Month: November 2011

Christians and interacting with government

(This is the second post in a series on Christians and government. It may be helpful to read the other posts in the series – part 1part 3, part 4)

In the first of our posts on God and government, we looked at a biblical view of government. But how should Christians interact with their government?

For starters, Christians should be good citizens. As we saw in the previous post looking at Romans 13, we will pay our taxes willingly and honestly. We’ll abide by the law, not just because we don’t want to get punished, but because our conscience tells us that if God has placed an authority over us, we do well to obey that authority.

To break the speed limit is not just to violate an arbitrary rule that has been unfairly placed over us. It is to reject a legitimate God-given authority over us – something we should avoid because we don’t like speeding fines, AND because of conscience. To consciously disobey our governments is, in most cases, to reject God’s authority.

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Just do something!

It is possible to be a ministry connoisseur without actually ministering to anyone. It is possible to be critical of others in ministry, without contributing much ourselves. It is possible to have opinions on all sorts of things concerning life in the church, but not actually to be a servant in the church. And that is a danger that we all must avoid!

I think this is especially true for us “reformed evangelicals”. We want to be careful about our theology, careful about what we believe, and careful about what we say. Rightly so! But sometimes so much ‘care’ leads to a whole lot navel gazing and not a lot of action.

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The kiwifruit blog aims to be ministry-focussed – so we’ll occasionally highlight conferences or events which equip people for the daily task of ministering God’s word to people. The Youth Leadership Conference (2nd-6th Jan 2012) is a unique, hands-on training event, designed for anyone in Christian leadership. Don’t let the name fool you – most delegates are 18-35 years old.

Save the Planet?

‘Save the Planet’. That is what I was invited to do as I made a purchase at the local bookshop. How? Simply by buying a torch. Who could resist that! However, as I thought about it, it was not immediately obvious how purchasing this torch would save the planet. I imagine it was made in China, for example, and reached New Zealand by being shipped on a boat perhaps like the Rena, currently causing great environmental damage of New Zealand’s shores. Furthermore, the torch was made out of materials that looked profoundly un-biodegradeable – indeed the paints and plastics used to make it appeared positively toxic. I’d be surprised if the workings of the torch hadn’t been mined out of the ground at some point. How on earth could my purchasing this torch achieve such a grand goal as ‘saving the planet’? Simple: it was a solar powered torch. I take it the torch works when the sun is not shining, or else it’s a cruel joke!

This strange vignette from modern life ought to inform the thinking evangelical Christian of a few things.

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Where are all the Hookers?

(Below is a slightly amended version of a talk I gave at a meeting for Reformed Baptist Churches in New Zealand).

One thing that strikes us as remarkable about the ministry of Jesus was his ability to relate to all kinds of people.

You see, to have a discussion titled “Where are all the hookers?” might seem a little provocative, but it is positively tame compared with the shock and offense Jesus must have caused his followers and enemies alike. Jesus came with a message of grace – and it was offered generously to hookers, crooks, thieves, demon filled mad men and lepers…There’s no use sanitizing it!

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