Summary: Last of 3-part series about government and political action. This one about how our relationship with God should influence every area of our lives, including our politics.
The Christian and Government #3 ¡V
Allowing Christ to Rule Your Entire Life
June 7, 2004
(Note: you will need several items for the object lessons in this message:
Object Lesson 1:
„Ï 5 empty bowls, each labeled God (or Church), Family, Work, Recreation, and Politics.
„Ï 1 Pitcher filled with water, labeled God.
„Ï 1 Large container half-filled with water, also labeled God (needs to be big enough to hold the bowls inside, as well as take all the water from the pitcher ¡V the container will already have water, but you will be adding the water from the pitcher). Keep this container hidden until you need it for ¡§level three of the lesson.
Object Lesson 2:
„Ï One glass of milk (make sure the glass is clear).
„Ï Some Chocolate milk mix (preferably a powder because it dissolves quickly).
Keep all these things covered until needed in the message, especially the second lesson, because you may cause people to anticipate your point!
The original title of today¡¦s message was ¡§The Danger of Mixing Politics and Religion,¡¨ and my plan was to focus on how some people can only look at their Bibles through the eyes of the Founding Fathers of our country.
These people take their cues from whoever is the leading voice at the moment for the political wing of the evangelical church. I think that¡¦s dangerous.
And we see people like Dr. James Dobson and D. James Kennedy as political activists rather than men who love Jesus and want others to know and love Him as well. And I¡¦m convinced that that¡¦s who they really are.
Then I was going to title the message, ¡§The Danger of NOT Mixing Politics and Religion," because there are also those who feel that religion should not have any impact on your political outlook, and I think that is dangerous as well, for reasons I discussed at length the last two weeks.
Some pastors LOVE to talk about politics. I hate it. And my remarks today will be mercifully brief, and actually won¡¦t address politics in specific much.
But unfortunately, it needs to be done on occasion. Because the church of Jesus Christ has too often defaulted in this area, and now we have people in office who desire to stifle the free expression of faith in God, and who put political expediency above Biblical principle.
Just this week, two Senators have introduced a hate crimes bill similar to the one that has passed in Canada.
Now understand something ¡V I understand the motive of the bill. No one should be singled out for violence because of their skin, sex, or sexual preference, or their religion. But isn¡¦t every crime of violence actually a hate crime?
The bill has the very real potential to single out followers of Christ for telling what the Bible says about sin and sinful lifestyles, not to mention what it says about Jesus being the only, exclusive way to God.
So I hope you can understand why I feel so strongly that the church should be involved in electing godly men and women to public office.
The goal of today¡¦s message is this: to show you what the Bible says about how a relationship with Christ should impact every area of your life, including your politics.
And in doing that, I want to point out two verses of Scripture from Jesus Himself, and then look at how we can apply them, not just in our political involvement, but to our lives in general.
Now before we dive in let me just give you an indication of how much I like the whole area of politics. The word politics itself is a compound word ¡V ¡§poly,¡¨ which means ¡§many,¡¨ and ¡§ticks,¡¨ which of course means, ¡§blood-sucking insects.¡¨
And that¡¦s about my level of love for the political spectrum. But even though I don¡¦t like politics, I also realize that if I don¡¦t become involved in some form, then I am allowing those who don¡¦t love Christ to rule by default.
But I think that you will find that this message applies across the board, okay? So let¡¦s get going.
One of the verses, and the catalyst of what has sparked my comments today is Luke 10:27, and I would like it if you would read this aloud with me, all right?
He answered: " `Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’
This is obviously a familiar passage to most people, and many of us could quote it in our sleep. The problem is that many Christians stop there. They can quote it, but they won¡¦t take a look at what that means in every day, seven-days a week, especially Monday through Saturday living.