The Sin of Cursing Leaders
Jun 08, 2006
It has always been common practice to curse political leaders when we disagree with them. In America, we seem to hold this principle as our divine right. In reality, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed that all rights come from God alone, and that government can only grant privileges. Thus, we must search the Scriptures to find out our rights.
Exodus 22:28 says, "Thou shalt not revile the gods [judges], nor curse the ruler of thy people."
Thus, we can say that we do not have the right to curse our rulers. Criticism is not the same as cursing, of course. The prophets in the Bible did it all the time without committing sin. It primarily has to do with the spirit in which the criticism is given.
Conversely, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:1-3,
"I exhort therefore that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for ALL MEN; for kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour."
Paul wrote this during the latter part of the reign of the Roman Emperor, Nero. Nero had a relatively good reign in his early years, because he was influenced by his mentor, the philosopher Seneca. But after Seneca lost influence in 59 or 60 A.D. after being the major cause of a revolt in Britain which Rome barely was able to put down, from that time on, Nero was cruel and vicious.
During that time, Paul wrote to Christians that they ought to pray for the rulers of the people. No doubt, Paul prayed for Nero even as he was being beheaded in Rome in 64 A.D.
Perhaps more significantly, the New Testament does not curse any of the leaders of either Jerusalem or Rome, even though both persecuted the early Church. The one time that this occurred, Paul freely repented of it immediately, as we read in Acts 23:1-5,
"And Paul earnestly beholding the council, said, 'Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.' And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth.
"Then said Paul unto him, 'God shall smite thee, thou whited wall; for sittest thou to judge me after the law and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?'
"And they that stood by said, 'Revilest thou God's high priest?' Then said Paul, "I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people."
The high priest had pre-judged Paul. John 7:50, 51 says,
"Nicodemus said unto them [the Sanhedrin]. . . Does our law judge any man before it hear him and knows what he has done?"
The answer is obviously, NO. But the high priest had judged Paul simply for pleading not guilty--that is, for making an opening statement that his conscience was clear before God. Thus, the high priest was trying to intimidate Paul into pleading guilty. Paul responded by name-calling, thinking that he was an ignorant subordinate. But when he learned that he was the high priest, he immediately apologized, recognizing the law against reviling the rulers of the people.
One might say that Paul should have known he was the high priest. But Paul had spent most of his ministry outside the land, and he had no television like we do today. It is much easier for us to recognize our leaders, because of the modern media. These were lacking in Paul's day.
So even though the high priest was pre-judging Paul and was thus in violation of the law himself, Paul apologized. This is an example for us today.
Paul told Timothy (as quoted earlier) that the purpose of praying for leaders is so that we can live quietly and peaceably. To curse the rulers of the people simply makes things worse. Curses are not mere words that fall to the ground. Our spoken words have power and do have an effect upon their object. The person does not have to actually HEAR the curse in order for it to affect him. To hear it may affect him mentally and emotionally, but a curse affects people spiritually. Curses do not help the situation; they simply make a bad situation worse.
This is probably the main sin of the conspiracy theorists and the political party that is opposed to any current leader. It seems that they will do anything to tear down the leader, presuming ahead of time that constructive criticism will do no good. They think that they have the right to curse evil leaders, thus returning evil for evil.
This is not true. Even if the nation itself recognizes a citizen's "right" to curse the leaders, this does not mean we should recognize such a right. Our standard is the Bible, and we should actually believe that rights come only from God. Our standard is higher than the law of the land.
There are many things done by presidents of both parties that are unlawful in the sight of God. We do have the right to speak the word of God and show people when their presidential example is wrong. For example, when President Clinton popularized the so-called right to commit adultery in his private life, we ought to contradict that view. And when President Bush reacted to the Twin Towers Disaster by a spirit of revenge, bringing us into a perpetual war, we have every right to give people the divine solution to the problem.
But to go into a rage against either of these presidents is to judge God for putting them into office. God put them into office because they accurately represented the hearts of the people. These presidents are there to show us the condition of our hearts, so that we can repent. Let us not judge God for doing this. Let us rather thank Him, recognizing the wisdom of God.
There is a certain amount of tribulation that America must experience in order that God may correct us. We can increase the trouble by cursing the leaders; or we can reduce the trouble by praying for them.