Contrary to the direction that some are moving politically these days, the government is a good creation of God. Libertarianism, which seems to hold that the government has no business doing anything other than punishing those who cause physical injury to others, are therefore acting contrary to Scripture. Likewise liberalism, which would grant unconditional autonomy to individuals in matters of morals and ethics, is equally wrong headed.
God established the government as His servant (Romans 13). There is simply no way around this. Government is NOT a necessary evil. It is a necessary good.
That is not to say that everything the government does is good. That is as foolish as believing everything the Church does is good because the Church is the servant of God. No, wherever and whenever sinful human beings (all of us) have influence, there will be corruption.
As Christians, and especially as Lutherans, we should stand for a government which fulfills its God-given responsibility: to wield the sword of God's wrath and punishment (Romans 13:3-4).
In other words, the government, whether it be local, state, or federal, is charged with upholding God's Law which is evident in nature and summarized in the Ten Commandments. It is to protect its citizens from invaders and punish those who break the law. It is to provide an environment where the the Gospel can be preached in safety and where people have the opportunity to serve their neighbor in love.
Of course this gets very fuzzy when you try to come up with exact policies that will accomplish these goals. The Bible does not advocate theocracy for us here and now. There are no divinely mandated forms of government.
This is why it is imperative that we, as Christians, stay involved in discussions concerning the laws of our land. We need to be a part of the conversation, adding what God has revealed to us, and using our sanctified common sense.
God has established the government (the Kingdom of His Left Hand) for our good. Christians, and especially Lutherans, should be engaged in helping those in power see their role clearly and to carry it out with integrity and peace.
[Next: We stand for the Resurrection!]