Last night Joe Biden and Paul Ryan squared off in the one and only Vice Presidential debate. I missed most of it. I knew it was on but honestly I just forgot about it. When I turned the TV on and started scrolling to see if there was anything worth watching I tuned in for the last 2 minutes of Paul Ryan’s closing statement. Then I watched about 30 minutes of the “experts” tell us how it went. It’s always interesting to see the partisans feign their bias. Of course you have the Paul Begala types that don’t even do that, they just go straight for the jugular. It’s all very entertaining to me.
I used to really get into politics. Then Jesus came into my life and the things I had affections for began to fade. Recently I was challenged by a man that I see at a restaurant to watch a video on why “Christians” should vote. I respectfully engaged him in conversation and told him I would watch the video. It was somewhat interesting and the spokesperson for this organization really tried to make a biblical case but he lost me when he said it’s my duty as a follower of Jesus Christ to vote. He didn’t support this with scripture although he did provide a couple verses in Proverbs 29:2 & 14:3 which basically tells us the people rejoice when the righteous rule. I agree with that but what is righteousness? Only those redeemed by the blood of Christ are righteous. I’m not sure there’s a lot of that going on in Washington D.C.
To keep this fairly short I’m going to break up this topic into two different ideas and two separate posts. Today I want to examine whether the bible compels us to be politically minded. I won’t pretend to convince you that I know everything. I simply want to challenge your thinking and ask if you are thinking like God, or are you trying to “spiritualize” things of this world. Romans 12:1-2
I don’t think God is an American. Oh, did I just say that out loud?
Seriously, I want you to take a minute and really meditate on this. I think most American church goers believe God is on the side of America. We are convinced God doesn’t like other countries and His favor has fallen on “us”, but is it true?
Most Americans reject God just like most of Israel rejected God.
Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
There is a remnant of people that God saves for His glory.
Romans 9:27-28 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”
Look at what Ezekiel says and see if this is relevant.
Ezekiel 14:12-14, 22 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying: “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, (emphasis mine) I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut of its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the LORD God. Verse 22 Yes behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done it,” says the LORD God.
God has sent spiritual famine on this land. Romans 1:24
Politics and policy are temporal. 2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:1, 1 Peter 1:17.
The word of God is forever. Matthew 6:13, Hebrews 1:8, 13:8.
1 Peter 1:25 but the word of the Lord endures forever, and this is the word that was preached as the gospel to you.
God is sovereign.
1 Chronicles 29:11-12 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all, Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
The Lord or the apostles were not politically active but solely focused on kingdom work. John 18:36, Matthew 22:21, Titus 1:1, Philemon 1:1, James 1:1 Describing themselves as bondservants (Doulos, slaves of Christ).
Part 2 is going to be about the heart of the matter. I hope you will stay tuned because this is what really matters to God.