“When Do We Bow the Knee to Government” is drawn from Daniel 6:1-28 and 1 John 2:12-17. It comes from Ross Clifford.
Poker machines are the gambling choice of many, certainly in my home city of Sydney. In fact, our country Australia has 20% of the world’s poker machines! It is a gambling scourge that destroys individuals, families, and communities.
A few years ago, I represented the Council of Churches in a meeting we had with our State Premier. We pointed out the social impact of poker machines and appropriate restrictions that would not destroy the gamblers’ freedom, but place community responsible limits on this vice.
All looked good, an agreement was reached and ratified by a parliamentary committee. Unexpectedly there was a change of Premier. The gambling lobby came to the fore and although legislation was passed, it was watered down.
After all, the gaming industry donates considerably to political parties, who also rely on gaming revenue to balance government budgets.
Daniel was in a lion’s den, although he was a good citizen, one might say he passed the apostle Paul’s citizenship test of respect and obedience to authorities (Romans 13). Yet, he encountered the wrath of government when he did not bow the knee.
1 John 2 illustrates that those of us in Christian leadership need to keep in our thinking that we will have to navigate with those who walk in the “darkness”. At those times we have to live and advocate as one who does “not love the world”.
Reflect on what it means for you to balance being a good citizen with leadership and living in a “fallen” world.
To navigate in this environment requires mentoring, accountability and God given wisdom. What role does God call you to play?
Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM is the Principal of Morling College (NSW Baptist) and author of numerous books many of which focus on Christian Apologetics. He is a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance, President of the Asian Baptist Association, an acclaimed international preacher and speaker, a columnist in many Christian publications, winner of many national and international awards and for many years the Sunday evening Sydney Radio 2CH host. Ross is married to Bev, father and grand father.