Summary: Christians should lead the way in standing for justice and righteousness in America

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(Medford, NJ--first grader Zachary Hood…favorite story from Beginner’s Bible [Jacob and Esau])

What are “they” afraid of? (17:2-7) afraid Christians will try to “take over” America

(Taliban Afghanistan: man imprisoned for giving “Leonardo DiCapria haircut…

kite flying and laughing in public are prohibited…hands cut off…Hindus ID…)

Nothing to fear:

Constitution: separation of church and state (establishment clause—not anti-religion clause!)

Supreme Court: Pray—but not over PA system at football game (but in a speech…)

Religious clubs can have same access to schools as other clubs (gays, skinheads)

Charitable choice: participate in government programs, but must maintain freedom…

New Testament: King Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world…”

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

That leaves us hanging: What do Christians have to offer America? (if not to stone evil people)

Most of what Bible says about national life is in O.T.—and America is not “chosen people”

Old Testament: Theocracy [rule of God]: church and state are one (17:14-20)

We don’t have that

holy war is not an option, civil laws of O.T. don’t apply too well to life in democracy…

àtendency is to put faith and Bible in one compartment, and life in our culture in another—

feel embarrassed to bring faith into discussion

Study Old Testament, learn principles of interpretation: What doesn’t change?

God doesn’t change

human nature doesn’t change (Old Testament brings reality into picture)

what is right and wrong doesn’t change

God’s love and compassion for hurting people doesn’t change

God’s primary way of working with the world is still through his chosen people

Christians are chosen people of Godàto help make America great

We’re not going to do it by stoning evildoers or taking over government

But we are still chosen and called by God to make a difference in our land

Read Old Testament: What makes a nation great?

Foundation of any great nation is justice and righteousness

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

Justice: realm of nation and society (justice system—also politics, economics…)

Righteousness: realm of personal/family/community (morality, behavior)

In Old Testament (Hebrew language): same word (tsedeq/tsedeqah)

can’t really separate (Russia: taxes, financial reports, Swiss bank accounts, rocket launch)

But way we have influence in those two areas is somewhat separated

(for most of us—unless we are politicians, or judges…

We have a right and responsibility to stand up for justice

We have a right and responsibility to stand out for righteousness

A. Christians have a right and responsibility to stand up for justice in our nation

3 principles of justice in this section of Deuteronomy—advocate and live them out

1. Fair and impartial (16:18-20)

Justice system (juryàtake time for sake of justice)

special warnings about justice for poor, alien—language, access to legal counsel…

(no matter what your position on death penalty…biblical principle is impartiality…

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