Purpose Driven Plus One: Citizenship

Purpose Driven Plus One: Citizenship Sermon Audio Here

Daniel 2:19-23; Romans 13:1-5

Purpose Driven Church has 5 ideals: Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Ministry, and Evangelism. All great, but I think it misses a crucial part of life. It is Christian-focused. But what about the rest of the world? How do we interact WITH them?

H. Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture is one of the best examples on Christian Citizenship of the 20th century. He talked about 5 ways Christians have interacted with their culture:

  1. Christ Against Culture; {loyalty to Christ and the church entails a rejection of culture and society. Example~Amish/Mennonite}
  2. Christ Of Culture; {Jesus as the culture sees Him: “the great enlightener, the great teacher” etc. Problem: loyalty to culture trump loyalty to Christ, to the point the New Testament Jesus gets replaced with an idol that shares his name}
  3. Christ Above Culture (synthesis); {“both Christ and culture” as God uses the best elements of culture to give people what they cannot achieve on their own}
  4. Christ and Culture in Paradox {conflict between God and humanity is ever present~Christian lives between two magnetic poles}
  5. Christ as Transformer of Culture {all of culture is under the judgment of God, and yet culture is also under God’s sovereign rule. Therefore, “the Christian must carry on cultural work in obedience to the Lord”}

How Can We Be Purposeful Citizens?

Learn CORE of Authority ~
Daniel 2:19-23

  • 19/20 recognize power comes from God
  • 21/23 leadership from God; wisdom/knowledge as well; God puts political leaders in power (lots of people WANT to rule the world; only a few get that position. Why?)

Live CARE-full-ly ~
Romans 13:1-5

  • 1 God is in control; He’s the source of authority
  • 2/3 our response to authority shows our heart; what DRIVES your political stance?
  • 4 Odd thought: someone who doesn’t recognize God as the source of authority can be God’s servant! One need not be a follower of Jesus to be used by God
  • 5 we interact with government for OUR good; when we function as Christ’s servants IN it, we do so for the good of ALL

It comes down to this question: do we care about people or not? If we believe that the world is just going to hell anyway, is it Christ-like to just abandon people to that eternal fate? And if we believe that God wants “Thy Kingdom come on earth”, shouldn’t we be part of BUILDING that life here and now?

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Pastor Ed Backell

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