Christians and Civic Responsibilities

July 26, 2016 at 7:25 AM 10 comments

ryriebookI was going through my books yesterday because I was relocating one particular bookcase and came across a book written by the late Dr. Charles Ryrie called, The Christian & Social Responsibility. It was published in 2008 by Tyndale Seminary Press and is just under 100 pages, a short read. The book is divided up into 14 chapters and they include:

  1. Salt and Light
  2. What Are Social Ethics?
  3. What is the Gospel?
  4. God’s Character and Social Problems
  5. Man in the Image of God
  6. What We Learn from the Old Testament
  7. Jesus’ Teaching on Poverty and Wealth
  8. Jesus’ Teaching Concerning Duties to All People
  9. The Priorities of Our Lord
  10. The Christian and Civic Responsibilities
  11. The Christian and Poverty
  12. The Christian and His Work
  13. No Distinction
  14. An Agenda

As I scanned through the book, I focused on chapter 10, The Christian and Civic Responsibilities. This chapter focuses on the Christian and civic duties or responsibilities concerning his/her involvement in voting and the government itself.

The problem that I see with many Christians today is their constant concern and worry about the “fate” of America. It gets under their skin. While I understand how evil can be and certainly is vexing to the person who recognizes and shuns it, the reality is that we live in a completely fallen, evil world. Everyone we meet has a sin nature and too many people are guided solely by it. When placed in a situation where that sin nature is tempted to do all it can for self-aggrandizing measures – like being involved in the political arena – the temptation is often too great to ignore for most people.

We see one politician after another today living for themselves, lying to protect themselves in the process, and not even worrying about the effects of their lies. This is clearly the case with the recent WikiLeaks revelations of Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails that were brought to public awareness. The amount of evil in those emails is astounding. Will anyone be prosecuted for their collusion? It’s possible that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz might see the inside of a courtroom over the revelations, but she might be the only one. In fact, the new interim DNC Chair is also clearly shown to be involved in the scheme to bring down Bernie and Trump, but when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed her, the focus was not on any potential illegalities on her part (or anyone else), but on who might have hacked all those emails and why.

Before we go further, let me clearly state that Christians living in America (or any nation that allows its citizens to vote and take part in government), have a responsibility to do what is in the best interest for their country. However, in his chapter on Christians and Civic Responsibilities, Ryrie delves into Liberation Theology, which has taken on numerous ideals within today’s political arena and shows why it is wrong even though it has become so surreptitiously woven throughout the fabric of society.

Liberation theology, prominent in so many countries, directly counters this New Testament teaching on civic responsibilities. Casting Marxism in Christian terminology, this viewpoint advocates the overthrow of oppressive governments and economic systems. The poor and oppressed of the earth, God’s true people, must be liberated at any cost. Thus violence plays a vital and necessary role in liberation theology. Furthermore, this violence is not immoral. Indeed, it is commended. [1]

Most Christians I know would reject such a notion that Christians are to violently overthrow what might be considered an “unjust” or “evil” government. They would never agree with that mentality or participate in it. As Ryrie points out, “…there is no biblical mandate to overthrow such governments or to Christianize them.” [2; emphasis added] Clarifying his comments, Ryrie points out the following.

Some, however, believe that Christianizing is God’s purpose today. Since the risen Christ is Lord, we should expect that His Lordship will be affected in all areas of life today, including the political. This is a form of postmillennialism. Often promoted by those of the Reformed tradition who would normally be expected to be amillennial (meaning, no millennium – ed). The principal errors of this teaching are two: it fails to recognize that the theocratic laws of the Old Testament are not the laws of the New Testament, and it roots its teaching about politics in the doctrine of Christ (i.e., since He is Lord, that lordship ought to govern governments).

Observe: liberation theology sees governments as instruments of salvation; Christianizers see them as instruments of lordship; but the Bible sees them as gifts of God’s *providence.

What place do movements have that attempt to promote righteousness in government while recognizing the need for obedience and the distinction between the New Testament teaching and the Old Testament theocracy? It is universally true that ‘righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). But no nation except Israel can claim that God will heal their land if the people humble themselves and pray (2 Chronicles 7:14). [3]

I’m aware that there are Christians who disagree with Ryrie. Many take 2 Chronicles 7:14 completely out of context and wrongly apply it to America. It has become the norm within evangelical circles. They have connected the promises that were given specifically to Israel and have wrongly applied them to America. This, they believe, gives America the rights and privileges of Israel because they reason that God “created” America since our founders utilized biblical principles in the creation of the documents that founded this nation, and so God is Lord and King of America. It simply is not true, but there is no convincing some. Certainly He is Lord over all that ultimately occurs in His Creation and one day will actively, personally, and physically reign over the entire earth. For now, He allows Satan to attempt to bring his promises of Isaiah 14 to fruition, which ultimately still play directly into God’s sovereign purposes.

Regarding the national state of America today, I firmly and unequivocally believe that regardless of what transpires over the next several months in the political arena, the primary job of the Christian remains the same. That is to evangelize the lost. The Great Commission of Matthew 28 has never been rescinded and it is to be done in good times and bad, when persecution has abated and when it is blazing hot.

While a political climate that is sensitive to Christians might seem to make things easier for Christians to spread the Gospel, in reality, the thing that really spreads the Gospel is persecution. This has been proven over and over throughout church history. Whenever persecution ramps up, the Church grows. It separates the wheat from the chaff. It proves the Christian’s mettle and separates those who are simply professing Christians from those who are true. Under persecution, Christians are forced to choose whom they will serve. Nothing does that like persecution and being forced to throw yourself on the One who saves. It forces Christians to move away from those things that have no eternal value like nothing else can.

Regardless of who America’s next president will be – Trump or Hillary – the reality is that in either case, this world will continue tumbling toward the one-world government that God has revealed will occur toward the end of the last days, and which I believe we are currently in now (it started with the 1st Advent of Jesus over 2,000 years ago).

votebuttonI really don’t care who you vote for because ultimately, things will continue to move toward that one-world government. God is allowing and will continue to allow Satan to establish his own visible kingdom on earth over which he will be allowed to visibly rule through his coming spiritual son, Antichrist. That is all too clear from Scripture except to those who tend to view prophetic discourse allegorically. Shame on them.

The coming one-world government is so much bigger than the next presidential election. I also believe – as I have repeatedly stated in numerous articles here and elsewhere – that the political system in America has been overtaken by evil people bent on bringing their goals to fruition (and who work for Satan, whether they are aware of it or not).

Not long ago we had electronic voting machines installed and there were many complaints about people casting their vote for one person and watching the monitor actually change their votes. Congressional hearings changed nothing even after testimony from expert programmers pointed out how easily one line of code could make that change. Huffing and puffing by lawmakers all around ended with no real change. It was all for show.

So instead of paper ballots – the old tried and true way of doing things (and I believe the situation with George W. Bush vs. Al Gore was designed to force a new system on voters), we now have electronic voting with machines that could easily have been rigged to change votes. This was pure Hegelian Dialectic at work.

In the 2012 election, there were also many examples of voter fraud by people who bragged on their social network pages about how many times they voted for Obama because they didn’t want Romney elected whom they believed would destroy a woman’s right to an abortion. These people were never prosecuted. In fact, the DOJ never even noticed them. While there was one person here or there who was arrested and charged, it was so minimal as to be offensive to thinking people.

Yet, the media told us nothing about this voter fraud. Instead, they focused on the perceived attitude of evangelical Christians who allegedly “stayed home” and refused to vote. People are welcome to believe that, but in doing so, they underestimate the abject evil of Satan and his hold over many nations and the people who lead those nations. In case people have forgotten, Satan is the ruler of the evil kingdom of this world. He began working in earnest to countermand and take over this entire earth, as Jesus was taken up to heaven in the Ascension (John 14:30).

For me, the reality is very simple. Regardless of who wins the Oval Office, Satan’s plan for world domination will continue unabated. He will get what he wants because God is allowing that to happen. That’s the only reason he will get what he wants, but please note that even there, Satan is playing right into God’s hands and God will hold Satan up to ridicule to the entire Creation, which will then be forced to recognize there is only one God, one Almighty, one Most High. Not only will Satan be forced to reckon it, but this evil world will also see it and be forced to accept it. That’s what this whole thing is all about.

While the political landscape changes from time to time, with conservatism gaining and then liberalism gaining, one truth for the Christian stands out clearly for its constancy. What is our job? What is our purpose for being here? Is it to “Christianize” America? Is it to make this nation “great” again? Or is our job to live in such a way that people see the truth within us and come to desire that same truth?

Ryrie closes his chapter with the following paragraph.

The Christian’s primary responsibilities are evangelism and godly living. Through witnessing he changes people; through godly living he does affect society; and through private and public obedience he honors God. [3]

Vote for whomever you wish to vote for in the upcoming presidential election this November. Exercise your right at the voting booth. However, do not dare to believe for one moment that putting the “right” person in the Oval Office will somehow negate Satan’s plans in any way, shape, or form. While at the very most, it might “slow” things down just a tad, in the end, God will allow Satan to do what he can to bring his promises of Isaiah 14 to fruition. Once Satan exposes himself to all of Creation in such a way, the physical and visible return of Jesus will destroy Satan’s works.

Do not be misled. Put your mind on the things above (Colossians 3:2), and understand your purpose and calling here and now. See it in the grand scheme of God’s design. By all means, vote for the candidate of your choice. Don’t stay home. Vote. But…do not be naive enough to put your faith in that candidate if he/she wins the race. God is in control. Not them. God is the One who is sovereign, not your candidate.

Never forget that God is in control regardless of how things may look to you.

 

[1] Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, The Christian and Civic Responsibilities, (2008), p. 66-67

[2] Ibid, p. 67

[3] Ibid, p. 69

* in another part of the chapter, Ryrie discusses how Christians are to be in obedience to the government because it reflects the fact that God has set up government to benefit society. We gain benefits from that government (even in most evil times), therefore, we should be thankful for that government system, in spite of the fact that evil people can gain access and use it for their selfish means.

Entry filed under: Agenda 21, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

So What Should We Do With Donald Trump? King Ahab and Jezebel, Part 1

10 Comments

  • 1. donna hayes  |  July 30, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog, I would like to suggest a book that is very informational about our role as Christians in society. It is entitled “Pilgrims and Politics” written by Martin. Look forward to reading more.

  • 3. Theophilus  |  July 27, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Good response, and very appreciated.

    • 4. modres  |  July 27, 2016 at 1:17 PM

      I truly do appreciate your interaction here so please keep your thoughts coming. 🙂

  • 5. Theophilus  |  July 26, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    …And I love you Bro, I really do. You da man.

    • 6. modres  |  July 27, 2016 at 9:17 AM

      I hope that’s true, but forgive me when I say that it is most certainly difficult to see in the context of your responses. It would be preferential if you were to ask for clarification rather than assuming that you simply “know” what I mean. It’s possible I have not properly explained myself and it’s also possible that you are reading meaning into what is not actually meant, or a combination of both.

      While I truly appreciate your willingness to interact, I would appreciate it even more if you chose a slightly softer approach. You know what they say about honey, I’m sure. 🙂

      • 7. Theophilus  |  July 27, 2016 at 1:10 PM

        Yes, I can be like a big bowl of vinegar sometimes. And I do hope you will accept my apologies. Before your response, I tried to edit not only this post, but the other recent one, but there appears to be no way.

        Peace

      • 8. modres  |  July 27, 2016 at 1:16 PM

        Once I approve a comment, it cannot be edited by the original poster any longer.

        By the way, part of the reason I must approve each and every comment (from everyone) before it goes live is so that I know it’s there and it reminds me to comment on it, if necessary. In the entire time I’ve been doing this, I’ve only not approved two comments because they were so out there, I wasn’t even sure what they were talking about 🙂

        No worries, my friend. I have had the exact same issue of being too vinegary at times. I can relate completely. I’ve been also known in the past to go for the jugular with sarcasm. Needless to say, the Lord has been dealing with me on that. We all have a great deal of room to grow in grace. 🙂

  • 9. Theophilus  |  July 26, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Bro, you are having such an overreaction to Dominionism lately, that you seem to be slipping into a Calvinistic Deterministic frame of thinking. Balance my friend.

    Look, we all know we are just buying time…WE KNOW THAT…but fatalistic/determistic thinking is best left to the Calvi’s.

    Now go pull the lever for the person who you think will make us more free, enforce our lawful constitution, and not persecute us. Or at least encourage others to do it, if you find voting so loathsome.

    And WE ALL KNOW that persecution and hard times build character like nothing else can. But seeking it out, or just passively going all ‘sovereignty of God’ is not Biblical.

    Sorry Fred, I get your point, I really do. And I appreciate all your writings, but you seem to have lost a sense of fundamental balance here. You wont horrifying turn into a Dominionist if you vote for the best person for us at this time…lesser of two evils, or whatever you want to call it. But please don’t encourage people to throw their votes away as if its a badge of spiritual honor.

    And I have NEVER forgotten that God is in control.

    Nor that I am free to choose.

    • 10. modres  |  July 27, 2016 at 9:10 AM

      What I try to do here is point out what might not be obvious to people. I’m not into fatalistic/deterministic thinking nor do I believe people do not have a choice. At the same time, it is supremely important that people realize two things:

      1) while we have “free will” (to an extent, though ours is certainly not like Adam’s and Eve’s prior to the fall), our ability to choose does not in any way, shape, or form impinge upon God’s sovereignty, and
      2) God is fully sovereign. There is nothing we can do to add to that or take away from it.

      Do I have choices in my life or is everything predetermined by God? I absolutely have choices and I use that freedom (such as it is). However, at any point, God is also free to overrule my free choice (as He did with Pharaoh and many other people throughout history as seen in Scripture) to bring His purposes to fruition.

      The problem with Dominionism is its terribly insidious nature. There are people within it who actually believe that God has been sitting back just waiting, HOPING for a particular generation to happen upon the scene so that particular generation can rise up to “take back America.” Politics play into this a great deal. It gives humanity more freedom than we actually have and ties God’s hands.

      You make sweeping generalizations that you apply to everyone as if my articles are an insult to everyone’s intelligence. I’m not stupid enough (or arrogant enough) to believe that what I write here is going to turn the world upside down. Nor do I believe that what I have to say is so important that it will shock people into rethinking their positions on religion and politics.

      I write what I write solely because I have something to say and unlike yourself, I see Christians who are so caught up in politics that they spend their days wringing their hands and worrying about America and what will happen. They do this INSTEAD of being concerned about the 150,000 people who slip into eternity daily. That is set aside because the focus in America now is to “take it back.”

      I am not encouraging anyone to throw their votes away. I am simply trying to help people understand that it may not amount to much and even if their candidate of choice IS elected, the promised change may not come. I base this on my understanding of history and how a group I call the “elite” have gained access to and control over the highest office of the land in America. I firmly believe that control has been given to them by Satan himself and allowed by God.

      Should people vote? Yes, they should vote. Should they vote their consciences? Yes, they should. Should they believe that putting the right candidates in office will make the necessary improvements throughout America? No, they should not, because they will likely and ultimately be disappointed.

      Now, if you disagree with me, that’s perfectly fine. I’m happy to entertain your position. What I would prefer is for you to avoid sweeping generalizations and mischaracterizations of my words because of your particular worldview. It is also difficult to appreciate your denigrating tone, but it is possible I’m reading into it. Your choice of verbiage makes it appear as though you are filled with judgment.

      I can assure you I have not gone over to the “dark” side with Calvinism. I’m neither fatalistic nor deterministic. At the same time, I fully believe God’s purposes (and ONLY His purposes) will ultimately prevail. I rest in that. I praise Him for His purposes and sovereignty. It is a load off my mind knowing that in spite of my free will, His will is going to come to fruition as it has since the beginning.

      I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you (which may have wrongly given you the impression that I was angry), but I have tried to remember the words of Solomon, who said among other things, “A wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything he knows; that only leads to sorrow and trouble,” Proverbs 10:14.

      I took time to consider your words and thought about a response before doing so. It might not satisfy you, but it satisfies me in the sense that I didn’t blurt out the first thing that came to my mind. You have stated your position. I have stated mine. I think it is best we agree to disagree on this issue.

      Thank you.


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