By Paul Bawden
The election of Mike Johnson to be the next speaker of House of Representatives has caused all kinds of consternation in the USA.
The main reason being that Mike is a bible believing Christian. In his acceptance speech before the House, he acknowledged that God removes kings and establishes kings. He was just stating what the Bible says about the biblical God’s sovereignty over nations, over government (Daniel 2:21). He explained to The Daily Signal that some media misconstrued the statement and portrayed it as self-aggrandizing. “It wasn’t that at all,” he said. “It’s a central premise of the Bible that God invented civil government.”
He has also been called a Christian nationalist – which would mean that he believes that America is or should become a Christian nation. He has denied that charge saying that he is just a biblical Christian who believes that one should love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul and mind, and one’s neighbor as oneself (Matthew 22:37-40).
Then Mike has been involved in different cultural issues upholding the value of life and the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman. He has been criticized severely by his critics for taking his stand for life and marriage, and for his response to the cultural breakdown of the country.
As I heard all this chatter, and I understand that the Speaker is not bothered by his critics, I thought to myself, “So is the Bible irrelevant in today’s culture?”
Certainly, many in America would say that the Bible is for us today. But it is a wake-up call as to how many in the press, different columnists, legislators, and individuals think about the Bible in America, which is really a lack of understanding of the Bible.
True biblical thinking, I call it biblical Christianity, is not trying to make America a Christian nation, although the founders followed Judea/Christian principles. That’s why there is the separation of church and state. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. Jesus came to establish a spiritual kingdom first of all, which is called the church. It’s made up of believers who are to be salt and light in this world within the government that has been established. As salt and light, believers, through sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, will see people’s lives changed who respond positively to the gospel, bringing righteousness, peace, and hope to our culture which is decaying.
The Bible is not obsolete regardless of the critics who cast aside its relevance to our lives today. Mike Johnson’s life is evidence of that – He is seeking to bring salt and light to a culture that has lost its way – has no hope in itself. There are other legislators doing the same. Regardless of the deniers of the Bible’s relevancy, the Bible remains contemporary for all time because it is the eternal word of God (I Peter 1:24-25).
In fact, the Reformation in church history which was just celebrated on Reformation Sunday – October 29, 2023 – was caused by Martin Luther discovering what the Bible said about faith and grace. His life was changed and we still feel the effects of that discovery today throughout the world. Read your Bible. Your life will be changed for time and eternity!!
And pray for Mike Johnson and our other leaders in Washington, and on the state level, that they will seek the Lord’s wisdom and direction for our nation in these most challenging times at home and abroad.
Paul Bawden is married and served in the full-time pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011, after which he and his wife served in four interims, three in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He is also a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe. They have three daughters and five grandchildren.
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