Dear friends,

On Sunday, April 17 I preached on Romans 13. You can listen to this sermon here: http://messiahchurch.ca/sermon-archive/state-disciple-jesus  This is my second blog on matters raised by Romans 13.

Does Romans 13, and the way that I interpreted it, mean Christians cannot work in the government, serve on Parliament Hill or be elected as an MP? It might mean that we cannot serve in certain roles. It might mean that we have to risk losing a promotion or committing career suicide. But Romans 13 is not telling us that we have to wait for the State to be Christian and moral before we are involved. Remember that Nero was the Emperor of Rome when Paul wrote Romans. The State has to deal with an extremely large number of issues. The overwhelming majority of these issues do not touch on “you shall not commit adultery” or “you shall not kill innocent human life.” Some Christians get so fixated on one or two moral issues that they lose sight of the wide range of matters the state has to deal with. As well, unlike Romans 13, some Christians say, “If the government promotes , then it is so evil we can have nothing to do with it.” Note that this is not what Romans 13 says.

Thinking about the above, we can see why having a “Christian” political party is problematic, or should be problematic, for Christians. I think in a country like ours, we can lobby for certain matters, but a political party is unwise. What is the biblical view on whether minimum wages should go up or down by a dollar? What is the biblical view on how high a capital gains tax should be? What is the biblical view on which helicopter the military should buy? There is not one. “Christian” parties are unwise because they imply, or worse, claim that there is one Christian understanding on thousands and thousands of issues facing government This claim is simply untrue. Christians in good conscience can disagree.

Finally, Christians have to live in the difficult middle place (between complete acceptance of secular government and complete rejection) where we struggle with deciding whether to “stay and fight” or “stay and minimize the bad” or “take a stand for what is right” or “work to correct the matter in the long run” or “switch to a different department”. Please pray that Messiah will be a church where we seek the prosperity and blessing of our city and country and where we help Christians figure out how to live as faithful followers of Jesus while living in “Babylon”.

George