Summary: Good Christians make good citizens because they are saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit.
A Good Christian makes a Good Citizen
Matt: 22:15-22 “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”
During the upcoming election period when we have to choose between a
candidate who thinks he knows it all and one that knows nothing. People ask what is
the proper role of a Christian in political matters. Should we vote, should we be
involved, should we stay home, should we be active, should we be passive.
This passage presents and interesting challenge to Jesus on one hand you have the
Herodians, who were religious people who had the religious reasoning of a Latin
Theologian named Tertullian. Tertullian claimed that Christians were no danger to
The state but good and useful citizens. He emphasized a separation from pagan society
In order to escape contamination from its immorality and idolatry. So Herodians in effect
Were separatists – have nothing to do with the system.
On the other hand you have the Pharisees, they were self-righteous who defined the
Religious law and interpreted it within the context of their views. In other words when
In Rome do what the Romans do, as long as you prosper and are promoted. In the work
World you would call them brown nosers or cheese eaters, during the Black power
Struggle we would call them uncle toms.
So here you have separatist people and self-righteous people asking Jesus what is lawful to do. Separatist the system is no good, I’m not getting involved. Self-righteous view is what’s in it for me.
I’m here to suggest that Good Christians make Good Citizens. This past Friday I was reminded of this reality when I attended a dedication ceremony for a new health care resource center in a Cherry Hill medical building. The resource room was named in honor of the late Sarah J. Bundy. The story how she would gather members of the community together in her home and discuss the needs of the community. One of the needs was access to health are and in 1978 started a medical clinic. 22 years later there is a medical facility that would be the envy of any community. Sister Bundy not only was involved in the political affairs of her community, she was involved in her church training children matters of Christian education. She was not a separatist, nor was she self-righteous. She could have been her husband was a judge, an influential man in the community. But she understood as Paul would say, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”
Self-righteous is not the way in matters of social political affairs.
Separatism is not the way. Read Matthew 5:13-16. Jesus makes two analogies when referring to believers: (1) you are the salt of the earth, (2) you are the light of the world. Later we would sing, “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. All in my home and everywhere I go. This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.
I’m convinced the Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. I’m convinced that Jesus’ prayer was answered and the Kingdom of God has come and it operates on earth as it does in heaven. Therefore, there should be no aspect of human endeavor that does not come under the influence and scrutiny of God’s redemptive work in this world. I believe we have a responsibility and duty to preach and work for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus said for us to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Harmless as doves doesn’t mean passive. As a youth I use to spend my summers in North Carolina. Rural living teaches you so much about the earth, that no zoo, I don’t care how fine it is cannot teach. Across from my uncle and grandfathers house was a large tree. This particular summer I watched a momma bird and a poppa bird build a nest for their young. The momma bird would sit on the nest, while the poppa bird would go and gather worms to feed her. I watched this daily ritual until I saw that an egg had hatched and a baby bird was born. The momma and poppa bird would take turns getting food for the baby bird. Me under the influence of Davey Crockett, built a bow and arrow. While I couldn’t hit the side of a barn. I would shoot the arrows at the nest. One day the arrow came dangerously close to the baby bird and immediately the momma and poppa bird flew towards me in an attack mode. To protect their children. To protect their home and community, those bird where not harmless. They were aggressive. When your religious principles are under attack, Jesus didn’t mean for us to be passive.