We are in the middle of an enormous valley of decisions. With the political winds blowing everywhere and raging with fierce intensity, we are tossed to and fro with doubt and uncertainty. We are faced with an economy that is still struggling to recover, and a society that is on the worst moral decline it has ever known. Yet as Christians we are faced with one of the toughest election seasons this generation has probably experienced. This election will determine the direction of this country for either the next two (2) or four (4) years. We are presented with two extremes; two completely different political parties; two very different sets of candidates; two different visions for the path America should take. Besides this complexity, tomorrow America will decide on who will be the next set of Senators and Congressmen to be the legislators on Capitol Hill. They are the ones who are involved in making the critical decisions that will determine how we live in America. They are the ones who will determine what kind of society the next generation will live in. Their decisions will either bring God’s blessing on this great country or line up itself for His selective judgment. Furthermore, our leaders’ decisions will decide on the issues that are directly connected to the church and can adversely affect the Church and her mission. We cannot leave it up the world alone to decide what society should look like and more importantly, what is right and what is wrong. We cannot afford to sit idly by and watch the leader on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and the law makers on Capitol Hill to determine the fate of this nation. They do not have the power to tell us what is moral and immoral; what is right and wrong; it is the word of God that does. We cannot and should not allow the government to define what marriage is and is not; the word of God does. It is the church who carries out the will of God and proclaims His righteousness in the earth. Therefore it is not only a responsibility, but it is imperative and absolutely critical that the church respond and be actively engaged in those decisions. “Our job as Christians is to infiltrate where the bacteria of unrighteousness and darkness have permeated and made themselves at home. It is our job to act as salt and light in both parties and offer a Kingdom’s point of view. One way you do this in a constitutional republic is through your vote.” “The Church is the key to the transformation of the culture.” Tony Evans – Pastor, Teacher, Author, and prolific speaker. Rather than separate ourselves from politics, we must weigh the issues, and make an informed decision based on our Christian worldview and biblical values. Our vote matters and must reflect a Kingdom vote. Our vote is not simply a vote for a candidate, or a political party; our vote is a Kingdom vote; a Biblical vote; a vote for righteousness. We have got to wake up and take responsibility for the shaping of the culture and the direction of the nation at large. We must now rise up and stem the tide, and reverse the works of the kingdom of darkness for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and the generations to come.
- What is the role of the Church in politics?
- Like sex, politics has been a divisive and taboo issue in the church
- With regards to politics, there are two types of people in the church; the separatists and the activists.
- Separatists – a. the church should not be involved in politics
a. Don’t be involved in politics
b. Little to no involvement
- Activists – a. mobilize people around issues
a. know the issues and the candidates’ positions
b. High involvement
Point 1 – The church is a tool in the hand of God to turn a secular culture back to Him. Therefore we must be actively involved in bringing government in line with biblical values.
- How can you say you love God and take a stand and be involved in political issues in the church?
- How can we complain about God and prayer being taken out of schools yet we play no part in selecting the leaders who legislated the laws against God and the church.
- We preach against homosexuality and same sex marriage, but by not being involved in the political process, we indirectly consent to it happening.
- As of 2008 there were 60 million Evangelical Christians in America. However, only 20 million voted in the 2008 presidential and general elections. That is only 1/3 of all evangelicals in America, and is highly unacceptable.
- Your vote matters
- Your vote is your response to God’s word and it is your moral and civil responsibility.
There are three (3) presuppositions with regards to the church and politics that I want to share.
1. America has a covenant relationship with God just like Israel does.
i. The money – “In God we trust”
ii. The Pledge – “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
iii. This nation was built upon biblical foundation and godly value.
iv. God blessed America because of her trust in Him and because she stood with Israel. “I will bless them that bless you.”
v. Therefore church as the extension of God in the earth has a significant role in bringing back America to Him.
2. Moral and cultural change is the primary mandate of the church and the political process is how you achieve it.
i. The church must play a direct and fully engaged role in shaping the culture of the nations.
ii. Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
iii. Matthew 5:13-16 – We are the salt and light of the world. We cannot truly be salt and light without being involved in the political process of our leaders.
iv. We have lost the right to complain about the moral decadence in society when we choose to separate ourselves from the political process.
3. When the church gathers she is to carry out together the same thing we are mandated to do alone.
i. We are to influence every entity of society. That is what being salt and light is all about and not just preaching the gospel.
ii. The missional mandate of the church is to make disciples. However that takes on different forms and shapes as we attempt to fulfill the same.
Point 2 – Questions Christians ask when it comes to voting.
- “Who should I vote for?”
- “What party should I vote for?”
- “Who is better for the economy?”
- “Who is the more likeable candidate?”
- “Who is the more religious candidate?” And the list goes on and on.
The first questions we should be asking are; “What does the Bible say about”
- The Church and Politics
- The role of Government
- The role of individual Christians
As it relates to these three questions, here are four (4) absolutes we must always remember.
- There are two kingdoms in constant conflict:
John 18:36 – “My Kingdom is not of this world.”
- God’s Kingdom vs. the kingdoms of the world.
- The eternal spiritual kingdom vs. temporal physical kingdom.
- We are caught in the middle of a conflict.
- The problem is we are to act responsibly and be faithful in both realms
- Every believer has dual citizenship
Phil. 3:20 – “Your citizenship is in heaven”
- We are first of all citizens of the Kingdom of heaven
Mark 12:13 – “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s
- ‘Give’ – Greek for “to pay a debt”
- We also have a responsibility to the government
- You are not only obligated to pay taxes but to be an active citizen as well.
- Dual citizenship means you ought to be faithful stewards of both systems.
- Therefore it is wrong to say “I am not voting.”
- Human governments are ordained by God to restrain evil. Rom. 13:1
A. Governments uphold morality and restrain men from doing evil.
- eg. You murder you go to jail; you drink and drive, you are disciplines; you steal you go to jail; you cheat on your taxes you pay a fine; you run a red light you pay a fine; you break any law and the government upholds justice by dealing with you.
- Without government we cannot live a peaceable life and there would be chaos in society.
- There will be no order and people will consume each other
- Life simply cannot function without government.
B. We don’t pray for our lives to be better, or for the economy to get better; we pray for government to make good decisions so that we are able to live a peaceable and orderly life, and to carry out the mission of the church effectively. There would be no way for us to efficiently and effectively carry out His mission, if there is no order and peace in the earth. Therefore our response to the earthly kingdom is to first pray for the government.
- However we cannot only pray for them, we must be involved in selecting government
- Throughout history, dated back to biblical and medieval times, God’s people have always been involved in the political process of their respective nations.
- Israel was a nation under God, just like America was.
- The separation of Church and State does not mean we cannot be involved in politics and make informed decisions about who leads this country.
- The church is ordained by God to make disciples. Matt. 28:19.
- The church exists to influence society and promote righteousness, equality, and justice in the earth.
- You have a responsibility for a Kingdom vote
- Vote God’s values
- Vote to reflect God’s character
- Vote for what the bible say is true and righteous
- Vote the Kingdom of God and the values of scripture
- Always remember, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach” 14:34
- Don’t be passive and say your vote does not matter
- The election in 2000 was decided by a little more than 500 votes
- I am certain there were at least 100 times more than 500 people who decided not to vote.
Point 3 – Closing:
Here are some very specific applications. Tomorrow, America will make up its mind and decide on very very important issues on local, state, and national levels. Here is what’s clear from God’s word.
- You as individual Christians need to know the issues.
- Don’t vote based on anything other than your Kingdom values
Your decision must not be based on:
- Political party
- Personal opinion
- Candidates’ personality
- Who is better for the economy
- Personal economy
- Who is the more likeable – i.e. who you like or don’t like.
- Religion – We are not electing a Pastor-in-chief; we are electing a Commander-in-Chief.
Your decision should be based on:
- What are the issues
- What are the propositions
- What are the candidates’ stand on the issues that matters most to Christianity
- What do they believe about
- Same-sex marriage
- Support for Israel etc.
- Go to the internet, listen to the news, and find out the issues
We must understand the rule of God, our role as salt and light, and the role of the church in shaping the direction of the nations and the very culture.
- We are Kingdom voters
- We have a higher calling than democrat or republican
- We need to cast a Kingdom vote
- We are to vote for the people and the propositions regardless of the party that best brings them forward, that are accurate and true to God and His word.
- Because the foundation of God’s rule and throne are righteousness and justice.