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Why Government Can't Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism [Paperback]

By John F. MacArthur (Author)
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Item description for Why Government Can't Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism by John F. MacArthur...

This new release in "The Bible for Life" series takes a look at the politicalresponsibilities of a Christian. Pastor and author John MacArthur delves intowhat the Bible reads about a Christian's responsibility toward authority, thebiblical purposes of government, and how to support governmental leaders.

Publishers Description

The Lord did not come as a political deliverer or social reformer. He did not rally supporters in a grandiose attempt to "capture the culture" for morality or greater political and religious freedom. Rather, His divine calling was to rescue the lost souls of individual men and women from sin and hell.

In "Why Government Can't Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism," author John MacArthur illustrates through Scripture that, regardless of the numerous immoral, unjuust, and ungodly failures of secular government, believers are to pray and seek to influence the world for Christ by godly, selfless, and peaceful living under that authority, not by protests against the government or by acts of civil disobedience. Dr. MacArthur will explore these areas:

  • Christians' responsibility to authority
  • How and why we should support our leaders
  • How to live righteously in a pagan culture
  • The principle of paying taxes
  • Jesus' lessons on tax exemptions
  • The biblical purpose of government
  • The principle and reasons for civil obedience.

"To devote "all," or even "most," of our time, energy, money, and strategy to putting a facade of morality on the world or the appearance of 'rightness' over our governmental and political institutions is to badly misunderstand our roles as Christians in a spiritually lost world." ―John MacArthur

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   208
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 5.42" Height: 0.56"
Weight:   0.61 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 18, 2000
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0849955556  
ISBN13  9780849955556  

Availability  2 units.
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More About John F. MacArthur

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JOHN MACARTHUR is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California; president of The Masters College and Seminary; and featured teacher for the Grace to You media ministry. Weekly telecasts and daily radio broadcasts of "Grace to You" are seen and heard by millions worldwide. John has also written several bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, The New Testament Commentary series, Twelve Ordinary Men, and The Truth War. He and his wife, Patricia, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren.

John F. MacArthur has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bible for Life
  2. Bible for Life
  3. MacArthur Bible Studies
  4. MacArthur Bible Study Guides
  5. MacArthur New Testament Commentary
  6. MacArthur New Testament Commentary Serie
  7. Sermones Tematicos MacArthur

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Politics

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Reviews - What do customers think about Why Government Can't Save You An Alternative To Political Activism?

Well Presented and persuasive, but not entirely convincing  Dec 5, 2005
The most persuasive part of the book was Chapter 1 and the appendix that contains a sermon entitled "Citizenship in Heaven," written by the famous 19th century, English pastor, Charles Spurgeon. The balance of the book does a fine job of setting forth the Scripture and arguments supporting our responsibility to government and authority, even on the Christian's responsibility support our leaders, be involved in civil service, and finally how a Christian can live in a pagan culture.

Mr. MacArthur emphasizes that he is not opposed to Christian involvement in government, but rather that the issue is primarily of keeping priorities straight. He sates "The issue again is one of priority. The greatest temporal good we can accomplish through political involvement cannot compare to what the Lord and accomplish through us in the eternal work of His kingdom. ... [God] has called the church to be a kingdom of priest, not a kingdom of political activists." Scriptural support for this is given by way of examples of Jesus, Paul and Peter, all of whom taught to obey government and honor those in authority. This is particularly brought home in two chapters addressing our tax obligations.

But what seems to be missing from the book is the fact that unlike the governments that the Jewish and early Christian cultures were dealing with at the time of Christ, we Americans have a direct say in who leads us (we elect them) and in what our leaders positions will be (our political process presumes that leaders will be influenced by public opinion, lobbyists, etc.). This is not an inconsequential difference. Since our Constitution says we the people are in fact self-governing, then as responsible citizens, there is certainly a strong argument to be made that Christians have a duty, both to God and Country, to take a stand to influence the government that they elect to represent their interests in adopting policies and laws consistent with Christian principles and values.

When liberals complain that Christians should not be influencing government with their conservative Christian beliefs and "agenda," what they seem to be saying is that is permissible to bring beliefs (even Christian ones) into the political process only so long as they are liberal views, but that if they are conservative, it violates some tenant of separation of church and state. I wish this issue had been addressed in this book.

One other issue that this book did not address is the Scripture that instructs Christians that they are "soldiers" for Christ, and that "soldiers" must not become involved in "civilian matters." 2 Timothy 2:4 reads as follows: "No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs-he wants to please his commanding officer." I have struggled with this passage in that it appears on its face to say that since we are serving Christ, we should be doing exactly as John MacArthur suggest, making our number one priority to serve God's kingdom and live our lives in a manner to evangelize others for Christ. Civilian matters such as politics must not be our focus. Curiously, this passage was not addressed in this book, and I feel it should have been the very basis for the discussion.
Excellent Work for Christians Questioning Thoreau  Jul 21, 2005
I found myself feeling that something wasn't quite right with the people claiming to be Christians around me who were mocking the President or telling jokes at the expense of homosexuals. This book demands that we respond biblically to governments and politicians and is a great help to applying biblical truths as a believer today. This book made me excited to obey God through good citizenship.
This Book is Anti-American  Jul 5, 2005
My church did a bible study using this book. I find it very interesting that "armchair christians" like John Macarthur can thrive in this country by tearing down its very fabric and foundation. I have read christian and secular views on the American Revolution and believe that it is nothing short of miraculous that a group of unskilled soldiers defeated the greatest armed force of the time, the British Military. I further find it interesting that after 9/11/01 John MacArthur jumped on the patriotic bandwagon with a video production that refutes the ideas in his own book and talks about how God was involved in the forging of this nation.
I served 24 years in the United Stated Navy and I, as well as many others, was a patriot long before 9/11. The evidence in this book shows that John MacArthur will never be able to say that.
BRAVO!  Dec 28, 2004
A perfect treatise on the church's sidetracked theology that we can change the world through political might.

This book defends the Christian's responsiblity to be involved, but correctly eschews trusting in man-made structures such as government to solve what are spiritual problems at the core.

This book will cause Christians to consider whether God has ever given them the right to punish the world through boycotts or other hevay-handed methods of force.

Another excellent resource in the same vein is "Blinded by Might" by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson.
Finding Peace  Feb 15, 2004
Personally, MacArthur's work has clarified my understanding of how to serve God faithfully in both my job as a public school employee and as a member of a Southern Baptist Church. It has helped strengthen my committment to both without separating them.

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