Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Citizen and Faith

Then He said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.
Matthew 22:21

When some men came to try to trick Jesus into getting into trouble with either the religious establishment or the government of the day, Jesus merely held up a coin and stated, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. When these men heard His answer they were amazed. They were so amazed that they left Him and went their separate ways.

What may on the surface look like an expedient answer, a clever compromise between two politically and religious partisan groups, was much more than that. It reflects a divine truth which speaks to you and me today who are analyzing our responsibilities to God and our country. Jesus declares that each of us has a dual citizenship and infers that there are responsibilities connected to both.

I believe that you and I are called to intelligent and conscientious participation in the political process just as I believe that being a part of the Kingdom of God requires individual participation in bringing His Kingdom here on earth.

When Christians do get involved they mistakenly try to legislate biblical morals and ethics to be the norm.  Obviously, a society would function better if it held to biblical standards. But, again, you cannot legislate righteousness, especially among unbelievers.  We have to understand that fact and realize that we march to a different drumbeat than does a nonbeliever.  We can argue for the validity of our Christian values but the truth has been blinded by the god of this world.  They are deaf to our logic without revelation.

The best way to help both our earthly and heavenly countries is to live out our faith with boldness, compassion, respect and love.  A failure in citizenship is a failure in Christian duty. Every one of us, our children, and our children's children will ultimately be hurt by our "hands-off attitude" when it comes to politics.

A WORD OF WARNING:  Christians are quickly learning that partisan politics is not Christian politics. The worst fault of evangelicals in terms of politics over the last 30 years has been an incredible naiveté about politics and politicians and parties.  They invested far too much hope in a political solution to what are trans-political issues and problems.  Their view tracks with that of the Psalmist, Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. Psalms 146:3
The church is truest to its core mission when it is the farthest from the entanglements of power. The Jesus of the Gospels resolutely refuses to use the means of this world-either the clash of arms or the passions of politics-to further his ends.

·      The Christian patriot loves their country and their God and serve them both as God directs.
·      The Christian patriot fights against sin that enslaves and seeks to bring God's blessing on his land.
·      The Christian patriot prays for the leaders of his country and submits to their authority.
·      The Christian patriot involves him/herself in the system of government to bring peace, order and security for the next generation.

Freedom means you can hear and choose what you will do with this message. Jesus went to a cross to pay for your sin and then He offered freedom to us.  If we choose to follow, we will know the blessing of our freedom in servitude to Him.  We will all choose someone or something to serve.  The question is what or who.

Scripture to Claim:

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work…Titus 3:1

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