Yeah, He’s Not in Charge

Like clockwork.

Though the man in the seat changes every four years, the reactions never seem to.

It happens every… single… time. The President of the United States will make some embarrassing comment, some awful observation that didn’t get checked by his handlers, and the opposition will highlight it as the story of the day. This is great news for social media warriors, YouTube celebs, and media corporations because “gaffes” equal increased clicks, cash, and ultimately…control.

If you’re bored enough to follow the comments on such postings, you’ll inevitably read these words…

“And THIS guy is in charge of the United States of America.”

My question is simple.

Is it true?

I propose that Biden is merely an employee of the people. Trump was just a guy who worked for us. Your Governor, Mayor, and City Council Members are simply the labor force we’ve hired to do the things we don’t have time to do. 

The greatest danger to the future of our society isn’t a madman in political office, it’s an electorate that has forgotten our position of authority. WE THE PEOPLE are “in charge” of this nation.

The American Citizen must awaken to three realities…

1 – You Live in a Representative Republic

Once again, I was reminded of this historical fact as I toured the Alamo with some friends. The people of San Antonio were under siege by the “Napoleon of the West”, the despot and self-proclaimed dictator of Mexico. After stripping the citizenry of Mexico from their own constitutional rights, Santa Anna turned his lusty gaze to the land of Texas.

For 13 days he surrounded the fort with thousands of soldiers, demanding the freedom-loving Texans acknowledge his right to reign over them.  

The courageous refused!

They believed in liberty above all else and would fight (even die) to maintain a particular form of government. One that allowed the common man to say in the decisions of his own society. These men died to establish a republic, specifically the Republic of Texas, which lasted for nearly a decade after the massacre that would claim their lives. This sacrifice would stir the hearts of other freedom-loving Texans who defeated Santa Ana while screaming the most famous battle cry in American history.

“REMEMBER THE ALAMO!”

Soon the Republic of Texas found value in joining another nation, whose 70-year-old constitution also recognized man’s inherent right to liberty. Texas would join the United States of America and make it stronger than ever before. 

“Hey,” some may protest, “aren’t we a democracy?” 

No, we are not a democracy in its’ purest form. Technically we are a Democracy IN a Republic. Meaning, as a citizen, you have an opportunity to participate in the democratic process by voting for a representative to speak on your behalf.

You’re a busy farmer, merchant, or clergyman. You don’t have time to read all the new legislation being proposed and debated in Philadelphia or Washington D.C. You’re far too busy to run the government and run your business. So, as a community of farmers, merchants, and clergymen, you select a neighbor and friend who’ll temporarily leave town for a couple of months every year and travel to your state capital or nation’s capital to represent your community, your values, your concerns and vote accordingly.

The city council member, state representative, congressperson, and senator are simply working for you and must represent the majority view held in your community.

What then happens to the representative who no longer represents the people?

He’s politely asked at the next election cycle to return to his farm, shop, or church.

He’s fired!

2 – You’re the King

I study the book of Proverbs like a chubby kid eating an ice cream cone, with intensity and attention to detail. I absolutely love it!

Over the years I’ve had many men in my Bible Study Small Groups see passages like…

The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, but his wrath is against him who causes shame.

Proverbs 14:35

The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.

Proverbs 19:12

It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established by righteousness.

Proverbs 16:12

…and make statements that demonstrate biblical understanding but governmental ignorance.

“Verse 35 here means we need to really seek the favor of the president and governor our land.” 

“Verse 12 seems to indicate that we’d better not get the president, governor, or mayor mad at us.”

“Chapter 16 tells us why this President (or the last President) really won’t last very long. He is/was truly wicked.”

Each of these statements would be valid applications…if we had a monarchy.

We don’t!

The closest thing we have to a king is the citizenry of our nation. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people! Therefore, a better application for the American would be…

“Verse 35 here means the politicians need to really seek the favor of the people lest we get angry and kick them out of office.” 

“Verse 12 seems to indicate that the President, Governor, and Mayor better do what we tell them to do lest we eat them alive.”

“Chapter 16 tells us that WE HAD BETTER live righteously lest our kingdom come to ruin and we lose our throne and authority to another.”

To abdicate your civic duty is to abdicate your political authority!

To abdicate your political authority is to abdicate your biblical responsibility!

3 – You Live in a Society

If any relationship is going to work you’ve got to live by the agreed-upon rules. The married couple took vows. The business partners signed a contract. Citizens agree to a list of societal rules and occasionally must submit their individual will to that of the collective. 

Therefore, some people remain unmarried.

Therefore, some people don’t sign contracts.

Therefore, the hills of Kentucky are filled with people to this very day.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:1-2

For Nehemiah, this meant serving as a cupbearer to one of the greatest tyrants in human history and boldly asking permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem when opportunity presented itself.

For the Apostle Paul, this meant paying taxes to Rome and following the instructions of Roman soldiers, whenever they didn’t contradict Biblical directives. 

For Colonial American Christians, this meant confronting King George on his unwillingness to obey the laws of the land as established by his own government and governing documents.[1]

If any relationship is going to work you’ve got to live by the agreed-upon rules. The married couple took vows. The business partners signed a contract. Citizens agree to a list of societal rules and occasionally must submit their individual will to that of the collective. 

Therefore, though I have great authority and autonomy as a citizen of the United States, I still must obey the traffic laws to which we’ve all agreed. I must treat our hired police officers with respect since we’ve all agreed that they are the ones who are to enforce the rules to which we’ve all agreed. 

If I think the law is antiquated or unjust then I must help discover citizens who are willing to run for office and introduce legislation that will change these laws. I must vote in judges who will enforce current laws and not attempt to create their own. And I must find men and women who are willing to serve in the Executive branches of our governments who are primarily concerned with protecting our freedoms and liberty more than they are with advancing their name and agenda.

So, yeah, the President isn’t really in charge.

YOU ARE!

The Governor lives in a mansion because you and I paid for it because we don’t want other states to think we treat our highest-level employee badly. He’s not the king!

YOU ARE!

So, do your job my fellow American. Whoever you are, don’t let anyone steal from you one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities you’ll ever have.

You are a citizen of the United States, and that’s pretty amazing.

Oh yeah…

And to the inevitable critic who’s only response will be, “stick to the Sunday sermon preacher and leave the politics to others.”

I have one word for you.

NO!


[1] I often get asked my opinion on the American War for Independence when discussing this topic. It’s very simple when you take time to read the Declaration of Independence. The tyrant was unwilling to follow established British law that dated back to 1215 and the signing of the Magna Carta. When any government official refuses to follow and submit to the established laws of the land, it is he, not the people who are in rebellion and MUST be dethroned.

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