Politics: The Imperfect State

An imperfect state isn’t a bad description for the government.  To be clear, the government is established by God.  That doesn’t always mean that the government works for the good of the Christian church.  This lesson we walked through a few examples of how the government either acts against the church or Christians have taken advantage of their rights allowed by the state.

Before get there it is helpful to remember that the state isn’t worthy of our worship.  God can use the state to protect us, but never forget that it is God who is doing the protecting through the state.  Who cares, you say?  Pastor Fred, that’s splitting hairs.  I’ve spoken with more than a few people who are REALLY worried about our government.  Whether it’s how terrible the current leaders of the government are… or how terrible the previous ones were… or – maybe you’ve heard – this election is the most important election of our lifetime.  Is it?  God calls the Christian to be the salt of the world.  Please do vote, Christian!  Just remember who is in charge.  No amount of hand wringing will change the future.  Pray for our nation and our leaders and remember who is in charge.

Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of our imperfect state.  The example from the book of Acts is one of the Roman government, but it’s not a terrible place to start.  The obvious cons of this example are 1) Paul is in chains.  Not a good start. 2) Paul is about to be flogged.  People sometimes died from having most of their back removed by the lash.

There are a couple powerful pros here as well.  The first obvious one is that Paul was rescued from a mob!  Anarchy is never a good thing.  Remember, even evil, corrupt governments are better than nothing.  Our imperfect state offers at least some basic level of protection to the people of the world.  The second was unique to Rome at this time.  Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen.  Citizens of our nation are afforded special rights and privileges that people from other nations don’t necessarily enjoy.  This isn’t the only place that Paul used his citizenship either.  He uses it in Philippi as well as a defense of the reputation of his work and the new church in that ancient city.

Want to hear more examples?  Check out Sunday’s Bible class taken from our series – Politics.

Please click HERE for the bible class slides.