Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 1, 2010
“Then the commander said, “I had to pay a big price for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. Those who were about to question him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.” Acts 22:28-29
Citizenship in a free country means something, especially for Christian citizens. Citizens who are followers of Christ have a platform to live out the teachings of Jesus. A responsible Christian citizen modestly models their values and principles that are based on the Bible. Beliefs lived out are truly beliefs, while those unapplied are not real beliefs.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
This applies to our political beliefs as Christian citizens. We can endorse an independent political party, but we’re not autonomous from the Almighty’s influence. Paul was persecuted for his faith, but he still spoke the truth with humble boldness. If we say we believe in the sanctity of life, then we elect congressmen or women who do the same.
If we say we believe in a government that spends less and balances a budget, then we elect leaders who will make hard choices and implement fiscally conservative changes. If we say we believe in free enterprise, then we elect statesmen and women who support that system, even if it requires businesses to fail. Responsible Christian citizens care more.
Because our citizenship is in heaven, we always keep an eye on eternity’s expectations, while we deal with earthly issues. Its not creating an entitlement-motivated government that becomes the savior of the masses. On the contrary, it’s a political system that ensures the freedoms and liberties of its citizens are not threatened and removed. A diverse people can only be truly unified around common values and principles espoused by God.
“For through him [Jesus] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:18-20).
Am I a responsible Christian citizen who expresses my convictions at the voting booth?
Related Readings: Ecclesiastes 9:14-16; Acts 23:1-11; Ephesians 2:11-13; Titus 3:1
Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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I subscribe to your daily devotionals and usually enjoy the message. This one, reading between the lines, seems to have a partisan bent to it.
I love your daily devotional and it is often a source of affirmation or revelation. However, whenever you stray into the topic of politics/political beliefs, I find the guidance to be swayed to support your beliefs, even if only slightly. Please remember that you have a diverse group of readers, all hopefully focused on being closer to the Lord.
While I’ve appreciated all of the other devotionals I’ve received and appreciated how insightful and convicting they were I have to take issue with this one. First off, one of the large reasons that many unchurched people today take issue with the Christian church is because of its political ties.
Your advocacy for politics assumes Jesus’ devotion to a set of ideals that I’m not certain would have been the entire picture for Him. While Jesus was conservative in many ways he was also very radical (dare I say, Liberal) in many others.
While you espouse almost exclusively republican ideals I think Jesus would have been considered a strong third party candidate. He believed in the sanctitiy of human life, and was probably a fiscal conservative. However, he also believed in caring for the poor, the orphan and the widow. Something the “entitlement programs” as you might describe them, attempt to do.
The modern day political system, like the humanity that utilizes it, is broken. I’m sorry that you only see one party as the solution. As always, it seems there’s no absolute in politics; it simply remains a lesser of two evils. I don’t see political party platforms as the main problem here; it’s the politicians and the corrupted system that keeps true work, God’s work, from getting done.
Let’s remember that Jesus’ giving was not without accountability. Many of the “entitlement” programs in our government today are severely lacking in any accountability that leads people to take a look at the choices they make and help them to make more responsible choices. Long-term giving without accountability can create dependence and hinder one’s ability to develop skills necessary to help themselves. Now, I am not talking about the helpless here . . . our American government has always generously given help to the helpless . . . except, of course, in the case of the unborn . . . it continues to leave these most helpless beings undefended.
Touchy subjects. In the end, as Christians we are accountable to God and that goes for everyone else too (whether they believe or not). Since it was hinted at in the devotional, I’ll address that you seemed to hit on abortion. In the end, what a women does with her body and her unborn child is ultimately between her and God and no one else. I know the father’s out there want to have the final say, but they can only have an opinion since they aren’t the ones carrying the baby. If you have an opinion on it, voice it. If you have a suggestion or an alternative then work on that – but don’t make laws dictating what I can and cannot do. That type of one-size-fits-all kind of law never works. I”ve never had an abortion, but I want the right to choose for myself based on my life, my body, my health and the recommendation of my doctor. That goes for everything else that they want to make laws prohibiting. Remember those lines about ‘life, libery and the pursuit of happiness’? Its an invidividual thing, not group based.
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