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POLITICS

Jeremiah 29:7

By Pastor David Hillis, 06.09.19

Jeremiah 29:7

And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

BIG IDEA: We are called as Christ’s ambassadors to understand and influence all aspects of the world around us for God – including the government.


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT POLITICS?


1. Human government is deeply Biblical.  

(Romans 13:1-7 NIV)

a. The government is a God-appointed institution, one of only 3 ordained by God (the other two being the church and the family).

b. No government will ever reflect adequately the kingdom of God.

c. Good government plays a role in the work of God’s Kingdom now, here on earth, as it fosters an environment for people to live peaceably and have their rights protected.


2. No earthly kingdom can hold a Christ follower’s primary allegiance.  

(Acts 5:27-29; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Daniel 1; Philippians 3:20)

a. As Christ followers our citizenship is in heaven, not in some temporary nation here on earth.

b. If we are ever compelled to choose between obeying God and any government, we choose God.

c. We lay down our own beliefs as ambassadors for God’s Kingdom.

d. God’s goal isn’t to reform the kingdoms or governments of this world through a political agenda; His plan is to establish an eternal kingdom of His own, and use us in the meantime to help people see glimpses of it.


3. We are called to do good in the world, but not be of the world.  

(Galatians 6:10; John 17:14; 1 John 2:15; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Romans 12:2; 2 Timothy 2:1-4)

a. We are not to live in a Christian bubble and disengage from the world around us.

b. We work for the common good not just by serving others in our community but by commending, criticizing and influencing policies.

c. Influence based in love means respecting all government leaders, including the ones you don’t like, and not tearing them down because you disagree with their policies.

d. Christians, when rightly informed and motivated, change the culture around them with their words and their actions, and serve as ambassadors, agents of God’s love and grace.

ONLINE RESOURCES:

  • How should Christians engage responsibly and reflect Christ before the world regarding political views?  Two Christian Moms and long-time friends who have starkly different faith-based political views have a political podcast and recently published a book on the topic.  Read more about them in this Outreach Magazine article.
  • Should Christians care about politics?  Here are 4 Reasons Why, according to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of one Christian denomination.  Another article called “Why the Gospel Is Deeply Political” speaks about how Christianity has never been nor are Christians meant to be apolitical.  If you want to wrestle with this topic further, Pastor Dave recommends part 1 of the book Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem.  The rest of the book deals with specific political issues from a Biblical perspective.  Available on Amazon and iBooks.
  • Should Christians be aligned to a political party?  Read Pastor Tim Keller’s thoughts on this in a recent New York Times article.

FOR MY PERSONAL TIME WITH GOD THIS WEEK:

1. This week, in TABOO, Pastor Dave talked about how we should view politics in light of our roles as Christ’s ambassadors to the world. Look back through the sermon notes above and spend some time this week reading through the Scripture references in each section. As you do, ask God who He has called you to influence, and how to do so with unconditional love. Don’t rush this exercise, but spend time praying and considering it, expecting God to speak to you through it.

2. To understand, Proverbs teaches, is to choose to be a learner not a critic, and follow the wisdom of Godly interactions. Consider Proverbs 1:5, 15:1, 25:11. How might they influence how you react with others around political matters? 

3. Christ calls us to be people of influence, regardless of our social standing in the culture where we live. Consider Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Matthew 5:13-16; and 1 Peter 2:12, 3:15. How have you tried to influence others but with the wrong methods or in ways that lacked love, that didn’t work? When

4. There is certainly no prohibition on believers being directly involved in government as civil servants, as some notable examples in the Old and New Testaments illustrate. Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon are two models of servants God used in top governmental positions to further His Kingdom. The centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13), Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10), and Cornelius the centurion (Acts 10) all continued in public service even after they experienced the healing or saving power of Christ. As far as we know, the Roman proconsul Sergius Paulus also remained in office after he was converted (Acts 13:4-12). Spend some time looking at these Biblical examples and consider your views, and ask God to make you open and ready to influence others for Him, including in public service if He desires.

NEXT STEP:

On what issues has our culture perhaps influenced you away from God’s desires? How can you better understand God’s perspective and influence others around you, in love?


NEXT WEEK'S TABOO TOPIC? MEN'S ROLES



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