It seems that in recent days there has been an increasing sentiment that Christians should not be involved with government or politics beyond their right to vote. The phrase “separation of church and state” gets thrown around as though it was a phrase from the Constitution. A Christian world-view is often dismissed as ignorant science-deniers. All the while common sense seems to be tossed out at every turn.
In our latest podcast episode, I interview Dr. Jerry Scheidbach. We address this very top. We also discuss his latest book, “God’s War – Why Christians should rule the world.” I hope it will be a help to you.
A group of Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with a political question and Matthew 22:17-22 gives the account. “Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.“
There are a few things we can draw from this.
First: We ought to participate in government.
Jesus directed their attention to a penny. Our penny is different from in the first century, but to consider our context, let’s consider a penny. It has written on it three phrases.
“E Pluribus Unum” – out of many, one. This speaks to the unity of a nation though it has been forged from many backgrounds, heritages, cultures, creeds, etc. This original motto was adopted as our founders understood that if we loose the vision of oneness, this whole thing will fall apart. From Ben Franklin who was attributed to saying, “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” to Abraham Lincolns quote from Scripture, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” In oder to take our country down, it must be divided and we are seeing that on many fronts. We must be involved!
“Liberty” The next word is liberty. Liberty comes from God. This was the overwhelming consensus during the time of our founding. This is not a liberty to do whatever we want but the liberty to do what is right.
“In God we Trust” Our nation’s current motto. Our rights, our liberties, and our freedoms come from God. All 50 of our states’ constitution acknowledge gratitude to God and recognize that their blessings come from Him.
We MUST participate if we are to preserve what we have.
“It is inconceivable that the God who invented human government would want His people to stay out of it.” – Pastor Brad Wells
The great scandal of our day is bad citizenship of good people. We must be involved. We must vote. We must volunteer. We must seriously consider serving in public office.
Secondly: We should pay for government
Jesus told them to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. Now we don’t have a caesar today, but we have a government. We should be sure we do everything we can to contribute and not take. This is another area where there it bad citizenship of good people. Don’t cheat on your takes. Pay the tax. God is more than capable to taking care of you. In Matthew 17, Jesus told Petter to catch a fish and it had a coin in its mouth that they were able to pay their tax with.
Thirdly: We should pray for our government
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; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.– 1 Timothy 2:1-4
There are two important motivations pointed out as we consider prayer and our liberties. First, that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives. If we prayed half as much as we complain, I wonder how different things would be. We must be diligent in praying for those in authority so we may live in liberty. Secondly, that there would be freedom to proclaim the gospel as God desires all men to be saved. Pray diligently, for our elected leaders and our government as a whole.
I hope you enjoy this podcast episode as we consider a Christian’s role in this world.