Politics is permeating our minds and lives.
If you’re on social media, you can attest to the obsession that our culture currently has with politics.
And we have a unique opportunity right now to participate in government in a way that has seldom existed in the past.
As Christians, we have to ask – how should we engage in politics? What does the Bible tell us to do?
This introduces two biblical categories:
- Submitting to The Government
- Disobeying The Government
Pastor Shawn Powers joins us to walk through what the Bible teaches us about politics and why it is important.
Pastor Powers is a pastor at Redemption Hill Church in Waukee, IA. He has an M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Th.M. from St. John’s University.
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Welcome to the Brooks podcast, a podcast made for the Church hosted by a justified center and frequent guests. Please welcome your host Lo subcheck, if you’re on twitter, tick, Tock, instagram facebook, the United States of the planet, Earth you’ve probably been hearing a lot about politics recently and it’s become pretty much a hot button issue. I guess maybe it always has been depending on how you look at it, but I am here with Pastor Sean Powers Today to talk about politics and how should Christians engage in politics now? Pastor powers doesn’t really need an introduction he’s been on the podcast before, but for a majority of people who are listening to my podcast. Sean has impacted your life in some way already. He really genuinely cares about people so well and cares for the souls of his Fok, his family, his children and he’s a great leader and mentor to me. So I’m really happy to have you on Sean to talk about politics and it’s good, myjors, question and Yo is this? Do you think this is going to be a controversial conversation? I think I think anything anytime. You Insert the word politics. It’s controversial. I’ve said this before I got my dog behind me. He sits. He sits kind of at my feet. You know when I’m at my desk and if, if, if my dog widnesday could be politicized for political gain and that and at the and hurting another particular party or candidate, my dog Winston would be used for politics. So everything’s political, that’s what it seems right. We look out in the world and it’s just on everyone’s mind. You can’t kind of you can’t get away from it actually have to work hard to get away from it because of social media and the news and o. Now everyone’s got opinions right. I assume you got opinions on politics right. No, I know not at all non at all good good us bye, but by the end of all this I’ll make sure you have an opinion and it’s my opinion. I think the problem we’re talking about already, if you would even consider a problem necessarily, is that politics permeates pretty much every aspect of our lives. You know it’s. It goes back to the one of two things you don’t talk about when you’re with family, it’s politics and religion, and the reason why you know people say that is because it’s so divisive right. It divides people, but is that even a roll anymore? Because I feel like politics is the thing to talk about now? Oh, it is hat. You want to argue about that’s part of a shift. I’ve seen like I guess, probably even over just the last, like fifteen years, maybe ten fifteen years, you would probably be able to say better than me, but like there’s a shift where politics became like an obsession in the culture right and I think Danal trump. You talk about the last four years of particular. The Anomaly of Donald Trump really did something in terms of people’s political awareness. Now everyone always says this elections, the most important election until the next four years. You know, but you know just think about four years ago, when down trump did get elected. There are a lot of people in the fringes who seem to be on the fringes that came forward against denal trump or for donald trump, and so he’s really done something to enterjeck. As he’s interjected himself into the political conversation. A lot of people now have very stark API opinions about him. You know inserting himself and then you know becoming a president if the United States and whether you’re for or against YROM. The point is that he has done something to spark a new awareness of politics in America, an awareness that probably hasn’t hat. We have had before e least in my lifetime yeah and in some ways it’s a good awareness, because you mentioned ow politicians say every four years that this is the most important election. In reality, every election is extremely important. There’s some amount of truth to that Tha Youryou’R and I think the biggest anomaly in politics right now is the fact that we have a democracy where we can participate in politics and the American people have a say, that’s unique and that’s unique. I think it’s worth pointing out that our constitutional republic is genuinely unique, which wit’s Christians in a very unique place we’ve never been before and as Christians. We always want the Bible to be the foundation of everything that we do. We want to obey God. So the question for Christians is not you know. How does some political system work for me? It’s? What is the Bo? How does the Bible Anform my political views? How can I be obedient to Christ in the way that I interact in politics yeah and I think that’s where Christians ye to step back? You know th Y, I got this new phrase called Keyboard Warrior Society. You know people who are just online, you know hashtagging and reposting and retweeting and giving opinions at it o. You know, sometimes Christians, eed, to step back from that political conversation and ask the question: What does scripture say because actually the Bible is very political. Like you dread the book of Daniel, my goodness has political yeah, no jok yeah. I mean I mean you know, God raises up kings and he sets him down. He got like Nevakanezzer repenting and then you know he goes back to idol, worship and gods. Like yeah, you know you’re going to go eat grass with the with the cattle out there. You know I mean utst all throughout that and we’ll talk more about Daniel Mikedaniel, three or Dano six, but also you read the book of Acts Ik as a redemptional church. We located her in the Demoi Metro, we’re finishing up the bookobacks next week, Lord Welling. It is a highly political book and obviously there were politics in the first century, Bith H, politics were Jewish politics, in addition to Roman politics and Chrirtians were navigating that space and they’re trying to do in a way where they can have what Paul says: Ind Act, twenty three. Next, twenty four. I have a clear conscience about how I’m behaving, how I’m acting before God in Man Yeah. So that’s W, ty we’re going to get into this. Then what dies? The Bible say about politics, because there’s a lot of verses people like to throw out but in reality there’s a lot in scripture about the topic. How does conscience play into politics and how can we help our conscience to align with Christ when it comes to politics, and or should we obey our conscience we’ll get into all these questions here? But let’s, let’s start off by talking about the responsibility that Christians have to participate in politics, does that even exist? I mean because we mentioned earlier that the time that we’re in is really unique, where never before in history have common people had so much potential to make a difference on government yeah. So here’s t me reframe the question a little bit. Should Christians, or does the Bible say that Christian should vote? Should you perform your duty as a citizen of the United States to cast that ballot? Is that bibical there’s two responses to that? One is no! The Bible does not say you need to vote like the Bible get into some scripture, her, where it’s clear that God is, is a authoritative over government. He has put athorities in place to be authoritative over people, but the questions do cirsins need to vote and so the one answers kno. The other answer is: When you go to Romans, thirteen, and it says, and at least think than about an American context, let everyone submit to governing authorities well, are those governing authorities the people which is when you read the Constitution? That’s what we see. We, the people, it’s the people, it’s the representatives that the people put in place, who are the governing authority. So does that mean that US, as citizens or now the governing authorities or are we talking about, say your President Right? We think about this hiarchal structure top down and therefore we need to participate in voting. The United States is as unique as well because it is a democracy, but it’s it’s not a peer democracy, though it’s not Ao Dro Democracy. It’s a republic as we constitutional republic, absolutely a representative democracy where you are represented by certain people in government and your voices are heard through that, not necessarily that every citizen votes on every issue, yes and it’Shis, and right and right now in political debate and leading up to the election. That’s why in particular, people in the left were really frustrated with, say the Electro College in the Constitutiol Republic that supports the ELECTROC College, which is in our constitution, because it’s not a one vote. You know system right, we put in electors who go in and vote Bor us, and so that’s not a peure democracy like say another other another country where it’s majority whoever’s got fifty plus one. You know fifty percent plus one more vote, that’s more of the pure democracy and some people want that. I don’t like that because, in my opinion, I always want to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority, so I think a constitutional republicis actually quite brilliant, whether you’re in the majority or in the minority you’re still protected through our political system. I was put in place because of some political happenings near the foundation of the United States, where the minority was being suppressed. I would say right so anyway. I think it kind of gets to your question. Should you vote? I personally say that Kno. I don’t think the Bible commands that you must vote now. As a citizen of this of this country, do I think you should vote yeah? Of course, I think you should so as a pastor leading up to the lecture that a series and God government the Gospel- and I was very clear- our folks, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, and I’m not going to tell you that you have to vote now. Do I think you should yeah, I think it’s a pripivlege. I really do but d you have to. I can’t go that FIR. I don’t. I don’t read that in Roman thirteen I gave that as the opposite view to my view, which a lot of good friends of mine hold, I can’t get their personal yeah. I don’t necessarily think it’s wrong for Christians O vote, but I think what we should realize is that our Parchasan Ungo government is a privilege, yes and it’s a great privilege that wwe’ve never had really before, and we have the opportunity now to make a difference in a way that we never have before and do Christians have the responsibility to take advantage of that privilege. I don’t think they have a necessary biblical responsibility, but I think they have a wise responsibility yeah to participaate in a helpful way. The other thing is there are very unhelpful ways that people are participating in politics, especially certain groups of Christians, even who I think, are causing a lot more division in the unhelpful ways. Division at times is helpful, so not not all division is unhelpful. There’s a right amount of pointing out false teaching, false doctrine, helping Christians to not follow wolves, yeah, there’s an unhelpful type of division where you’re dividing the flock yeah. Well, that’s, but there’s a different category there like when you read in particular the pauline epistles. He just like he’s telling pastors and elders like protect the flock of God from false teachers, not false politicians right now. Now do you want to do you want to go after? You know, politicians that are dangerous for society. Don’t allow society to flourish that are doing things like killing babies right like there’s a that’s a different way to that’s a different response to that particular issue, but in terms of like who Christians or should be should be protecting the flock from it’s false teachers at Paul’s, pointing out nonecessarily politics, the view and the attitude toter politics in the Bible is much different than Sav. You know a wolf that gets into the sheep pen. The problem is that at the moment, with politics affecting so much of our world view where there is a politician promoting abortion, there are numbers of pastors from promoting abortion in the same way, because they’re being influenced as well. So there are false teachers always attached even to politics in some ways, rand anyway, like it’s everything’s becoming political, everything is becoming political, so her’s, here’s the question: What does the Bible say? Let’s look at a few passages yeah. What is the first passage that comes to your mind when about the government in the Bible. If you grew up in a church you’re going to go to Romans, thirteen yeah we’ve already mentioned it. But that’s like that’s like the first Oldo Rome is thirteen ind Rightfley show right. The book of Romans is you know, Paul’s Magneopis magnoopis right, it’s his great systematic writing of it’s like a legal document of salvation, but he gets e Romans Thirteen. He says let everyone submit to the governing authorities right, which is, which is quite the turn when you think about Romans in general and he’s making a bold statement, because you got to remember. govering authorities were persecuting Christians in the first century, Aistdos, not let everyone submit to the governing authorities and the way that we have governing authorities now yeah, Oh yeah, I mean we read that and we’re like. Oh that’s, okay, you know makes sense, but you mean even think about the book of Daniel, which will get to like smit to Neva Kanezzer Mak. That’s a bold request, a submit to Nero that’s a bold request because Nero and his you know minions are killing Christians or crucifying Christians, so Romas Tharteen is quite important for Christians understand. I think I think it does get to this, Brooks that God a we wer about God in the Bible, he’s a got of order. You know he right out of the gate. He orders creation right. He orders activities in the church, I think about first crinthing fourteen. I think God is a god of order, so that that that should apply to govering authorities that in our lives, whether it’s a and t. We bold here whether it’s a constitutional republic, submit t your givering authorities, whether it’s a communist government submit tyugavering authorities, whether you want to talk about more Bo fasciist government submit to your going authorities right, yeah now now GOI think they get play here with the character of God. Do you believe that God is imminent in all things, deeply, that Christ has preemendences over government and over your life and over that his church? is He sovereign yeah? And so how would you explain what it means to submit? What is Paul commanding us to do? And possibly what is pal commanding us not to do yeah and that’s the right question, because if government says you can’t pray to God and worship, then that’s a no no right, so I think I think iave clearly praying to God and worship. More Toki would have something to say about that. Oh, oh, absolutely and again, Goig back to Daniel. I think, what’s in play is that Paul? I think God wants Christians to live peaceably amongst one another and amongt society we want to have. We want to give a good testamote me and so being a revel rouser, for example, for a political cause. I don’t think is tasteful and you know for Christians and I think we need to be wise. We want to be loving and gracious serversy rebel rouser. That’s that’s new to me sore. How old are you twenty two? how Di you know where it came from and I make stuff up so you know Jut, say with confidence and move on rebel, roser perfect. I love that yeah, and so I think you know you now. For example, woul you woes Jesus say about taxes, Pay Hem! You know tdoes Jesus say you know. Once your taxes get to forty percent of your received income, then you know you don’t need to pay anymore. No, he says, pay your taxes as Wel was a blanket statement, and so we pay hour taxes now, O you don’t belong to. You is the point. Yes, let’s you heare. Taxation is Lheft a lot of times, but Jesus clearly disagrees with that. He Sas give to Ceezar what CAESARS, however, does he say allow Caesar to take as much as he can when you have the possibl that the ability to fight for or of your own money? No, he doesn’t say that no, it doesn’t mean you can’t advocate for change and taxes. You certainly can I’m I’m a small government. You know more libertarian, ish type of of you know, thinker in terms of my politics and so yeah. I want that limited. I want to. I want to fight for that and with my vote you know in particular, now a person you madme Tis, you migh, disagree with me and so that well you you have the opportunity in America to kind of fight. For that, the point is that Jesus says pay it now, it’s Christians that we can advocate in a way that honors God, you know we can vote in a way that honors got it and that and then forms our conscience. You know yeas informed by our conscience, so the the bigger thing here is: If we’re asking Christians, how should Christians think about this? The Bible tells you pay your taxes. They belong to Caesar. You can have your political opinions, like the government shouldn’t, be taxing us, sixty percent of our wage, that you should pay your taxes. This is why it’s important to really doneto have a framework, a biblical worldview when understanding politics, because you know the same God who says pay your taxes is the same. GODESS has every life matters. You know we go to. We think about salm. Hunde, thirty, nine nd Yan talk about abortion right, we soul. Christians should definitely be advocating for the life of the unborn, and so, regardless of what what our politicians say right and Y, you want to vote in a way. That’s just one example of many, because we could talk about things like you know: The death penalty to ithinking through like relevant issues right now. Here’s the thing I think you’re getting at the Bible informs every area of our life, including every topic you’re going to come to and politics whether it’s justice or Yo r life, the Bible. The Bible actually informs that so there’s truth to be had there and it’s not solely Christian truth, because it truth is objective. It applies outside of just the church, and so should Christians fight for truth in the government, fight for the life of unborn children, because God says that they are human life and that God knew them while they were being created where they’re created you’re getting to you mentione something I want to. I want to kind of press into just for a moment because t that’s where the breakdown does take place between those who have a Christian review and those who might not have a Christian relview. It’s the fact that we believe in objective truth right. If you don’t hold to objective truth, then truth becomes miable malleyable. It changes all the time it is whatever you want to make it it’s relativized, but because Christians do have do believe they have objective truth in God’s word and what he has already spoken, we continues to speak. We have that paradigm. We have. We have something to work with that informs how we cast our vote right and what we advocate for in our governments. I’m Christians, that’s what I’me come to agreement with people who are not Christians on political issues, but I think it’s important to realize that we’re coming into agreement, but we’re coming to agree on completely different terms. Christians agree that life matters, because the Lord says that life matters not all pro life people believe that not all pro life people value. The word of the Lord and the truth is gone yeah. So next question Shon sgood. What does it mean when and first peter to seventeen were told to honor the emperor? And how do we do that? Yeah? Well, it’s interesting because that’s that’s a passage that I preached on and I really love going over because you read you read in verse, Seventeen we just read it n intitality here honor, everyone love the Brotherhood, fear God honor the emperor and it’s interesting. The distinctions here right. Would I whuld I take the love. Loher Brotherhood means love the community of Saints Right love, your brothers and sisters in Christ, which we wo want to talk. You know tie that Ino politics. That should inform how you talk about politics with brothers and sisters in Christ. Are you doing in Noy Way? That’s loving, then you have fear, God it didsn’t say fear the emperor. I think people o l really confuse like you talk about we’re now in a post, two thousand and twenty election right. It appears you know biding one he’s Gon Na. Be President. Now here’s a bunch of people who are going to contest that, but we’ll see what happens it seems like bidens can be president, whether you agree or not. It’s not my point now. What does it mean that to not fear him right? You don’t need to fear if you don’t need to fear. If you’re you know preferable candidate. Doesn’t you know become president, you fear, God and God alone. Chrisas need to get wrap their mind around that, because they’re so fearful. If, if Donald Trump doesn’t become, president thend we’re going to become socialist. Well, maybe, but you don’t need to fear that right, you yoar God. Now you don’t like the rampifications of perhaps a wot o political party might do, but you only fear God and I’m going to you know really hammer that home and I Hamer that home a ton at our church now honor the emperor. I think that just a means it I show respect now again you can fight against that political party, but still show respect to an individual show honord to that individual. Just as you want to show honor to people in society in general, you know honor, everyone is not onor people in the church. It does include the church but includes everyone else outside the church, including your emperor and so th. That particular verseis should be really informative to how we treat others and how we think about political candes. Let me just say this way give an example. It’s interesting when brack Obama was president not as many Christians were advocating prayer for Brackobama right, but when trump became presidents like everyone’s on their knees, praying for Donald Trump. If you’re a Christian, that’s the wrong way, I think it does not matter who’se. President we’d be praying for those who are an authority over us, the governing authorities, because God has sovereignly put that individual in place, whether it is the president or a local, governor or local mayor or your representatives, so yeah honor, o the emperor you know yeah, I would say also honoring the emperor might mean for us. It’s easy to become cynical and for our opponents we recognize people are totally depraved like there’s a reality that a lot of the people in politics they genuinely do not care about God. In fact, they score the grace of God right and many of them hate God. But it’s not helpful to demonize or dehumanize people. I think dehumonizing is one of the biggest things we tend to treat them like. They are not people like they don’t have emotions, they don’t have thoughts right you don Jus, become brooks, is h way that you would we taken things out of the level of ideas and instead of attacking ideas or debating ideas, we attack people, and we forget this fundamental truth that all people are made in God’s image who all people are made in God’s image, whetherther a Christian or not. Now, whether you’re in Christ or not in Christis. You know that’s a selbitic matter, but all people are made in God’s image, and so that should temper how we talk about other people, not. I can vemently disagree with someone who’s on the opposite, ideological spectrum of my politics, but I don’t need to humanize. Like you said there is a you made a you made. A point about, you know depravity remembering that we’re all totally deprevaved. Now this is another distinction between the Christian Review and I’m going to say more secular world view. Christians have a sense of that right sin. We have a sense of sin and that informs US right, so we’re just kin we’re trying to work towards something better in our own lives or I society well, when you don’t have that in culture, and you generally will have the perspective that all people are good. If that ends up being the case, and you believe that all people are good and it’s the systems that are oppressing people, not your own sin. Well that informs your politics a great deal and wwe’re, seeing that right now, all throughout America. I think that the big thing is I’ve seen on twitter facebook, especially and conversations in the real world, if you’re arguing with someone who disagrees with you politically, if you’re a Christian recognize that this person might be an idiot, but they have the possibility of repenting and believing eas much as you did before. You know: Christ, new Christ and you have the responsibility of being a bearer of the Gospel who is supposed to persuade people to repent and believe who’s supposed to bring the good news to them, and you can do so by pointing out flaws in their world view. That’s a big thing, because world views are the world view of some political parties is just completely antibiblical right, yeah, and so you have to be able to point those things out and have these conversations, I’m not saying don’t disagree, but I’m saying disagree in a way that bears witness to Christ and to his truth. That’s exactly right, that’s exactly right, and so, but that’s that’s the challenge right. Even if, in this the challenge, Christians are runnin into those who are, I think, well meaning, and when they talk about politics, if you keep it on the ideas level, the person who who might be t be the recipient of your debate, might take it very personally, but I think I think it’s good for Christmas to remember. That’s not on you. You know you. If you keep these categories in mine, people are made in God’s image and you you treat people to respect and honor right, honor, everyone first peter two, seventeen and then talk like that and speak like that show some respect, show some decorum get the victryal out. If you can’t talk to somebody in a way that were I mean it sounds really cooring because everyone uses it than Jesus is like you know right next to you, you can’t talk to someone with Jesus right next to you, then you know. Maybe you need to you know not repost retweeter, you know go at your keyboard, Warr Society, you know, membership, just be quiet, listen, learn more! Sometimes, if Jesus is right next to you, he would have already thrown taples it’ overturned them. Er and H, t that’s not to say to say, Jesus having Jesus next to you might mean Jesus is angry. It certain things like there is a rightful time to be calling out false teachers to be calling out alse things so, but there’s just a way to do it, that’s biblical that shows the fruit of the spirit and there’s a way to do it. That’s not yeah and it does take wisdom like go back to the life issue like the Geno side of the unborn is abominale. I think I think we both agree on that and thit’s good to have a erighteous anger against the genoside of the unborn. I would say one of the most important issues in politics today, yeah I totally agree but ut. The question is: How do you do that? How do you bear witness? What does righteous anger look like when you want to advvocate for life of the unborn yeah, because here’s a deal as you advocate for the life of the unborn you’re, still a Gospel withness, and it takes wisdom and takes wisdom, an specific situations and specific conversations to know how to have that conversation right? Because, U know, I think, anger toward genocide of children is a witness to Christ, a Christian who stands by that and does not have any emotional reaction, or does it seems apathetic to the fact that their human lives being killed witnesses by their actions that they don’t actually care about life in the way that God says, however, there’s the opposite side of it, where there’s a way to react where you’re, showing the person you’re talking to the you, don’t care that they are made in the image of God. Ro, you don’t care that God, God knows how they feel as well like give me, give give a really clear example: let’s say you’re having a conversation with a woman who had an abortion right and you’re. The Jesus is overturning tables type of righteous anger. I don’t think that’s t e time for that. What he, what it’s Jesus at the well with with the prostitute satpastoral heart, take exactly, and it takes wisdom to know how to communicate Godly wisom how to communicate in a particular situation, and so I think we just need o be mindful about how to have these conversations, and we can talk about issues of justice right, obviously, two thousand and Twentis quite the year in terms of a lot of things COVD, but also protesting and writing in the streets right. And so how do we have that conversation in a way that honors God, we need to have wisdom, and we H, we do have an bibically, informed conscience. You know those things matter, so I think possibly like the biggest application here is, if you feel like you, are not up to the task of caring about others and caring about truth, maybe don’t interact in the conversations just yet kind of consider how you should be doing that and make sure that your heart is in the right place before you before you retweet somebody with a quote. You know or pray before you tweet it like read through it and think if I’m this person, how would this hit me when you know? How would I think about this? But let’s move into a different topic here. No, we talked about it. How important it is to submit to the government to pray for our leaders to honor the emperor? Let’s talk about disobedience because I think the bibles filled with stories of people righteously disobeying the government right yeah. Absolutely like I said I mentioned earlitherr the two most political books in the Bible, in my opinion, are Daniel, an ax and in both books we have. We see examples and statements, examples and Daniel and Jhadrackmishack, and a Bendigo and Daniel three, Daniel and Daniel six, but also direcg statements in the book of Act. So let’s go letme just throw these out there in terms of statements directly from the book of acts. Now keep in mind, we have the advancement of the Gospel going forth and Christians are being through through persecution. Christians are being dispersed to show the Gospel all throughout the world, but there’s political oppression from the Roman government. At times, there’s a political oppression from their own religion right from the Jews and then when we get to places like ax, four and ax five. We redirect statements that I I’m not going to serve man, but I’m going to serve God and you know it s. It says directly. I guess I can just read Itright here and act six. We must obey God. Rather Tha man, you can’t get more direct tin that and that’s a situation where they’re disobeying their particular authorities at that moment, which in this case were you know the the Jewish upper class system right, the smart people, the religious people and they’re like no we’re going to go preach the Gospel, so they disobeyed their authorities for the sake of the Gospel, stop preaching Nope can’t do that and then you get to the book of Daniel. You havenin Daniel, through shadrack me Shac in a Bedo go disobey and edict. Basically they were said: Hey you need to worship. This is golden in TA drink. Everyone, you know, has his big prayer and shadrack Meshak and a Bendiga wer like no, I worshipd God and the one true God and that’s it, and so what happens? Everyone knows the story into the fiery furnace they go and there it is, and God’s God didn’t have to save them, but he does it’s miraculous and then you get to Daniel six and basically there are agitators in the government at King Derius. At this time, he’s the the king of the meads in the Persians and Daniel six, those who are in politics with Daniel didn’t like Daniel because he’s righteous they couldn’t find e flaws of Daniel and so, like you know, we’re going to out him. So what do they do? Is they take? They take his law, the law of God, inpinted against governmental law ind. They say we can’t find any fault this guy, but we know that he worships and obeys God and got alone. So if we can pit governmental law against what he believes, then we can. We can out him and that’s what they do right. They create an Edik Dariu signs it. You know you can only worship Darius for thirty days. Youly can pray, T te Dairi’s for thirty days and Daniels like no. I aint Goinna do that which is interesting when you think about our covid climate, and I make this point in my sermon. When I did Daniel six, we have government saying churches can’t meet. You know. DNIEL didn’t have that approach now that I don t understand this health considerations and all that kind of stuff, but I step back like Daniel could have like pulled out the calendar and just kind of ticked off every day, and just you know when day thirty one comes around, he can go back to worshipping God yeah, but he doesn’t do that three times a day. He goes up to his room window wide open and he does what he’s always done in the past. He praysed to his God, and so he disobeyed a government law because it pushed him in a particular place. I would cause him to disobey his God and that’s when it’s definitely okay for Christians to disopey government when you’re not allowed to practice. Your faith demonstrate your faith to gather and to meet. That’s why you know in covid right now. It’s so interesting because there’s so many state governments there’s telling churches you can’t gather. But when you read the Bible, it’s very clear that we are called togather together as Christians and to sing him song this spircial Song to Lord into one another Eah. So these are interesting times. WOR WWE see the government. We see the law of government coming to conflict with with the law of God, as at work. So we’re told to honour the emperor ore told to submit to our governing authorities and yet wore told to obey God rather than man, and we see examples in the scriptures of governments, kings telling people of God that they cannot worship Yaway and they disig. They DIS, obey their leaders, righteously right because there are times when the righteous thing to do is to disobey government and obey God yeah. This brings up. So those are pretty clear categories right, obeying your government, obeying God. This brings up a pretty unclear category to me. So maybe you could help make this a little more clear. What role does conscience play and government and Pi and politics? How Shoul my conscience affect the way that I interact with others? The way that I support politicians or political platforms should it at all yea what a your thoughts on that yeah. It’s interesting. I’ve been bumping into this ithink. I already mentioned it in this podcast I’ve been Bunchingig it bumping into. This is pause talking about his conscience, he’s being put on trial. U Know heading toward the latter part of the book of ACKS and Paul says many times. I have a clear conscience before man and before God about what he is doing so clearly I say all that say: that’s clearly conscience plays a role right. It’s there, it’s a Bibblok, it’s a it’s a category. Christians need to have now the question becomes. How is our conscience informed? There hats, the real question: Yeah? Are you allowing the philosophies of the world to inform your conscience, or are you allowing the word of God to inform your conscience? You have a biblically informed conscience, so when I think about conscence, I think about that informs my world view. How I view the world, so we want to biblically inform conscience that helps us make decisions, especially in guards to politics here. Yeah consciences are a gift from God to help us to obey, and you know, naturally, the human conscience actually understands the truth of God. You see that in Romans too yeah. However, we still disobey because of I Romans Three, but the point is that hold thepravitything. Our consciences should be submitted to God right waiting to think sometimes at least I have in the past, tended to think my conscience was something subjective to me where everything else was objective right. My conscience is how I feel about a certain thing and in the sense that is true, your conscience is unique to you. It’s not the same as everyone else’s, but as a Christian, we don’t allow our consciences to exist apart from the Scriptures Right, remature and Christ, and our consciences grow in their ability to discern between good and evil. That’s Hebers for right yeah. So we have the responsibility, yes to obey a our conscience, but also to submit our conscience to the Lord. Is that kind of what you’re getting at yeah you submit to the Lord? Your mindful, I think another way I think about conscience N in terms of getting back to the Greeka, is idea we’re mindful of what we believe right and what we believe is informed by what we said earlier about this objective truth, which is the word of God, and so that that does mean having categories biblical categories in which we think about life and politics. So there is good versus evil like evil is killing unborn babies just get back to the example we’ve been using an trying to you know, keep going after that, but that’s the example. We’ve been using, like that’s e evil, and so we want to advocate for the good when someone is unjustly murdered. As an example like that, our conscience were informed by our conscience about what s. What is right was wrong in that particular situation. Now you need all the facts and all that kind of stuff like what was going on, but if there’s an actual murder taking place ore conscious informs US and ays that’s evil. Do not murder. It’s really clear. In scripture do not murder and so yeah. Our conscious is massive in terms of how to understand the world all around us and getting forms or politics. I want to actually go back to I mentioned Hebrews, for I met Hebrews. Five Miss Miss spoke there, but I think this passage can help us think through conscience issues in some ways as Paul Nutpaul, the author pebrews Aul, who is not Paul, I uld not think says we have much to say about this. Talking about Jesus is the Great High Priest Yeh much to say about this, but it’s hard to make it clear to you, because you don’t try to understand it. The CSB says you’re too lazy to understand it, and he explains how, over time you should move on from milk to solid food. That’s that’s something you see throughout the New Testament. You should move on from milk to solid food, then the last first first fourteen solid food is the mature is for the mature who, by constant use, have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil right. So you kind of see the whole purpose of this now of really working through truth is that you should be able to distinguish, which is, I think, a consciense related word between good and evil, yeah and objective truth right Reacti, like the truth that we readin scripture, there’s this idea that you need to mit sure and your understanding of who God is and why he created you. And what does the Bible say about all those things? Those do things and that’s goingto begin to form how you understand the world around you and that’s a lifelong journey like I was just thinking about this particular podcast with you and I’m like man. I still got a lot to learn. I’m still oup there you know Y. I I can’t remember how long I’ve been a Christian hhold am my seventeen years or something like that now and I still want to learn and grow and mature wo could even use the word talk about Sin Sancification to as well, not just intellectually but an holiness and yeah. These things must take place in the Christian life. Don’t be content with where you are in the sense that you’re constantly going after the milk right constantly drinking the milk pursue the solid food. Now we want to be content. An other areas of Life Paul clearly addresses eck, he’s content with what he has is now we’re talking about here, but we want to. We always want our conscience to be bibically informed and that’s a lifelong journey yeah. So let’s get into just wrapping things up by asking to really helpful questions. I think here you voted for who did you vote for not telling you I already know so that’s Yoeton do this. Why is this important? Why is this topic important? And the second question is: What is what shoall we take away from this? What are the most important things for us to start doing, stop doing or continue to process yeah? I think it’s important because, as we’ve already mentioned, politics is got itsit’s an everything, and so, if we want to think well about the world in which we live, we want to biblically inform conscience and biblically informed will view that helps us o understand the political climate that we’re in right, regardless of WHOS president. Now I got an opinion on who I want to be president or who I don’t want to be president, and you know what I believe about this law or that law or taxes or whatever that’s great, but we need to submit to the word of God, right God has put in place authorities you might not like those authorities and thin this beautiful constitutional republic, the United States. We have the opportunity to see change, take the place. It’s not like that everywhere. Wasn’t like that N, the first century it Paul, but we have that opportunity right now and I think it’s a, I think it’s a privilege to beable to pursue those changes through year vote or through advocasy in some way. I think the other thing I would say is we need to do this in a way that is, that bears the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kinden, goodness, faith on the self control etceter Christians need to be reminded of who they are in Christ like what does it mean to bear witness to the Gospel, especially when there’s contention? What does it mean to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of the Phlippians ar living a man and worthy of Christ? Clautians? We need to pursue what it means to be little Christ in this world, because, ultimately, ultimately, here’s the deal like play. My cards, I love the constitution, be you know what do I think Americais going to last forever? No, it’s not everyone! Everyone in Rome, you know everyone in the first century thought Rome was going to last forever. It didn’t. Eventually it will crumble, because that’s what sin does eventually gets at things and it makes it crumble and then power and authority, goots abuse and whatever else have you. What does last forever? is the Kingdom of God and Christians need be more concerned with God’s kingdom as opposed to the American kingdom or whatever other kingdom out there, and so we need do some heart checking in my opinion, let me tell you whs. I was thinking just yesterday like strolling through twitter and I was like I really miss three years ago. The kind of conversations I was having around theology M- and I feel like there’s they’re just few and far between now, because everything we’re talking about is politics. It’s not like politics are a bad thing, but I think what you’re getting out here same thing, I’m trying to get as well is that Christians should participate in government right. We should care about politics, but it has its rightful place right and I think it’s been an obsession for Christians and for Culture in general. Right now, and I actually thought I’d quote Dr Oen Stran from his podcast, the city of God, where he says many of us are tempted to make the culture make society make politics, make coronavirus our obsession, and we just shouldn’t. I mean that’s just how it is. We can care about those things and, if you know Dr Stran, he definitely does care about all of those things and talk about them right. We can’t make them our obsession right because there are way more important things like think I deliverd to you of utmost importance. You know what is the thing of out most importance: The Gospel of Jesus Christ first concudencs feel, like we’ve lost sight of the really important issues for Christians, moving away from feeding ourselves on the Gospel of Christ mm. where, where are the conversations about justification about penal substitutionary atonement, I missed them yeah. I can’t try Don concessationists on twitter anymore you’re, making a great point, though, like the church has lost, focus to some degree, they’ve lost focus and right now in particular, you know n between the few months leading up to the general election and afterwards t tends to take place, but more more of the point like right now, more than ever, we need to actually regain focus on the Gospel and and all the implications of the Gospel. You mentioned a couple theological categories that are central like a justification by faith, and I think that other category T I mentioned earlier, which you know Talkin. You read Augustine city of Gods, what he’s getting O it’s like. We need to have a focus on the Kingdom of God, not our little puny, little kingdom, not Americans, kingdom, you know, but on the King of God, and that needs to be our filtenour lens and again, as you read through the book of acts, what’s the book of acts all about it’s about the Kingdom of God, I mean it’s like right out of the gate in ax one and we’re going to end with. You know Paul talking about that’s what he’s teaching is teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of Godd, he’s saying that, while he’s in prison in act, twenty eight, that’s what we need to be about, and yes do. We need to have healthy discussions, Rom politics and all the various issues that are going on in our culture right now, covid absolutely! But if those conversations are not filtered through and informed by your perspective of the Kingdom of God, then you’re getting the conversation wrong Christian you’re, getting it wrong and ou need to step back reevaluate your own conscience and ask: Is it biblically informed Yeah? I mean just to go from Saint Augustine, our allegiances to the city of God, not the city of Man, tit’s, exactly right and one more thing I would just add just O in order wrapping up here. bepatient with people be patient. Is You have these political discussions? I mean I grew up in a very progressive home and if you’re, progressive and you’re listening, I’m not dogging on Progressives, I’m just showing like people can change like I’m not progressive anymore. Like I grew up p a I. I grew up in a democratic socialist home before Bernie Sanders came, came along and made it cool right. That’s I mean it’s crazy yeah, it’s different World Vieu different view of the world or whatever, and my my view of the world has changed. My my faith has changed. My politics has changed and I trying to give away what I am. I don’t I don’t register for a party or anything like that, but I’ve made changes over the course of my life. You give me that look. I don’t do parties man, I knon t I knon’t some people listening and be like Arrgi Lare. I just I just this is how I roll, but I promise I’m more, I’m probably more. I used to work conservative, theologically and in my world view, and then then most people who have the are behind their name but a but but I’ve changed over time and we got to be patient with other people as well. You Stop Rolling it’s Ot tat, dragin people, FO, the mud, be gracious and patient ea I’m take on the virtues of your savior and live at e out. So character is extremely important for the Christian yeconsider love joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control are those words that could describe how you interact with other people on the issue of politics yeah. If not, I think we might be in a bad place and the thing is, I don’t have the moral authority to be saying all of this like. I cannot tell you how angry I get scrowing through twitter. Sometimes now I mean it’s just made me cynical because there are such I mean just stupid takes you know, I’m just reading this on, like that completely that’s just completely ndbiplical. That just makes me mad, like I get it, I’m there too, but winknow holding your tongue is a biblical concept and learning to say things. Well is a practice of a Christian yeah. I think we’re what we, what we’re running into what we’re seeing brooks is the church is taking on the shape of the world from two different perspectives. One the church has become more antinomian like the world, anands caring, less and less about Jesus more and more about the self. You know thetherapeutic self, the self psychology that’s going on right now, that’s happening in one lane. The other stream is that Christians and the church are becoming angry like the world. That’s more what we’re talking about, and I think we need to step back and say what is what is it? What does it mean for the church to be distinct from the world and yet wanting to invite people in to see why we’re distinct? You Talke about the fruits of the spirit that you just mentioned, why those things are a part of our lives that we are patient and kind and self control and loving, like we want people to see that we want people to see Christ in us and working through us. That’s going to change the world. Yes advocate for your cause. That’s fine, but first be an advocate for Christ. If you’re ever addoquate advocating something over Christ, then your priorities are all jacked up and you need to go back to the drawing board and read Your Bible for s, idols Yep exactly and politics bcomes an idol, real quick. I can I mean anything Han, that’s that’s! The whole problem is that we are so inclined to make things idolts like in my own heart, maybe mine’s, not politics, but I have tons of things. You know that I’m tempted to make idols and if you get into politics that becomes a temptation as well. You know just to obey the scriptures. Did you have any final thoughts you wanted to share? You know yeah, just this just a general encouragement for Christians. That’s what I said about firstpeter two. You have no reason to fear. We as Christians look forward to a day when, as second as E as we celebrate this Ferdat first advent, I don’t know when you’re going to drop the PODCAST, but right before Christmas. We have hope in a second advent that informs the first advent and what Christ did t the Cross and his resurrection of the second advent to come that informs how we live today. Right. We know the ultimate victory is found in Christ and Christ will come back and and restore the brokenness. You will redeem his elect people and we will well rise with resurrected bodies right. The future informs are present and we need to live in such a way that it informs how we talk and behave and interact with things about politics. Well, my friends, if you’re a fan of the PODCAST, I just want to say something specifically to you: We have stickers for the books pro the broks podcast. If you’re a fan you really enjoy listening, leave a review of the podcast and then let me know you can get in contact with me on my website Brooks Sayscom and I will send you a sticker, because I want to get stickers into the hands of people who, like the PODCAST, my podcast doesn’t have stickers. You have stickers, got stickers, man, Mai, OP, my game, Gov people, hats or something yeah. That would be a giant one up. If you’re giving away hats, I want o more expensive, do and hey listen. This podcast will probably be coming out the weekend between Christmas and new years so to everyone. Listening Merry Christmas, it’s a great time to celebrate the incarnation of Jesus I mean the word becoming flesh is one of the deepest and most hopeful theological concepts, scriptural concepts but praise God. We have Jesus Christ to even have this conversation right. So Merry Christmas happy new years, all the Lord’s blessings to you guys and we’ll see you guys in the next episode. I bless thank you for streaming. This episode of the Brooks podcast. Please leave a review of the podcast, with your honest thoughts and for more content. For me. Follow me on twitter, at Mr Brookster. That’s Mister, Brookster and Instagram at Brooks Dot. Sze Sou in the next episode