Friday, July 23, 2010

Christianity and the Government

As Christians, it is our duty to stand up, with indignation, to those who oppose us to the point of limiting our rights as believers in a nation that was founded on Christian principles, right? And I may not be the most vocal of those protesting, but I can certainly make my point.

I'm reading through my professor's notes on the book of Luke tonight. The midterm is Sunday after a very busy weekend, so I'm studying what I can tonight and I was stopped in my tracks. Read what the "Life Situation" was when the book of Luke was written:

"The Gospel of Luke is part one of a two volume apologetic work: it defends Christianity against the charge that Christian concerns and Roman concerns were incompatible. It also provides an 'orderly account' of the events surrounding the life and death of Christ for Christians who no longer have access to eyewitness accounts due to death, exile, or persecution. So, Luke (and Acts) was written during a time when the Roman government apparently considered the Christian faith with suspicion."

Interesting parallels for us, I would say. Instead of fending off government suspicion by rising up against it, it seems to me that the order of the day was to teach the gospel to Christians so that they would know the certainty of those things in which they were instructed, (Luke 1:4) and "that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:47-48) Being taught WELL in the truth, and going out and being doers of the Word, preaching and making disciples...that was how Luke began and ended his gospel! Would you say that is our model? After all, it is the Word of God!

That is not to say that we cannot stand up for what is right. Jesus certainly did that in the Temple when His Father's house was turned into a marketplace for usury. However, Jesus spent far more time in the presence of His Father than He did in displaying righteous indignation. Is our balance heavy on the same side as His?

I know I'd much rather be ticked off at the way our nation's leaders have defended everyone's rights except ours. I'd rather blame the current administration for their obvious bent toward...well, you already know. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

2 Corinthians says, "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

It sounds like we have a full-scale war on our hands. Yet, it is NOT in the flesh, but in the spirit realm. The Word gives us a portrait of the enemy, and a picture of our arsenal. It's time we take up those weapons given to us by the power and authority of Jesus, His blood, and His name, and boldly go forth into battle, binding, loosing, crushing the enemy, and delivering those who are captive.

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound!" Isaiah 61:1

We have the most powerful weapons on earth. Prayer, authority in the Word, praise, and the blood of Jesus Christ. And we don't need to board an airplane for a mission trip in order to fight the good fight of faith! Your mission and battle field is where your feet take you every day of your life. Look into the eyes of a stranger today, and see them with Jesus' heart--ask Him for opportunities to minister life and love to someone at school, at the office, etc.

And unless you think I got side-tracked, I digress. Pray for those who are in authority. They are NOT the enemy, but may be allowing themselves to be used of him, unaware. Break strongholds. Bind spirits. Pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send to them someone who will speak a word in season and that their hearts would be receptive.

If we all labored together in prayer...who knows what kind of changes could be made...isn't it time for change???

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