The World and Its Politics and the Kingdom of God
-A Response to the Editorials of
Christianity Today and the Christian Post
Warnings against Being “of the World”
God’s Word is clear – Christ’s followers are commanded to not become engaged in the world or its politics. Christians are citizens of God’s Kingdom, who are only passing through the world, a world where Satan has been permitted – for a time – to govern as the evil prince of the air. God’s Children are given strict warnings, including:
- Is 13:7: “I will punish the world for its evil.”
- Is 13:11: “My Kingdom is not of this world.”
- John 15:18-19: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first…you
do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world…”
- James 4:4: “Anyone who chooses to be a friend
of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
- I John 2:15: “Do not love the world, or anything in it. If anyone loves the
world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
- John 3:16: “ For God so loved the (people in the) world that He gave His only son
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”.
One evening of watching cable news will convince anyone of the wisdom of God’s command to be not “of” this world. It will also remind us of Messiah’s prophecy that though open to all, “only a few will enter the small gate on the narrow road.” Matt. 1:14
A reasonable estimate of authentic Christians within the world today would be 10% and decreasing. This fact alone explains much of what is seen in the world today.
The Mission of Christians
So what does Jesus and scripture teach Christians to do while passing through the world on their way to Eternal Life in God’s Kingdom? Christians are commissioned to spread the Gospel of Peace, to represent “The Way,” to be and to teach “salt and light,” to feed and care for the poor and needy, and to always serve as examples of Christianship. Christians must never give politics the opportunity to distort or malign Christ and His mission.
As such, there is the more invisible but permanent Kingdom of God and light– co-existing for the present time – with the very visible but temporal World of darkness, evil and Satan.
The children of God and the citizens of the world pursue totally different basic missions, as well as destinies – either Eternal Life or Eternal Death each being the result of each individual’s free-will choice.
Christian Engagement in the World
So what are Christians in America permitted and required to do relative to the world and our nation?
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things
that are God’s” Matt 22:21 “Let every person be in subjection to the
governing authorities.” Romans 13:1.
Christians passing through the U.S. owe to its governmental bodies obedience to the laws, including payment of taxes, and compliance with any required military service. All else is owed to God, including dedication to work, fulfillment of one’s life plan, providing for one’s family and the poor, spreading the Gospel, and living a Christian life.
What about “voting” for various political offices – including the President? Voting is not required as a matter of obedience to either God or the nation’s laws, voting being a privilege, not a mandate of any authority. What is clear is that if one chooses to vote it should be done privately as an individual, and never “on behalf of Christianity;” the “Christian right,” nor on the basis of trying to vote for the “best Christian” or even “a Christian.”
All persons – Christian or not – sin, and sin is sin. Further, in voting for President one is not voting for a Chief Priest, or even the more Christian-like as between two individuals. Rather, the President’s role as Chief Executive Officer and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces embodies at most 2 or 3 basic missions. Accordingly, one’s choice should ideally be the person most capable, and thoroughly committed to:
- securing and keeping the peace, just as the Pax Romana and prior to that the conquests of Alexander the Great brought peace – knowing that Peace is paramount both to achieve its inherent benefits, as well as to enable the spread of the Gospel of Peace; and
- enabling free enterprise to function and thrive without governmental interference, and with government providing only those services for which it is best suited, including maintaining the armed forces, post offices, public schools, utilities, highways, etc.
One thing absolutely certain is the fact that elected central government was never intended to be the creator or guardian of the people’s mores or cultural/societal standards of conduct nor was government ever intended to provide goods, benefits, or services – including health care, social security etc. Cultural/societal standards and mores can only flow from God – through scripture and the “salt and light” spread by Jesus and His Christian disciples.
(Breakpoint – if divided into a two-part article)
But is Not America – A Christian Nation?
It is worth noting that America’s central government was neither founded nor structured as a “Christian Nation.” Indeed, many of our U.S. Constitutional provisions would violate Christian teachings, including its initial allowing of slaves – all despite our Declaration of Independence citing that “all men are created equal.” Additionally, there are the First Amendment rights of “Freedom” of Religion(s), Speech, and Petition along with the Second Amendment right of the people to bear arms. Also, there was that “little matter” of secession and the Civil War fought over slavery, resulting in killing more Americans than all of the wars in history.
Be further assured that our nation and its politics did not just recently become so demonstrably worldly and sinful. Ben Franklin (a great uncle), was a wise forefather, but he was also a deist, an adulterer and cut his beloved (and illegitimate) son, William, out of his estate long after the war ended because William had been a crown loyalist. The presidential campaign against John Adams’ second term, waged by Thomas Jefferson – another deist, adulterer, slave-holder, etc. – is widely regarded as one of the most vicious in American history. Abe Lincoln was viciously attacked by his opponents as less than man, and was portrayed as an ape in a New York newspaper. While as great as he was and against slavery, Lincoln felt that African-Americans were inferior and should not vote.
Accordingly, all of the years have only confirmed the world’s evil, and never more evident than in its politics. Indeed, the world’s “poster child” for political evil is
when the world’s only perfect man, moral teacher, doer of miracles and, indeed, God in the flesh – appeared 2,000 years ago, and despite seeking no political power, was falsely accused, beaten and crucified!
Salt, Light and Salvation Is Messiah Christ’s Plan
As noted above, Christians are not to sleep-walk as they pass through the world; rather they are to represent and disciple “salt and light.” As “Salt,” the spread and preservation of the Christian faith and the Gospel, both in the world and forever. As “Light” of the world, Jesus once ascended, made His disciples the sons of Light and enlightenment for the world. As such, Christians are to “be fruitful and multiply” – work and raise families in traditional family units and churches – God’s key entities for social stability, raising and educating the young with God’s wisdom, and perpetuating the Christian light.
The Twin Supports
Early America knew well the truth of God’s Word, including – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” (Ps. 111:10). George Washington correctly stated that religion and morality are the indispensable supports for American government, noting that morality cannot be maintained without the Christian religion. Note well that these two supports come not from within government, but rather from Christians outside of both government and politics. As these foundational supports weaken or fail, so will the stability and viability of America’s government.
Take note that most political activists tend to be younger, “uneducated,” self-centered and self-promotional – functioning largely as unwise dwarfs when it comes to our Creator God, “His Story,” Scripture, Judeo-Christianity morality, early America and its founding and/or history of the world. Additionally lacking is the increasing loss of the critical role of the traditional family unit together with all of the essential educational fundamentals of wisdom not being taught in most universities– all necessary for the faithful and responsible exercise of America’s individual freedoms and responsibilities.
Also, unknown is Gal. 3:28 which confirms that among Christians- “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male or female – for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” While this settles all of the issues regarding the existence of any individual differences once and for all, the only way for this principle to become ingrained is through its invasion into the human heart along with the Holy Spirit – certainly never by means of superficial mandates suggested by self-serving, progressive politicians espousing individual warfare, partisanship and socialism.
Peace unto all!
Copyright 2020, Wilbur McCoy Otto