Sermons

Summary: Can you be a Christian and a patriot? How do we fight injustice? How do I show love even when I believe what is happening is wrong?

POWERPOINT Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.

16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.

17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

POWERPOINT 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?

19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,

20 and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"

21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

POWERPOINT “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s; and to God that which is God’s.”

Review from last week:

Patriotism means treasuring your country and all that is good in it, and working to change all that is not.

Patriotism is being willing to sacrifice and give up what is easy for the good of your country.

Patriotism means country before self & ambition.

Self and ambition might as well be the hallmark of every person running for the office of president in this election cycle.

Patriotism means country before comfort & safety.

But what about the second half of that verse?

POWERPOINT - Being a true patriot means that God comes before country.

This has always been an unpopular

Early Christians would not say “Caesar is Lord.” Only Jesus was Lord. So they were scapegoated, blamed, and more.

POWERPOINT – TWEET FROM ACLU LAWYER

"The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this. No.”

IS this new?

"The Christians are to blame for every public disaster and every misfortune that befalls the people. If the Tiber rises to the walls, if the Nile fails to rise and flood the fields, if the sky withholds its rain, if there is earthquake or famine or plague, straightway the cry arises: ‘The Christians to the lions!’"

~ Tertullian, A.D. 196

But what does that mean?

1. Fight Injustice, no matter the form.

Our country is grieved at the moment about the killings of men by police officers, and killings of police officers by evil men.

We cannot, as Christians, too quickly dismiss the experience of those who have been victims of racism. If you do, you are not loving your neighbor as yourself.

You see, the time will come

POWERPOINT - MLK Jr.

POWERPOINT – mug shot

POWERPOINT – MLK quote

Whether you find it across the country, across the street, or in your heart, fight it.

Be willing to listen and learn.

There are those who have experienced racial discrimination, and we should hear them out…

There are those who are willing to kill to “even the score” and they should be rightly punished. Those who celebrate the death of the police officers in Dallas are wrong… and so are those who celebrate the death of the man in

POWERPOINT – Thomas Jefferson – “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

What does our resistance look like?

It looks like disarmed resistance.

Powerpoint> Letters from a Birmingham Jail

Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

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