Acton Institute Powerblog

PowerLinks – 11.27.12

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What is a Christian’s Responsibility to Government?
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

The New Testament gives us some broad principles on how we are supposed to respond to government.

Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Unfortunately many Christians today only associate the idea of stewardship with sermons they have heard about church budgets and building programs.

Supreme Court revives Obamacare challenge
Baptist Press

Religious objections to the Obama administration’s abortion/contraception mandate have gained new life after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a federal appeals judge to reconsider a Christian university’s challenge to the health care law.

Court: Schools Can’t Sue Parents of Disabled Children over Religious Vouchers
Melissa Steffan, Christianity Today

Oklahoma Supreme Court rejects challenge to scholarship program that schools say violates Blaine amendment.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • RogerMcKinney

    Regarding “Christian responsibility to government”, I can find no place in the OT where God instituted government, yet Paul says that God ordained governmental authority, so what can he mean by that? The only government ever established by God was that of Israel under the judges. Israel’s selection of a king was an act of rebellion against God, not one of fulfilling God’s will.

    In creating the nation of Israel, God did nothing more than give the people his laws. No legislature existed to create new laws. The judges did nothing more than apply God’s laws. The people enforced the decisions of the judges.

    It’s possible that the authority ordained by God is nothing more than his law, or what later became known as natural law. So as long as the state is enforcing God’s laws regarding life, liberty and property, then we should obey it and its bureaucrats.

    However, the Roman state tortured and murdered Paul and all of the Apostles because they refused to obey the state’s magistrates. The principle is clear: obey the state as it enforces God’s law. We are free to disobey when the state violates God’s law, but we must be willing to pay the price for doing so.