Summary: This sermon addresses freedom of religion, the separation of church and state, and the level of social and political responsibility a Christian has in the United States today.
Study more on this topic and other related topics in the American Patriot’s Bible (Thomas Nelson), edited by Dr. Richard Lee, at www.americanpatriotsbible.com.
"...Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s." Matthew 22:21
These are challenging times for America. The nation that has served as the light of liberty for the world seems to be weakening down to her very foundations. There are many American who are openly expressing great concerns about our nation’s future in the generations to come.
Thomas Jefferson, America’s third President said, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure...?" (Refer to APB pg. 514)
I too have the same concerns but even greater concerns that the Church of Jesus Christ is failing to fulfill her responsibility in the public and political arena in our great nation.
To lift our Country back to the level of decency and morality designed by our Forefathers, Christians must become the "salt" and "light" Christ commissioned us to be in our personal Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and world.
Our Lord tells us in our text, "...Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s." Matthew 22:21
Unfortunately, some have misconstrued this as meaning that Christians have no place in Caesar’s public arena. That is far from the reality of what Jesus was saying. It is clear that He has commissioned us that we are to give of our time, our efforts and influence to the things of God, but also to the actions required for creating a godly government (Caesar’s).
Yet so many Christians in our nation fear that their involvement in the political process is somehow "unchristian" or outside of the realm of Christian responsibility. But nothing is farther from the truth. "POLITICS" is not a dirty word and it is not somehow spiritually "taboo" for the followers of Christ to be involved in the political processes of our nation. In fact, I believe God expects it from us all.
Billy Graham stated," If America is to survive, we must elect more God-centered men and women to..." (Refer to APB pg. 316 for quotes)
1. POLITICS AND WHAT IT IS.
Simply put -- Politics is People.
First it is people who vote. Second are those who receive the vote. When elected they become the representatives who provide public policy and direction in government.
Politics in America has to do with its citizens because it is citizens through the elective process who control their representative government. When we embrace the "political processes" that bring about change for the betterment of our fellowman, we are being that "salt and light" commissioned by our Lord.
2. POLITICS AND WHAT IT DOES.
Now when we see what politics does. We see how ordinary people once elected to public office have extraordinary power over our daily lives.
Politics establishes government and government through its branches and policies sets the rules by which society operates. Thereby, government in a great way controls our manner of living, by using taxation, laws, and ordinances as means of control.
(Refer to APB Subject Index for materials).
3. POLITICS AND WHY IT IS NEEDFUL.
Politics and government walk hand in hand.
A. Government is needful because it is God’s Idea.
Romans 13:1 "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."
v. 4 speaks concerning the people in the government God establishes, "For He is God’s minister to you for good." Who is He? He is the servant of God who gives righteous leadership in government.
Proverbs 29:2 "With good men in authority, the people rejoice but with the wicked in power they groan." Good government is God’s idea.
2. Government is needful for Civil Order.
Without government chaos would rule.
A Surgeon, an Architect and a Politician were in an argument over whose profession was the oldest. The Surgeon said, "Mine is the oldest, because Eve was taken from Adam’s rib, and that took surgery."
"No" said the Architect..."Before Adam and Eve the world was created out of chaos, and that was the work of an Architect." Then quickly the Politician said, "Well now, politicians were first, after all, who do you think created the Chaos?"
Romans 13:3-4 "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil...do what is good, and you will have praise from the same...but if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not hear the sword in vain: for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."
When government is ruled by those do good, law and order prevails as God gives them power to bring judgment upon those who practice evil.