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Sermon quotes on government

John Quincy Adams

Always vote for a principle, though you vote alone, and you may cherish the sweet reflection that your vote is never lost.

Hannah Arendt

Bureaucracy, the rule of nobody

The Human Condition

Henry Ward Beecher

It usually takes a hundred years to make a law; and then, after it has done its work, it usually takes a hundred years to get rid of it.

Life Thoughts (1858)

Stephen L. Carter

It is no more narrow to claim that one religion is right than to claim that one way to think about all religions (namely that all are equal) is right.

The Dissent of the Governed, Harvard University Press

G.K. Chesterton

The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.

The Man Who Was Thursday

G.K. Chesterton

The coziness between church and state is good for the state and bad for the church.

Church and State

Charles W. Colson

Christians should never have a political party. It is a huge mistake to become married to an ideology, because the greatest enemy of the gospel is ideology. Ideology is a man-made format of how the world ought to work, and Christians instead believed in the revealing truth Scripture.

Kenneth Feld

The biggest resentment I have is when they say Washington is run like a circus. If only it was so disciplined and organized.

Quoted in Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction

Charles Hodge

The Church, however, is a self-governing society, distinct from the State, having its officers and laws, and, therefore, an administrative government of its own.

“What is Presbyterianism?: An Address Delivered Before the Presbyterian Historical Society at Their Anniversary Meeting in Philadelphia, on Tuesday Evening, May 1, 1855”, p.7.

James Madison

What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

The Federalist Papers

Russell Moore

We receive celebrities simply because they are ‘conservative,’ without asking what they are conserving. If you are angry with the same people we are, you must be one of us. But it would be a tragedy to get the right president, the right Congress, and the wrong Christ.

Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel, B&H, 2015.

Russell Moore

The problem was that . . . Christian values were always more popular in American culture than the Christian gospel. That’s why one could speak of “God and country” with great reception in almost any era of the nation’s history but would create cultural distance as soon as one mentioned ‘Christ and him crucified.’ God was always welcome in American culture. He was, after all, the Deity whose job it was to bless America. The God who must be approached through the mediation of the blood of Christ, however, was much more difficult to set to patriotic music or to ‘Amen’ in a prayer at the Rotary Club.

Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel, B&H, 2015.

Reinhold Niebuhr

The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan value and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism. 

Lesslie Newbigin

When the Church tries to embody the rule of God in the forms of earthly power it may achieve that power, but it is no longer a sign of the kingdom.

Gospel in a Pluralist Society

John Newton

Our Lord’s Kingdom is not of this world; and most of His people may do their country much more essential service by pleading for it in prayer, than by finding fault with things which they have.

John Newton’s Letters

Richard John Neuhaus

The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, not under its jurisdiction.’ In a republic of fren, every prejudice, every aspiration, every moral discernment has access to the public square in which we deliberate the ordering of our life together.

The Naked Public Square

Richard John Neuhaus

Citizens are the bearers of opinion, including opinion shaped by or espousing religious belief, and citizens have equal access to the public square.  In this representative democracy, the state is forbidden to determine which convictions and moral judgments may be proposed for public deliberation… In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being “religious” than for being atheistic, or psychoanalytic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb… Religion is not a reified “thing” that threatens to intrude upon our common life.  Religion in public is but the public opinion of those citizens who are religious.

The Naked Public Square

Gavin Ortlund

The gospel is not identical with either a conservative or progressive ideology. It will at times correct both.

Scott Sauls

Christianity has always thrived most as a life giving minority, not a political majority.

William Howard Taft

We are all imperfect. we can not expect perfect government.

“Address at the Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce of Washington, D.C. Banquet.” Speech, Washington, D.C., May 8, 1909. In Presidential Addresses and State Papers of William Howard Taft, vol. I. 1910. Pg. 82.

George Washington

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.