Topical Outline & Syllabus For a Series on

      Christian Citizenship - PDF LINKS

                       (Subtitle: The Role of a Christian in Society)

                   November, 2001

 

               Part 1: Basics

 

1. Introduction (Matt 5:13-16)

 "Overview of class purpose, content and assumptions. Are Christians responsible for the current state of

  affairs in this country?  What does salt and light mean?"

Handout: Class Topical Outline & Syllabus

Handout: Preparatory Questions to Think About

Handout: Basic Presuppositions

Handout: Commonly Asked Questions

Handout: The World in Three Groups

2. Christian World View (Part 1) (2 Cor 10:3-5)

"What is a Christian worldview? Why do we not fight the fight and become involved in the issues of the

  day? What weapons does the Christian use? What does he use them against?"

3. Christian World View (Part 2) (1 Peter 4:7)

"We are living in the last days. Three eschatological views and their affect on our politics"

Handout: Summary of Major Millennial Views (Revelation 20)

Handout: Paradigm/Comparison of Conservative and Liberal Theology

 

                    Part 2: Historical Overview

 

4. Brief Historical Perspective (Rom 15:3)

"The blurring of Church and State. Differences between Sacral nations, theocracies, and Christians in the

   spiritual kingdom of God.  Short overview of church - state  development from N.T. through

   Constantine, Catholic Church, Reformation, U.S. foundation, current Christian political movements"

                       Handout: The Separating of "Church" and "State"?

5. Is this a Christian Country? (Part 1) (1 Cor 3:10-15)

"Why is it important to know whether this country was founded on Christian principles?  Why would

   someone think this was a Christian country? Why not? The influence of Calvinist principles, Biblical

   commands, and Western thought.  The Bible in the Declaration of Independence"

Handout: Influence of Biblical Commandments On Laws of the Land (Ex 20:1-17)

Handout: Examples of Early Documents

Handout: Examples of Early State Governments Statements

Handout: Declaration of Independence

Handout: Basic Principles in the Declaration of Independence

6. Is this a Christian Country? (Part 2) (2 Cor 13:5)

"Is Christ the focus of this nation, or has it been in the past? The growth of Pietism, Darwinism,

  Humanism, Secularism, and the view of the Constitution"

Handout: Religious Affiliations of the Delegates to the Constitution Convention

Handout: Laws of the Land

Handout: Judicial Principles from the Book of Proverbs

Handout: Supreme Court Justice Statements - Affirming our Christian Roots

Handout: President's Statements and Actions - Affirming our Christian Roots

Handout: Supreme Court Justices Statements - Beginning of the End

 

                                    Part 3: Roles

 

7. Role of Government (Rom 13:1-7)

"Where does authority come from? What is a Christians' role relative to government authority?  What is

   government's role relative to it's citizens? "


8. Role of the Law (1 Tim 1:8-11)

"What is Biblical law? Is there a hierarchy to it? What is the purpose and rightful intent of Biblical law

  for the believer and unbeliever? What can we do relative to the laws of the land?"

Handout: Attributes of, and Response to God's Word from Psalm 119

Handout: Is There a Hierarchy of Biblical Law?

9. Role of the Church (Eph 3:10-11)

"What are the church's general characteristics? What is it's role before spiritual and earthly powers?

  What is its role amongst believers, to the surrounding culture, and in equipping believers in society?"

Handout: Commonly Held Views of the Relationship Between Church and Society (Diagram)

Handout: The Different Roles of the Church (Diagram)

10. Separation of Church and State (2 Cor 6:14-18)

"What does it mean to not be unequally yoked in a citizenship context? History of the 'Separation of

  Church and State' debate.  What role can churches play in political activity?"

Handout: Has Church and State Historically Been Separate?

 

                                                                     Part 4: Specific Issues

 

11. Welfare (Part 1)(1 Thess 5:14)

"What Biblical principles apply to this area? Historical perspective on American compassion. Historical

  observations from America's early years. Historical lessons learned. Tips when talking to non-believers"

12. Welfare (Part 2)(Prov 4:27)

"Biblical balance is needed. What happened in the United States - swerving to the right and the left.

  Modern trends in welfare and current status. What can we do?"

Handout: Selected Data on Welfare in the United States

Handout: Christian Work Virtue

Handout: The Oak Ridge Affirmations and Denials

13. Homeless (Prov 21:13)

"God shows compassion for the homeless. Who are the poor? Who are the homeless?  What Biblical

  principles govern a Christians' response to believing and non-believing homeless?  Practical items"

Handout: Who are the Homeless?

Handout: Grace Bible Church Policy on Outsiders who Approach us asking for Material Aid

Handout: The Book of Proverbs on the Poor

Handout: Some Practical Suggestions Regarding the Homeless

14. Voting (Prov 11:14)

"The need for godly advice. What is a Christians' role? How should we select those to rule over us?"

Handout: Voter's Guide Discussion

Handout: Communicating with our Elected National Officials

Handout: Christian Surveys, Form Letters and Petitions

15. Homosexuality (Part 1)(1 Cor 6:9-11)

"Can God redeem from this also? Is this sin any worse than any other? Biblical references and truths

  concerning homosexuality"

Handout: Homosexuality - The Biblical View

16. Homosexuality (Part 2)(Psalm 11:3)

"God's pattern for us. Is acceptance of homosexuality a sign of God's judgment?  What tactics are

  employed by the gay community and what should our response be?  What actions can we take?"

Handout: Homosexuality - Three Key Secular Lies and the Actual Truth

Handout: Homosexuality: Tactics and Counter-Tactics                                  

Handout: Homosexuality: The Results of an Immoral Lifestyle

Handout: Selected Effects and Responses to Tactics Used by the Homosexual Community

17. Animal Rights (Prov 12:10)

"Is this an important topic? What's our relationship to animals? Are animals important? Why were they

  created? Do animals have rights?  Current animal rights theology. Will there be animals in heaven?"

Handout: Animal Rights: Discussion Questions

Handout: Animals of the Bible


Handout: What Animals Teach Us (Selected Examples)

Handout: What Animals Teach Us (Selected Examples for Self Study)

18. Medical Ethics - Preliminaries (Gen 1:26-27; Psalm 139:14)

"God's truths are our sure source of answers.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our days are

  numbered.  Sanctity of life. When does life begin?  When does physical death occur?"

Handout: Medical Ethics - Homework Questions to Think About

19. Euthanasia (Prov 31:6-7)

                "Basic definitions. Selected statistics in this area. What secular reasons are given to justify euthanasia?  

 What Biblical principles can be applied?"

Handout: Hippocratic Oath

20 Euthanasia (Prov 31:6-7)

"What is the difference between "ending life," "prolonging death," and "allowing to die?" What are

   "extraordinary methods?" What are some practical considerations about living wills?

Handout: Decision Guiding Matrix

21. Taxes (Rom 13:6-7)

"What Biblical principles apply to taxation, tithes and freewill offerings?  What principles should guide

  secular governments?  Income tax history in the US. What can we do?"

Handout: Some Basic Tax Statistics

22. Capital Punishment (Rom 13:2-4)

"Why this is a controversial subject? Common reasons to justify capital punishment. What Biblical

  principles apply?  Some historical notes on the subject.  What should Christians do?"

Handout: Death Penalty Under the Mosaic Law

Handout: Capital Punishment (Death Penalty) - Some selected Statistics & Information

Handout: Discussion Questions concerning Capital Punishment

23. Gambling (Prov 28:20)

"Historical background. What constitutes gambling? Some statistics, current trends and net effects.

 What Biblical principles apply and what fundamental issues are at stake.  Is gambling a sin?"

Handout: Gambling - Some Biblical Principles

Handout: Gambling - Background Information

Handout: Discussion Questions concerning Gambling

Handout: What’s wrong with the following Statements?

24. Extraterrestrials (2 Cor 11:1-4; 2 Thess 2:9-10)

"Why this is an important topic? Explanations offered by the world. Biblical perspective, including why

   the universe is so large, the role of Satan, occult and "New Age" associations and our response"

Handout: Extraterrestrials - Study Questions

Handout: USAF Fact Sheet 95-03: Unidentified Flying Objects and Air Force Project Blue Book

25. TV and Movies (Psalm 119:37)

AWhat Biblical principles apply to these very influential forms of entertainment?  What hidden dangers

  should we be aware of? What positive aspects are there?  What are some practical things we can do?

Handout: TV Rating Guidelines

Handout: One Families Covenant Together About Watching Movies

Handout: Movie & TV Evaluation Sites (Internet)

Handout: Guidelines in writing a Letter to Advertisers and Media Executives

Handout: Federal Obscenity & Indecency Laws

26. Genetic Engineering (Gen 1:11-12; 24-25)

AWhat is rDNA and cloning?  Are transgenic organisms here today?  Should man create new species?

  What Biblical principles apply to this exploding area of technology?  What should Christians do?

Handout: Genetic Engineering: The Basics; Facts and Figures

Handout: Representative Issues Spawned by Genetic Engineering Technology

27. Abortion (Gen 1:27)

AThe abortion issue frames clearly the way of Satan (death) and the way of Christ (life). When does

  human life begin? Is the Pro-Life movement new?  Arguments & rebuttals. What can we do?

Handout: ARoe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision (1973)(Summary of Key Aspects)


Handout: Human Development Before Birth

Handout: Responses to Arguments Justifying Abortion (representative)

Handout: Selected Actions Relating to Abortion

28. Christian Financial Solicitations (2 Cor 10:3-5)

AAre Para-Church organizations justified?  Do Christian organizations sometimes use the weapons the

  world uses in order to achieve their goals? How should we be good stewards of God=s gifts to us?

Handout: What Should a Christian do Concerning Solicitations from Christian                Organizations?

29. Environmentalism (Rom 8:20-21)

AWhat are the roots of today’s environmental movement? Are Christians to blame for the current  

  problems? What Biblical principles apply to contemporary issues? What, if anything should we do?

Handout: What is a Proper Response to Environmentalist Claims?

30. Art (Phil 4:8-10)

AWhat is art?  Does God condone or condemn it? What basic questions should we ask ourselves about

  art? What are the current controversies concerning government involvement in art?

31. Justice (Prov 17:15; 24:23-25)

AJustice is the foundation of any society - what is our based upon? Biblical justice addresses at least three

  relationships. What has affected how justice is applied in this country? What impact can we have?

Handout: Judicial Principles From the Book of Proverbs

32. Is There a Just War? (Eph 6:11-12)

AWill war ever cease? Have there ever been just wars? Are there any now? What does the N.T. say about

  war? How did AJust War theory develop? Should Christians participate in wars, just or not?

Handout: Principles of a AJust War

Handout: Can War be Limited?

Handout: Is There a Just War - Homework Exercise

33. Creation/Evolution (Gen 1:1-2:2; Ex 20:11)

AAre theories of origins provable? How many are there? Does Genesis 1 have to be read and interpreted

  literally?  Can evolution and the creation account be reconciled? What is the big deal?

Handout: The Six Days of Genesis One

Handout: Evidences Cited for Evolution and Rebuttals

Handout: Some Selected Evidences for Creation

34. Illegal Aliens (Prov 18:23)

AWhat is a proper Christian response to illegal aliens within this country? What responsibility do we have

   to help those from other countries that are less fortunate? What is the proper governmental role?

Handout: Some Selected Issues and Information Associated with this Subject

Handout: Homework: Discussion Questions

35. Jury Duty (Prov 17:15)

A Should Christians be jurors? What is the Biblical approach to justice in this world? How did the jury

   develop into our present system? Is jury nullification a valid Biblical principle?

Handout: Historical Documents Guaranteeing Jury Trial

Handout: Selected Quotes on Jury Right to Judge the Law as Well as the Evidence

Handout: Homework: Discussion Questions

36. Hate Crimes (Matt 22:37-39)

                “Are Hate Crimes just PC, or is there a Biblical basis for them? What principles should govern the

  application of justice? What implications come from a Hate Crimes mentality? What  do we do?”

                Handout: Commonly Heard Issues about Hate Crimes

                Handout: U.S. Department of Justice Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines (UCR)

                Handout: Selected “Hate Crime” Statistics (FBI Uniform Crime Reports)

                Handout: State of California Guidelines for the Identification of Hate Crimes

                Handout: Pending California Legislation Concerning “Hate Crimes”

37. Multi-Culturalism (Gal 3:27-28)

                “What is the Multi-Cultural movement? Are all who oppose multi-culturalism racist? Are be becoming

  Balkanized? What’re the implications of the multi-cultural movement and what is a Christian response?”

                Handout: Homework: Discussion Questions

 

 

38. Gun Control (Eph 6:10-12)

                “Biblically, can we defend ourselves with lethal force? What Biblical arguments are used to reject gun

   ownership? What should be a Christian’s response to gun control legislation?

                Handout: Selected Statistics and Facts

                Handout: Homework: Discussion Questions

                Handout: Misc. Information Relating to Gun Control

                Handout: Selected Litany of Issues Surrounding Gun Control

                Handout: Excerpts from “More Guns, Less Crime – Understanding Crime and Gun-Control

   Laws” by John R. Lott

39. Stem Cells (Rom 3:8)

                “What exactly is a stem cell?  Are frozen embryos human beings? Is the “in vitro” fertilization process

   justifiable?  How do Biblical sanctity of life principles apply to this issue?  What are we to do?”

                Handout: Selected Stem Cell Issues (Claims and Rebuttals)

                Handout: Text of President Bush’s speech on Stem Cell Research, 9 August, 2001

40. Slavery (Eph 6:5-9)

                “What does the Bible teach concerning slavery? Is the practice of slavery condoned or condemned in

  scripture? Does slavery still exist in the world?  Why is this topic germane to us today?”

                Handout: Slavery: Definitions

                Handout: Old Testament Laws Regulating Slavery

                Handout: Race in America: A historical timeline (excerpt from World magazine Sept/Oct ‘01)

                Handout: Homework: Discussion Questions