Can The Church Keep Out of Politics?

Acts 16:16-26 MOFF
16    Now it happened as we went to the place of prayer that a slave-girl met us, possessed by a spirit of ventriloquism, and a source of great profit to her owners by her power of fortune-telling.
17    She followed Paul and the rest of us, shrieking, “These men are servants of the Most High God, they proclaim to you the way of salvation!”
18    She did this for a number of days. Then Paul turned in annoyance and told the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I order you out of her!” And it left her that very moment.
19    But when her owners saw their chance of profit was gone, they caught hold of Paul and Silas and dragged them before the magistrates in the forum.
20    Bringing them before the praetors they declared, “These fellows are Jews who are making an agitation in our town;
21    they are proclaiming customs which as Romans we are not allowed to accept or observe!”
22    The crowd also joined in the attack upon them, while the praetors, after having them stripped and after ordering them to be flogged with rods,
23    had many lashes inflicted on them and put them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safe.
24    On receiving so strict a charge, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.
25    But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God, while the prisoners listened,
26    all of a sudden there was a great earthquake which shook the very foundations of the prison; the doors all flew open in an instant and the fetters of all the prisoners were unfastened.

For many salvation means
1.    Get people SAVED
2.    Get people to BEHAVE
3.    Get people in Heaven beyond GRAVE

Micah 6:8 NAS1977 – He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk  humbly with your God?

Isaiah 10:1-2 NLT – 1 What sorrow awaits the unjust judges and those who issue unfair laws. 2 They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans.

Politics is concerned with societies RESOURCE ALLOCATION.

Acts 16:11-16 MOFF – 11 Setting sail then from Troas we ran straight to Samothrace and on the following day to Neapolis. 12 We then came to the Roman colony of Philippi, which is the foremost town of the district of Macedonia. In this town we spent some days. 13 On the sabbath we went outside the gate to the bank of the river, where as usual there was a place of prayer; we sat down and talked to the women who had gathered. 14 Among the listeners there was a woman called Lydia, a dealer in purple who belonged to the town of Thyatira. She reverenced God, and the Lord opened her heart to attend to what Paul said. 15 When she was baptized, along with her household, she begged us, saying, “If you are convinced I am a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” She compelled us to come. 16 Now it happened as we went to the place of prayer that a slave-girl met us, possessed by a spirit of ventriloquism, and a source of great profit to her owners by her power of fortune-telling.
1 Peter 4:9-11 MSG – 9 Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. 10 Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: 11 if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

I.    You cannot condemn the EXPLOITATION of people without getting involved in politics.

Because of Constantine, the church went from PROPHETS to PROFITS
The gospel teaches that the most sacred thing in the universe next to God is HUMAN BEINGS!

The gospel teaches that the most sacred thing in the universe next to God is HUMAN BEINGS!

II.    You cannot condemn PERSONAL sins without condemning much of the PUBLIC POLICY that produces it.

Saintly folk act like SINNERS when for days they have had no DINNER.

James 5:1-5 NLT – 1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. 2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. 3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment. 4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.

Wealth in white families is $144,200. Wealth in black families is $11,000.  White families have 13 times more wealth than black families.

The 400 richest Americans have as much wealth as all 41 million African Americans combined.

Between WW II and 1970 the wealthiest Americans had 70% of their income taxed. Today it is about 37%.

Black male unemployment in West Louisville ages 16-24 is 51.5%.

We must say thou shalt not to an economy of exclusion and inequality…can we continue to stand by when food is away while people are starving.
Pope Francis…SCREEN ONLY


III.    To practice Christian LOVE and FAITH requires the Church to be involved in politics
James 2:14-18 MSG – 14 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? 15 For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved 16 and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? 17 Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? 18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.
1 John 3:17-18 NLT – 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

1965 – CO-Worker Pay Ratio 24:1

2008 – CEO-Worker Pay Ratio 431:1

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