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Sunday School Lesson #5
Impacting Government
by Josh Hunt

Note to teacher:

The best teaching engages the mind. It asks more questions than it answers. Try to get real discussion going. Try to get people honestly talking about their lives and the Bible. Don't try to ask every question in this lesson. I try to provide about twice as many questions as you will need for a typical one hour discussion. Don't try to cover the material so much as you try to teach the class. The material has no need to be covered. The group does have a need to understand how the Bible relates to government.

 

Introduction

  1. Do you think churches should be involved in politics, or do you think churches and government issues should remain separate? Are we better off if the church meddles with government issues, or if the church deals with spiritual issues and the government deals with its issues?(1)
  2. Here is a tricky issue. Suppose you live in Salt Lake. Most of the parents and school officials are Mormon. How would you feel about Mormons voicing prayers in public schools?

The Sovereign God

Proverbs 21:1, 30-31; 14:34

  1. As we read these verse, look for the answer to these questions: who is ultimately in control of governments and their leaders?
  2. Is God responsible for the mess we are in? Why or why not?
  3. Can we hold government officials responsible for their decisions since God is sovereign anyway? Defend your answer.
  4. Look at Proverbs 14:34. What would a righteous nation look like? Be specific. How would you rate our nation on a scale of one to ten where ten is righteous?
  5. Whose responsibility is the righteousness of a nation, the world or the church?
  6. What can we do to be salt and light in our community and nation?(2)

Choose Wise Leaders

Proverbs 16:12; 20:28; 28:2; 29:4

  1. As we read these verses, look for qualities that we should look for in our leaders.
  2. How would you evaluate current leaders according to these criteria. Be ready to back your answer up.
  3. How important is it that we vote?
  4. How can we insure that we elect leaders who are righteous, faithful, just and so on? Can we do more than just vote?

Denounce Injustice

Proverbs 24:23 - 25

  1. After we read these three verses, I am going to ask one of you to summarize them in one sentence.(3)
  2. Evaluate our judicial system on a scale of one to ten. How just is it?
  3. What could Christians do to improve the justice system if we were of a mind to do so?
  4. Do you think it is part of advancing the kingdom to be involved in such things? Or, does God simply want us to be good and be good church members?

Speak up for the Helpless

Proverbs 31:8 - 9

  1. As we read this passage, listen to how this relates to the unborn.
  2. How would you argue with the bumper-sticker that says, "If you are against abortion, don't have one."(4)
  3. How would you combat this argument, "A woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body.(5)
  4. In what ways can we speak up for the unborn, who cannot speak up for themselves?
  5. What other groups, besides the unborn can you think of?
  6. Why would God have us to do this?(6) Is it a sin to mind your own business?

Closing/ Application

  1. What are some specific ways we can get involved in our government to be salt and light in this nation?(7)

Thank you for your Support.


1. This is a great trick question. In my book, Disciplemaking Teachers, I refer to this type of question as a "jump ball" question. The idea is to pitch the question up in such a way that people will grab it from both sides. The point is to get some honest dialogue going. The issue of separation of church and state is one of the most misunderstood issues in our day. The point of the separation was to not have what they had in England, namely, a Church of England. Our founders did not feel it wise to have an official state sponsored church. Church and state should be separate. The point was not, however, to keep the Bible or Christians or prayer out of government. In fact, many of our founding fathers expected strong spiritual influence into government, as evidenced by things like "In God we trust" on our coins and "One nation under God" in our pledge of allegiance. The founding fathers never imagined a government separate from God, the Bible or spiritual influence.

2. Christians have a responsibility that goes beyond clean living and attending church. We are responsible for taking the culture for God. We are responsible for getting in those areas of influence that shape a nation. If we are irritated with the "liberal media" there is only one appropriate question: what are we going to do about it? One thing we could do a better job at is persuading our young people to get involved in politics and entertainment and the media and other key places of influence in society.

3. This is a good way to get people to pay attention. Be careful, however, not to embarrass anyone. My pastor told me this week of a person who dropped out of church for a season because some called upon them to read a verse. Some people are shy.

4. I thought of printing a bumper sticker that says, "If you are against child abuse, don't beat your child." Or, "If you are against murder, don't murder, but don't try to stop me."

5. I agree. I just don't think her baby's body is hers. You may argue, how can you be sure? I am not. Picture this. You are hunting. You see something moving behind the bushes. You think it is a deer, but you are not sure. It could be a hunter. Given the fact that you are not sure, what do you do? Do you pull the trigger as long as their is any doubt whatsoever?

6. Because God cares for all people and we are His representatives on planet earth.

7. There are some basic things for all: voting according to Biblical principle and so forth. Some will be involved in social issues as their primary ministry. Challenge your group to the effect that God may be calling them to be involved in social ministries.

 

 

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