Christians in Parliament (II)

Christians must confront the fact that God requires them to impose His law for the state upon all men, whether men like it or not. The universe is not a democracy, but a Kingdom.  If Christians do not impose God’s laws upon non-Christians, then non-Christians will impose man’s laws upon Christians… The law of man bares its fangs of iron increasingly against the righteous.[1]

There is not a person on the face of the earth who is religiously neutral. Every one of us in born a sinner “in Adam,” the Bible says. All men are sinners, but all men want law, and when men are rebels against God, they most certainly don’t want His law.

It’s not likely that society will want God’s law, until a greater proportion of the community is Christian. And even then, the great majority of Christians today are most ambivalent about the law of God being used in the community. This requires that there be willing teachers in the body of Christ, and a massive change of attitude in the Christian community in relation to God’s law.

This will take time and effort, and there are few good things in a community that take place overnight. We believers have to be prepared to be tireless workers. The church in the West has got to its low level, not over months, years or decades, but many generations. And if it requires generations for there to be long-lasting positive changes in the West, so be it. The high-point of Protestantism in the West that was represented by Puritanism, was preceded by steady growth in the church.

For how long? For a century after the Reformation commenced.

Jesus explained this to us:

First the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head (Mk.4:28).

Every one of us needs to know the place of God’s calling, and political service is certainly a legitimate place of Christian service. But we must be warned: humanists believe in salvation by politics, something the Bible has no time for.

Why is that? There is no political solution for sin. It’s only remedy is the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus.

When the crowds saw the signs that Jesus performed, their response was immediate:

…They said, “this is truly the prophet who is to come into the world.” So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force and make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone (Jn.6:14-15).

Jesus would have nothing to do with political solutions for Israel. Of course, it had its political problems, just as every nation does. But like all other nations, its political problems were a result of its spiritual state, which was awful. It needs cleansing from the inside out, and that was what Jesus was going to bring. But in that too, He was rejected.

The quick-fixers deny the Bible. They resent its teaching that all men are sinners, and that Biblical law has a place within modern society. Thus they believe that there are political answers to social problems, which history shows is just ludicrous. The would-be political messiahs keep turning up, and foolish people keep choosing and voting for them, with painful results.

For the sinner’s solution for political problems is always more sin, because he cannot deny his own nature.

This means that Christians must develop a balanced approach to political life, which accepts the legitimacy of political representation, but keeps it in proper perspective.

What is that?

All of society needs the leavening of the kingdom of God, from the bottom up. Christianity, when practiced amongst the middleclass- the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, the grass roots of the community, will lead to lasting community change. When Christians are functioning in their place of God’s purpose in the community, that’s where they will be most effective.

Most commonly, this means their vocation- their place of work. Christians ought to be people who are gainfully employed. And out of their faithfulness and productivity, they can accomplish much.

Paul hinted at this. He said

This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men…our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful (Titus 3:8,14).

Conclusion:

Every society needs Christians working from the grass-roots to effect change, and some of that change will inevitably political.

Our work amongst the grass-roots may seem unrewarding and slow, but the promises of God is sure: “Who has despised the day of small things?” (Zech.4:10). Patiently working and leavening our sphere in society is what we’re called to do. And as this takes place through the efforts of a multitude of Christians throughout society, steady social change really is possible.

Is that what you’re ready for?

 

 

[1] James Jordan, “The Law of the Covenant,” p.29.

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