Thursday, June 16, 2016

Church and State

It's been an interesting year from a political standpoint. Our choices in the presidential race betray where we are as a nation. We are divided and divided in ways that we have never been divided before. Donald Trump stands out because, even though he runs as a Republican, he is not really one of them. He has become the standard bearer of what is coming and what people really want from government; pragmatism and the ability to choose something other than one size fits all government policy. I could go on, but just let me say, he almost convinces me that voting might matter.

That's right. I don't vote. I don't need to because my vote will not make a difference. Neither will yours. Voting and democracy are an illusion. Don't be tricked.

From a Christian standpoint, there is nothing in scripture that prompts me to take part in the political process. It is inherently corrupt and corrupting. It is something I would ask all Christians to avoid like the plague. It's true that what government does, effects us all, but in the big picture of things, it does not matter for us. We are Christians. We may live in the United States, but as Christians, we are foreigners and aliens. Our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. Our King is Jesus Christ. Nowhere in scripture are we told to try to influence the path government or politics. We already have an everlasting kingdom. If the world chooses a different path, that is their choice. Let them go. Our responsibility to them is to preach the gospel. Plant that seed. If it grows, then we teach them what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom. Otherwise God will be their judge. They are free to choose.

Every time in history when the church involves itself in the power mechanisms of the state, it becomes corrupted. It is one of the reasons that there was a reformation movement. We need to steer clear of the political arena and share only the gospel in the public arena. In the privacy of our fellowship, we can educate each other about the tenets of the faith. We cannot expect the world to live as we do if they do not accept Christ's lordship. The notion is ridiculous. We need to tolerate them so that they will tolerate us.

I offer again here I Peter 2:9-17

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Pretty simple eh?