Michael Youssef - Citizens of Heaven
Jane Robelot: Welcome in to a special session with Dr. Michael Youssef. This is the second in a three-part discussion of a biblical worldview on government, a non-partisan perspective. Dr. Michael Youssef's knowledge of God's word paired with his PhD and social anthropology and his decades of international ministry and pastoring a church all combine to give him a broad perspective on this topic. So, Michael, jumping right in here, how does the phrase in the world but not of the world apply to the political arena of government?
Dr. Michael Youssef: I think only believers in Jesus can really understand this tension. And it is a tension. There are many things in the Bible that are designed to be in tension, that we hold them together in tension. God is sovereign, man is responsible. These are two things must be held in tension. Being in the world, that is to be a good steward and to do all the right things and be involved and so forth, that's in the world, but in the same time, the tension is our citizenship is in heaven. That is, as I said, a tension that is really only understood by those who know and love Jesus.
Jane Robelot: Well, there's a popular viewpoint in politics that the end justifies the means. But from the Christian perspective, does the end ever justify the means?
Dr. Michael Youssef: No, absolutely not. End justifies the means? Look, and the Scripture's clear, it is never right to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. It's never, never, anytime. Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is just not biblical, but it is very important to understand that doesn't matter what the end is. If the means are wrong, then we need to stop and say wait a minute, this is wrong, I can't do this. And so the means and the ends have to be consistent with each other, and they both have to be consistent with the word of God.
Jane Robelot: It seems these days like there's no such thing as a campaign season anymore, that politicians are constantly campaigning. So, how can Christians continue to exercise their responsibilities to the process without being pulled into that fray?
Dr. Michael Youssef: What I'm seeing now, we're no longer stopping campaigning. We campaign 24/7 all year round. And that's really very stressing, and we need to be good citizens and say even though I have seen governments being elected that I did not vote for, nonetheless, I gave them time to implement the laws. I did not go on opposing them, and we shouldn't until they do something wrong that's against God, then we say thus says the Lord.
Jane Robelot: Absolutely.
Dr. Michael Youssef: Because that's really what's important. The word of God must bear light on the situation we're in.
Jane Robelot: Dr. Michael Youssef, as always, we appreciate your perspective, thank you. And there is still much left to examine on this topic of biblical worldview on government, so we'll continue to explore that next time. And in the meantime, Leading the Way has put all of this discussion into one document that you can download at no cost. It's on the Leading the Way website, so I encourage you to take advantage of that free resource.