The Christian And Politics

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God’s Government vs. Human Government

The First Human Kingdom
Nimrod, the “Mighty Hunter” (Genesis 10:8–12; 1 Chronicles 1:10; Micah 5:6)
Genesis 10:8–12 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city).
1 Chronicles 1:10 Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.
“The etymology and the meaning of Nimrod’s name are uncertain (BDB, “נִמְרֹד, nimrod.”). The name is often connected to the Hebrew verb “to rebel” (מָרַד, marad)” LBD
Micah 5:6 They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He shall deliver us from the Assyrian, When he comes into our land And when he treads within our borders.
Josephus wrote of Nimrod in “Antiquities of the Jews” - uninspired, and far after the fact (93-94 AD). Interesting nonetheless.
The Works of Josephus: New Updated Edition Chapter 4: Concerning the Tower of Babylon, and the Confusion of Tongues

Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah,—a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God as if it was through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. (114) He also gradually changed the government into tyranny,—seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! and that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers!

3. (115) Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God: and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it it grew very high sooner than anyone could expect

We have the beginning of human governments in the hand of one whose name essentially means, “he rebelled”.
It is important to make this distinction, because human governments at their core are rebellions against God.
The Tower of Babel was a unified “one world” government. (Genesis 11:1–6)
Genesis 11:1–6 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
“let us make a name for ourselves” - the focus of man in promoting himself beyond and above God always manifests itself in these sorts of projects.
Note that God recognizes that this is not good for them. It is never a good thing when nothing man proposes to do is withheld from him.
This lack of restraint; a complete embrace of the fulfillment of desires is what mankind continually aims for, even though it harms us endlessly.
God would later define that harm.
Human Government:
Takes Much from its Citizens (1 Samuel 8:4–18)
1 Samuel 8:4–18 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”
Is Tasked to Do Right (Romans 13:1–7)
Romans 13:1–7 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Is to be Respected as God intends (1 Peter 2:13–17)
1 Peter 2:13–17 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Is to be Prayed for in light of Evangelism (1 Timothy 2:1–7)
1 Timothy 2:1–7 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
God’s government:
Makes all its citizens TRULY equal. (1 Samuel 2:6–10)
1 Samuel 2:6–10 “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them. He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”
Provides TRUE safety and security. (Psalm 84:8–12; Proverbs 14:26)
Psalm 84:8–12 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.
Sits in condemnation of corrupt, harmful governments (Psalm 2; Revelation 18:4–8)
Psalm 2:1–12 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
Revelation 18:4–8 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

Did Jesus Have A Political Viewpoint?

He was tempted with all the kingdoms of the world. (Luke 4:5–8)
Luke 4:5–8 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
The Bible tells us that Jesus was TEMPTED by these things. It means it was a true struggle.
Interesting that all these kingdoms had been “delivered” to Satan. The sense of “ownership” of these kingdoms is important to consider.
The Greek word for “delivered”, has a meaning of “hand over, deliver, betray, give over”
One question on our minds might be, why would God give Satan control of the government?
This word might be evidence that in reality, He has not done so.
In fact, it would more likely be that MANKIND gave Satan control over their kingdoms.
Satan gets what he wants through conquest, not by right. He takes instead of receives.
Romans 1:24–25 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Jesus knows this, and resists the temptation.
He warned against the temptations associated with authority and power. (Mark 10:42–45)
Mark 10:42–45 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Context: James and John asked to sit at his right and left; the other disciples are angry at them for this.
The challenge of being a servant stands in stark difference to those rulers who “lord it over” others.
This happens in government AND the church - “We’re the elders, so what we say goes”.
Power and authority used in a negligent way is founded on our own pride and hubris, not in the sacrificial attitude of the Messiah.
Remember that most of the voices criticizing the government really just want to have that same power.
He made no special case for the ruling class of Judea - religious or secular. (John 18:19–23, 33-38; Luke 23:8–12)
John 18:19–23 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?”
Jesus always spoke publicly. Never had any secret doctrine.
Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.
This is so core for Christians to understand and emulate. The more open and honest we are, the closer we emulate Jesus’ example.
This openness made him a huge target for the religious ruling class in Judea.
He never makes a special case for them, but is perfectly equal in his efforts and work toward all.
John 18:33–38 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.”
Pilate gets more out of Jesus than the Jews did. Pilate has no pre-existing bias, which helps the situation.
Jesus is allaying Pilate’s political fears, and telling him that no uprising will happen on that level.
This is a spiritual kingdom, not of this world. Jesus’ evidence is that his followers have not fought to deliver Him from his enemies.
“I find no fault in Him at all” - This is how the government should be seeing us. People who are not causing political rebellion, or fomenting plans to replace anything.
It is perfectly fine in the Kingdom for a gentile (outsider/sinner) to say, “he’s a little weird, but he’s harmless.”
Luke 23:8–12 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.
Silence is acceptable when your audience is not going to give you any credence.
We criticize the media, but the reality is, they are not listening to us. We have brothers and sisters right here who can listen, however. And they care a great deal more than some news anchor.
He taught to obey the authorities, even if they are hypocritical. (Matthew 23:1-3)
Matthew 23:1–3 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.
The behavior of our rulers does not change the fact that they rule over us.
The key is to never become like them.

Jesus Was Apolitical

He made it clear that taxes are about the image we bear. (Matthew 22:15–22)
Matthew 22:15–22 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
Jesus uses the moment as a teaching opportunity to challenge the hearers about whose INSCRIPTION is upon us.
We are meant to have the mark of God on us, NOT the mark of the beast.
2 Corinthians 1:21–22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
We have been sealed with the Spirit. Given in service to the LORD.
Revelation 13:16–17 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
This is when we bear the mark of something else in the world (career, family, party, etc.)
Do not get wrapped up in the politics of the world. Get wrapped up in the spiritual TRUTH of the world.
Everyone is preaching a lesson to you. There are dark spiritual forces in this world that want you to bear THEIR mark, not the Spirit.
He showed Peter that our treatment of the governing powers has something to do with how we are judged. (Matthew 17:24–27; 1 Corinthians 8:9)
Matthew 17:24–27 When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”
1 Corinthians 8:9 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
Some contend that the Federal Income Tax is unconstitutional.
The case is made that illegal wars are continually waged with the money pulled from us as citizens every year.
However, we are not going to be the ones who stop it. And when someone from the IRS comes for an audit, what are we focused on? The Constitution, or the Bible?
We need to be thankful that we still have free course to teach and discuss the Scriptures.
Abortion is an issue that Christians can EASILY have a voice in. But again, are we going to stop it from happening?
There are solutions state-wide and county-wide that we can pursue.
We can make sure to support candidates in LOCAL government who are committed to opposing it.
Furthermore, the REAL solution for abortion is adoption. We need to support that as well.
There are bigger things than our opinions and our liberties. While we hope to retain them, they are never guaranteed.
The Gospel must have free course. That is the priority. Everything else is at best secondary.
Every time Jesus is encouraged to take some partisan stand, he dodges the temptation and points to His father.
Note that Jesus did and said all these things NOT because of what the government wanted, necessarily. The motive was to glorify His father.
John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
We don’t obey the government because we love it and worship it. We obey the government because doing so gives glory to God.
There may be times where obedience does NOT bring glory.
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.
Ban of assembly? We need to obey God, not man.
If assembly is regulated, there are alternate ways to assemble.
Regulation of worship that essentially destroys it? We need to obey God, not man.
Banning singing
Banning sharing of food (Lord’s Supper)
Regulation of doctrine, teachings? We need to obey God, not man.
Might be one of the last or the last issues that arise.
There is freedom in Christ to stand for what is right by the law and by God.
There is nothing wrong with seeking justice! (Acts 22:24–29)
Acts 22:24–29 the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?” When the centurion heard that, he went and told the commander, saying, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.” Then the commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.” The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.” Then immediately those who were about to examine him withdrew from him; and the commander was also afraid after he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had bound him.
On balance, we must be ready to suffer in His fellowship. (1 Peter 4:12–19)
1 Peter 4:12–19 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
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