• King Artaxerxes of Persia gave tax exempt status to the Levites thousands of years ago! • He saw such value in “the church” and Ezra its representative that he gave him authority to appoint all the governing officials in Israel. • That would be like the president asking Franklin Graham to appoint the congress and supreme court. • The church was valuable and the government of Persia recognized it as such. • The Bible was the most quoted source by the founding fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. • They saw the church playing a valuable role in society and in the development of a new nation. • Why? Because their new form of civil gov was based on self gov - the church was the one who would teach people to properly govern themselves. • In the preamble - “promote the general welfare” - people were to “provide” their own welfare and the church helped them do it. • States started passing tax-exempt status’s for churches, and they were using the extra $$ to build hospitals, schools, community centers, and to help the poor, etc. • But the church started using $$ to build big buildings for itself, government took over - it now “provides” welfare. • We need the church to be more valuable to society once again.
Church and State
The role of the church in the nation
July 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers
Lessons from Shamgar • April 22, 2021 • Benham Brothers
Judges 3:31 - Marketplace Ministry * Our primary form of worship is work. * This is why excellence in the workplace is so important. * The workplace consists of both for-profit and nonprofit models. * People call the for-profit space the “Marketplace.” * They call the non-profit space the “Ministry.” * This is wrong, but it is what it is. * ** God often uses the marketplace as the training ground for His leaders. * Look at Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David - all shepherds. * Look at Elisha, Amos, Gideon - all farmers. * Look at Joseph, Daniel, Obadiah - all employed by kings. * Look at the disciples and Jesus Himself - all trained in the workplace. * God uses the marketplace to winnow and wield strong men and women. * The marketplace judges by ACTION, not INTENTION. * ** So when it came time to find a leader for Israel, God tapped a farmer on the shoulder. * Vs 31 - After Ehud, Shamgar used the tool of his business to fight God’s battles. * He struck down 600 Philistines over time. * His way of life included work, worship, and warfare! (Sword and Trowel - Nehemiah) * The same thing happened years later when Israel was about to go into battle. * Joel 3:10 - "turn your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears" * The tools of their sustainability would now be used as weapons for their deliverance. * 100 years later……in a time of peace: * Micah 4:3 - "turn your swords into plowshares and your spears into pruning hooks" * The weapons of their deliverance would now be used as tools for their sustainability. * This is why your work is so important. God has made it to be your primary form of worship. * Judges 6:11 - God shows up when you do common work in an uncommon way. * Judges 6:12 - Your work prepares you for warfare. * EX: Love Life.
Government Gone Bad
How environment can make a break a wealth creator • August 16, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* This verse shows the importance of good government. * A hardworking productive person can have their stuff taken away by a bad government. * The role of government is to praise the good and punish the wicked. * They do this so that we can have an environment that allows us to flourish. * As Christians we need to concern ourselves with discipling nations, not just people. * This means we have to be involved in shaping our environment so people can flourish. * Example - if you started a business in America you can make a lot of money. * But if you started the same business in North Korea there’s no chance.
God the Governor
How God gives us authority to govern • January 7, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• God forms and fills everything for man to govern the world we live in. • The world needed order first - then we could have dominion. • LIGHT has to come first - this is God’s presence. • Light did two things: • 1) SEPARATION - Holy means “set apart” - like a chocolate chip. • 2) GOVERN - the sun, moon, and stars are used to govern. • vs 22 - The first blessing - taking part in creation. • vs 28 - The difference in this blessing is that we have the authority to govern.