Sermon Topic - Christian Citizenship
A powerful, no-holds-barred sermon on the duty and responsibility of Christian preachers and churches to participate and influence the political and social climates and conditions of our culture.
by Dave Kinney
What are our duties, responsibilities and rights in America? Why have so many Christians dropped out of sight and stepped back from speaking out on the major issues America faces today?
4 reasons why Christians have dropped out from the social issues plaguing our nation:
1. They see their involvement as “Social Gospel”. They say, “We can’t substitute culture for Calvary!” But isn’t Calvary for the culture?
2. They have given up hope. Isn’t that a hunker down mentality?
3. They Are Intimidated.
4. They see politics as dirty. They say, “Our kingdom is not this world.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses take this thinking! The great tennis player Serena Williams told reporters at Wimbledon last week that she was excited about Barrack Obama’s presidency. However, she won’t vote for anyone since she is a Jehovah’s Witness, and said “We don’t get involved in politics.”
So, why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses vote? It’s because of their misinterpretation of John 17:14 where Jesus says of his followers, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
The ACLU has puffed up and blown us out of sight. The ACLU has accomplished a major goal – making Christians think we have no rights! Social tyrants and religious terrorists want us to sit down, shut down and stay in our little stain glass prisons!
If anyone of these points describes your thinking today, I ask, “Where do we get the answers to our problems?” Politicians? Humanist Atheists? Demonic philosophers? Muslims and terrorist? God forbid!
Get this – Australia Prime Minister John Howard finally had enough of being told what Australia should do by Muslims who want to live under Sharia Law! He spoke out last week on television saying, “Immigrants, not Australians must adapt. Take it or leave it. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak mainly English, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others. This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our Christian beliefs, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom - the right to leave!”
1. Human Government Exists To Ordain Rulers.
Daniel 2:21, “As He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings.”
Romans 9:17, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
Pontius Pilate washes his hands of the issue regarding Jesus and his pending death. As Jesus said in John 19:11, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given to you from above.”
Even under the wicked Roman government rule of the day of the Bible, Paul says, “If you resist the authority you resist the ordinance of God!”
2. Human government’s responsibilities to restrain evil. How many of you have heard the statement, “You can’t legislate morality”? This is absolutely true! There’s not a law on this earth that can make you moral! We’ve got this mixed up. For too long we’ve been trying to make government make us good! Only God can do that! Think of it this way; there’s not a law on this earth to make you love me, but there is a law to keep you from killing me!
KEY: We must get back to legislating against immorality!
May I go on the record as saying it is high time we begin saying something good about police officers across this country! I ran across this editorial in the Sacramento Bee and I think it says it so well, “A police man is many things, a son, a brother, a father, an uncle. He is a protector in times of need and a comforter in times of sorrow. His job calls him to be a diplomat, psychologist, a lawyer and an inspiration. Too often, acts of heroism go unnoticed and the truth is buried under all the criticism.”
“A police officer is an ordinary guy who is called upon to do extra-ordinarily brave things for us. He is a man who faces a half crazed gunman in the streets, schools or shops, rescues lost children, challenges a mob and risks his neck more than we realize.
He is the reason why your home has not been burned or burglarized. Thank God for all the little boys who said they would be a policeman and they kept their promise.”
Folks, from the President of the United States to the police officer on the street, all are to be ministers of God, men and women of righteousness and protectors of freedom!
I have to say in all honesty; sometimes government must take life in order to protect life!
“Bear the sword in vain”
Exodus 20:13 “Thou shall not kill.”
“Kill” = murder, personal vengeance, premeditated taking of life.
Exodus 21:12 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.”
Keep in mind that the coddling of a murderer is really cruelty to society! If someone was about to take your families life, are you going to tell me that you’re going to say “Peace Brother!”
3. To Reward Good. 1 Peter 2:13, 14 “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”
4. To Promote Religious Freedom. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
I will give anyone here an all expense vacation to Hawaii if they can find in the Constitution the phrase “Separation of Church and State”.
No national denomination rules the religious thought in America! Listen, I’m just as afraid of a Baptist Pope as I am a Catholic Pope! The church is to preach the gospel and the government is to protect us from evil and tyranny. It’s that simple!
Life Point: The state is not the master of the church and the church is not the master of the state. The church is the conscience of the state and salt and light in society!
5 Duties For Every Christian Citizen:
a. Pay For Our Government. Customs and taxes are here to stay because they are the best way to pay the bills of government. But a nation is in trouble, it’s truly on its last leg, when half the nation thinks the other half should support them or when we get the idea that the government is a cow to be milked instead of a watchdog to be fed!
b. Pray For Our Government. 1 Timothy 2:1-3, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
c. Praise Our Government. 1 Peter 2:17, “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” Some think it’s cool to destroy our flag. To that I say you’re wrong! We should praise our government for keeping us free from another terrorist attack since 9/11. For keeping us a free nation for 232 years and for standing up to evil dictators around the world.
d. Preach To Our Government. Listen, we need to be civil but not silent! The Bible is filled with examples when leaders and governments need to be preached to. For example:
• Elijah preached to king Ahab
• Eleazar preached to king Jehoshaphat
• Daniel preached to Nebuchadnezzar
• Moses preached to Pharaoh
• John the Baptist preached to Herod
• Jesus preached to Pontius Pilate
• Paul preached to King Agrippa
May I remind all of us, as long as our leaders are aborting the pre-born we should preach to them. As long as we have leaders trying to normalize sexual perversion we should preach to them. As long as we have Americans who cannot pray wherever they want, we need to keep preaching! We must continue to preach from the highest hill top whatever is morally wrong is not politically right!
e. Participate In Our Government. “Render taxes”. We have a government that our Founding Fathers envisioned all people would be involved. That’s why the Constitution says, “Of the people, by the people and for the people.” If we don’t vote, we are not participating. It is inconceivable that God would have ordained government and then have His people stay out of it! And if we stay out of it, then I ask - who does that leave running this country? Use your head!
Matthias Burnett, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Norwalk, preached on May 12, 1803, “Consider well the important trust which God has put into your hands. To God you are accountable for your rights and your ruler. Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and institutions which your fathers delivered to you.”
Samuel Adams on April 16, 1781 declared, “Let each citizen remember that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
John Jay, Founding Father and appointed to the very first Supreme Court by President Washington said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Remember, as Christians, we participate not according to visionless policies, useless parties, godless people or purposeless politics. We participate according to God’s principles!
If all 180 million Christians in America took voting and speaking out seriously again, I believe we could turn this nation around in as little as 10 years!