Gary brings up a recent news article about certain Democrats pitching a fit over a Christian pastor praying for “repentance for our national sins.”

Jesus testified that He had “spoken openly to the world” (John 18:20). Since He had done “nothing in secret” (v. 20), Jesus asked where the witnesses were to accuse Him: “If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness of the wrong” (John 18:23; cf. Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6). Since there was no testimony against Him (against the law), it became necessary to invent false testimony (Mark 14:55-56). Therefore, Jesus acknowledged the validity of the legal system set forth in Scripture. It is evident that corruption had so permeated the Jewish legal system that a fair trial was impossible. There were other illegalities. Jesus was tried and condemned during the night—a secret trial. A bribe was offered in order to effect an arrest (Matthew 26:14-16; cf. Exodus 18:21).

When rulers gain positions of power, they often seek to burden the people with the weight of their authority. In reality they should serve the people instead of oppressing those under their government. Like so many rulers in history, these rulers of Jesus’ day dared to call themselves “benefactors” when actually they ruled by force and oppression. The reign of the Caesars left ample evidence. Jesus was not denouncing civil government, however; He was opposing the abuses of those who used their position of authority as a means to exercise tyrannical power. To those who ruled justly, Jesus put forth no word of condemnation or judgment.

In John 10:34, Jesus, quoting from the Old Testament (Psalm 82:6), confounds the Pharisees’ accusations of blasphemy by citing the Scriptural precedent of calling rulers “gods.” The passage from which he quoted refers to the judges of Israel, and the expression “gods” is applied to them because of their high and God-given office. “Jesus’ point here is that the Bible calls ‘gods’ those who were no more than men. They were themselves the recipients of ‘the word of God,’ i.e., they were required to hear and heed and obey the word of God, primarily of course in connection with their calling as judges.”[1] Their actions as judges were to be identified with the work of God. The judges were to judge as God would judge; this is why the word of God is primary for every judge.

God and Government

God and Government

With a fresh new look, more images, an extensive subject and scripture index, and an updated bibliography, God and Government is ready to prepare a whole new generation to take on the political and religious battles confronting Christians today. May it be used in a new awakening of Christians in America—not just to inform minds, but to stimulate action and secure a better tomorrow for our posterity.

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Gary brings up a recent news article about certain Democrats pitching a fit over a Christian pastor praying for “repentance for our national sins.” While the sins aren’t mentioned, the Democrats filled in the blanks and made an assumption based on other things he said before. Their seething objection is more telling about themselves than the pastor. Christianity is political by its very nature.

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[1] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1971), 527.