One Nation Under God

Tony Evans
header for One Nation Under God

When we formed our nation, we declared that we would operate as “one nation under God.” We acknowledged that this was God’s house. Those who founded our nation may not have lived up to or by His standards in all things, as is obvious when it comes to slavery, but the awareness of the higher standard was established. God is calling us as a nation of citizens to recognize His rule over all. He is calling us to live according to His standards of good and evil. Our nation and our politicians are to seek to reward good behavior while punishing evil behavior. Romans 13 puts it like this,

“For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” (vv. 3–5)

God Sets the Standard

God alone defines what makes good laws and is good behavior and what is evil (Ezek. 44:24; Ezra 7:25–26). That’s what the Ten Commandments did. They set the standard under which all would fall. If people and politicians would learn to operate by the rules of engagement that God has freely made known, our nation would take on a different template. If our leaders used their positions to bring about justice and righteousness, as God defines it, in order to promote unity, we would experience the freedom and divine covering God offers a nation as He defines it.

Freedom cannot flourish in any nation apart from justice and righteousness.

The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 4:8 that nations become great when they follow God’s righteous laws. If we are going to invite in help and healing in our country, we need to strive toward enacting and following God’s righteous laws. God is so entwined with the governing of a nation that Scripture even refers to politicians as “ministers of God.” The term minister is mostly used to refer to preachers or church leaders in our country today. But from a biblical context, a minister of God is also someone who is a civil servant. There are some nations today who still reference their politicians as “ministers” in their titles. This is because government and the structure of government originates with God and is designed to serve its citizens in God’s name.

How Freedom Flourishes

Those who govern in politics are to reflect God’s values in reinforcing good behavior and policing against evil. Roman soldiers were considered the policemen of the day in biblical times. As part of their uniform, they would carry a sword. The sword was for two things. The first was to intimidate. The goal in intimidation would be to limit potential bad behavior from taking place before it even got started. But the second reason the Roman soldiers carried the sword was for judgment, which included capital punishment (Gen. 9:6). Whether it was evil by the citizens or by the leaders, the sword was a tool of intimidation and judgment. It meant that evil would not go ignored.

This was their way of maintaining a safe and just environment for the people. Freedom cannot flourish in any nation apart from safety. Freedom cannot flourish in any nation apart from justice and righteousness. Freedom flourishes when governments rule according to God’s standards. And when they do not, it is our role as believers in the body of Christ to pray for them. In fact, we are to pray for politicians and civil servants as a regular part of our prayer life (1 Tim. 2:2). It is also our responsibility to respectfully challenge them when they clearly deviate from God’s standards (1 Sam. 15:10–23; Matt. 14:1–4).

For Further Reading:

Kingdom Politics

by Tony Evans

Christians love to talk about politics, but the current conversation is full of contentious words that divide our churches and families. Dr....

book cover for Kingdom Politics