Our Place in Politics

From an exchange with a friend, a fellow S.F. Valley native living in China…

We do have somewhat different takes. You frown on political Christians. Yet you lament lack of justice. In most ways Jay Vernon McGee was one of my favorite preachers. Yet he said you don’t polish the brass on a sinking ship. He also complained the people no longer honored the Second Amendment. Sorry, we can’t have it both ways. Please let me propose something.

Agreed, politics is no savior, and can be an idol. We are no revolutionaries. Yet, Christ is Lord and King. Lord and King of what? Everything? How could God judge Canaan if they did not belong to Him. Politics, rightly viewed and practiced, is our representing God in His society.

One great condemnation of Israel and the nations by the prophets was lack of justice.

Disciples wanted an external kingdom like David’s. Christ rebuked that. Instead, He sent Holy Spirit to create an internal kingdom through each individual. (Spiritual solely means of the Holy Spirit.) Waiting for an external kingdom in a Personal return is going backward. The Kingdom comes without observation—Luke 17:20.

How is kingdom expressed? When our obedience fulfilled, He punishes all disobedience—2 Cor 10:4-6. We are salt and light—effective influence.

Two primary words in both OT and NT translated righteousness, also mean justice. Also the reverse. Everywhere they always mean both. Righteousness is the internal quality of faith and character. Justice is its practical outworking in the world. His kingdom come. His will done on earth as it is in heaven.

All law and civil orders are based in the fundamental beliefs of the people. Free and just orders are Biblically grounded ones. “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?”—Deut 4:7-8. The Law of the Lord is Perfect—Psalm 19. Psalm 2.

God’s Law-Word is holy, spiritual and good, Paul says in Romans. The standard is clear, be holy as God is holy—Matthew 5:48. We may properly apply the Law. The Law is for the lawless (for correcting justice, not salvation—1 Timothy 1). The carnal doesn’t keep the law because he can’t—Romans 8:7. Paul thus suggests the contrary—the spiritual can keep it and does—not of himself but by the Holy Spirit in the mature believer. Solomon requires that we stop being simple and get wisdom.

Conclusion? As living sacrifices, we exert the cause of Christ and His kingdom by faith, expanding His influence one active believer at a time. Liberty and justice result. This was early America’s fledgling, but quickly neglected legacy. Yet it lasted hundreds of years, mostly without stewardship of the withdrawn, pietistic church. God does not condemn His people—nor must we. But He does require repentance—Matt 4:17. We have become wanton like ancient Israel, yet His love toward us remains, though we must receive chastening—Hebrews 12:7.

Self-government, that is self-restraint, local association, relational representation, federalism growing out of the Two Commandments—vertical and horizontal relationships, covenant (constitution) to define our working agreement about what God requires are the Providential, Biblical legacy, never fully matured, now mostly forgotten, but the gift that will restore, if we will only learn it and exercise it by faith.

Food for thought, I hope. What do you think?