Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hot Potatoes #7

Hot Potatoes #7 “Is Jesus a Republican?”

Pastor Mark said that he has often heard this statement: “How could a Christian be a democrat?” When he pressed further on the subject, it is interesting to see how much we tend to assume that our political ideals and our American lifestyle represent what is should really mean to be a Christian.

Jesus was neither a Democrat nor Republican. He is not white, American, or middle class. He never promised that His provision for us would include universal healthcare, home ownership, an automobile, cell phones, or satellite TV for everyone. But isn’t it funny how quickly we assume that our way of life becomes something that we assume Jesus would approve of. If we aren’t careful, we begin to assume that our values reflect Jesus’ values because “we are Christians and we love Jesus and this is how we all live.”

We live in a time when most of us support lower taxes because it means that we get to spend more money on ourselves. We live with more luxuries than most cultures in history have ever dreamed of. Yet we are likely to give significant amounts of money to the church or other Christian causes only in those months when we have been sure that we were able to pay our mortgage, insurances, automobile & cell phone bills, and eaten out as often as we like. If Jesus took care of all of those things for us and provided beyond our monthly needs, wants and luxuries, then we might actually give to support Kingdom causes. And after we cover our time commitments to work, exercise, our kids’ sports schedules, and some personal time, if we have anything left we might actually serve in a ministry of the church…unless it’s a pretty day or home game for our favorite team. This has become the middle class American Christian experience today. And it bears no resemblance to Jesus or the movement He began in the 1st Century.

No, Jesus was not a republican, nor was He American or middle class. The time has come for us to stop defending our lifestyle of comfort and luxury and to start pursuing the things and people which matter so much to Jesus. The changes we need to make in America don’t begin in the White House. They start in my house and your house. I must live a life which embodies true Christian values, and I must teach my children to do the same. Whenever I do that, I cast the strongest vote possible for a stronger, better America! The leadership of our states and nation reflect the hearts of those being led. Let’s be a people who stand for Christian values rather than “modern American values,” and let’s teach our children to do the same.

Do most “Bible-Belt” Christians see republican leaders as representing the view of Christians more so than Democratic leaders?

What about the “republican agenda” and “democratic agenda” represents Christian values?

Where to you see both agendas falling short of Christian values?

How do you think God feels about our current President? …about our Congress?

Romans 13:1-7 “Submission to the Authorities”
 1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
This letter was written to the Christians living in Rome. The Roman government treated Christians very poorly and many were put to death because of their faith.

If you were being persecuted and heard this from Paul, what would be your reaction?

How does this apply to us?

How should we go about deciding whom we should vote for in the next Presidential election?

How can we best pray for our nation?

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