Introduction: In the United States, we have important elections
coming up this November. Unlike many other democracies, we have only
two major political parties. A very interesting fact has come out of
the two-party system. Polling shows that Christians who attend church
regularly overwhelmingly identify themselves as Republicans. People
who do not attend church regularly, or not at all, generally identify
themselves as Democrats. This raises some very interesting questions.
If the righteous primarily identify with one political party, should
this translate into party political activity? Or, is the involvement
of religion in politics a bad thing? How does God want us to act when
it comes to politics? Does the Bible speak to the issue of Christians
and politics? Let’s jump into the Bible and find out!

  1. Who Decides?

    1. Read Psalms 75:6-7. Who is the ultimate decision maker in
      elections? Who decides on who is the governor of a
      country? (God.)

    2. Read Romans 13:1-2. Who does Paul say decides who rules a
      country? (God establishes the authority.)

    3. If God decides who is in charge of a country, what reason
      is there to vote or be involved in politics?

    4. Who decides whether a person will go to heaven? (John
      5:21-22 – Jesus.)

      1. Who works on a person’s heart to follow God? (John
        16:7-8 – The Holy Spirit.)

    5. If God decides who goes to heaven, and God persuades
      people to follow Him, what reason is there to be involved
      in bringing people to God?

    6. If you say that God decides who goes to heaven, God
      decides who runs a country, and God is the one who works
      on a person’s heart, then the best thing for you to do is
      go back to bed, right?

    7. Let’s go back to Romans 13 and read verses 6-7. What does
      Romans 13:6-7 say about fulfilling our obligations to our
      government? (It says Christians should fulfill their civic

      1. In a democracy, is there an obligation to vote?

        1. Is there an obligation to participate in
          choosing our leaders?

        2. Read Proverbs 29:2. What should you do if you
          want to help those around you? (This text tells
          us that the righteousness of our rulers can have
          a significant impact on the quality of life.)

      2. How do you reconcile the need for you to choose
        righteous rulers when God chooses the ruler? (I think
        in a democracy this is very much like free-will. God
        has the power and authority to decide who will rule,
        but He generally lets us decide. Certainly, we are
        partners with God in selecting the authorities.)

    8. Read Proverbs 8:12-16. How do rulers make laws which are
      just? (According to these verses, they do it by having

    9. Christian, if you live in a country where you can
      influence who governs you, and you know that wise,
      righteous leaders make the country better, do you have a
      moral obligation to help wise, righteous leaders get
      elected to office? (I think this means that if we have an
      opportunity to influence who is the ruler, God wants us to
      chose righteous rulers. This is part of our civic duty –
      which like paying taxes is also a moral duty.)

    10. Read Titus 3:1-2. When we undertake our duty to help
      select wise and righteous leaders, what should we avoid?

    11. If we agree that Christians in a democracy have an
      opportunity and an obligation to support righteous
      candidates and public officials, how should we show that
      support? (Titus shows us that we should be honest, polite
      and humble.)

  2. Jesus’ Example

    1. Read John 18:33 & 36. The charges laid against Jesus are
      found in Luke 23:2-3. The Jewish leaders charged Jesus
      with being a king who is in rebellion against the rules of
      Rome. Would it have been appropriate, according to Paul,
      for the human side of Jesus to have rebelled against the
      Romans? (No.)

      1. Would your answer change if I told you that the Roman
        leaders were not wise or righteous?

      2. Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this world. Why did
        He say that? (He was fending off the charge that He
        was rebelling against Rome.)

      3. This text, “My Kingdom is not of this world” is often
        used to argue that Christians should not be involved
        in trying to influence the selection of our leaders.
        Do you think that is a proper use of this text? (Yes
        and no. No, because Jesus’ followers could change the
        government only if they revolted. Jesus was not
        leading an earthly revolt. He made this statement to
        show these charges were false. In the sense of
        defending against criminal charges, this text has
        nothing to do with democracies where people have both
        the opportunity and the duty to influence the
        selection of leaders. At the same time, Jesus reminds
        us that our first calling is to the Kingdom of Heaven
        and not an earthly kingdom.)

    1. Read Ephesians 6:11-12. Against what authority is our
      primary struggle? (Spiritual forces. Jesus’ primary
      struggle was against Satan and his forces, not against the
      rulers of Rome.)

    2. If our political positions create conflicts in our church,
      how should we resolve the conflict? (Jesus’ example and
      Ephesians 6 teach us that our primary citizenship is our
      citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Our primary
      “political” opponent is Satan. This means that we should
      not create conflict in our churches over partisan
      political positions. We should not sacrifice the heavenly
      for the earthly. At the same time, political issues may
      involve serious spiritual issues.)

  1. Real Leaders

    1. Read Genesis 41:14-16. What positive character trait do we
      see in Joseph? (He is humble. If we had been in prison,
      and we got “our break” to show Pharaoh “our stuff,” we
      might not want to mention that God was really the source
      of our power.)

    2. Read Genesis 41:38-41. In the verses we skipped over, we
      learn that Pharaoh had a dream, Joseph’s God interpreted
      it, and told Pharaoh what it meant. It meant that Egypt
      would ultimately have a famine, and Joseph told Pharaoh
      how to survive the famine. What position did Joseph now
      hold in Egypt? (He was the number two guy: he was “prime

    3. The famine comes and Egypt is prepared because it followed
      the advice of God as given to Joseph. Read Genesis 41:56 -42:2. Why did God use Egypt to save His people (Jacob and
      family) instead of using Jacob and family to save Egypt?

      1. Why would God promote one of His followers to be a
        ruler of a pagan country so that the pagan country
        could save the surrounding nations from starvation?
        (This is a fascinating issue. God inserts “His man”
        into a pagan culture to save “His Church” and the
        surrounding people. The government had resources
        that were greater than the resources of the church.
        Although God has the ultimate power and authority, we
        see from this story that God used the resources of
        Egypt to do His will.)

      2. What lesson does this teach us about one aspect of
        the church and state working together? (God uses the
        state to do things that He decides can be best done
        through government.)

      3. Is the state always evil? Or, is it a tool to be used
        by God for His righteous purposes? (Remember our
        first text – Psalms 75:6-7? God is in charge of
        everything. He decides what and who He will use to
        further His goals.)

    4. Friend, if you have the opportunity and ability to
      influence who governs your country, you have a moral duty
      to promote righteous and wise leaders. God calls us to
      serve Him in all aspects of our life. Will you heed His

  2. Next week: Christ’s Other Sheep.