November 4, 2012 – Read the Word on Worship
It is a week away… not the end of the world but if you listen to the advertising you might be convinced otherwise… Election Day. With both sides convinced God is on their side, the question we are all wondering is “Where is God on Election Day?” Join us this Sunday as we take a break in our study in the Gospel of Mark to look at the example of another king who learned a lesson about Who is in charge , even when we have questions about what it all means in Daniel 4 verses 28 to 37 as we try to answer that very question, “Where is God on Election Day?”
Word On Worship – November 4, 2012 Download / Print
“When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting. By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.”
Dr. Haddon Robinson, president of the Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver has written, “Fundamentalists who preached during the sixties that God and Caesar were to be kept apart, have had a turn of mind about what the Bible teaches. Political involvement now smacks of a religious crusade… The fact is that there has probably been no time in the recent history of our nation when evangelical Christians have been as interested and involved in the political process.” This has brought an equal and fervent response from unbelievers to keep Christians out of the political dialog under the banner of “separation of church and state.”
We often consult the Book of Proverbs for wisdom in many areas of life, but one area it shines a particularly clear light upon is politics. For many secularists, a government which seeks to uphold righteousness in any area but the environment is only out to make life miserable for people. The Book of Proverbs assumes the purpose of government is to promote righteousness because righteousness is mutually beneficial for government and the people. Righteousness is not only right, it is best. When a government promotes righteousness, the people are blessed. But when the government fails to achieve its intended purpose, the people suffer.
The problem is that government is often tasked with matters that are humanly impossible. Righteousness and justice are God-given characteristics. For any government to employ such standards would require it to seek divine enabling to accomplish their purpose. While there is wisdom in separating religious functions from political office, there is no way we can separate righteousness from political office. If the purpose of government is to promote righteousness and punish evil, how can we avoid defining righteousness and defending it as a part of our political obligation to God?
In carrying out that duty, we must recognize any form of power can be prostituted to the advantage of those who wield it. Any power given by God to man is a stewardship. And when power is abused, God may elect to take it away, just as God did with Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. He had received good counsel from his advisors in 1 Kings 12:7 “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” Rehoboam did not learn leadership is really servanthood and rejected their advice. This is what Jesus taught the disciples in Mark 10:35-45. All power is given by God, whether it is political, financial or relational, so that we may serve others. When we forget this truth we are in danger of being set aside.