Tuesday, September 09, 2008

November Is Almost Here

What do I mean by that? Well, the conventions are over. The tickets have been filled. And the pundits have plenty to say. That means that it's almost time for us to elect a new president here in the United States.
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings;
Daniel 2:20,21
Though we will soon be electing a man to sit in the White House for eight years at most (should he be re-elected), there is One who has been sitting on a throne in Heaven from eternity past and will sit there for all of eternity to come. He is not elected by men. And He cannot be impeached by men. And it is this presiding One who ultimately will elect the next person to fill the executive seat in the White House. Indeed, He has already chosen.

But if you're like me, you have to be reminded that the way God goes about removing presidents and setting up presidents in the democracy of our country is by the votes of individual citizens like you and me. To tell you the truth, I would prefer to stay away from a ballot box when November comes and let the cards fall where they will because I'm not dazzled by any political party or the candidates who represent them.

But God has called us to be faithful stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us. And here in the United States one of the many things we have been entrusted with as citizens of this country is the right to vote. Woe to us if we imitate the behavior of the servant who buried the one talent that his master entrusted to him (Matthew 25:18). So what does it mean for us to in this way (with our voting rights) be faithful stewards of the citizenship that God has entrusted to us? I'm not really sure. But I want to be faithful to Jesus.

Is it reduced to nothing more than supporting the candidate who protects the lives of unborn children and rejecting any other? Or the candidate who upholds the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman? Those were the basic (biblical, I thought) lines along which I thought until my pastor recently finished a series in Romans 13:1-7 called "The Christian, the Church, and Government."

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
Romans 13:1-7
In case you hadn't figure it out by now, I don't like politics. But when my pastor began to preach about Christians and politics, I wasn't expecting what I got. What do you think he might say about politics when addressing the issue of politics? You might be surprised by the answer: very little. But I know that after listening to them I have alot more to consider as I get ready to go to the ballot box in November.

For my blog friends or anyone else who doesn't attend West Hills, I highly commend the following two sermons (if you don't want to listen to the entire series) from the timely 5 message series my pastor recently finished. I'm pretty sure it's not what you expected.

The Christian, Politics, and Government

The Church, Politics, and Government (4)

And for those who are interested, here are the other three:

The Christian, the Church, and Government (1)

The Government as God's Minister (2)

When Government Goes Bad, What Should the Church Do? (5)

Note: The number in parentheses after each sermon is the order in the series in which the sermon was preached.

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