Should a Christian Work in Government Office?
Study No. 38
We know that "this present evil world," Galatians 1:4, is not Godís world. Satan is the "god of this world," II Corinthians 4:4. The Messiah has not yet returned to put down Satanís Babylonish world of confusion, and establish the millennial kingdom. Governments of men are apart from the Creator. Businesses, schools, industries, even churches and charitable organizations are not following the heavenly Fatherís will.
We are told to come out of Babylon, Revelation 18:2-5. Does this mean to live apart from all those who are not true believers? No! (There may come a time when God directs this, however.) We are to go into all the world with the gospel, Mark 16:15, and our light ó the example of our righteous lives ó is to shine before the world, Matthew 5:14-16. In the world, we will encounter and deal with many kinds of sinners. Otherwise, we would have to go out of the world, I Corinthians 5:9-11. Our Saviorís prayer for us is not that we should be taken out of the world, but that we be kept from the evil one, Satan, John 17:15. "Deliver us from evil," (Matthew 6:13) should be our daily prayer.
In the millennial kingdom there will be no more war. Every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, Micah 4:1-4, and enjoy the fruits of his own labor, Isaiah 65:17-23. Private property and ownership of farms is what the Eternal wants for His people. Few indeed are so blessed in this age. Most live in big crowded cities and work for big factories, large corporations, or government agencies. Most today are "wage slaves," dependent upon their next paycheck for their livelihood. Socialist and capitalist societies have not only failed to remedy oppression, they have caused mankind more misery. Only the Almighty can solve the ills of humanity.
Unless you own a farm, and support your family by growing wholesome food and other necessities, your job is only "right" to a degree. The Bible believer definitely should avoid certain jobs, patiently waiting for Messiah to return and re-order all things.
Any work connected with the military (army, navy, air force, militia) is not right for Christians. Unlike ancient Israel, todayís governments are not the government of God. They fight wars contrary to Godís purposes. Jesus said His servants would not fight carnal (physical, human-directed) warfare, John 18:36, II Corinthians 10:3-5. At the return of the Savior, His servants will fight to set up His rule. That will be a "Holy War," not the strivings of sinful men. Members of the military are not free men, but must obey orders of their superiors. The Creator does not want us to be servants of men, I Corinthians 7:23. Work for private industry that produces war material such as bombs, war planes, tanks, or missiles, is just as wrong as combat.
The mature Christian relies upon the Creator for healing, Psalms 103:3, I Peter 2:24, James 5:14-16. "Modern" medicine, be it witch doctor or medical doctor, is founded upon harmful practices contrary to good health. Drugs, potions, and vaccines are often poisonous to the body, and we must not defile the Temple of Godís Spirit, I Corinthians 6:19-20. Christians must avoid work related to hospitals, pharmacies and similar medical businesses. A few "natural" fields of health, which emphasize healthful foods and herbs, may be all right. Luke, the beloved physician, was probably in this field.
What about national, state or local government jobs? These range from congressional, bureaucratic, educational, service oriented (bus drivers, postal workers, electric utility, etc.) and many others.
For any job the Christian (1) must be allowed to take off for the Sabbath and Holy Days, (2) must not be forced to do anything contrary to the Bible, Acts 5:29, anything unethical or immoral. In addition, the nature of the government agency or job must not be for a useless or wrong purpose, and the highest governmental or corporate officials must not be blatantly corrupt or oppressive.
No job is worth the money if you must break Godís laws to continue employment. Do not under any circumstances compromise your beliefs. Politely, but firmly, inform your employer of your need to take off for the Sabbath and Holy Days. Offer to work extra at other times. Most employers are glad to oblige, if you are a diligent worker. At times, overtime weekend work is necessary to meet important deadlines. Offer to work on Sunday. If you are a supervisor and do not manage the company, you may not be able to forbid your subordinates to work on Saturday.
Workers are sometimes asked by their bosses to cheat, lie, or otherwise perform unethical or unchristian acts. Even on small matters, the sincerity of your beliefs will be tested. If you are asked to string up Christmas lights where you work, refuse because of your religious beliefs. In everything we must be sincere examples, always practicing what we preach.
Many government agencies are purposeless or harmful. Typically, government workers are lazy. There are, of course, exceptions. Teachers and service workers are necessary. Make sure that whatever job you do is purposeful, truly serving otherís needs. This is what God wants. What is the character of government officials? To work for a government of, for example, Idi Amin of Uganda, would indeed be wrong. His brutal regime butchered many of his own people. Do not support such wicked men.
In summary, remember that we live in an imperfect world. With the Spiritís help, we can be "blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world," Philippians 2:15. Your job, your entire manner of life show what kind of Christian you are. In all things, let us glorify the Almighty! W
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