to vote for a person who is adequately trained and experienced to govern our nation than giving the mandate to a naïve and incompetent Christian.
It is possible to have some Christians who fulfill the above qualities and God would be happy to see them on the thrones. However, not all Christians deserve to be in authority because of their incompetence. On the other hand, it is probable to have non-Christians who exhibit the above attributes and could, therefore, make their electorates rejoice.
Of course, the Bible has given its standards for the choice of leaders in the church (2Ti 3:1-16, Tit 1:7), it is different when it comes to national politics. As citizens, we must be circumspect in choosing our leaders. The faith of the person as a Christian is not sufficient to be given our mandate to govern.
Submission to Higher Powers
In this present world, God does not expect all the world leaders to be Christians but He charges all believers to submit to the authority of the world leaders. Everyone who disregards and resists their power resists the ordinance of God because they are the ministers of God. Also, they are revengers place in authority to execute wrath upon the evildoers and praise those who do good (Rom 13:1-5).
One may argue that if the person in authority is not a Christian, there is the likelihood that s/he may introduce policies that may take the hearts of people from God. But if that happens, the ruler fails to be just, equitable and merited and so ceases to qualify as a righteous ruler. Citizens must have the opportunity to freely express their faith under any authority.
People´s Christian faith does not automatically qualify them to bear a rule. They must be tested and approved to be righteous: just, equitable and merited. It is wise to vote for a non-believer who is more qualified to govern than to vote for incompetent Christians.
Prayer: God, give us the wisdom and the knowledge required of us to successfully lead our people and bring them joy. In the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. AMEN!