The Christian & Politics

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Grace Bible Church

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

September 14, 2008

The Christian & Politics

Selected Scriptures

Introduction

Last week I addressed the “hot topics” of racism and multiculturalism. I showed why racism is sinful and why prejudice, bigotry and ethnocentric pride are all contrary to the nature of a Christian and God’s commands to us. The barriers between nations, tribes, class and gender are broken down in Christ and our identity is to be so bound to Christ that giving primary identification to anything other than Christ is wrong. I also showed that Multiculturalism is wrong because it replaces God’s standards with those of the cultures developed by sinful men. Christians are to resist being conformed to their culture and instead be conformed to the image of Christ. This will in turn impact the culture as Christians boldly speak out and proclaim God’s standards of righteousness.

This morning I am going to talk about another “hot topic,” politics. I am fully aware that some will think that doing this is illegal while others will think it is unfair or even rude to bring up such a controversial subject in a church sermon. Let me calm your hearts that I will not be breaking any law nor will I be unfair to anyone or rude. I will not be advocating or opposing any particular candidates. That is not because I do not personally advocate some candidates and oppose others, but because if I did, I would lose some of the impact I desire to have upon you today. My intention is to give some basic Biblical principles and precepts by which we can and should evaluate all candidates for any office. That is not only for the upcoming election, but for any election.

Historical Background

Before we start looking at the relevant Scriptures, I do want to briefly give some historical background for Christian involvement in the political process. The impression you get from the mainstream media is that Christians who actually live for Christ are unqualified for office because they have “religious values,” and the advocation of those values would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment’s “separation of church and state” clause. You might also get the impression that Christians are not supposed to evaluate candidates by such values, and that only politically liberal clergy have the right to speak out about political issues.

First, there is not any “separation of church and state” clause anywhere in the U.S. Constitution or its amendments. The phrase was also not part of any of the debates among the ninety founding fathers that framed the First Amendment in 1789. The phrase comes from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802 in response to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association about their concerns of government interference in their churches. Jefferson cited the First Amendment as “building a wall of separation between Church and State.” The context of the letter is that the wall kept the State from interfering with Church matters. Jefferson’s letter was cited in that manner in the 1878 Reyonold’s vs. U.S. Supreme Court decision. It was not until the 1947 Everson vs. Board of Education decision that the letter and phrase were cited again, but this time with the opposite meaning. It is a wall never envisioned by those who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and quite contrary to their intent and to what Jefferson wrote.

Second, until 1954 when U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson snuck in an amendment to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in political campaign activity, churches were vocal in political campaigns. In fact, it was due to opposition by churches to Johnson that he made the amendment. Even with the amendment, churches that have a 501(c)(3) status have more freedom to be involved in affairs considered political by some than most people realize.

My own opposition to churches advocating on behalf of particular candidates is not based in IRS regulations, but rather on not wanting the church to be tied to a politician who may prove to be less godly in reality than in their campaign literature. That would bring shame upon the reputation of the church. It is much better to point out the Biblical issues so that people can vote wisely based on the issues rather than to advocate a particular candidate.

Third, politics and politicians did not always have such a negative connotation. Politics is simply the art and science of public affairs and the government of a state, and a politician is simply a person who is involved in politics. Tragically, so many politicians have sought personal gain instead of societal good that the words have developed very negative connotations. As easy as it is to deride and make fun of politicians, we should be careful not to group all politicians as being the same. There are many who have high integrity and do strive to be public servants.

The Christian & Government

Government Types

In order to have a proper Biblical view of politics you must begin with a proper Biblical view of government. Many American Christians are surprised to find out that the Bible has great toleration for many types of governmental systems including patriarchal (Abraham), tribal (early Israel), Theocratic (Joshua through the judges), kingdoms (Saul, Caesar, etc.), a representative body (the Sanhedrin) and an absolute dictatorship (the Millennial kingdom). Much debate occurs about which type of government is best, but that will depend a lot on who is leading it and what that government needs to accomplish for all government systems have advantages and disadvantages. For example, 1 Samuel 8 records that the people of Israel were rejecting the theocracy and wanted a king like the other nations that would judge them and go out and fight their battles. Samuel pointed out to them the disadvantages that would come in high taxes and having some of their land and slaves confiscated with even some of their sons and daughters impressed into the king’s service. However, the people still saw it as an advantage to have a standing army and judiciary system.

Government Foundation

The Christian also needs to understand that God is the foundation of all government regardless of the type. Dictators think they have power do to intrigue or military might. Kings think they have power due to blood lineage. Leaders in democracies think they gained office because they managed to get the most votes. The truth is that it is God that establishes or removes those in positions of power. King Nebuchadnezzar found this out the hard way.

Daniel 4 records the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s pride and God’s warning him in a dream that he would be given the mind of a beast for seven years “in order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes, and sets over it the lowliest of men” (Daniel 4:17). Though Daniel interpreted the dream and warned him break away from his sins, Nebuchadnezzar did not pay heed and one year later while boasting of the glory of his majesty, a voice from heaven pronounced judgement and Nebuchadnezzar went insane. For seven years he lived in the fields like an animal until God granted him back his reason and Nebuchadnezzar then blessed and praised the Most High. He concluded, “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom [endures] from generation to generation. 35 “And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And [among] the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What hast Thou done?’” (Daniel 4:34-35).

The ramifications of this for democracies such as ours include: 1) Those holding an office need to be humble. God put you into office and He can take you out in a variety of ways. 2) Those running for office need to be more concerned about pleasing God than pleasing people or manipulating the vote. 3) Christians can be at peace regardless of who is in office and how good or bad they are because we know that God is ultimately in control and will accomplish His will.

Paul comments on this same truth and a ramification of it in Romans 13:1 & 2, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” The impact of Paul’s statement is much stronger when it is remembered that he said it to those under the rule of the Roman Caesars. Because the origin of governmental authority is from God, Christians should submit to the government as long as doing so does not require them to disobey God. Christians should be the model of what it means to be a good citizen, but our first allegiance is always to God, but that fact will be the reason that some governments will persecute Christians (See Daniel 3).

Government Purpose

Paul continues on in Romans 13:3-4 to explain the twofold purpose God has established government and therefore why we should submit to it.

“For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

The first purpose of government is to promote what is good.

Roman rule could be oppressive and cruel, yet for the most part, Roman rule brought stability and security for those that did what was good. The same is actually true for most governments including some ruled by despotic dictators. The laws that are established by most governments are for the purpose of deterring evil practices while promoting good behavior. To the degree that a government is doing that, it is fulfilling God’s purposes for it.

A government that causes those who do good to fear are in direct violation of one of the reasons God has allowed that government to exist. They are in danger of God’s judgement against them and risk Him overthrowing it for one that will carry out His decrees. God judged ancient Israel, in part, for this very problem. The prophet Isaiah warned them, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). If He will judge His own people for this failure, then all other nations also need to fear His judgment upon them.

It is not enough to just promote good, but a government has a responsibility to carry out just punishment on those who do evil. That is the second purpose of government. Rulers are to be a cause of fear to those who do evil because they bear the sword and are an avenger who brings wrath upon those who do evil. The “sword” here represents the authority of the ruler to punish evil doers even to the extreme of the death penalty. What is true for the most severe penalty is also true for lesser penalties. Notice that verse 4 specifically says that the ruler is “a minister of God to you for good.” We don’t often think of government officials in that light, but it is true nevertheless. Our President, U.S. Senator, Congressman, Governor, State Senator, Assemblyman, Town Supervisor and Town Councilmen all have a responsibility in making laws that will promote good while deterring evil and punishing those who do evil. Every judge and police officer of every jurisdiction has the responsibility of enforcing those laws. All of them are ministers of God in this respect, regardless of their own personal beliefs about God. Even an atheistic government authority is a minister of God.

Why is that an important point? Because every government authority will have to give an account of their stewardship of office to God. What King Jehoshaphat said to the judges he appointed still applies today. “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. “Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness, or partiality, or the taking of a bribe” (2 Chronicles 19:6,7).

Again, we find that if a government will not fulfill its God given duty, then He may chastize it or replace it with another as He has done many times in the past. Chastising may come through natural disasters or oppression by other nations such as happened to Eygpt (Exodus 7-11) or to Israel during the period of the Judges and Kings. He can replace a government by striking down the ruler supernaturally or with a disease (such as Herod – Acts 12:21-24). He may have it overthrown by an internal rebellion (1 Kings 12, 22, etc) or by having another nation conquer it (2 Kings 17, 25). I cited Biblical references, but the same things still occur today.

(And just to avoid any confusion, remember that nations are not the same as individuals. Nations are in themselves governing authorities without any God given command for them to submit to each other. Remember as well that the United Nations is not a governmental authority. It is a forum for nations to work together in solving international problems and to develop coalitions in dealing with the threats and attacks of belligerent powers against allies. The U.N. holds no “governmental authority” over the U.S. or any other nation).

Responsibility to Government

Paul went on to explain in Romans 13:5-8 responsibility to Government. “5 Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.” 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for [rulers] are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax [is due;] custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”

First, we are to be in subjection to it out of both fear and conscience. We obey because we do not want to experience the negative consequences of breaking the law. Fear is the motive for most people to obey the law. Christians, however, should obey for the sake of having a blameless conscience before God and man. That was one of Paul’s goals (Acts 24:16), and Peter said this would silence and put to shame those that would slander us (1 Peter 2:13-17).

Second, we are to pay taxes whether we like them or not. Even Jesus paid them though He could have claimed exemption as the Son of God (Matt. 17:25-27). Jesus commanded that we “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:17-21). In this nation we can and should work toward making sure taxes are fair and used properly, but even when they are corrupt and used wrongly, we still pay them and do not cheat because that would bring consequences upon ourselves and shame upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are also to render proper respect to the authorities. That includes not only taxes and customs, similar to our sales tax, but also “fear” and “honor.” Fear refers to the proper emotions that should be due to someone in authority which could range from the simple awe of meeting someone in an important position of power, to the dread you might feel when being questioned by the police or standing before a judge awaiting his verdict. Honor is proper respect due to a person that is exhibited in following proper decorum and protocol. It includes the proper courtesies such as using formal speech, wearing appropriate clothing and making respectful gestures.

Christians and Politics in a Democracy

In a democracy such as ours, citizens have a direct function in government so we have responsibilities and privileges. We have a responsibility to help select our representatives and the privilege of addressing them and petitioning the government with our concerns and grievances. How then do these Biblical principles apply when we consider who to vote for and the issues that should be of the most concern to us?

First, other than under the general aspect of striving to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to our care, taxes and the economic system are not specific Biblical concerns. God has promised that as we seek first His kingdom and righteousness He will take care of our needs (Matthew 6:33). That means that our first political priorities as believers are not to be economic. It means for me personally that while I have strong opinions about economic systems, taxes and government waste, a church service is not the proper forum to discuss such things.

Second, as we have already seen from Romans 13, government has a twofold purpose of promoting what is good and punishing those who do evil. That means our top political priorities are the moral issues, and the morality or immorality of any issue is defined by God in the principles and precepts of the Bible and not by society itself. That is why I had such strong words against multiculturalism last week. God defines good and evil, not society, culture or any other human institution.

While God will ultimately set in office His choice, either as a blessing or a curse, our part must be voting for the candidate that would best reflect godliness in character and position. Since our government has a mixed record on moral issues and most candidates will also be mixed in their moral stands, it is also important to see the priorities that God places on various moral issues. It may be rare to find a candidate that rates well on every issue, so the issues and therefore the candidates must be ranked according to God’s priorities, and there are things which are better than others that should be promoted and things which are more evil than others that are to be resisted and punished. Let me quickly go over some of the major issues and give you some questions that should be in your mind as you evaluate any candidate for any office.

1) Life: The first moral priority is human life. God is the creator of life and all human life is made in His image, so all human life has inherent worth (Genesis 1:26,27). Because of this God prohibited murder of human life and required capital punishment for those that do (Genesis 9:6). Other punishments were given for those that accidentally killed a human (Numbers 35). The innocent blood of those murdered cried out for justice and that was one reason for the destruction of Judah (2 Kings. 24:2). What value does the candidate put on human life? What protections does he advocate to protect human life? What punishment does he advocate on those that murder? These questions encompass all issues of murder and manslaughter including infanticide, euthanasia and capital punishment.

The Bible is also clear that human life begins in the womb. God is the one that forms us while we are our mother’s wombs (Psalm 139:13). The prophet Jeremiah was known and consecrated by God while still in His mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5,6). John the Baptist recognized the presence of Jesus and leaped for joy while both were still in their mother’s womb (Luke 1:41-44). To kill a baby in the womb is to destroy the work of God and attack His image. Abortion is murder of a human being. Is the candidate pro-life, indifferent or pro-abortion? (Those who say they are “pro-choice” lie unless they also support informed consent and waiting period laws). Those that will not protect the life of the most innocent and helpless among us, a baby in the womb, cannot be trusted to protect anything else except their own interests.

2) Protection: Since the Government is to be a cause of fear for those who do evil and does not bear the sword in vain, a primary purpose of government is protection of its people from evil as well as bringing justice upon those who do evil. This encompasses both internal and external threats. A police force and local militia protect against local threats while armed forces protect against threats from other nations. I already pointed out from 1 Samuel 8 that a primary reason Israel desired a king was the protection they thought that a standing army and judicial system would bring them. While armed forces can be used by evil men for evil purposes, that very fact proves the necessity of having armed forces to protect against those who would do us evil. Our founding fathers understood this and that is why our Constitution enumerated the need of an army, navy and militia to suppress insurrections and repel invasions (Article 1, Section 8) and the role of the President as the Commander in Chief (Article 2, Section 2).

Does the candidate understand the protective role of government both locally and nationally and advocate law and order? Police should be supported in their protective role while being restricted from becoming oppressors themselves. Does the candidate understand the necessity and proper use of armed forces as well as diplomacy in averting war (Proverbs 20:18; Luke 14:31)? We should strive to avoid war when possible, but when we can’t, there must be the ability to wage it with clear purpose and objectives.

Micah 6:8 succinctly adds to this by stating what God desires of man. “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness (or mercy), And to walk humbly with your God? This statement encompasses what you do, what you desire and what you are. The word for kindness here encompasses the concepts of mercy and goodness as well. The candidate should be marked by actions of justice tempered by the desire for mercy and kindness and characterized by humility.

Understand that the justice spoken of here is true justice as defined by the Bible. Beware of those that call for justice but actually mean equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity or fairness in the application of the law. It is humility in walking with God that brings about the proper kindness and mercy that temper justice. We are to be merciful because we have received mercy from God (Matthew 5:7; 18:21-35). However, mercy without justice is injustice and an abandonment of the protective role of government. Does the candidate show the proper balance of justice and mercy?

3) Isaiah 5:20 pronounces a woe upon those “who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.” Tragically, there are now many in our society that do just that. What is good and what is evil? God clearly describes them in the Bible, but He also pronounces some things as abhorrent and abominations. There are some things that are especially evil which should receive a priority in a government’s protective efforts and application of justice. Some of these things reveal an evil character even when the outward presentation looks good.

The Old Testament word for abomination (toebah) is usually used in reference to idolatry and improper worship of God, however, there are also societal actions that are also described as abominations.

Leviticus 18 lists immoral sexual practices including homosexuality, incest, fornication, adultery and bestiality alongside child sacrifice as perversions and abominations which defiled the land. The penalty for most of them was death. We have not descended so far that I am aware of anyone in American society advocating child sacrifice, but there are many that advocate sexual immorality and perversions though even from a non-religious viewpoint those things are harmful. A family should be the first social unit of protection, but incest turns it into the first opportunity to prey on those who are weaker. Adultery destroys the trust that is foundational for marriage and thus destroys families, and both it and fornication spread a host of diseases that can hinder or destroy health and leave women infertile. Bestiality and homosexual practices introduce and spread even more diseases some of which kill. Mortality rates for homosexuals are under 50 while the rates for the general population is in the 70’s and 80’s. Simple compassion should compel us to strive to stop these practices for the protection of society and the individuals doing them, yet many candidates now pride themselves in advocating not just tolerance, but acceptance and societal equality for these things. What are the candidates views on sexual immorality? Do their policies protect society or allow it to be preyed upon? Do they promote what is good for families and society, are the indifferent, or do they advocate what God says are abominations?

I have also found the list in Proverbs 6:16-19 helpful in understanding God’s assessment of people and therefore helpful in evaluating political candidates. “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness [who] utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”

Haughty eyes refer to that condescending look the proud can give because they think themselves to be superior to the rest of us mere knaves. Beware of proud and arrogant candidates that think they know what is best for you. Is the candidate proud or humble?

A lying tongue reveals a dishonest character. The Scriptures are full of commands and admonitions against it including that those who practice it will be cast into the lake of fire instead of going to heaven (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22; Colossians 3:9; Revelation 21:8). It seems many politicians strive to make lying an art form, but a candidate that is characterized by lying cannot be trusted on anything – especially their campaign promises. Lying demonstrates a weak character and a controlling selfishness that will result in them doing what is best for themselves rather than fulfilling their responsibilities in doing what is best for society. Is the candidate characterized by honesty or lying?

The individual does not have to be the one who physically sheds innocent blood. Accomplices are also guilty and that includes those who allowed it to happen because they either advocated the laws permitting it or were complacent in their duties to prevent it. We again go back to the candidates position on abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.

A heart that devises wicked plans will be revealed by what the candidate advocates. Does the candidate’s vision for the future and goals for the present line up better with what God would want or Satan? Do they promote what is moral and godly and strive to restrict what is evil, or do they do the opposite?

Feet that run rapidly to evil describes the feeding frenzy of sharks that strive to get whatever they can when someone has fallen victim to another. They may join in the evil themselves of just watch it with glee. They will not stop a mugging, but they will watch or might even join it. They see another person’s downfall as an opportunity for gain for themselves. They broadcast the shame of another instead of trying to correct and heal it. What is the candidate’s response to the evil that befalls others?

A false witness is worse than the general liar because his lies make someone else his victim. It is bad enough to lie about yourself so others will think you are something you are not or can do something you can’t, but it is a lot worse to try to destroy another person with lies. Does the candidate lie about others? That includes spreading gossip or having others do that in his stead.

The final abomination in this list is spreading strife among brothers. The motives behind this can vary, but the result is the same. Relationships that should be close and harmonious, or at least cooperative, are strained or even destroyed by the actions of an antagonist. This can be generated by lies, gossip, or rumor to cause brothers to question the actions and motives of the other. Or the antagonist may take advantage of a rift or strain already present and make it wider. This has been such a problem in the last few decades that the strife between political parties have made some governments dysfunctional. When this is combined with false witnesses and feet that run rapidly to evil, we now call it the politics of personal destruction. An evil, but effective tactic, used by wicked people to gain political power.

There are many candidates that want to claim they can bring harmony back to government, but there seem to be few that have enough humility to work in gracious cooperation with those with opposing viewpoints – and remember that such cooperation is always a two-way street. Amazing enough, President Bush was known by both parties as a unifier while Governor of Texas. Those who spread strife among brothers made sure that such cooperation would not happen in Washington. Having solid convictions and firm positions does not mean you have to be obstinate. Is the candidate gracious and do they have a spirit of cooperation even while holding to their convictions?

Conclusions

There are many other issues about what God says is good or evil, such as stealing and graft, that could also be addressed and should be applied to politics. This sermon was only to get you to start thinking according to Biblical values and priorities instead of politic ones when voting, running for public office or serving in one. In politics, as in everything else, personal integrity and moral character are the two most important issues. They are much more important than any set of proclaimed policies and promises. You will never find a candidate that agrees with you 100% on every issue, most of us do not even agree with ourselves 100% on every issue. We are to evaluate carefully and make the best choices that we can. As Christians, our first priority is always to be pleasing to our Lord and trust Him to bring good out of any situation even when they are not to our liking and are antagonistic to His stated moral will (Romans 8:28; James 1:2-4).

While we want our candidate to win and may work hard to try to achieve that, our primary goal is to be pleasing to the Lord, not being on the winning side. If running for office, your primary goal is to be pleasing to the Lord, not winning the election. If in public office, your primary goal is to be pleasing to the Lord, not winning re-election or pleasing the people. Our goal is to one day stand before the Lord and hear Him say to us, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

Sermon Notes

– 9/14/2008

The Christian and Politics – Selected Scriptures

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “candidate” is said. 2) Discuss with your parents how to apply Biblical principles when voting.

 

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the origin of the phrase “separation of church and state” and what did it actually mean? What are the limits of political involvement by Christians? By Churches? Explain. What does the Bible say about types of government? About economic systems? What is the origin of any government? What are the God given purposes of government? What is our responsibility to government? What Biblical principles should have priority in considering a candidate – or running for or serving in a political office? Apply the questions above to the current candidates.

Introduction

Racism, prejudice and bigotry are all __________to the nature of a Christian and God’s commands to us.

Multiculturalism is wrong because it replaces _________ standards with those developed by men.

Historical Background

The “separation of church and state” clause is not anywhere in the U.S. ____________or its amendments

Jefferson used the phrase in an 1802 letter referring to the wall of protection ________had from the State

Churches were commonly vocal and active in politics until a _____amendment affected tax exempt status

Politics and Politicians were not always words with __________ connotations.

The Christian & Government

Government Types

The Bible has great _________for many types of governments. Each has ___________& disadvantages

Government Foundation

It is ______ that establishes or removes those in positions of power – Daniel 4

Those in office should be ________. ________put you in office and can easily remove you.

Those running for office need to be more concerned about pleasing _______ than people

_____________ have hope regardless of who is in office and how good or bad they may be

Romans 13:1-2. Christians should submit to government as long as it does not require ___________God

Government’s Twofold PurposeRomans 13:3-4.

Government should promote what is _________

Governments that cause those who do __________to fear risk being replaced (Isaiah 5:20)

Government must cause fear to those who do _________. They are not to carry the __________in vain

Government officials are “a ____________ of God to you for good” (Romans 13:4)

They will give an account of their stewardship of office to _________ – (2 Chronicles 19:6,7)

God has chastised or replaced governments that do not fulfill their God given ___________

Responsibility to Government

Romans 13:5-8

We are to be in subjection to government it out of both fear and _____________

We are to pay our __________ whether we like them or not

We are to render proper __________ to the authorities

Christians and Politics in a Democracy

We have a responsibility to help _________ our representatives

We have the _____________ of addressing & petitioning government with our concerns and grievances.

Other than being a good steward, taxes and the economic system are not specific ___________concerns

Our first political priorities are not to be ___________

Our political priorities are to be the __________ issues – _________ defines what is good and what is evil

1) The first moral priority is ___________ (Genesis 1:26,27; 9:6; Numbers 35, 2 Kings 24:2)

What value does the candidate put on ____________?

Human life begins in the _________ (Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 1;5,6; Luke 1:41-44). Abortion is __________

Is the candidate pro-life? Indifferent? or ____________?

Those that will not protect the life of an ________baby will not protect anything else except self-interest

2) _____________ of its people is a primary purpose of government (Romans 13:3,4)

The people are to be protected from both _________and external threats – we need police and ________

Does the candidate understand the _____________role of government both locally and nationally ?

Micah 6:8 – Marked by actions of _________tempered by desire for mercy & characterized by humility

Does the candidate show the proper __________ of justice and mercy?

3) Government is to promote _________ and bring fear to those who do _______

Some things are especially evil and should receive a _________ in government’s protective efforts.

Leviticus 18 – _________ sexual practices and child sacrifice

Sexual perversions __________ families and spread diseases, some of which are deadly

Does the candidate promote what is good for _______? Are they indifferent or advocate abominations?

Proverbs 6:16-19. Six things the Lord ________, seven which are an abomination to Him

_______eyes – The condescending look of the proud & arrogant. Is the candidate _______or humble?

A lying tongue – Liars cannot be _________. Is the candidate characterized by honesty or _________?

Shed innocent blood – Accomplices advocate laws __________it or are complacent in preventing it.

A heart that devises ________plans – What is the candidates vision for the future? Is it good or _____?

Feet that run rapidly to ______– What is their response to evil? Intervene? ________? or Join in?

A ____witness – this destroys the other person. Does the candidate ___about others? Slander? Gossip?

Spread _______among brothers – either generate it or perpetuate it by lies, ________and questioning

Is the candidate known for antagonism and __________or graciousness and _____________?

Conclusions

– Strive to approach politics according to ________values and priorities instead of politic ones

Our first priority is always to be pleasing to our _______and trust Him whether voting, running or serving

 

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