DOES GOD STILL CALL CHRISTIANS TO BE GOOD CITIZENS?
by Charles Robey
Back and forth is better than up and down, right!
Having grown up in the 1950's , Christian living was a simple endeavor. Our Christian values and beliefs were everywhere, from the newspaper, to the TV. And yes even so in our public schools. One of my favorite high school courses of study was "Bible I and Bible II". Yes we even got credit for such courses.
Therefore, does God still call Christians, those who are dedicated to God's will for their lives, to be good citizens. Of course, He expects nothing less. Although our true citizenship is in heaven, we also have a responsibility as citizens where we live on this old earth (Philippians 3:20) (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
In today's culture, one need only tune in the TV, read the local newspaper, or surf the internet, to get a cross section of what and how Christians should, or should not behave, when it comes to our politically charged society. By its very nature, politics is the business of deciding who gets what, when, and where. So, Christians must not leave such important business to unbelievers. In these times, no one can be an obedient Christian who is not also a good citizen. The Christian faith demands responsible citizenship.
You see, Democracy, by its very nature, requires Christians to take part in the process. The Bible, moreover, explicitly calls for Christian citizenship. We must be submissive to our government (Romans 13:1-5) (Titus 3:1-2) ( 1 Peter 2:13-17). We must pay taxes (Romans 13:1-7) (Mark 12: 14,17) (Matthew 17: 24-27). We should not be a complainer (Philippians 2:14-15).
And if firmly grounded in the full gospel of our faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-5) (Ephesians 2:8-9), we should know when to obey and disobey the laws of the land (Acts 5:27-29) (Acts 10:36).
As Christians, we should take a "fair and balanced" approach to our political psychology. Often times, however, we tend to let Satan's evil influence our mind-set(Ephesians 6:12) (2 Timothy 3:1-7, 9,13). However, Satan's rule is temporary at best, as no human government will last through eternity. Only the kingdom of God will endure forever (1 Corinthians 15:24).
You see, our civil government is just a part of God's overall plan for our current world. While no form of governmental authority is divinely chosen, government itself is defiantly ordained according to God's sovereign will (Romans 13:1-2).
And as Christians, we should not struggle with the moral equivalence between the "right and left" political factions, whatever these two conflicting philosophies of government actually mean, but we should avert back to being a true "American" citizen. For you see, regardless of the political pungent, we are all Americans. And regardless of the color of our skin, we all bleed red. Yes, we all are "red blooded" Americans. Not Democrat, Republican, or even Independent, but American. Christian Americans that is (Philippians 1:21) (Philippians 4:7).
I am fully aware, as Christians, we are citizens of two worlds, the secular and the spiritual. And these two worlds should never conflict or be confusing (John 17:15), as faithful citizenship in God's kingdom makes for a better citizen of our city, state and the nation (Philippians 3:20).
As Christians should be eternally vigilant in helping to preserve our liberty (Galatians 5:1) (1 Peter 2:16). Remembering, however, as born-again children of God, we are called to be His disciples. After all, we are all He has down here on earth (Matthew 28:19-20) (Matthew 5:13-16).
So what makes a good citizen, as opposed to a bad one? For that answer, I averted back to my old school days "Coordinating Geometry theory. You see, a bad citizen seems to only be able to concentrate on one evil deed at a time. Whereas, a good citizen seems to be a very socialized ambidextrous person, as far as God's will is concerned. This is confirmed by physics, as seen in the heading of this message. After all, did our Lord not invent all our laws in existence. If you don't believe it, just don't stand under an apple tree in a strong wind.
Yes we believers are very fortunate. Let us then be careful to exercise our God given secular rights, by giving thanks to our Heavenly Father (1 Timothy 2:1-2.)