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The Church and Society. Human “Rights”. Review. The Church is led by the Spirit of God—“those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). The Church is guided by the Word of God– “whoever keeps his word is truly his disciples” (John 8:31).

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the church and society

The Church and Society

Human “Rights”

review
Review
  • The Church is led by the Spirit of God—“those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
  • The Church is guided by the Word of God– “whoever keeps his word is truly his disciples” (John 8:31).
  • The Church is for the Glory of God– “all things were created by him and for him”; and therefore, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Col. 1:16; 3:23).
what are rights
What are “rights”?
  • “Right” is generally considered to be what is seen as morally or practically correct or just.
  • “Rights” then are those terms of individual or social existence and/or behavior that are deemed morally correct or just.
how about entitlements
How about “entitlements”?
  • An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A "right" is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an "entitlement" is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle ("rights") which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.
  • In a casual sense, the term "entitlement" refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit—if given without deeper legal or principled cause, the term is often given with pejorative (derogatory) connotation (e.g. a "sense of entitlement").
some basic human rights

Gender equality

Fair trial

Innocence until proven guilty

To be a citizen of a country

To be recognized as a person

Free expression of sexual orientation

Some Basic Human “Rights”
  • Right to privacy
  • Right to live, exist
  • Right to have a family
  • To own property
  • Free Speech
  • Safety from violence
slide6

Education

To communicate through a language

Not be forced into marriage

The right to love

The right to work

The right to express oneself

  • To vote
  • To seek asylum if a country treats you badly
  • To think freely
  • To believe and practice the religion a person wants
  • To peacefully protest (speak against) a government or group
  • Health care (medical care)
what are humans rights
What are humans’ rights?
  • What is “best” for others?
  • What do each of us “need” most?
  • How do we measure that?
  • How do we determine that?
  • What is the basis of our individual and/or collective judgment?
how do christians determine what is right anyway
How Do Christians Determine What is “Right” Anyway?
  • By what supports our survival on this planet?
  • By what is “logical” and makes the most sense?
  • By what is “best” for the individuals?
  • By what is “best” for society as a whole?
  • Government: Democracy? Humanism? Socialism? Capitalism?
just need to go by the bible of course
“Just Need to Go by the Bible,” of Course!
  • There are various scriptures that can be used to justify:
    • Complete subjugation of women and children
    • Subjugation of races
    • Execution of teens and “guilty” individuals
    • Slaughter of whole people groups, including women and children
    • Human slavery
    • Multiple marriages and even concubines
slide10

Conceiving babies with widowed sisters-in-law

    • Shunning unruly group members
    • Revenge – punishing by like injury
    • Hate and racism
  • We are variously commanded:
    • Women to “obey” their husbands and call him “Lord”
    • Children to “obey” their parents
    • Citizens to “obey” all governments—all of which are instituted by God
    • Slaves to “obey” their masters
    • Jews to “obey” their unjust leaders
    • Christians to “obey” their leaders
forms of government
Forms of Government?
  • The Bible variously may seem to support various forms of Government
    • Monarchies – king-led
    • Theocracies – religion ruled
    • Democracies – individuals rule and property owned personally
    • Socialism – group rule and property owned by group
some scriptures
Some Scriptures
  • Col. 2 – 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
    • “Rather than on Christ” – Christ is our interpretive benchmark, as he is THE truth (John 14:6), and it is through his perspective that we now see all things (2 Cor. 5:14-17).
    • We live in his name, or by his authority – (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17)
slide13

Isa. 55 – 8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    • God doesn’t think like we do
    • God doesn’t do things like we do
    • His perspective is spiritual and eternal
    • His knowledge and insight is complete
    • His concern is broader and greater than ours is
    • His concern is not the body but the soul (Matt. 10:28)
job and human rights
Job and Human “Rights”
  • 38 –
  • 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans    with words without knowledge?3 Brace yourself like a man;    I will question you,    and you shall answer me…
  • 19 “What is the way to the abode of light?    And where does darkness reside?20 Can you take them to their places?    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?21 Surely you know, for you were already born!    You have lived so many years!
slide15

40 – 2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?    Let him who accuses God answer him!”

3 Then Job answered the LORD:

4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?    I put my hand over my mouth.5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—    twice, but I will say no more.”

  • 41 – 11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
slide16

42 – 1Then Job replied to the LORD:

2 “I know that you can do all things;no purpose of yours can be thwarted.3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,    things too wonderful for me to know.

figure this out
Figure this Out?
  • Acts 4 – 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!
  • Rom. 13 – 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
slide18

2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

slide19

Matt. 22 – 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

figure this out1
Figure this out…
  • Luke 6 – 5 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
  • Matt 5 – 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
  • 2 Thess 3:10 – 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
think about this
Think about this…
  • Thomas Sowell: “I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.”

(Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author. He is currently the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.)

consider this
Consider this…
  • 1 Cor. 6:19-20 – You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (freedom of sexual expression?)
  • Eph. 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (freedom of speech?)
slide23

Acts 4:32 – All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. (property ownership)

  • 1 Cor. 6:7 – The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
some suggestions and thoughts for the church and government
Some Suggestions and Thoughts for the Church and Government
  • In terms of sovereignty, operate as an embassy in an independent territory.
  • In terms of earthly government constitution, support maximum human freedom and rights.
  • In terms of laws, seek God’s simplest morality.
  • In terms of attitude and relationships, exercise mercy and compassion toward all.
  • In terms of society, seek peace and unity as far as it lies within us.
slide25

In terms of Christ’s kingdom, call all mankind, without prejudice, to the overall, and personal, kingship of Christ.

  • In terms of personal life, be wise, be generous, and do good to all, especially to those in the household of faith, with special concern for widows, orphans, the aged, and the weak, and absent of any special regard for wealth and earthly status.
  • In affiliations, take special care create alliances or relationships that unnecessarily taint the reputation of the kingdom or cause useless divisions.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • The subject of how the church needs to approach government and politics is not nearly as simple as various opinionated groups want to think.
  • The church must approach this with absolute humility and without the hateful, cynical, prideful, and arrogant approaches of our political system.
  • Most of this is based on the ambition and selfish interests of the narrow minded, not the omniscient and compassionate perspective of the Spirit-filled believer!
slide27

Let us dare to be different!

  • Let us dare to be salt and light in a dark and corrupt world!