The desire to separate ourselves from the world is very strong. Being “holy” is to be “set apart”, after all. This concept, among others, have generated an idea inside the circles that study early Christianity that we are to abstain from participating in “the governments of men”. But the words of Yeshua remain:
“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17: 15-18
We have specifically been sent into the world. This means we have a duty to represent the One who has sent us. We are ambassadors of the kingdom whether we like it or not. Yeshua did NOT ask for us to be taken out of the world even as we are not of the world. We’re supposed to be lights to the world. This means we’re supposed to show the way and influence people or at least people are supposed to realize that we are different.
There is a lot of clear scriptural support for believers to be involved in ungodly and even pagan governments. In fact, history as we know it would be incredibly different if Yahweh’s followers had actually abstained from serving in government. The first and most clear instance of a believer in government would be Joseph. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers so that he could ultimately become the second in command in Egypt. Yahweh gave Joseph this high office so that the Hebrews could grow into a great nation.
“There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:12
These three incredibly faithful men are up next. Nebuchadnezzer, King of Babylon, had appointed shadrach, Mesach, and Abed-nego to high office and they openly disobeyed him because of matters of conscience. They refused to serve the idol and did not care what happened to them. This is huge. But would we know of them had they not been appointed to high office? Probably not.
Daniel was actually set up by rival officials. He had been appointed an overseer of overseers in the Babylonian kingdom and he was doing splendidly. This is very much the same thing that happened to Joseph in Egypt. Daniel did so well that his contemporaries set him up to have to defy the king of Babylon. Daniel prayed three times toward Jerusalem and continued to do so when it became illegal. Daniel was tossed into the lion’s den yet protected by the Most High. Daniel’s faith resulted in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob being glorified in Babylon!
Nehemiah was appointed to high office and placed as governor of Judea so that Jerusalem could be repopulated and rebuilt. Yahweh used the same pagan nation that smote Judah to restore Jerusalem and He did it through Nehemiah.
Paul’s Roman citizenship was a tool God used to preach the gospel to the known world. If Paul had refused to use his Roman citizenship, his mission would have stopped pretty abruptly.
Our western society that was built on, among other things, religious liberty, is crumbling. The US government was established by people who understood they would be judged by a higher power someday. Those who are in authority need to understand that the power they possess today is a gift from Yahweh and they will answer for their actions someday. It is a difficult thing for those of us who do not follow traditional Christianity to take part in the affairs of the day. But there are issues in which we are in complete agreement with the traditional conservative churches. On those issues, we need to stand with the good guys. And we need to stand very strong on the issues of religious liberty. Many hundreds of thousands of people have fought and died to protect the liberties we have today. This means our neighbors who may not believe like us or at all get liberties, too. But keep in mind what Edmund Burke said:
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.