In an effort to trap Jesus, a group of church leaders asked him if it is lawful to pay taxes to the emperor. Jesus had them pull a coin from their pocket as he replied, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Although they were trying to trick Jesus, he was not trying to trick them. The answer was clear – all things come from God and all things belong to God. Everything, including, especially, our money and our power are to be used to glorify God. Money, paying taxes, how government spends our tax dollars, voting are all ways that we participate in the right ordering of our common community. Although Presbyterians strongly advocate in a separation of church and state, we advocate just as strongly that Christians engage and participate in the political process. This week’s conversation starter is on voting. Below are some conversation starters to get us thinking and talking about how, as people of faith, we will engage in the political process this fall as well as some information on voting.
- The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) begins with the Biblical and theological foundations of our form of government. The Great Ends of the Church (F. 1.0304) provide order and shape to the Christian life. Our call begins with “the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind” and culminates in “the promotion of social righteousness and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.” How does this ordering shape how we participate in the political process?
The Great Ends of the Church are:
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
the maintenance of divine worship;
the preservation of the truth;
the promotion of social righteousness; and
the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
- Although Presbyterians strongly advocate in a separation of church and state, we advocate just as strongly that Christians engage and participate in the political process. What does this mean to you?
- We often hear phrases like “voting our values.” What are the gospel values that you want to translate into how you vote this fall? What research do you need to do to make gospel-informed decisions about candidates running in local, state and national races this fall?
- Our national political climate is contentious at best and toxic at worst. This repels many Christians from the political process; yet, our call as Christians remains to stay engaged. What does that look like to you? How can we be a part of changing the way we talk to one another? Will that change the outcome of the conversation?
- Information is critical to making gospel-informed decisions. Here is some information on voting that has been compiled by members of West Raleigh. This information will remain on our website through Election Day.