Alien Government

Are we submittingPerhaps you can relate to one or more of these quotes about our government:

  • “Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan
  • “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers
  • “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman
  • “Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli

But if you are a Christian, the Bible calls you to not give in to the cynicism that many feel toward our government. As aliens and strangers on Earth, we are called to to interact with government officials in a peculiar way.

In a single word, the Bible calls us to submit. The Greek word that both Peter (1 Peter 2:13) and Paul use (Romans 13:1, 5) has a couple of definitions. On the one hand it carries a military meaning to arrange troops under the command of a leader. On the other hand, it’s also a voluntary attitude of cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden for the common good.

No where does submission imply letting leaders abuse us, or remaining silent and uninvolved if their activities are immoral or unbiblical. Instead submission recognizes that government officials have been placed in their positions by God (Daniel 4:25, 32the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men, and gives them to anyone He wishes), and that they are God’s servants (Romans 13:4, 6) who have to give an accounting to God for their actions.

Our alien response of properly submitting is our way of supporting them in their God-given responsibilities. How do we do this?

  1. Treat them with respect (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:17).
  2. Separate the person [loved by God] from the policy [may or may not line up biblically], then disagree with the policy, not with the person.
  3. Pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

This way of interacting with them will bring glory to God (1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Peter 2:15).

Here’s a good question to ask ourselves: Are we submitting like servants of the King of kings?

Politics & Religion

Aliens and StrangersAs requested, here are some of the quotes I shared this morning in my message on how Christians are to interact with our government officials.

First the humorous quotes—

“Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers

“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman

Then a sadly serious one—

“Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli

And finally, the very thoughtful quotes—

“Church and state are supposed to work together. The Church…does not set up the voting booths, but it motivates and it equips people to go into them and make a difference. The Church does not write the laws, but bears witness to the truth of God to which those laws must correspond. Politics is not our salvation; Jesus Christ is. But fidelity to Him includes doing our part as faithful citizens, and to exercise our rights as citizens appropriately, we have to understand the relationship between the Church and the state, and how both of these entities are responsible for protecting and safeguarding….” —Father Frank Pavone

“I close with three words of pastoral advice—

“First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seeds of the Gospel will change hearts and minds.

“Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote.

“Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s [Obergefell] decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).

“Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country!” —George O. Wood

The Wit Of Will Rogers

Will RogersThere are few who have rivaled the wit and homespun wisdom of Will Rogers!

“Even if you are on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” —Will Rogers

“You can’t tell what a man is like or what he is thinking when you are looking at him. You must get around behind him and see what he has been looking at.” —Will Rogers

“People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.” —Will Rogers

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” —Will Rogers

“It doesn’t take much to see something is wrong, but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again.” —Will Rogers

“Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.” —Will Rogers

“There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.” —Will Rogers

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” —Will Rogers

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.” —Will Rogers

“There are three kinds of men: ones who learn by reading, few who learn by observation, and the rest of them who have to grab the electric fence and find out for themselves.” —Will Rogers

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” —Will Rogers

“If you’re riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.” —Will Rogers

“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: when you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.” —Will Rogers

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading from today…

“The reason fraudulent religious leaders are such a sensation is because the religion they profess has taught millions of people not to steal or kill or commit adultery or lie or covet, but to love others as they love themselves. They make news because they don’t make sense. Ten thousand honest, self-sacrificing, care-giving pastors are not news, precisely because it is simply expected that they will be that way. Why? Because we take for granted that their faith produces good behavior. The justified media outrage is an indirect testimony to long patterns of uprightness that Christianity has produced.” —John Piper

The Hobby Lobby case that the Supreme Court ruled on continues to have positive outcomes for other businesses as well. “A religious person should not be forced to choose between their faith and their ability to participate in the private sector. Operating a business does not mean that someone’s religious beliefs cease to matter, and thankfully, the Supreme Court is acknowledging that truth as well.” Read more in Supreme Court rules in favor of another corporation challenging the HHS mandate just one day after the Hobby Lobby ruling.

This post—Planets In Chaos—is a fascinating piece of astronomy. But the overall conclusion is even a more amazing admission from scientists: “The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory.” Perhaps a theory they might consider is one that has a Creator at the center.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has already spent $3 billion (yes, billion) trying to find medical benefits for embryonic stem cells. Now they are poised to ask for another $5 billion in funding. For this expenditure, how many medical processes are now in place using embryonic stem cells: None! The CEO of CIRM made this astounding claim, “We have to protect science’s access to the full range of cellular types now. And in doing that, we will protect the freedom of science to ethically pursue knowledge in this country outside of religious ideology” (emphasis mine). Meanwhile, research facilities using adult stem cells (which do not destroy life) have actual life-saving procedures in place for far less money. So I guess there’s something to be said for those religious ideologies guiding scientific research.

The Overview Bible Project has a cool [INFOGRAPHIC] on all the songs in the Bible.

“Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.” —Will Rogers
“Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.” —Benjamin Franklin

 

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