Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just Passing Through

A recent commenter dropped by and had a question about our country's political system and the act of voting: I will continue to obey the laws of the land, as they do not conflict with the word of God. But what do you think about not voting?

Now this isn't a political blog, but the question in the context of the entire comment is both valid and important since it touches on the Christian's civic responsibility as we pass onward through this strange land toward our eternal home. The question is also particularly relevant and timely since most Americans are being inundated daily by the various persons vying for attention leading up to the 2008 presidential election.

Here was my response:

...thanks for dropping by, sharing your encouragement, and for your inquiry about my views of our political process and voting in particular.

First I'd say it's important to understand what you've already pointed out, which is that the governmental powers of men are ordained by God. He alone raises kingdoms up and casts them down according to His perfect and sovereign will. But in the particular case of the United States, it’s my opinion that America's original system of a constitutional republic has long since withered and died on the vine.

Sadly it's abundantly clear that "we the people" are mere inches away from tyranny in this nation, and as you indicated in your original post, there's not a whit of difference between the candidates who are perennially offered up by the bi-factional ruling party of this country. I call it a bi-factional ruling party because the concept of the "two-party" system is a charade and a sham. It's a red herring game of good-cop, bad-cop designed to keep the mindless sheeple believing that they actually have a voice in government, yet this is clearly not the case.

Certainly there are a few noble and godly public servants, but the system itself in anti-Christian. There's nothing that can be done from "the inside" to correct the dangerous course of our nation as it careens wildly toward the uncharted and rocky shores of a centralized governmental power that was once considered to be the stuff of nightmarish Orwellian fiction.

To utilize a familiar analogy Humpty Dumpty is broken, and there's simply no putting him back together again.

But we needn't lose heart or become weary in well doing! The key point for the believer is to maintain our focus on the eternal, and not become bogged down in or consumed with the temporal. We ought to live our lives in humble obedience to Christ with the full knowledge and blessed assurance that we are as strangers in a strange land, passing through this earthly realm and into a heavenly city not built with hands. God Almighty is unfolding history according to His own eternal plan and purpose, and nothing can stay His hand from accomplishing that which He wills to do.

Praise the Lord!

I believe that far too often otherwise well meaning Christians become ensnared in a social gospel that basically substitutes good works for the atoning blood of Christ. Please don't misunderstand my point here, good works will inevitably flow from the true Christian life because they are produced by the Spirit of God within the believer, but like faith without works, works without faith are spiritually dead and fit for nothing.

Sinners don't simply need food, clothing and clean drinking water, although these things are good and necessary for life. Rather they need the the bread of heaven, the robe of righteousness, and the spiritual water that is Christ Jesus since these are good and necessary for eternal life.

Unfortunately human government is generally so power mad and bent on total domination that it will absolutely refuse to relinquish any power it has obtained through legislation, public acquiescence, or plain old fashioned brute force. This is unsurprising in the light of scripture as we can easily see in the book of Daniel. In his nighttime visions King Nebuchadnezzar saw human government as a beautiful and impressive statue in the similitude of a kingly man which was comprised of various materials that represented various human governments. But as interpreted through Daniel, God's man on the scene, and as seen through God's eyes these various human governments were revealed as terrible instruments of continual destruction. It's also interesting at this point to note that the description of the "statue" of King Nebuchadnezzar's nighttime vision is consistent with the concept of a graven image or what is commonly known as an idol.

In essence and in practice human governments are in direct competition with God Almighty for the "hearts and minds" of mankind. Human governments seek to usurp God's authority by demanding loyalty that belongs only to the Infinite Creator and Judge of the universe. In other words they make idols of themselves and set themselves up to receive what amounts to a form of worship and obeisance.

For example, have you ever asked yourself why the flag of the United States is plastered all over practically every church in this nation? Have you ever wondered if it is appropriate? We don't typically think much about such things because "that's the way it's always been, right?" WRONG! Like any type of subterfuge many, if not most of what we consider to be "normal" is anything but. Consider the following:

The claim that we make an idol of our government is provocative and disconcerting; it is also almost impossible to deny. Idolatry occurs when we take anything within God's creation and elevate it above the boundary separating Creator from the creature, and make it a kind of God. Political philosopher David Koyzis has explored this concept in detail, examining how ideologies can become idols:

"If ideologies deify something within God's creation, they inevitably view this humanly made god as a source of salvation. Thus each of the ideologies is based on a specific soteriology, that is, on a worked-out theory promising deliverance to human beings from some fundamental evil that is viewed as the source of a broad range of human ills, including tyranny, oppression, anarchy, poverty and so forth."

Our view of governance has not only attained this level of ideological belief, but has become rather commonplace.

The prior quote was taken from a post over at the evangelical outpost shortly after hurricane Katrina entitled "Deliver Us From Evils: The Soteriology of Gnostic Governance".

Friends, it's indisputable that human government, while instituted by God Almighty, is the playground of the devil himself. There has been more death, torture and injustice perpetrated on mankind by his various governments than has ever been perpetrated by all other forms of human on human violence combined.

As Christians let's keep our focus on the eternal hope that lies before us and not subscribe to the false Dominion Theology (a.k.a. Kingdom Theology) that says we must prepare a kingdom fit for Jesus to return and claim. Rest assured, He will return again one day to claim His kingdom, but it will not be the result of the righteous works of men, which are as filthy rags before the Lord of Hosts.