This article was written in connection with Norway's Constitution Day on May 17. However, its message of Christian values, the laws of the Spirit and our responsibility as citizens is highly applicable for Christians all over the world.
The fathers of our Constitution laid down a very good foundation for Norway on May 17, 1814. Our nation has grown strong because of a well-functioning democracy, the rule of law, and human rights that function in practice.
We have a good, democratic government with a democratically elected majority, but also with clear and good rights for the minorities from various countries, cultures, and religions. Power will often corrupt (destroy/ruin), yet the minorities have a good life in our democracy. For many years the country has had a strong public opinion and political opposition as a counterweight to those who are in authority.
Therefore we have much for which we can thank the fathers of our Constitution! But first and foremost we thank them that we, as a nation, are able to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence, as Paul writes to Timothy: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” 1 Tim. 2:1-4.
The laws of the Spirit
There is no better way of governing a country than by a well-functioning, democratically elected government that is based on a democratic constitution. Nevertheless, it is even more important that each individual believer has a personal life with Christ in God (Col. 3:3) that is guided by an inner conviction through the words of the Spirit about the laws of the Spirit of life. When the anointing is allowed to speak and guide each one of us in life's circumstances our life will be anointed and blessed by God the Almighty.
Jesus Christ is the foundation (1 Cor. 11) in my relationship to God, but democratic principles do not apply in this faith relationship. My relationship to other people who also have a relationship to God cannot be guided by political processes. The laws that pertain to the body of Christ are of a totally different nature, and if this body is to function, then each one of us must be in contact with the Head, who is Christ. This is the way that our fathers in Christ have shown us. This spiritual relationship is not in opposition to the country's democratically organized government, and we say “Thank You” for both.
In recent years we have also received many new countrymen, and many ethnic Norwegians constantly demand that our new countrymen should be better integrated and assimilated. Because our new countrymen often have a different value system, integration cannot become possible unless we show mutual respect for each other's value systems. We speak from experience.
As a church we have made an effort to be an integral part of secular society and have been very active in society at large throughout our 100-year history. Nevertheless, we have felt from time to time that we have been despised because of our value system, even though it is built on the same values that the fathers of our Constitution espoused. As a church we have been in a minority and it has not always been easy to gain respect for our faith in God and our understanding of the gospel.
Pray for the country in which you live
During all these changing times we have received grace to follow the apostle Peter's exhortation in his first epistle, chapter 2, verse 17: “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” Such an attitude and life-motto has for more than 100 years been the basis for building good inter-personal relations on a private level as well as on a job-related and a church level. It has been a blessing for our children, our youth, and the older ones among us.
Let us therefore continue to pray for all those who are in authority and be thankful for how good we have it in this country. Be along in praying for the country in which you live! God bless and keep our country!
Source: Hidden Treasures, April 2010
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