Gary participated in a round-table discussion recently about Christian worldview and cultural response.

Too many Christians believe that what they believe personally has no bearing on the political sphere. It was one of the reasons that often Christians opposed slavery personally but did not oppose it politically. They believed there were two standards—one for the Church and one for the State.

The early church made the best of a similar situation. The Apostle Paul had to appeal to the Roman government when he learned of a conspiracy by his fellow countrymen to kill him:

When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who formed this plot. They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul” (Acts 23:12–14, 21).

To avoid being murdered by his countrymen (see Acts 9:23; 13:45, 50; 14:5; 17:5, 13; 18:12; 20:3, 19; 21:27; 2 Cor. 11:26; 1 Thess. 2:15), Paul appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:3, 11, 21, 25). There were no acknowledged civil law courts where Christians could adjudicate a case. Paul sought political protection from a pagan power rather than entrust himself to the Jewish court system whose members were obligated to follow God’s law. But in his case and with Jesus they chose to discard the law in favor of their traditions (Mark 7:1–13) and to protect their positions of power. They believed they were doing the will of God, something Paul himself thought he was doing when he opposed Christians and oversaw the murder of Stephen (Acts 7:58).

What should we make of Paul’s appeal to Caesar when he had written that the secular courts were governed by “the unrighteous” (1 Cor. 6:1)? The issues Paul was addressing among the Corinthians were most likely local and personal disagreements that could be handled by church elders and experts in God’s law. Capital offenses and political disputes could not be tried by these courts.

Restoring the Foundation of Civilization

Restoring the Foundation of Civilization

There are many Christians who will not participate in civilization-building efforts that include economics, journalism, politics, education, and science because they believe (or have been taught to believe) these areas of thought are outside the realm of what constitutes a Christian worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Gary participated in a round-table discussion recently about Christian worldview and cultural response. While the discussion ran nearly two hours, this short excerpt is a good example of the fun time and great conversation that ensued on this episode of The Burros of Berea.

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