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Let's talk about politics and religion.

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  • March 8, 2021
    9:00 AM

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Politics and religion you never want to talk about those Let's talk about those in this episode in verse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to. The Bible based conversation on life. Contemporary Issues. Here's your host just until within the. We're told during the holidays you never want to talk about politics and religion what is it about these 2 topics that in full lanes the passions as they say gets people into fist fights on this episode we're going to talk about those 2 episodes with so Bash in Cali and Siku and I'm just I'm Kim and you're watching inverse for us to get into this Bible study in Romans Chapter 13 we want you to go to bible dot org where you can follow along with our online inversed Bible study guide you guys is going to let us not fight today I mean we're going to go for some reason issues and let's try to stay away from politics but let's get into politics that makes sense oh you stay away from religion but let's get into religion and if you're confused and that's where we need to pray so seek or. Father with thankful for the gift of you would thank you for the sublime and profound trades that it presents to us and we thankful that these choose have an practical impact in our lives and we pray that as we're going to discuss this often to test the topic that the Holy Spirit could be our teacher now that we could be informed on how we ought to live our lives and that you give us strength to do so in your name we pray Amen Amen Amen and we want to acknowledge all the watchers out there who have been wonderful supporters of the inverse program we've been around for for 5 years now and we hear emails and messages from all around the world from those of you in India and from the islands of Fiji in the Pacific and those you in Europe and Africa and South America God bless each one of you we know that there are political. And religious issues in each of our respective countries and we want to look at a Bible study on these principles to help them apply to Christians living all over the world and how to deal and how to navigate with these topics so let's go to Romans Chapter 13 and we will read verses 8 through 14 by the Yes Ok 1st. Oh no one anything except to love one another for he who loves another has fulfilled the law for the commandments you should not commit adultery murder steal the show not bear false witness should not covet and if there is any other commandment are are all summed up in the saying namely You shall love your neighbor as yourself love does no harm to a neighbor therefore love is the fulfillment of the law and doing this and do this struggling and do this knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep for now our salvation is nearer than we 1st believed the night is far spent the day is at hand therefore let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light let us walk properly as in the day not in revelry and drunkenness not in lewdness and lust not in strife and envy but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill us lust Ok thank you so much for reading it is hard to read on air but is very very important in a great principles of the inverse Bible study guide and our show is to be getting into the Bible and to be reading the Bible verse we don't do enough of reading in our churches and our personal study these days so let's want to Chapter 13 yet so this get into the principles we just cover a chapter 12 in our last episode yes and in chapter 12 we looked. Most about and what did we look at there what we essentially grappled with the practical transition that Paul is making from the theoretical breaking down of the Gospel in all of its glorious. Now he's saying Ok now it's time to get practical and how do you actually behave as a person who saved how do you respond to the salvation that he has provided and what does that look like in your everyday life what does that look like in your ministry to the church and what does that look like even when people are harming you hurting you how do you respond as a mission at the same time so I was continuing that arc I was going to say a lot of this is is what they call grace based behavior or grace based values rather than just being a good person for goodness sake but what is a look like when it's inner transformation that has happened and how does that come out on the outside we're continuing that tread that thread of thread the thought of line of thought in $13.13 chapter the chapter 13 version one starts off with government discussion right you know and then we get into what Kelly read about verse 8 about the law there but let's actually read from verse one and I'll start there but every soul be subject to the governing authorities there is no authority except from God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God Now I know we can keep on gone but there's already from that much there's a lot there so let's unpack that and take some time take it slowly through this text what's going on there why does he talk about coals on your fire and enemies and vengeance is God and then obey the government I mean you've got a mess I'm going to see Sorry Ok so you're so you're looking at the fact that he's recognising the persecution and a lot of the suffering and people they probably want vengeance on the church in Rome is the government Ok And so there's this tension between what they believe and their allegiance to God is coming into tension with the government and so Paul I believe is going to start walking the church and us on a trajectory to say how do you walk that thin line between your submissiveness to and your allegiance to God at the same time Ok. Ok so you can honestly say that the the connection that I see from what he has just been saying in chapter 12 just talking about putting calls of people who who who harm you and doing good to those who do evil to you and in their context you know with the role Romish authority is you know putting this heavy yoke of burden on them for especially for Jewish people. That was your enemy you know and I like that Paul he it's kind of like he's already made it practical but he like brings it home and he's like here's an issue that is close to you you're literally dealing with this today is there are people who are oppressing you and this is how you ought to relate to them this is the gospel has shoes and what it is there's a lot of threads here and I think I want to parse each one out yeah so Paul is speaking on behalf of Christianity Christian at this point was very very small small little dinky little you know. And sect and c.c.t. and they are not jibing well with the rest of the empire you know his 2 things or one be nice to the government subject where you know subject to I mean because acknowledges in verse 2 right. Sorry in verse one that there is no authority except from Gone yes and then he says in the authorities that exist are appointed by gone you know this so God has given them a certain responsibility which he's going to develop later in the chapter and that's what my dad used to always tell me that you don't get responsibility without authority if I'm going to give you a responsibility to do anything I have to also give you the authority to carry it out so your responsibility is to cut the grass I'm not going to tell you to do it on Tuesday or make sure it's done in you know perfect 45 degree angle you know you're pushing the law more it's your job. To cut the grass here the parameters you have the responsibility is your authority just make sure it's done and God Here Paul is saying Look God gave them this responsibility and therefore he's giving the authority for the government but don't forget that that authority came from me so they're not above God and therefore their authority should never be submitted to at the discretion or at the Council of that tension and I think that tension we always have to be mindful of that that we need to be submitted to the government right yes that government ultimately gets a story from God Yes So there is that hierarchy has to be very clear in our minds and sometimes I think there are many Christians who have a completely different hierarchy all together oh yeah and they get that we're going talk about that because it gets it gets it gets money 1st to give on a verse to Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves for rulers are not a terribly good works but to evil to you want to be unafraid of the authority do what is good and you will have praise from the same for he is God's minister to you for good but if you do evil be afraid for he does not bear the sword in vain for he is God's minister an Avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil therefore you must be subject not only because of Wrath but also for conscience sake for because of this you also pay taxes for they are God's ministers attending continuing to continually to this very thing render therefore all to their due taxes to death taxes or do customs to customs fear to fear on or to whom on are Ok now that's just exploded into a lot of other stuff Ok let's parse each of those out what are points there that break this down for us. I don't know that this breaks it down but in verse 18 of the previous chapter of Chapter 12 verse 18 Yes Yes Paul has already said if it be possible as much as depends on you that's a lot of conditionals they are they. If it's possible and as much as is dependent on you live peaceably with all men so he's already given this principle of to whatever extent is possible you know within the constraints of you know your conscience towards God make sure that you're living peaceably with all men and then when he's thing now like a practical application in our daily living in our relation to government and the laws and statutes that we must obey if it's not compromising your relationship with God If it's not infringing on you know your duty to God if in as much as possible to do your best to make sure that you are complying with these authorities whom God has ordained to be there and just speaking to that god you know ordaining these authorities there's a recognition that God is sovereign right as then there is no one who could hold that position of authority even if they came if they came to authority to power you know through a rigged election or whatever you know I'm speaking of my home country Ok but. No matter how they came to power they would not hold that position if God had not permitted it. And as a Christian recognizing that you say Ok well this authority has been permitted by God So in as much as it is in my ability to comply with the rules and regulations that are set forth this is actually complying with God's authority in as much as he permitted that you know power to be in place so do we have a place can we complain about complain about about the rigged election about the about these guys and this. Charge. What do we have I guess sort of the question is what is the role of civil disobedience as a Christian do we go out do we march to Carol you know you know well. Yes I think that it's against the government at all Well no absolutely absolutely Ok absolutely other extreme we fight against the government all the time yes I mean because you know the term civil disobedience is right so when I use the word fighting I'm referring to disobedient running and you know it's the reverend you know Dr Martin Luther King Jr who would say the person who respects the ball would never submit to an unjust law he has the highest respect for the law because the purpose of law is to govern relationships and the rights of an individual so in this sense if the government exercises authority that does not prioritize a person because of my higher allegiance to God and my value of that the dignity of that other person regardless of where they fall on our ideological aisle regardless of the difference I still bear that respect for 2 reasons Paul God says 1st because he's god's minister so I have to respect the position even if I don't respect the person and then secondly And secondly I hold the thought when you come back after the break we'll look at Sebastian what he has to say about number 2. Has been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching. On Facebook Twitter Instagram or You Tube while they join us like. I handle again in 1st Bible states now back to the discussion. We are in Romans Chapter 13 and there are 2 reasons that Sebastian is talking about and I rudely interrupted him after his. First reason so number one is found in verse one verse 4 Your He is God's minister to you to do forgive this is the government is God's minister Yes Right so you respect the position even if you don't respect the individuals present only time you respect spec the position even if you don't respect the person that is. Good principle to abide by Thank you for still the same to the 2nd thing is he says in verse 6 and 7 he says were because of this you also pay taxes for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing render therefore to all their due taxes to whom taxes are due etc etc So the 2nd principle here Paul is beckoning back to Jesus principle in Matthew 20 where he saying when you ask them should you pay taxes to Caesar and Jesus says well you render unto Caesar what is Caesar and you recommend to God What is God's But his question was whose image is on this point so in essence you're benefiting from the benefits of the protections of the government they are costly attending to you right in all these different ways and as long as you're giving what is due this fine but the moment the government ceases to provide that right it's not due to you any more right the government is no longer a minister for good because they're trying to violate your conscience your allegiance to God alternately and at that point in time we have to say yes you have the authority to do this and collect taxes and customs and all the type of stuff but you do not have the authority to dictate my conscience and that is where the line has to separate in terms of our submission in resistance to the government and I just want to add like in verse 3 This is Paul's argument right that rulers are not a terror to good works but evil. But what happens when rulers are a terror are a terror to good works. So then it then the argument that he's making doesn't flow Ok Ok so so what is the logic that he is bringing is in as much as it is possible I'll say in as much as it is possible it does not you know contravene your conscience it does not contravene what your duty to God but in the situation where if you are experiencing you know the kind of oppression that requires you to contravene your conscience and now the authorities are. Contradictory to good works then you do not owe them the kind of respect that he's talking about so I think he's very careful in the way that he words it and the parameters of parameters he sets in place so the fact that we ought to you know render you know and to see is that what he sees as give out taxes you know be obedient and cetera does not remove the obligation that we have to God to show love he continues in verse $8.00 oh no one in the thing but love you know so we have obligations that go beyond you know our obligation to the government which is our obligation to the authority above government so to speak to your question about civil disobedience It's not about you know just being rebellious and like I just want to like go on the streets and protests and marches and whatever or but it's really about if there is an instance where in all good Christian conscience there's no way that you could render obedience to this authority because it would contravene your legions to God I think that's been on the flipside there is too according to the argument on the flipside we are not to be mindlessly obedient to government either this is a great government whatever they say must be totally right let me just completely toy subscribe to our press and what they do and then be 100 percent we need to be all thinking Christians who acknowledge that God has all authority and he has given some of the authority to whatever leader and with our minds he both to be able to filter and navigate through these tiny doesn't like that is I mean that is actually contrary to the way a lot of good Christians view politics it's kind of like oh well I should just you know kind of stay in my little bubble and you know keep out of politics and whatever but in order to be able to make those kind of decisions you have to be engaged in the process you have to be thinking critically about the decisions that your leaders are making you have to actually be thinking through a Christian framework does this cohere with what I believe in my belief system and what is. The right response for me as a Christian and that is not being aloof to politics it's actually being engaged in politics but a different kind of political thing because we're aloof Christians are not called to be aloof pics of our times pretty good it's going well I'm learning a lot of conversations I'm sure I'm listening but I know we're trying to sidestep all current politics of any nation that we know of so I want to go to something that we can all agree on and that was that Hitler's Germany was terrible bad well. If you disagree with me but focusing on that that was a time that Christian should disobeyed the government so and I know we can do nuance but I think that's a great example because it's so clear and that you know like yeah you need to give up tell us where the Jews are because you want to take them away it's like no because that violates my conscience that violates what God has shown me and so even though there's all these restrictions and all these laws and I think that's even a good example too because something bad will happen to you not just the person you're hiding but lying about what happened to you if you disobeyed and so it's actually you have a higher obligation to take care of that person even though it's in your own best personal interest to actually obey the government it's not in the best interest of people who are under your care and so you have to keep up all those things and not just like what's good for me because a good for you is to give them up so to really have all those things that I'm in I want to push forward if that's Ok And there are some other juicy points in this chapter they want to go to Kelly did read for us in verses 8 through 10 to love our neighbor yeah love and then in the context of the government we need to love our government leaders want to pray for government leaders but also have our keep our consciences clear a general principle of scripture is that keep Bible or keep the government and religion the Church separate render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's render unto God. It is Gods and the 2 do not come together in the context of Paul These were together and there's a danger when the government and religion are together and Christianity had navigate through that we are glad that in the 1st world in a lot of the places that we live today those 2 entities are separate not every country but we are to call we are called to love each other verse 9 we are called to keep the 10 Commandments that we believe in legal order and legality and civility and all these good good things that end with i.t.t. and why there's a verse 11 this is a verse 11 I do want to spend some time here and all of a sudden and please explain this to me why does your boss that went into this phrase and do this knowing the time that now it is high time to awaken out of sleep or now our salvation is near Then we 1st believe and he talks about being awake and sober and putting on Jesus why does he talk about government and then loving each other and then hey Jesus is coming soon you got to be really awake are these related or is just Paul being random here is definitely not being random because he's trying to point the believers in Rome to look higher than their present situation again right he's dealt with the fact do not try to you know we go back to chapter 12 at the end in verse 21 do not overcome by evil do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good and now he's explaining even further what he's meaning by that in the context of persecution loving your neighbor is saying do beyond just what's do right in terms of the government you need to do what is your do you owe the taxes you all the customs you'll be on of the free or you need to do that but now we're going to take that higher and Paul is saying now this is practically the prophetic reality of where you are has to have the highest bearing on you're living out your Christian experience in this situation regardless of what the government situation is around you so he's saying think maximum not minimum do not look at this and say well that's the least I. I pay my taxes so I'm going to go off and go rogue and pay my taxes and that's it Paul's like no your neighbor wherever is the nearest person to you all of them love and now when you're doing that and you're trying to fulfill this law to the very maximum you know that prophetically you are in a situation where your salvation is nearer than when you 1st believed from the very beginning and this is what's leading you to the fact that it's time for you to await he says in verse 12 the night is far spent the day is at hand therefore let us cast off the works of darkness so ultimately Paul is guiding them to say you have to fully let go of how sometimes even in a situation of governmental persecution and corruption there is a temptation to put on works of darkness and forget the prophetic reality of where you are and that is coming when you start coming down from maximum obedience to The Divine Law and you just say well I'm just running what is due in sometimes we don't even want to do that and that is the exact opposite of how a Christian has to approach it I feel like he's he's building up to this point of trying to build a very compelling argument of how we are to really with that prophetic reality of where we are should be doing. Yeah I didn't see it quite that way but you know but I think. That was terrible I disagree and I think it's great but I think mine's just a little bit a little bit more nuanced and just that he's talking about all these different ways need to practice and live our lives but he's also just like all these things are true but just remember to walk with Christ remember your spirituality. Because even then we know we can be caught up even in our interactions are people we can be caught up in how to interact with the government properly and plenty of people like that and the idea is just remember like it even says in verse 11. To awake for now our salvation is nearer than we 1st believed. And verse 14 says but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to will fill its lots like he's using very spiritual language again and I I think sometimes you know sometimes and I don't know if this is of something I said at a call but I'm going to say anyway. So an application for myself mumbles I'm just. Going towards the excited. But that is sometimes we can be so obsessed with the practical outwardly that we don't spend we still we neglect that connection with Christ like this is how Christians should interact with people who are Christians to be in the government the Christians are one of the relationships but Jesus like yeah I'm the Christian I'm the Christ part of the Christian and so he wants that communion he wants us to remember that that's that's the center of where everything comes and how we interact with the government how we love other people so to me is like kind of 12 and then he goes into 13 but then he kind of circles back to 12 at the very end of 13 like what I said about our connection and our defense. You know when I look at this verse I see it language of time in verse 11 you see knowing the time it is high time sleeping or waking in verse 12 years night to dare is day of darkness then then he goes into Maybe it's my abstractness and he goes from time awareness then he goes into space or in this on putting on Jesus about walking and so in all these talks about the government and all of the relationships be mindful of these 2 anchors that you need in life one Always be mindful of what time that you're living in and he's basically saying we're living the last days man and he was living in the last days like a long time ago so we're leaving the last of the last of the last and so that should make a sober and then number 2 so walk air fully put on Jesus make sure that everyone sees Jesus in you so there's this almost the physical the space component even though Jesus not space but the character of space space and time is what anchors us in these last days. How many of you have been in these in the in the in the craziness of politics in the craziness of religion religion with social media and all these ideas flipping here and there you get lost and sometimes the temptation is for the just give in and says so in the in the temptations of entertainment and what not out there we are called as Christians to have these true anchors in our lives and they'll help us navigate whether it be the elections government crises or famines or whatever economic struggles that may happen according to the study of Romans Chapter 13 we are called to be as sober in these last days and this is something only that Jesus can give us I know that's my prayer hopefully that's yours I know that Sebastian's Cali's and see Cruise thank you so much for joining us guys and you out there at home we'll see you next week when we look at Romans Chapter 14. Yes From a step or 14 we'll see you next week. You've been listening to a Bible based on the same caliber as well Dr Jonathan Walter Sebastian Braxton. Your host. Is brought to you by the folks at television that changes like this and more inspiring episodes is that in. Order to find this on social media. In the 1st 5 until next time this is n.p.r..

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