God and Politics by Mark Dever is a quick read. It’s a small book that I picked up a few weeks ago at the ERLC National Conference in Nashville. I have a lot of respect for Dever and the work that he does through Capitol Hill Baptist Church that is having a huge impact for the sake of the gospel in DC…which ultimately ripples throughout our country. The goal of this book is not to point you to a particular candidate or party…but instead to point you to what the Bible teaches about authority and those in leadership over us.
I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…
- Too many readers admire Jesus’ rhetorical dexterity and miss what it is that He is actually teaching. This is more than just a clever reply (Mark 12:17). In this short answer, Jesus establishes a biblical theology of government, and He applies it to the new phase in history of God’s people that He was beginning.
- Authority by its very nature reflects God.
- Submission to Authority-”Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:13-17
- What you do in your job is in part reflecting God’s own authority, as you keep order and peace and work for justice in our society. Thank you for the way you work to help display God’s glory. You are doing God’s work.
- We should pray for those who are in authority over us. That is how we give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, by working to improve life in our neighborhood and our district as God gives us opportunity, to preach and to display his gospel in our living. It is in our nature as Christians to be good citizens, but no earthly kingdom is to be identified as uniquely God’s people.
- We are not dependent on just governments for the gospel going forward.
- “All religions lead to God, no question about that. All empty out there right in front of the judgement seat of God. But there is only one religion that has a Savior. Jesus Christ is the Savior you need.” Vijay Menon
- Your work is important because of your relationship to God, because of what God calls you to do, not because of your earthly boss. Your earthly boss is passing and temporary, but there is a heavy master who sees how you work and what you do and it is to Him that you are to do everything that you do. For His sake and for His glory and for His honor. We should certainly take from Jesus’ second phrase here “Give to God what is God’s” a reminder we should obey God rather than any boss we may ever have that would tell us to do something wrong.
- Though our duty to earthly authority is limited, our duty to God is comprehensive.
- We are His. Therefor you give that coin back to Caesar but you give yourself to God. Any obligation we have to the state, is a part of our larger responsibility to God with our whole lives because we are part of His creation and we will be judged by Him, not least because we Christians have been created again by Him and bought back with a price.
- Parents, when you use authority in your children’s lives you are teaching them what God is like.
- “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7
- Our duty to God is comprehensive. Give to God what is God’s and everything is God’s. Give who you are to Him.