Thursday, May 21, 2009

Should Christians be involved in politics part 2

The fall of mankind is a result of our selfish pursuits and are our primary reality. When we separate ourselves from God we begin to believe that we are the ones whom are divinly omnipotent.The Bible, on the other hand, presents an entirely different reality.

Isaiah 40:15 declares the majesty of God in comparison to the nations of the earth by stating, "Behold, the nations are as a drop in the bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing."

The truth is that God is in control. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. The Bible declares that God Almighty is King, Governor, Ruler, and Judge.

They are political and governmental titles not ecclesiastical titles. God is the blessed and only one that created the nations.

They exist for His glory and pleasure. And as sure as the sun rises and sets, all the nations will one day bow in worship before the King of kings and glorify His name forever (Psalm 86:9).

Biblical and governmental principles:

First, God is Sovereign, defined as supreme authority, supremacy, the possession of the highest power, or of uncontrollable power with unrestrained authority.

He possesses and dispossesses nations based upon their obedience or disobedience to His law/word (Deuteronomy 28).

1 Samuel 2:7-10 states, "The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

Deuteronomy 32:39 states, "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand."

Isaiah 45:7 states, "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

Secondarily, we must grasp the significance of sin (the breaking of God's law) as it relates to the establishment of civil government.

Adam was the Head of not only his immediate family, but of the entire human race. Before sin entered the picture, there was no need for a bar of justice, a police force, an army or magistrate. It is difficult for us to conceive of a world without sin, and yet without it, there would be no need for control or assertion of power to bring order and harmony to our world.

Who needs an outside coercive force, if sin from within the human heart had never savaged mankind with all its destructive power?Here is the problem that inevitably arises between the government and those being governed.

People have always been worried about tyrannical governments throughoout history. This worry has fueled much of mankind's bloody history. It accounts for the continuous revolt throughout the world by the multitudes who have suffered from the tyranny of sinful men trying to control sinful men.

in one instance,, it has led to government's oppression against those they claim to serve. In another the other, we have witnessed the revolt of the lawless against lawful authority. Thus the age old battle that rages comes down to the delicate balance between authority and liberty.

The desire for true liberty, not oppresion and corruption, has been God's ordained method to bridle authority whenever they have degenerated into despotism. Similarly, lawful government authority has been God's means to quell anarchy, chaos, confusion, and riots amongst those who have cast off every lawful restraint.

The Declaration of Independence states:

"...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government..."

Other notable quotes:

"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." -Plato

"The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis." -Edmond Burke

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -Edmond Burke

"Men must be governed by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants." -William Penn

"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." -Thomas Jefferson

Sin is the reason God instituted the proper role of civil government. The authority of the State is exercised by sinful men and is always subject to all manner of despotic ambition.

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

It is also important to understand that the limited coercive force of the State is essential to maintaining proper order in society. Without this legitimate function of the State, life would be a veritable hell on earth in likeness to God drowned violent mankind in Noah's attempt to save.

The lesson of the flood reveals that when the knowledge of God is missing from the earth, there will be no self control, which is the key to liberty. Thus violence and perversion will always fill the vacuum.

Very few people knew the first mention of civil government in the earth came in the wake of the flood. God commanded Noah after the waters receded to institute civil government. His purpose was to ensure mankind never again descended into the deplorable state that grieved his heart and provoked His wrath.

Genesis 9:6 states, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

The original intent of civil government created by God was, is, and always shall be to protect life and stop the shedding of innocent blood. There was a time in America before abortion betrayed our sacred trust that our civil government honored this divine truth.

Thomas Jefferson stated, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government."

The Biblical worldview of civil government has taught us two important truths. Number one, we are to gratefully receive from the hand of God the institution of the State as a means of preservation.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4)."

...being mindful of the inclination of the State to abuse its power by crushing the personal liberties of those they claim to serve.

When government becomes tyrannical and the laws of men conflict with the laws of God our duty is clear, we must "obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29)."

God's business is to save sinners.. In His grace, however, He has granted us civil authority. His divine purposes are to deter crime, protect good citizens (as He has defined good) against the evil-doer (as He has defined evil).

He graciously instituted civil government as His minister. They are ordained by Him to uphold His Law and to preserve the glorious handiwork of God. They are to be an outside, coercive force to punish evil and keep order.

Unfortunately, a Biblical worldview of civil government is sorely lacking today, not only in our government, but even more tragic amongst our Churches.

America, for the most part, myself included, is ignorant of this Biblical teaching. Thus our nation allows sin and crime to attack God's handiwork with impunity. Without its recovery, however, we will continue on the road to anarchy which will inevitably lead to tyranny.

Eventually, this path will lead to the age-old struggle between liberty and authority. Therefore, it is imperative that we return to a Biblical worldview of civil government, lest as Thomas Jefferson warned,

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

"For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations (Psalms 22:28)."

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