Politics & the Bible

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 17
6 views
PDF
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Document Description
A STUDY GUIDE FOR CHRISTIANS
Document Share
Documents Related
Document Tags
Document Transcript
  POLITICS & THE BIBLE: A Study Guide For Christians A publication of Evangelicals forSocialAction.org  3 LESSON 1: Why care about politics? .............................................. 4LESSON 2: Why do Good Christians Disagree About Politics? .......... 5LESSON 3: Starting with a Normative Biblical Framework .............. 6LESSON 4: Studying Society Accurately .......................................... 7LESSON 5: More Than Just the Bible and the “Facts”: Toward a Christian Political Philosophy ........................................................ 8LESSON 6: How Should Christians Judge Politicians? ...................... 9LESSON 7: How Political Should the Church Be? ............................. 10WHAT SHOULD CHURCHES DO? ...................................................... FOR MORE INFORMATION +  Christian Organizations Working on Politics ............................... +  Resources for Assessing Candidates ........................................... +  A Few Books for Further Reading .............................................. CONTENTS  4  W hy should we spend our precious time on politics? Does it really make any difference? Does God care about what hap-pens in politics? Does God want Christians to spend time on politics that we could devote to evangelism? There are four good reasons to care about politics: )  Christ is Lord of everything—including politics )  Political decisions—about taxes and education for exam-ple—affect all of us )  Jesus’ example compels us to care about the whole person, not just their soul )  The Bible shows that sin is both personal and social 1. CHRIST IS LORD OF ALL  After the resurrection, Jesus assured his disciples that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18). From the time of the first-century church, Christians have confessed that Jesus the carpenter is “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Eph. 1:21). He is now “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5).The Old Testament makes the same sweeping claim. God is King of kings and Lord of lords. Even when they do not know it, foreign conquerors and marching armies move at God’s command. Even Cyrus, the powerful Persian political master of the Middle East of his day, moved at God’s direction (Isa. 45:1-25). Further Study: Read Isaiah 45  + Does Cyrus Know the God of Israel? +  Who arms and supplies this powerful ruler +  Why does God use Cyrus? +  How far does Jehovah’s authority extend? 2. POLITICAL DECISIONS AFFECT EVERYONE Politicians ended slavery and introduced democracy. Today, political decisions frequently determine whether everyone will have quality education, whether the unborn will be protected, and whether our taxes will go up or down.In the Bible, too, political decisions sometimes had a devastating impact. Pilate decided to execute Jesus. King David used his control of the army to murder Bathsheba’s husband (2 Sam. 1:14-17). Government, however, can also do good. That is why God estab-lished government (Rom. 13:4). “Give the king thy justice, O God” was the Psalmist’s prayer (Ps. 72:1). Politicians can do much good and much evil. Further Study: Read 1 Kings 21 LESSON 1:  Why Care About Politics? +  How did Jezebel arrange Naboth’s death? +  What is God’s response?If God does not allow wrong political decisions to go unchallenged, should we? 3. EVANGELISM AND SOCIAL ACTION—LOVING THE WHOLE PERSON THE WAY JESUS DID Some Christians think followers of Jesus should not waste their time on politics—that evangelism is all that matters. Jesus himself said it is better to lose the whole world than to lose one’s relationship with God (Mark 8:34-38). But did Jesus conclude that therefore he should spend all his time preaching the Gospel? Not at all. Matthew 9:35 summarizes Jesus’ activities: “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teach-ing in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the king-dom, and curing every disease and every sickness.”Jesus preached, taught, and healed. He cared about the whole per-son, and commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:39).Political decisions affect our neighbors. How can we love our neigh-bors and yet ignore the political choices that injure or help them? Further Study: Read Matthew 9:35, Matthew 25:31-46  +  What examples in Jesus’ life illustrate his preaching? His min-istering to physical needs of people? +  How important is offering material help and ministering to people’s physical needs? 4. WHAT IS SOCIAL SIN?  We all know what personal sin is—things like lying, stealing, and committing adultery. But what about participating in a citywide educational system that provides better schools in white neighbor-hoods? Or choosing to be part of an economic system that does not pay a whole group of working people a living wage? It that sin? According to the Bible, sin is both personal and social. In one breath, the prophet Amos condemns both sexual sin and economic injustice (Amos 2:6-7) Isaiah denounces alcoholism and economic policies that wipe out poor farmers (Isa. 5:8-11). Laws may be legal and still unjust (Isa. 10:1-4). God abhors those who “contrive mischief by statute” (Ps. 94:20). Further Study: Read Amos 4:1-2  +  What happens to the wealthy women? +  Does the text suggest that they personally cheated poor people? +  Why were they punished? +  Do these biblical texts teach that it is a sin to participate in systems that are unfair? +  What does God do to people involved in social sin? +  What social sins exist today? How are we involved in them?
Search Related
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks