Presentation on theme: "We hold these truths… A remembrance of our nation´s Birth 227 years ago."— Presentation transcript:
We hold these truths… A remembrance of our nation´s Birth 227 years ago
Remembering the history of our nation shows God´s hand, purpose and blessing Moses (multiple times) Joshua 24:2-15 Daniel 9:5-19 Nehemiah God 9:6-38 Stephen Acts 7:247 Paul Acts 13:15 to 26 Peter Acts 2:13-36 What nation is there so great, which has a God so near to them…? (Deu 4:7)
The Declaration of Independence We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
Value and Perils of Historical Interpretation PROVIDENTIAL PERSPECTIVE Aims to glorify God Edifying, honoring, pursues the noble strand Marked by humility Tentative in its conclusions Inspires to good works Honors our adversaries Realist as to our failures Points to higher principles TENDENTIOUS, REVISIONIST Aims to glorify or defile men Debunks heroes, critical Focuses typically on factoids Arrogant, defiant, absolute Provocative, fear mongering Inspires anger or apathy Demonizes our adversaries Highlights human failure Cynical of higher good
Beware of Pagan Patriotism National Vanity National Cupidity (greed) Empty of principle: Sentiment without Sacrifice Fickle, frothy, self-interested Can lead to – Chauvinism (unreasoning partisanship) – Jingoism (excessive patriotism) – Xenophobia (fear of foreigners) Attributes God´s blessings to our own doing Hoards the blessing to ourselves and wants to keep others out
Virtue of Christian Patriotism Patria, the fatherland, the land of our fathers. Patriotism is love of neighbor extended to the national family and to our common patrimony. Family and Nation arise out of a common bond: a shared heritage, religion, culture and ethnicity. God commands us to love, cherish and prefer our own family and nation, giving affection, protection, provision. NOT to the detriment of others - to the edification of all. Patriots love liberty, they honor, understand and uphold other patriots, regardless of nation. He who loves God must love his own nation: its dignity, calling, history, symbols and authorities
As the Church goes, so goes the Nation Christians were anywhere from influential to dominant in the colonial and formative era In the 1800´s it seems that denominational, partisan and regional interests took over By the 1920´s most seminaries went liberal, the Social Gospel and civil religion predominated The fundamentalist and pentecostal church divorced the world while the liberal one married it The academy, the media, the marketplace and the public square were almost without a Gospel witness The 1970´s Charismatic renewal awakened some in every denomination but the prosperity lulled us with comfort The political activism of the culture wars replaced our Gospel witness, distracting many of us to the materialism, hedonism and me-ism that was slowly overtaking us
We are writing with our lives the role of the Church in our time Secularism wants to expel God, the Church and the Gospel witness from public life, forcing us into into its ungodly mold Some of the Church fights to protect its rights and influence. A remnant repents seeks holiness to be witnesses, salt, light and leaven, prepares to serve and suffer
Under persecution the Gospel witness usually THRIVES Sometimes God permits his people to be anihilated or carried into exile (Ancient Israel, 7 churches of Asia) We have been bought with a price, our lives are not our OWN!
God is a God of nations, not just individuals Go and make disciples of all the NATIONS – panta etne oikomene Of one blood he made every NATION Why do the NATIONS rage? Happy is the NATION whose God is the Lord He displaced seven NATIONS from the land We and our whole NATION have sinned Of every kindred, tribe, tongue and NATION
Nations are God´s instruments to carry out His purposes To provide a framework of peace, justice, liberty, security and prosperity (The rule of law - Covenant) To provide an identity based on common ancestry and culture, shared history, ideals, heroes To bring chastisement to a wayward people (ourselves or other nations) by the use of the sword through war and oppression.
Acts 17 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.
Civil Government is God´s Idea The Kingdom is a Government
Romans 13:1-7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
Church and State: an Age-Old Rivalry (both are sources of power) Their marriage is as bad as their divorce. Marriage produces either a State Church or a Religious State Divorce produces a Secularist State and an escapist Church Each should guard its own mission faithfully. They must collaborate to better accomplish it, each upholding the authority of the other. When one tries to use, manipulate or control the other, the result is invariably destructive
Three God-ordained institutions, each sovereign in its own sphere, with its own authorities and rules, given by God so they can collaborate to achieve His purposes FamilyStateChurch
What do we owe our civil government and its magistrates? 1. Submission (obedience to the laws) 2. Honor 3. Intercesssion 4. Support, encouragement, accountability 5. Informed vote 6- Service, civic or military 7. Loyalty
The call to serve and to lead (govern) Our nation needs new leaders, for the nation that we are becoming. A couple of us are now in servant-leadership roles. We have many others, especially among our young, that should prepare for significant roles of service, in public service, business, education, the social sector. Will they prove ready to make the sacrifices that leadership requires? Will the rest of us do our part supporting them, encouraging, serving, sacrificing alongside them?