Monday, March 04, 2019

The well-being of all nations

I believe that the “all people” of 1 Timothy 2:1 is the same group of people as the “all people” of 1 Timothy 2:4. I know that some have said this in order to make a soteriological point (and this is indeed a part of my soteriology), but I see another important point. In a passage that will specifically address political prayer, Paul has identified as our first object of prayer “all people.” We are obligated, I believe, to pray geopolitically for the well-being of the people of all nations, not only our own. We are further obligated to pray for people of other political parties. There are people who I hope will lose at politics, but there should be no one who I hope will suffer. I should oppose people’s ideas because I think even they would benefit from what I advocate. This is one reason why prayer should be the first step in Christian political engagement. If I have to pray for all people first, that fact in and of itself will probably filter some of what I would say or do afterwards in the realm of political engagement.
Bart Barber (pastor First Baptist, Farmersville, TX)

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