McMinnville Seventh-day Adventist Church


Democrat or Republican?

Is God a Democrat or a Republican? On whose side is He? Let’s take a look at His original plan with His chosen nation, Israel. From this we will discover what principles for good government God has set out in His Word. In Deuteronomy 4:5-8 NLT, we read, “Look, I now teach you these decrees and regulations just as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Obey them completely, and you will display your wisdom and intelligence among the surrounding nations. When they hear all these decrees, they will exclaim, ‘How wise and prudent are the people of this great nation!’ For what great nation has a god as near to them as the Lord our God is near to us whenever we call on him? And what great nation has decrees and regulations as righteous and fair as this body of instructions that I am giving you today?”

Principle #1: God designed for Israel to have a wise government with righteous and fair laws that would be a blessing to everyone. We read in Colossians 1:16 that God created “thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities,” and in Daniel 2:21, “He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings.”

Principle #2: The ultimate control of government is in God’s hands.

We are also assured that no one can conquer God’s kingdom, because “the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings” (Revelation 17:14 NLT). He reigns over all earthly governments (Revelation 19:6).

Principle #3: Our government will be successful to the extent that it follows God’s principles of government, and acknowledges Him as their true Ruler.

In our government we have a party political system. How does it help us make decisions? Instead of having 322 million motions for who to have as president, our system simplifies the choice by combining people’s opinions into groups, called parties. This means we have one candidate from each party, which simplifies the choice. The negative aspect, however, is that the candidate is pressured to tow the party line in all aspects, and that party membership implies support for the overall stance and principles of a party, even if you don’t agree with everything the party espouses. This puts a Christian at odds with any party in a secular government like we have – which is different from Israel, which was a theocracy and not a democracy.

So, is God a Democrat or a Republican? Jesus Himself answered that question in Joshua 5:13-14 when the leader of Israel’s army, Joshua, was confronted by a soldier with his sword drawn. Joshua challenged him with, “Are you on our side or allied with our enemies?” (NET) His answer was, “Neither one. I am the commander of the Lord’s army” (NLT). Jesus said in essence, “I am above party politics.” He also explained this principle in the context of a secular government in Roman times, in Mark 12:14. When Jesus was confronted by the question, “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (NIV), He pointed to a Roman coin and said, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (NET), which brings us to a fourth Biblical principle.

Principle #4: The laws and governance of church and state should be kept separate in a society governed by a secular government, like ours.

So, when others ask you, “Which side are you on?” or “Which political party do you support?”, your answer should be “Neither! I have my own mind, and make my own decisions based upon the principles of God’s Word, and to the best of my understanding.” Don’t let a party dictate your values for you. Don’t hand your mind over to others to control. Don’t allow others to make your choices for you (Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16; Colossians 3:2).

I leave you with this amazing counsel from the Word, straight and to the point:

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, Who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:8-10 NLT)

- Pastor Jerry Joubert