I’ve been listening to a great set of sermons by Greg Boys. I’d be very interested in hearing what your regulars thoughts are on the idea that politics and government have nothing to do with Jesus, and that nations and worldly power are the exact opposite of God’s approach. Greg contrasts the Kingdom of the World with the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of the World is about “power over.” Those who have the sword decide, and the aim is to gain the sword. Jesus introduced the idea of the Kingdom of God being a “power under” approach. Serve to enact change, humble yourself to enact change, even go so far as to die to enact change.
So now we have this political debate raging about who is on God’s side, and WWJD in an election, with all kinds of people (your regulars very much included – and I have done this mistakenly many times as well) claiming a “Christian” approach. But a simple look at the history of the church shows that any combination of the church with politics is the death nell of the church remaining the instrument of the Kingdom of God on earth. As soon as Constantine made Christianity the state religion, the church atrophied. Because Constantine changed the equation to power over from power under, and despite the fact that it was now Christians who had the sword and could enact righteous laws that God would like, they were abandoning the approach Jesus invented. And the Kingdom of God does not advance with power over.
I agree with this assessment; I’d be perfectly comfortable voting libertarian even if I thought the question of for whom one voted was a matter of life or death, but I don’t believe that it is. I think the notion of those who believe that God wants an individual to vote for any specific candidate for President is massively mistaken, and approaches rather closer to blasphemy than I generally like to tread now that I am a Christian.
God does not often engage in idle and helpless wishing. He demands, and His concerns are beyond our understanding. Meshing Church and State has always worked to the advantage of the latter and the detriment of the former. It’s a pity that so many Christian conservatives don’t recognize that picking up the favored weapon of the enemy is inherently corrupting.