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13
God and Caesar
September 13, 2016

Throughout history, men and women have been involved in governments of the day, both godly and ungodly.  For example Daniel served Nebuchadnezzar and told him, “…you are the king of kings.  The God of heaven has given you dominion and might and glory; in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky.  Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all.  You are the head of gold.” (Daniel 2:37, 38).  God has called Joseph, Nehemiah, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to serve governing authorities.  God establishes all governing authorities with the responsibility to exercise justice and righteousness (Romans 12).  It is required of believers to pay our taxes, respect, submit to and pray for governing authorities.

But what about followers of Jesus participating in government?  While on earth Jesus established another spiritual kingdom that was based on blessed are the peacemaker, the meek and poor in spirit principles (Matthew 5).  Is it feasible that a governing authority could live by a love your enemy philosophy as Jesus requires of his followers?  He told Pilate that His kingdom was from another place (John 18:36).    Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than human beings.” (Acts 5:29).  But on the other hand, since God has established all ruling authorities, are believers not obeying God when they obey governments?  What if in obeying God rather than man a person ends up behind bars.  Is the testimony to the Kingdom of God upheld or ruined?

Followers of Jesus are agreed that “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3b-4).  However, there does not seem to less clear directive in scripture and in the teaching of the church of Jesus Christ when it comes to being involved in public office.  What are the potential pitfalls that a believer in politics might encounter?  Can we leave it to the believer’s conscience? 

pj 

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