THE GOOD CHRISTIAN CITIZEN — PART 2

Christ before Pilate, 16th–17th century (from Pontius Pilate – Wikipedia)

In the first post of this series, THE GOOD CHRISTIAN CITIZEN — PART 1 | Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance (familyallianceonline.org), we noted that as Americans we vote for our leaders. Instead of being ruled by monarchs with absolute power, We the People choose our leaders. As good citizens, we each have the responsibility to participate in the governance of our country. As Christians, Christ commands to love our family, our friends, and our neighbors. Therefore, we should participate in the duties of citizenship out of love for our family, our friends, and our neighbors.

What is the subject of this post?

Christians Cannot In Good Conscience Wash Their Hands of Politics

Many Christians, perhaps Conservative Christians in particular, tend to see politics as a dirty business. These fear politics will bring out the worst in the congregation of their church and divide the members of the congregation against each other. So, they fall back upon an old argument. They say the Bible says nothing about how we should govern ourselves, that Jesus did not involve Himself in politics. That is nonsense.

Did Jesus run for political office? No. Jesus is God. God does not run for political office. He is the King of Kings! And that is that.

Nevertheless, we have yet to see the Second Coming, and the Bible has much to say about government. We call the first five books of the Mosaic Code. Other books tell the history of Israel, especially about the kings of Israel. Acts tells us how the Apostle Paul appeared before rulers and preached the Gospel. The Gospels tell us that Rome crucified Jesus for the crime of rebellion. Like Jesus, many of the first Christians were martyred by the governing authorities. Why? Believing in Jesus is a political act.

We may wish it were otherwise, but our struggle with sin, including our battle against Satan, pits us “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-20 NASB – The Armor of God – Finally, be strong – Bible Gateway). When our rulers call upon us to sin, we must don the Armor of God and oppose them. When we can, we must replace sinful rulers with more Godly men and women.

Consider Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler who ordered the crucifixion of Jesus.Instead of doing the right thing — what he knew to be right — Pilate made a political calculation.

Matthew 27:24 New American Standard Bible

Now when Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; you yourselves shall see.”

Like Pontius Pilate, many Christians wish to wash their hands of politics. However, just as it was wrong for Pilate to wash his hands of a hard decision, it is wrong for us to walk away from the hard work of politics. God made us to work, and that includes the work of good citizenship.

Before God gave Adam a wife, He gave him a job. God made Adam a gardener. Then Adam had only himself to govern, and he had only one command.

Genesis 2:15-17 New American Standard Bible

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Like Adam, we have work to do. We too must obey God. We too must govern ourselves. We must also work to properly govern our society.

  • If we want good teachers and good schools for our children, we must work for the appointment of school administrators who see parents and children as their customers, not teachers unions.
  • If we want policemen, prosecuters, and judges who will protect rights of our family, friends, and neighbors, we must work to elect honorable people.
  • If we want public transportation systems that work for our family, friends, and neighbors, we must work for transportation systems that serve their users, not special interests.
  • And so forth.

Do women — do the female progency of Eve have a role in government? Why did God create woman? One reason is that Adam needed help. We all need help. Hence, our Lord commands us to love each other. Our spouses — the people we love the most — give us the greatest incentive to work for good government.

What is the quality of our work for good government? Citizenship is ultimately about charity, about agape love, about a gift we give out of generosity to our family, friends and neighbors.

Consider the words of James.

James 2:14-17 New American Standard Bible

14 What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Good government is a primary need. We cannot prosper in chaos. When there is no one to restrain the lawless, we cannot properly provide food, clothing, and shelter for ourselves. Thus, good citizens give each other a great gift when they work in harmony to create a proper government.

When in faith we give to those we love, we give from ourselves; we don’t give what belongs to others and pretend that is charity. Government that steals the property and/or freedom of some people and gifts their freedom and property to others is not good government. Instead, when we behave as good Christian citizens, we work for those candidates we believe will protect the God-given rights of our family, friends, and neighbors, especially the right to practice our own religious beliefs. Good citizens don’t give money to candidates and expect anything in return. Good citizens don’t use government to pad their own pockets with other people’s money.

Consider the inevitable consequences of allowing a candidate to buy our vote with other people’s money. If that candidate is willing to bribe us in return for our vote, then it is quite likely that that candidate sees nothing wrong with accepting the money of rich donors in return for political favors. Most likely, such a candidate will even be tempted to accept the donations of foreign governments and work against the security interests of the United States. Therefore, when we accept the bribes of politicians in return for our votes, that is tanatamount to treason. Instead of serving the people we should love, we betray them. Ultimately, we betray our self to Satan.

Therefore, we should understand that good citizenship — Christian citizenship — is about making a choice. Who will we serve?

Matthew 6:24 New American Standard Bible

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

We cannot serve both God and wealth. We cannot both serve God and power. We cannot put anything before God and still serve Him. Therefore, when we behave as good Christian citizens, we must remember that our goal is to glorify our Savior — to follow His example — and work for a government that wisely serves the best interests of our family, friends and neighbors.

To Be Continued

Part 3: What Can Your Church Do To Promote Good Government?

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3 Responses to THE GOOD CHRISTIAN CITIZEN — PART 2

  1. boudicaus says:

    Reblogged this on boudica.us and commented:
    H/T Citizen Tom

  2. Tom,

    I recently listened to a Great Courses audio titled History of the World which the narrator gave a very detailed explanation the untenable position Pontius Pilate faced when the Religious Leaders demanded Jesus be crucified.

    He tried a number of different avenues to spare Jesus but gave in because of the political straights he was faced with by both Roman and Jewish leaders..

    Reminds me of our legislature who give in and compromise to give in our contemporary times., Many who feel they are in an untenable position to support even though they really understand by doing so, an innocent life is being sacrificed.

    For example, Abortion, sending USA troops to defend foreign countries with cultures and beliefs they know are evil or corrupt, USA school children growing up in violent urban communities with failing schools, etc. etc.

    In other words, washing hands on issues and compromising on an excuse to stand up for righteousness or giving in to evil consequences in order to win an election or remain in an elected office.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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