This is the second message in a series on Christians and political responsibility by Pastor Tim Senter. All of the messages thus far can be accessed by clicking here.
We have discussed preferring one another – voting for a Christian political leader first. We have discussed whether a Christian can run for office in this corrupt political environment. We have discussed what we should look for in a political candidate that may not be a Christian. We have discussed our duty as Christians in our nation. We have discussed voting for a non-Christian in our pluralistic/secular/atheistic society. I pray you have all at least gathered the fact that you must vote. That being said, if things in life have challenged you to a point that you are unable to gather facts to make an intelligent decision, you should either seek the trusted counsel of a fellow believer concerning your vote, or abstain from voting. Voting is a privilege, a right in our country. It is, from what we have studied, a serious obligation to the Christian. However, life does happen and at times the challenges God gives us can be somewhat overwhelming. If this is the case, exercise good judgment and gather good counsel, or abstain from voting. My preference is to gain good, trusted counsel and still make your voice heard.
This presents itself with another issue. What questions do we ask? About what specifically should we be looking for counsel and advice? The basics aside (is this individual a Christian, if not do they exhibit a level of righteousness commensurate with some biblical principles) about what things should the Christian be interested?
Many consider the first passage we will look at today as strictly a spiritual passage. Although we will look at a number of different passages today, this is a good place to start. Please look at Matthew 5:13,14. As we consider these words, do not just consider the spiritual aspect of witness – that we testify of Christ with words and deeds. Open your mind to the prospect of political representation for Christ in your life. We had a president in our recent history who remarked that everything in life was political. Though he was not a principled man and lacked much character or virtue, he had a point, and politically he was successful. We Christians can learn from both good and bad examples. In this case, we have a bad example admittedly, we should take this lesson and apply it. The Christian can easily say, and justify the position that all things are spiritual. This includes our politics.
We just looked at this passage about a year ago. We posted those messages June 10th, 20th, and July 1st – they are “Salt of the Earth,” “Light of the world,” and “Light of the world part 2”). We approached them in context with the entire Sermon on the Mount, and rightly so. Today we will look at these scriptures a little differently with the same focused outcome – that we witness for Christ regardless of the opposing pressures. When we look at these encouragements from Christ to be salt and light of the world, maintaining a unique and specific enhancing flavor in our testimony in a dark place, we should wonder what variety of forms this can take. We can see this taking shape, very easily, in the Christian political life.
With respect to the Christian in politics in our past, we have enjoyed great leadership. John Adams himself said,
“The general Principles, on which the Fathers Achieved Independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite… And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all those Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty, in which all those young Men United, and which had United all Parties in America, in Majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her Independence. …those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God…”
This is the same president who, from the very seat of that office, addressed an Army Division and stated,
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Continue reading