John Piper: In 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul connects prayer for “all who are in high positions” with a peaceful life for the followers of Jesus, and with his desire for all people to be saved. First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. There are two goals in praying for kings and leaders—that is, for political structures that exist, or might exist, in the Middle East. 1. We pray for political leaders and structures . . . “that we [the followers of Jesus] may lead a peaceful and quiet life godly and dignified in every way.” J. N.
“Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the first and final assertion Christians make about all of reality, including politics. Believers now assert by faith what one day will be manifest to the sight of all: every earthly sovereignty is subordinate to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. The Church is the bearer of that claim. Because the Church is pledged to the Kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, it must maintain a critical distance from all the kingdoms of the world, whether actual or proposed. Christians betray their Lord if, in theory or practice, they equate the Kingdom of God with any political, social or economic order of this passing time. At best, such orders permit the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom and approximate, in small part, the freedom, peace, and justice for which we hope.” ~ Richard John Neuhaus, quoted by D. A. Carson in Christ & Culture Revisited (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 203. (HT: The Big Picture)
“The greatest influence evangelical Christians can have upon … society and politics will not come by lobbying [Government], getting out the vote, or doing anything overtly political. The greatest influence evangelical Christians can have upon … society and politics will come through investing themselves in a local church where the gospel is proclaimed, where the Scriptures are faithfully taught, where people understand what regeneration is, and where church discipline draws a clear line between those who live as though they have been born again and those who do not (and when people don’t repent of sin, they live as though they are unregenerate).” Jim Hamilton
The Archbishop and Sharia Law. Sounds like the proverbial joke! But it’s no joke. In case you feel a bit bemused confused by all the media attention given to Dr. Williams’ remarks, here’s a helpful summary of the problem from Al Mohler. The Archbishop of Canterbury has instant access to the media and his office carries a great deal of symbolic weight in Great Britain, where he is the senior cleric in the established church. That said, the current archbishop, Rowan Williams, seems to attract an unprecedented amount of controversy. As a matter of fact, the Archbishop’s current controversy now threatens his leadership, with senior figures calling for his resignation and even his predecessor lambasting his arguments. Some in the media are even questioning his state of mind, asking what many others must be thinking. What got the Archbishop in such trouble? He called the establishment of some kind of Islamic Sharia law in Britain inevitable. For the past two or three decades,