Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Democracy and the Kingdom of God

Does a Christian have a right to influence public policy? Are we called to be cultural warriors? If you answer, “Yes,” you may be confusing Constitutional rights and Christian rights. 

Believers in the West often assume that fighting culture wars is the “Christian” thing to do. But most churches around the world don’t have this luxury. This strategy doesn’t work in Yemen, Somalia, or Zimbabwe. Most churches are located in Communist, Fascist, Socialist, Muslim, and Jewish states where church officials have little or no influence on governmental policies and Christians are forbidden to protest governmental policies or even share their faith in public. In tribal lands petty dictators set the social agenda and their military strongmen enforce it. What makes us think that governments run by godless thugs will adopt Christian virtues? Do we actually believe that Satan, the invisible power behind human governments, wants his earthly leaders to live by the Golden Rule? 

The Scriptures are clear that the moral progression of human governments is downward and not upward. Why should we expect it to be any different in America? Remember, Edward Gibbon entitled his monumental work “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire!” America is following the same trajectory into the abyss.

Democracy and the kingdom of God are two different types of government. A democracy is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The will of the majority prevails and the minority dissent. The kingdom of God is a government of God, by God, and for God. The perfect and righteous king has absolute authority. When we confuse the two we get side-tracked and fall into a trap.

We must remember the church is not a colony and an embassy of America, Canada, Russia or any other country. It only resides in these places. It is a colony and embassy of the kingdom of God. There is always a danger, especially in the West, to blur the lines.

A real NT church can exist in any country, under any type government. Believers in America who spend their time, energy and money on rescuing America rather than being the church—a colony or embassy of Christ in the midst of America— may one day look back and regret wasting so many human resources on a failed project.

[I explore these ideas and many more in “Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom …” (Harvest House), which can be purchased on Amazon. Please consider sharing and/or retweeting this post.

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