• 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
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.
Justice and Covenant
How abusing the covenant leads to injustice • January 18, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* Gross sin demands justice. * Jacob’s sons were justified in their anger - justice needed to be served. * But they went about it in the wrong way. * When injustice happens we can rely on God or man. * You can go through God’s channel of justice or take matters into your own hands. * Jacob’s sons did the latter and it ended up badly for everyone. * The same is happening today - young kids demand justice but they’re going about it the wrong way. * They aren’t interested in justice according to God, but their own idea of what’s right. * So they’re looting cities and tearing down monuments. * vs 15-17 - ** when you are bent on your own form of justice it leads to the greatest injustice ** * Jacob’s sons used the sign of God’s covenant to kill innocent people. * Circumcision was God’s sign of peace with the Israelites, but it was now used selfishly to bully others. * Think about today - what’s the rainbow? * A sign of God’s covenant (peace with mankind). * How is it being used? To bully people. * God’s special covenant is being used wrongfully because of a cry for justice. * A cry for justice can only be quenched by a God who is just.