Date written: October 14th, 2006
Scripture ref: 1 Peter 2:13-17
TITLE: The Christian and Politics
PROPOSITION: The Christian's involvement in politics must be 1) peaceful, lawful, and honorable 2) respectful of other people's opinions, 3) Concerned for promoting righteousness.
Objectives: That the Christian would understand the biblical principles involved in each individual's involvement in politics.
Aim: That the Christian would exercise his civil rights in a way that would promote righteousness in our nation.
1. Read: 1 Peter 2:13-17
2. About the Text:
1) Peter tells us in this passage what the purpose of government is.
2) The government is supposed to punish those who are evil.
3) The government is supposed to praise those who do good.
4) In that regard, Christians are supposed to submit to the ordinances of men.
5) Christians are not to use their freedom to engage in lawlessness.
3. Our role in government.
1) During the days of Paul, the government was controlled by a select few.
2) In our country, government is supposed to be by the people and for the people.
3) In such a government, the Christian must ask what his role is in that regard.
4) If the Christian has a say in government, regardless how small, what ought his response to be in that regard?
5) How ought the Christian to involve himself in politics?
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: The Christian's involvement in politics must be . . .
I. Peaceful, Lawful, and Honorable.
1) Jesus was a man of peace, in the physical sense.
2) He did not believe in using violence for political purposes.
3) In Matthew 26:52 Jesus said to Peter, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
4) When Pilate questioned Jesus about his kingdom, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
5) Paul also carried this principle forward. He said, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal....” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
6) Any political involvement that the Christian has ought to be peaceful.
7) Involvement with politics in anything less than a peaceful manner would be sinful.
1) As our text read, the Christian has an obligation to submit to the laws of the government.
2) Romans 13:1-6 speaks of this matter as well.
3) The Christian who participates in politics ought to participate in a lawful manner.
4) Scriptures condemn those who involve themselves in sinful activities regardless of why they are involved in such things.
5) Politicians involved in sinful activities whatever their political affiliation are a shame to the country.
6) Christians who involve themselves in politics must do so lawfully.
1) Romans 12:17 says, “Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.”
2) 2 Corinthians 8:21 says, “for we take thought for things honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”
3) That which is honorable is that which is above being simply legal.
4) There are many activities in which politicians engage that are legal, but may not be honorable.
5) The Christian is going to make sure that his activities are not only legal, but honorable.
6) Christians who involve themselves in politics must do so honorably.
II. Respectful of Other People's Opinions.
1. In politics there are a lot of opinions.
1) In matters of doctrine, we cannot be wrong and must be right to be saved.
2) In matters of opinion, however, we may be wrong.
3) The Christian must know the difference between those two things.
4) He must be respectful of those opinions, though he may disagree.
5) Paul wrote, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Romans 14:19).
2. The Christian's opinion is limited, however, in regard to the weaker.
1) Paul wrote, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)
2) John wrote, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.” (1 John 2:10).
3. These principles must guide the Christian as he involves himself in the political process.
III. Concerned with Promoting Righteousness.
1. The Christians primary concern in politics ought to be morality in law.
1) There are many who say that morality should not be legislated.
2) If that's the case, then there would not be laws against murder, theft, or prostitution.
3) Most do recognize the need to legislate some matters of morality.
2. Morality also is what keeps a nation from being destroyed.
1) Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalteth a nation; But sin is a reproach to any people.”
2) When we look at Bible history, it is those nations that behave immorally that are ultimately destroyed.
3) In that regard, the Christian who involves himself in politics ought to be primarily concerned about morality.
4) Such concerns may involve the following:
a. Sexual matters.
b. Matters regarding the correct handling of money.
c. Concern for the poor.
d. Interest in making sure that justice is dispensed in society appropriately.
e. Protecting those who are weak and can't protect themselves.
f. Ensuring that the law is applied without partiality.
5) Perhaps in past years the Christian did not have to be concerned as much with such things.
6) Today, however, many are seeking to pass laws that make immoral behavior legal.
7) Such must be opposed as the greatest threat to a nation.
8) “But what about money”, some may ask.
9) If there is no morality, then whatever control the government has over money will eventually be abused and misused because there will be no guiding moral principles for how to use such funds.
10) Morality is the #1 issue of government.
3. How can the Christian be involved in making sure our laws reflect appropriate moral standards.
1) The Christian may use peaceful means to petition the government.
2) The Christian may become involved as a politician in the government.
3) The Christian may talk to his governmental representatives regarding such things.
4) The Christian may use whatever legal means are available to protest bad decisions.
4. What are some pressing moral issues facing the Christian in politics today?
1) Abortion – Proverbs 6:17 condemns hands that shed innocent blood.
2) Homosexual activity – condemned in Romans 1:26-32.
3) The teaching of a godless system of origins in schools.
4) Gambling – Ephesians 5:5 says no covetous man will inherit the kingdom.
5) Equity for the poor, underclass, and those of different races. James 2:1-7
6) Righteous standards of judgment in the justice system. 1 Peter 2:13-17
7) Decency standards for the broadcast networks. Ephesians 4:29 “no corrupt speech.”
8) In such matters, the Christian has an obligation to stand up for that which is right.
9) Acts 5:29 says, “We must obey God rather than men.”
5. The Christian and his vote.
1) In this regard, the Christian ought to vote for that candidate that is going to best uphold righteousness.
2) I won't say vote for one party/person or another in that regard.
3) Each individual Christian can answer that question in their own mind.
4) One need only to see which party or politician supports morality and which doesn't to make one's decision.
5) Christians ought not, however, to allow political issues prevent them from speaking out in matters of morality whether privately or publicly.
1. The Christians involvement in politics must be . . .
1) Peaceful, Legal, and Honorable
2) Respectful of other's Opinions
3) Concerned with Promoting Righteousness
2. The power of prayer.
1) Let us also not underestimate the power of prayer in politics.
2) Christians need to pray for their government.
3) 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”