Back to Reach • Devotion 3

Charles Finney
Dr. Randy Johnson

Charles Finney (1792-1875) never was the president of the United States and never aspired any other political position. He was an American Presbyterian minister and leader in the Second Great Awakening in the United States. It was an amazing revival throughout the land.

Finney said, “The church must take right ground in regard to politics. Politics are part of religion in a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. He will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”
 
Finney was known for preaching the Gospel and seeing thousands upon thousands respond, yet he knew Christians needed to impact politics. We have a duty to our country as part of our serving God. Matthew 22:21 says, “They said, ‘Caesar’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” This passage does not tell us to ignore or disobey the government unless it conflicts with obeying God.

In situations where the government has crossed the lines, we need to remember the words of Acts 5:29, “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’”

We are called to respect our governing authorities and take it a step further. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we read, “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.”

We need to be peaceful, godly, and dignified in our actions. Prayer and a thankful spirit need to be at the core of it all.

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