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Nero, one of the most corrupt rulers who ever lived, was on the throne when Paul wrote: Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment. For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil.
Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Romans For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. Honor all men.
Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. What if the government forbade Christians to worship God? What should we do? The Jewish officials arrested the apostles for preaching Christ.
They said to them But Peter and the apostles answered and said, We must obey God rather than men. Acts This is the only exception! Some say worldly people can serve in the government, but Christians cannot. The Bible does not teach this. God has just one law. It is for all men.
If it is wrong for a Christian to serve in the government, it would be wrong for anyone. If it is right for a non-Christian to serve in the government, it would be right for a Christian to do the same. Surely, there are many temptations to do wrong if one has authority over his fellow men.
It is easy to abuse power. Christians must be honest and fair in all their dealings with their fellow men. This is true in business. Politically motivated anger can become dangerous. In June , a shooter opened fire on Republican politicians playing baseball at a charitable event.
And in October , a man shipped pipe bombs to various Democratic politicians. Matt However, there is unrighteous anger that desires to damage or destroy others. Do we ever find ourselves desiring to damage or destroy others because of politics? Politics is not neutral.
12 Truths for Depressed and Anxious Christians | Crossway Articles
It often becomes a counter-narrative to the gospel by pushing Christ out of the center of our lives. The solution is not a rejection of politics, but rather a right ordering of politics. A recent report found that people who are actively involved in church tend to have less extreme and less partisan views politically. In other words, when Christians make their faith the center of their lives, and there is evidence in their daily and weekly practices, then it has an impact in their politics and public engagement.
What will our lives look like when the Christian faith drives our public and political engagement? Affirming these qualities about Jesus has become so routine that we may forget the political nature of these names. Christians believe that a political party is not ultimately in charge, nor is any president, prime minister or royal family.
Our allegiance to Christ will impact our relationship with politics. Some Christians may lean to the right or to the left. They may primarily vote for Republicans or Democrats. Yet they will never be completely in the back pocket of any political group on every issue. Christians are called to speak the truth Zech When our allegiance is to King Jesus, then we will often find ourselves challenging aspects of a political platform. When is the last time we challenged aspects of our political ideology because of our allegiance to Jesus? Christians affirm that every person is created in the image of God Gen So revolutionary is the call to love in the Christian faith that we even apply this command to our enemies Matt This life of love creates a radical community within the church.
After the presidential election, Christians who voted for Trump and Christians who voted for Clinton or for neither gathered together in corporate worship. The love of Christ continues to unite the church. For Christians, the public square is not full of enemies to be defeated but with people who deserve love. Volf writes:. Life goes well for us when our basic needs are met and when we experience that we are loved by God and by our neighbors—when we are loved as who we are, with our own specific character and history, notwithstanding our fragility and failures.
In contrast to the religion of politics, shaping us into a people of unrighteous anger, the Christian faith shapes a people of joy. Christians have an opportunity to show a different approach in our civic involvement if we take our joy in Christ into our public lives.
Their suffering was undergirded with the joy of the Lord. They rested in the assurance that He would deliver them—if not in this life, certainly in the next. In addition to our Statement of Faith, the EFCA is united around the mission to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people.
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Through the power of the Holy Spirit, local churches, in proclaiming and living the gospel of Jesus Christ, can be agents and instruments used of God to transform people, neighborhoods and entire cities.