Politics and the Church III

25 01 2007

So what’s a church to do, render unto God the things that are God’s and let everyone else mind Caesar’s business? Hardly! Since we are given a voice and a vote by our constitution, we should neglect neither. Jesus encourages us to, “Render unto Caesar”. If the church simply lies down to become a welcome mat, stepped upon and abused, then the cause of Christ will suffer. Our mission will become much more difficult. So what could be the church’s response to politics?

1, Conviction needs to be balanced with civility
We can express passion about a moral issue or political decision, but we go over the line when we attack the intelligence and sincerity of people who do not share our view. Others may belittle those who do not share their cynicism and political bias – Jesus NEVER did! He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). It’s easy to criticize and insult the deep seeded beliefs of another and call it “freedom of speech,” but you may lose the potential of sharing the saving gospel with them. There are no rewards passed out in Heaven for being rude.

2. The opposing party is not your enemy
So often we (the church) treat them as such. We speak as if the opposing party (D or R), are as dangerous as Communists or as deadly as terrorists. We actually rejoice when they are embroiled in scandal or when the Gallup poll favors “our side”. Where is our faith in a Sovereign God? For the sake of their everlasting soul, do not engage a member of the opposing party just to win a debate or verbally attack them like they are an enemy!

3. Respect and prayer should be given for authority
In I Peter 2:13-17, the apostle does not mention him by name, but the king on the Roman throne at that time was Nero. Nero hated Christians. Nero persecuted and killed Christians. Yet Peter admonishes these Christians to submit to civil law and to honor the king? He is not telling believers to compromise conscience for he himself said in Acts 5:29: “We ought to obey God rather than men”. He is telling them that as a rule (guideline), we need to cooperate within the bounds of law. In I Timothy 2:1-3 we are told the wisdom of praying for those in positions of authority (even if you did not vote for them).

TO BE CONTINUED….

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