" And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17)
I'm sure you've probably heard or seen the old satire, showing the three monkeys, hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. These monkeys proudly display the use of irony, sarcasm and even ridicule to expose or denounced the folly of these human vices. In other words, they give a very good pictorial view of good verses bad, with respect to human behavior.
Having grown up in the 1950's, Christian living was a simple endeavor. Our Christian values and beliefs were everywhere, from the newspaper, to the TV. And yes even so in our public schools. One of my favorite high school courses of study was "Bible I and Bible II". Yes we even got credit for such courses.
Therefore, does God still call Christians, those who are dedicated to God's will for their lives, to be good citizens. Of course, He expects nothing less. Although our true citizenship is in heaven, we also have a responsibility as citizens where we live on this old earth (Philippians 3:20) (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
In today's culture, one need only tune in the TV, read the local newspaper, or surf the internet, to get a cross section of what and how Christians should, or should not behave, when it comes to our politically charged society. By its very nature, the secular world is in the business of deciding who gets what, when, and where. However, Christians must not leave such important business to unbelievers. In these times, no one can be an obedient Christian who is not also a good citizen. The Christian faith demands responsible citizenship.
You see, Democracy, by its very nature, requires Christians to take part in the process. The Bible, moreover, explicitly calls for Christian citizenship. We must be submissive to our government (Romans 13:1-5) (Titus 3:1-2) ( 1 Peter 2:13-17). We must pay taxes (Romans 13:1-7) (Mark 12: 14,17) (Matthew 17: 24-27). We should not be a complainer (Philippians 2:14-15).
And if firmly grounded in the full gospel of our faith (1 Corinthians 15:1-5) (Ephesians 2:8-9) , we should know when to obey and disobey the laws of the land (Acts 5:27-29) (Acts 10:36).
As Christians, we should take a "fair and balanced" approach to life's psychology. Often times, however, we tend to let Satan's evil influence our mind-set(Ephesians 6:12) (2 Timothy 3:1-7, 9,13). However, Satan's rule is temporary at best, as no human government will last through eternity. Only the kingdom of God will endure forever (1 Corinthians 15:24).
I am fully aware, as Christians, we are citizens of two worlds, the secular and the spiritual. And these two worlds should never conflict or be confusing ( John 17:15), as faithful citizenship in God's kingdom makes for a better citizen of our city, state and the nation (Philippians 3:20).
The bottom line. Christian citizens should be eternally vigilant in helping to preserve our liberty (Galatians 5:1) (1 Peter 2:16). Remembering, however, as born-again children of God, we are called to be His disciples. After all, we are all He has down here on earth (Matthew 28:19-20) (Matthew 5:13-16).
Yes we believers are very fortunate. Let us then be careful to exercise our God given secular rights, by giving thanks to our Heavenly Father (1 Timothy 2:1-2.) (1 Peter 2:16). We should hate sin, but love the sinner. We should hate our enemy's discord, but love him/her nonetheless.
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