The Christian and Civil Matters

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The Christian and Civil Matters Powered By Docstoc
					The Christian and Civil Matters
If this is God’s world, and we are God’s
people, what is our relationship to His
world in regard to the civil sphere of life?
• Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it
  everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and
  applying the wrong remedies.
• Those are my principles, and if you don't like
  them... well, I have others.
• Any society that would give up a little liberty to
  gain a little security will deserve neither and lose
  both.
• Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted
  with the government of himself. Can he, then, be
  trusted with the government of others? Or have
  we found angels in the forms of kings to govern
  him? Let history answer this question.
    THE SEASONS OF LIFE
SEASON
AGE
                                             MAIN ACTIVITY
Responsibility                           Authority / Sphere of Influence
   PROTECTION             STUDY       BUSINESS         HOSPIT-          CIVIC LEADERSHIP
        60 – 80                           (and          ALITY                Community
                                     grandchildren)
    Establish Justice                                                    Economic, Social, Political
    PROVISION             STUDY       BUSINESS             HOSPITALITY                      CIVICS
       40 – 60
                                                               Church
Build Mature Christians
                                                             Elder, Deacon
  PRODUCTION              STUDY         BUSINESS AND                HOSPI-TALITY            CIVICS
        20 – 40
                                           BABIES
  Produce Good things
   Mercy, Generosity                         Household
                                             Small Group
  PREPARATION                 STUDY                    BUSINESS     HOSPI-TALITY            CIVICS
        0 – 20                                        AND BABIES
                              Individual
   Clear Conscience
                            Servant / Friends
    God and Man
LEGALITY   AUTHORITIES   ALLOWED




                         OUGHT TO
MORALITY AGREEMENTS         BE




THEOLOGY ASSUMPTIONS       “IS”
Understanding Culture
Basic Assumptions about Reality
• This world, everything, and everyone, belongs to God –
  Psalm 24
• This world was given to man, to fill and to rule
  ▫ Genesis 1:28-30; 9:1,7
• This world was given civil government by God
  ▫ Romans 13
• The civil government is therefore a place for God’s
  people to exercise stewardship of His world
• The nature and purpose of government is defined by
  God, not man
• God clearly defines the role of government as primarily
  the establishment of justice, punishment of evildoers,
  and protection of the law-abiding citizen. Acts 22:24
• It is a blessing to all when men rule according to God’s
  wisdom Proverbs 29:2
Basic Assumptions about Reality
• This world needs civil government due to man’s
  sinfulness Genesis 9:6, Romans 13
• It is disobedience to God’s word to neglect the
  civil needs of this world – Jeremiah 9:24; Micah
  6:8
• It is not possible to bring heaven on earth, but it
  is to influence leadership by prayer – 1 Timothy
  2; Proverbs 21:1
• The State is not the agency of salvation, or mercy
• The state cannot solve a moral problem by
  mechanical or monetary means
Our Responsibility
• Person        • 1. Honor the individual
                • 2. Pray for them: conscience as most
                  sacred property, and conscience
                  informed by true understanding of
                  scripture


• Position      • 1. Respect the office


• Personality   • Expect anything – worst to best.
                  “Greed corrupts; power provides
                  opportunity, and absoluter power
                  provides absolute opportunity”
Our Responsibility
• Policies   • 1. Trace Fruit to Root
             • 2. Reject unacceptable
             • 3. Promote the acceptable (most
               consistent with Biblical principles)
             • 4. Develop consensus of opinion
             • 5. Remind of duty to govern justly
               before God

• Party      • 1. Inspect the platform
             • 2. Discern if better to be Allies or Co-
               Belligerents
             • 3. Provide Alternative means to
               achieve same goals
Sources of our prosperity:
•   The frugality, energy, and personal independence
•   Rapid development of invention
•   Equality of men in the eye of the law
•   Free institutions, voluntary societies
•   Breaking lose from European prejudices
•   Combined with:
    ▫   Good climate,
    ▫   Splendid soil,
    ▫   Wonderful mineral resources,
    ▫   Free trade over enormous territory
              Student’s History of the United States, by
            Edward Channing, Professor of History at Harvard, 1910
• Government always finds a need for whatever
  money it gets.
• Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes
  them.
• Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with
  a big appetite at one end and no sense of
  responsibility at the other.
• Government's first duty is to protect the people, not
  run their lives.
• Governments tend not to solve problems, only to
  rearrange them.
• No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in
  size. Government programs, once launched, never
  disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the
  nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this
  earth!
The Christian and Civil Matters
As Christians, our citizenship is in Heaven, but our
Stewardship is on earth, therefore we have the great
privilege and responsibility to bring the gospel and God’s
wisdom for civil matters to the world.