Summary: Many people have the mindset that politics and religion should not mix, but what exactly should Christians consider when voting? And What is a Christian’s role with the government?
“Christians and Government”
On a talk show someone commented on the fact that both candidates for president have made their faith a paramount issue in their political debates. That commentator remarked, “What a person believes really shouldn’t matter because religion and politics don’t mix.”
I understand that in a group of people we will have varying political opinions, but I do not think that it is accurate to say that religion and politics do not mix. In fact the Bible addresses many political issues doesn’t it? Government was an issue that Biblical writers addressed. The Scriptures talk about the role of government, how we should respond to the government and in fact much of our laws are taken from the Book of Deuteronomy. I think it is fair to say that Christians should be concerned about politics and that God is concerned about politics. I Peter 2:13 tells us that we are to submit to the governing authorities and I Timothy 2:1 urges us to pray for those who lead. Saying that religion and politics do not mix is usually just an excuse so people do not have to talk about the two as they relate. It’s funny that we are quick to sing patriotic hymns in church and politics and religion can mix on that realm, but they cannot mix when we talk about elections and the issues. The Bible though is not silent on politics.
I believe that it is important that Christians be involved in the process, we should be concerned about this election and all elections. We should be concerned about who is leading us because they decide what freedoms we have and don’t have and what rights we have and don’t have. But, just how do we as Christians interact with the government? What does the Bible say about issues that relate to this? I believe that in a critical time in the history of our country it is important to be informed and to see what our Biblical responsibility is with the government and not to simply withdraw and avoid.
I am not here to promote a particular candidate for the elections. We have been given freedom to vote, we have been given freedom to voice our opinion. We all have political onions and political debates can be some of the most heated debates there are. I do not come to tell you what stance to take on the war, or Social Security or other factors that must be considered when voting. We all are going to be driven to vote the way that we do for different reasons, but I hope that you do not have the mindset that politics, voting and religion do not mix. I hope that your faith does come into play in your decision making while voting and in any other decision that we make. Sometimes we are so quick to want to separate every issue in life, but we cannot do that.
I want to first of all make it clear that God, His Word and His Son Jesus Christ are foundational parts of our government and that should never be forgotten. There’s a good reason that In God We Trust is on our currency… and a good reason our Pledge of Allegiance contains the phrase “One nation Under God”…and there is a good reason that The Declaration of Independence speaks of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God and the certain unalienable Rights endowed on them by their Creator. We hear a lot today about the separation of Church and state, but no matter what laws are passed to keep the church away from the government you cannot truly separate the church from the government. In a few days the 2004 elections will be over and the people will have chosen their leaders of national, state and local levels. The campaign ads will be over, the commercials will stop airing and the decision will have been made. Again, I think it is important for us to take time and look into the Scriptures and see first of all what does the Bible say is the purpose in a government, secondly to see what the Bible says is our responsibility as Christians, and thirdly how does the church Biblically interact with government.
Text: Romans 13:1-7
I. Rights of the Government
I believe that we live in the best country in the world. Sometimes I believe that we take for granted the freedoms, the rights and the privileges that we have as Americans. We can talk a lot about how we disagree with certain aspects of the government, and how we don’t always like how things are done, how we don’t like the politics of it all. The truth of the matter is we are blessed to have the government in place that we do. Paul made it very clear in Romans that government is a God appointed institution. In fact the government is one of only three God given institutions. The family and the church being the other two. The Scriptures also make it clear that the government has a very specific roles. There are some people today who do not like any form of government, but without a government we would have chaos. The government was established for a reason. The passage, which we read, gives us a few of those reasons.