Christians & Politics
Intro: to say that it is wrong for me to be involved in politics is not only unscriptural, it is un-American.
As far back as Genesis, God’s people have always been involved in politics.
In fact, you will be hard pressed to find a single influential Bible character that did not involve themselves in politics.
We should not just be involved – but influential.
Old Testament examples:
- interacted with the household of Pharaoh in Genesis 12
- multiple kings in Genesis 14
- Interacted with the King Abimelech in Genesis 20
- Interpreted Pharaoh’s dream – Genesis 41:16
- Became second in command Genesis 41:43
- Stood before Pharaoh Exodus 5:1
- Interacted with Pharaoh from chapter 5 until chapter 13
- Fought against multiple kings: Joshua 12:1-6
- Fought against multiple kings in Joshua 10 and 11 (see vs. 18)
- Conquered multiple kings Joshua 12:7-24
The Book of Judges – multiple men were in a position of national leadership
- God allowed the prophet Samuel (also a judge) to anoint the first king of Israel.
- Samuel anointed David as the second king.
- Samuel was heavily involved in the politics of his nation.
- David served in the palace of King Saul.
- Was Saul’s armor-bearer; played his harp. I Sam. 16:21
- Became king
- Wrote the book of Psalms
- Wrote three books of the Bible. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon
Ezra and Nehemiah
- Both served in the palace and under the authority of their kings) Ezra 7:11; Nehemiah 2:7
- Very close personal relationships with the leaders of their day
- A Jewish woman that married a heathen king
- Mordecai, her uncle sat in the king’s gate – Esther 2:21
- His classic response to Esther: Esther 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Isaiah was ordered by God to offer counsel to kings – Isaiah 7
Jeremiah interacted and influenced kings.
- He was called to prophesy to the elders and leaders of his day. Ezek. 14:1; 20:1
- Called to prophecy against King Tyrus – 28:2
- Called to prophecy against Pharaoh – 29:2; 31:2
Daniel served in the administration of 4 different kings
many more Old Testament prophets – all interacted and influenced the leaders of their day.
Wise Men went to King Herod looking for the Messiah
John the Baptist interacted and influenced Herod.
- Mark 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
Jesus addressed the leaders of his day often.
- The Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees were ruling class.
- The Sanhedrin were local authorities
- Was personally known by Pilate and Herod
The Book of Acts
The Apostles preached to the senate of the children of Israel – 5:21; 27 before the council
They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer
Stephen preached to the council: Acts 6:15
Peter preached to a centurion of the Italian Band – a military captain of Rome. Acts 10
Saul – later named Paul – commission:
- Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
- Paul was personal friends with the chief of Asia – Acts 19:31
- Paul witnessed to King Agrippa; Festus, and the household of Caesar.
God’s Instruction to the Believer concerning Politicians
I. Pray for Them
I Timothy 2
- 1 ¶I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
- 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
- 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
II. Win them to Christ
- 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
- Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
III. Be Subject to them
- 1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
- 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
- 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
- 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
- 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
- 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
IV. Honor our Leaders
- Ecclesiastes 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought;
- 1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
I know that our leaders are not the king.
The king was born into his position. Did nothing to earn it.
Our leaders were elected. They should be respected.
Disagree with them? Vote them out of office.
V. Do what you can to make a change
Separation of church and state is a lie.
First Amendment – Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Lincoln evidently borrowed the now-famous three-part phrase. In 1384, John Wycliffe wrote in the prologue to his translation of the Bible, “The Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People”
We have an obligation to do something if we can!
- Proverbs 26:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.
QUOTE: Unlike the Roman Empire in the first century, our country is a participatory republic. We have the obligation to make our voices heard and to get involved in dialogue. Our government asks us, as citizens, to participate, not merely to shut up and obey. In the United States, ‘We, the people’ means Christians as well as non-Christians. Submission in our political system includes being willing to contribute to the political process, not withdraw from it. Tom Minnery, p. 100.
- Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
- 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
- 15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.