For several years I have been trying to
get my fellow Christians involved in politics. I kept hearing,
"leave it in God's Hands." Since it has been said that
'God helps those who help themselves', (not a Bible verse), then we need to rise
up and get involved.
Politics is the business of deciding who
gets what, when, and where. Christians must not leave such important
business to unbelievers. Please do not misunderstand me.
I think the majority of Citizens are Christians - at least they
claim to be. I am talking about those that actually try to
practice to be a Christian - no insult intended to anyone as I am
not perfect either. However, you know what I am talking about.
This page is basically a Bible lesson
(more of an outline) on why Christians should be Active Citizens.
I know that some of the points made can be taken and twisted so I
have tried to be clear on what I am trying to say here. The
verses in this document are from the New International Version (NIV).
I cannot claim that I did all this research myself **. I found
most of it from other sites on the internet and have combined/modified it
(added verses and some other text) and
it continues to be a work in progress as I continue my studies. I
that this is beneficial to you and that you are motivated to be a part
of the solution.
- Yours in Christ, John Gorena
In these times, no one can be an
obedient Christian who is not also a good citizen. The
Christian faith demands responsible citizenship. A
Republic like the
United States, by its very nature, requires citizen participation in
the processes of government at every level - local, state, and
national. The Bible calls for Christian
citizenship. Let’s look at this in sections:
The Nature of
Government, The Call to Citizenship, and the
Responsibilities of a
The Nature of Government
- Bible principles concerning the nature of government are as valid
today as when they were first given.
- Civil government is of divine appointment.
- Civil government is a part of God’s purpose for this
kind of world. God’s people have lived under many different
forms of government. While no one form of government is
divinely chosen, government itself is ordained of God.
- (Romans 13:1-2, NIV)
1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing
authorities, for there is no authority except that which
God has established. The authorities that exist have
been established by God.
2 Consequently, he who rebels against the
authority is rebelling against what God has instituted,
and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
- Government leaders are servants of God.
- The Old Testament describes the desired character of
a civil ruler.
(Psalm 72:1-2, NIV) 1 Endow the king with your justice, O
God, the royal son with your righteousness.
He will judge your people in righteousness, your
afflicted ones with justice.
- (Psalm 72: 12-14, NIV)
12 For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the
afflicted who have no one to help.
13 He will take
pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy
14 He will rescue them from oppression
and violence, for precious is their blood in his
- The New Testament identifies public officials as
representatives of God’s authority, worthy of
respect and honor. AND for those in positions
of Authority that they should be God's Servant.
- (Romans 13:3-5, NIV)
3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do
right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be
free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what
is right and he will commend you.
4 For he is God's
servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be
afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.
He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring
punishment on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore, it is
necessary to submit to the authorities, not only
because of possible punishment but also because of
- Civil government is temporal.
- No human form of government will last through eternity.
All will eventually end. Only the kingdom of God will endure
- (1 Corinthians 15:24, NIV)
24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom
to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion,
authority and power.
The Call to Citizenship - God’s people are concerned not only about
the world to come but also about the world in which we now live.
- Christians are citizens of two worlds.
- Though these two worlds are never to be confused, faithful
citizenship in the kingdom of God makes demands upon the believer’s
citizenship in the community, the state, and the nation.
(Philippians 3:2, NIV) 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior
from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
- (Luke 20:25, NIV)
25 Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is
- (John 17:15, NIV)
15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that
you protect them from the evil one.
- Christians are called to transform this world.
- Obedience or disobedience to the Roman government were basically
the only options available for New Testament Christians and their
fellow citizens. We live in an open political system, however, which
allows for much more influential participation in the processes of
- (Matthew 5:13-16, NIV)
13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its
saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for
anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14 You are the
light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do
people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on
its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the
same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your
good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Responsibilities of a Christian Citizen - No single passage of
Scripture lists all the duties of a Christian citizen. Insights into
what is expected of responsible citizens, however, are to be found
throughout the Bible.
- Give primary obedience to God.
- God alone deserves to have unquestioning obedience. Christians
must exercise moral discernment in their support of government.
(Acts 5:29, NIV) 29 …We must obey God rather than men!”
(Matthew 23:10, NIV) 10 …you have one
teacher, the Christ [Note: In this context ‘teacher’ also has the same meaning as
‘master’ and ‘‘Christ’ also means ‘Messiah’.]
- (Daniel 3:10-11, NIV)
10 You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the
sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of
music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11and that
whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing
- (Daniel 3: 16-18, NIV)
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O
Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we
serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your
hand, O king.
18 But even if he does not, we want you to
know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or
worship the image of gold you have set up.
- Obey the law.
- Ideally, laws exist to restrain evil, preserve social order, and
promote the general welfare. They are to be respected and obeyed in
the context of Christian responsibility.
- (Romans 13:5, NIV)
5 Therefore, it is
necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of
possible punishment but also because of conscience.
Peter 2:13-15, NIV) 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority
instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,
14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong
and to commend those who do right.
15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should
silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
(Titus 3:1, NIV) 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be
obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
- Pray for public officials.
- Prayer to God on behalf of government leaders properly complements
active political involvement. Christians should pray for government
leaders without attempting to make prayer a substitute for active
political involvement, or vice versa.
- (1_Timothy 2:1-2, NIV)
1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers,
intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone -
2 for kings and
all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in
all godliness and holiness.
- Pay taxes.
- Pay taxes, settle your debts and be just.
(Luke 20:25, NIV) 25 … Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is
(Romans 13:7, NIV) 7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if
revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then
- (Micah 6:8, NIV) 8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God.
- Support, preserve, and protect freedom.
- That form of government is best in which personal and religious
freedom are guaranteed. One function of government should be to
guarantee personal and religious freedom. Christian citizens should
be eternally vigilant in the preservation of liberty.
(Galatians 5:1, NIV) 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(1 Peter 2:16, NIV) 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for
evil; live as servants of God.
- Christians as Leaders
- In the Old Testament, King Solomon prayed
for a discerning heart and not for riches. This pleased God.
Likewise, we should also do the same.
- (1 Kings 3:9-11, NIV)
9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people
and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to
govern this great people of yours?
10 The Lord was pleased that
Solomon had asked for this.
11 So God said to him, "Since you have
asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor
have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in
administering justice,... ”
- Obedient Christians will be good leaders/citizens and must
- (Philippians 1:27, NIV)
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the
gospel of Christ.
- The time to act is now. As Christians, if we see that
we can do good and then do not act on it, it is a sin to not do
- (James 4:17, NIV)
17 If anyone, then, knows the good they
ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.