Zoe Christian Fellowship
Politics And Policing: What’s A Christian To Do?– Part 2
September 20, 2020

Politics And Policing: What’s A Christian To Do?– Part 2

September 20, 2020

Preamble

  • Last week we addressed a truth, but as Dr. A. R. Bernard says, “All truth is confrontational.”
  • With the outrage that many have about conduct, you might have been a public bashing of law enforcement.
  • In a sermon about policing, you might have expected me to be in my own outrage.
  • Perhaps you a presentation not unlike Jesus when he expressed His anger at the charlatans who desecrated God’s temple.
  • There’s a place for the kind of Jesus expressed in that moment.
  • Those of you who’ve paid have seen this passion expressed in my own teaching.
  • I’ve not minced words in my disgust about injustice, particularly the kind that’s been leveled against African Americans.
  • Both in and the pulpit, I have actively challenged systemic racism and institutional injustice.
  • Some of you have even followed the platform I am currently building to address the needs of African Americans on a larger scale.
  • In light of that, there are some who are waiting for me to get to the stuff, which for them, ironically, is about how to address evil.
  • That is, they want to know how to evil people from doing evil things.
  • They want and, even more precisely, on those who have treated African Americans as if they were less than human.

 

Home Cooking

  • Newsflash: Judgment at the house of God.
    • I Peter 4:17
  • This sermon is for .
  • More specifically, this sermon is for Christians who consider the Bible to be God’s Word and to hold over their moral decisions.
  • If this does not describe you, I’m not talking to you.
  • My focus is on people who have forsaken all to follow .
  • When you are a true servant of God, you are repentant when you hear God’s Word, not .
    • Josiah (II Chronicles 34:19; II Chronicles 34:27)
    • Children of Israel (Nehemiah 8:2-3; Nehemiah 8:8-9)

 

Good Meals Require Good Seasoning

  • We place too much emphasis on trying to change the world and not enough on behaving like .
  • Our Christian character is a natural and .
    • Matthew 5:13-16
  • A starting point for addressing our current racial conflict is to call in the Christian police officers and the Christian protesters for a .
    • John 13:35
  • Our biggest witness will be when Christian protestors and police officers to Jesus, appeal to their common faith and pursue practical steps forward in.

Liberation through Submission

  • Resistance to begins with submission to .
    • James 4:6
  • Without submission to what is, you will not have the authority, nor the power, to resist what is .
  • is the hard truth that confronts us and our difficulty with it has two aspects:
  1. Righteousness and justice begin and end with .
  2. We do not naturally His standard of right and wrong.

 

The Spirit is Willing, but the Flesh is Weak

  • Our temptation is to turn to the flesh when our buttons are pressed emotionally, politically and culturally.
    • Colossians 3:8-11
  • The image of God is a assigned to us by God.
  • What is confusing about this is that though we’re all made in the image of God, we’re not all in that knowledge.
  • Consequently, many of us act in a manner that is our status.
  • However, as followers of Christ, we must the status of the image even when people act of it.
  • This is why the Scripture commands us to refrain from toxic emotions centered in .
    • Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility (dictionary.com)
    • Wrath – strong vengeful anger or indignation (merriam-webster.com)
    • Malice – the intention or desire to do evil; ill will. (merriam-webster.com)
    • Slander – the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. (merriam-webster.com)
    • Obscene Talking – extremely offensive word[s] or expression[s]. (dictionary.com)

  • In addressing injustice, we must distinguish between anger and righteous .
  • Righteous hate comes from a passion for divine and is affiliated with the following:
    • Protest
    • Public criticism of injustice
    • Holding Institutions accountable for justice
    • Challenging abuses of power
    • Challenging unjust laws and protocols
    • Holding law enforcement officers to decisions that are legal, moral and ethical
    • Making sure evil doers are justly punished.

  • Personal anger comes from a passion for personal and is affiliated with the following:
    • Retaliation
    • Personal attacks
    • Personal vendettas
    • Blood lust
    • Holding resentment
    • Slander
    • Holding ill will and plotting evil in response to a wrong suffered
  • Personal anger is directed at a and is a byproduct of the fear of man.
  • It presumes that good and evil rest in the realm of the human and that human evil can be defeated by human good.
  • It is to seek the punishment of evil doers, but is unrighteous to for their demise (Proverbs 24:17-18)
  • When we gloat over other people’s punishment, we are in our own goodness.
  • The challenge is that human good is not good. (Romans 3:10)
  • Only is good.
  • Righteous hate is different because it is directed at injustice itself and is a byproduct of the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 8:13)

 

The Nature of Authority: A Review

  • People who fear the Lord know that good and evil are , not human.
  • This means that when God-fearing people approach a , they know they are engaging in something that is supernatural and not merely human.
  • authority is supernatural.
  • The source of all authority is .
  • Hence, engaging with authority well (whether to wield it or submit to it) requires of principles.

Romans 13:1

  • “Every person” means that even figures are subject to the governing authorities.
  • Since there is no authority that has not been established by God, person is subject to the justice of God.
  • This is what protest against injustice.
  • Protests are part of a tradition that indicts people and institutions for violating justice in the public sphere.

Romans 13:2

  • To authority of any kind is to resist .
  • However, remember the biblical command is to submit to , not .

Romans 13:4-6

  • The Scripture is clear: Law enforcement officers are and of .
  • When law enforcement officers wield or use , they are expressing against evil doers.
  • “For the sake of conscience” means we should law enforcement officers not because they have but because we want to .

Romans 13:7

  • Abuse of power does not the we to people who wield authority.
  • This is a difficult pill to swallow, but here’s the promise of Scripture: Proverbs 16:7

 

The Million-Dollar Question:

  • to authority is ungodly, but so is the of power.
  • How do you abuse while authority?

 

© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2020

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