Now that we are deep into this election year, it is important for us as Christians to be reminded of the doctrine of the two kingdoms, which states that God rules through two kingdoms: the secular (or lefthand) kingdom and the heavenly (or righthand) kingdom.
We as Christians live in both kingdoms.
The secular, lefthand kingdom operates through government officials and through the laws set in place. The Bible is clear that we must obey the rules of order established by our leaders in government and that we must pray for those in authority over us.
As St. Paul says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).
We may not agree with everything that our leaders do, but it is our calling to live as good citizens in this country that God has given to us and that means voting for who we think would be best for our nation and then letting who is elected lead. Hard to do sometimes, of course, when those we vote for do not win. But that is when we need to leave the outcome up to God and trust that he has a plan in mind.
The heavenly, righthand kingdom operates simultaneously with the secular kingdom, but it is ruled by Christ, who is seated at the right hand of his Father on the throne above. His rule is absolute and our ultimate loyalty as Christians is to him.
We are citizens of this divine kingdom, not by a bill passed in Congress, but by grace through faith in the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. We are new creations through him. The old is gone. The new has come.
Our role as citizens of the heavenly kingdom is to live by the Spirit and respond to the gift of faith we have been given through Christ by acting in ways that bring glory to God in our neighborhoods, communities, and, yes, even in our city halls and voting booths.
I find comfort in knowing that no matter who becomes president this year, my supreme Leader will always be Christ, who has put everything under his feet, and I will live in his kingdom forevermore.