December 31, 2018
I've read many articles similar to this guy's.
Here's what I think the usual misunderstanding about Christians being involved in politics consists of; namely, the idea that the Christian life is compartmentalized, with Christian piety and beliefs confined to specialized reservations like church buildings while the rest of society is given over to the world, the flesh and the Devil. Privatization vs. the overall welfare of society. Do Christians really believe the great commandment or not? For instance, do they believe that loving God and loving their neighbor as themselves is applicable to the society in which they live or not?
It has been a long time since Christians in America have developed a comprehensive world view--if they ever did. Perhaps they could start where preacher and politician Abraham Kuyper began. He wrote about the sovereignty of God and Christian responsibility toward society. One of his most famous sayings is "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine"
Of course, the Old Testament is replete with similar themes about the sovereignty of God over the entire universe; a belief held by Orthodox Jews to this day, but utterly abandoned by Jews of the Left, who place sovereignty in ideas in the minds of mere men.
I recommend Kuyper's Stone lectures given at Princeton. He would not be allowed to speak there today; largely because Christian thinkers abandoned articulation of a comprehensive world view. T.S. Eliot also has some great things to say about the Church and the world. A sample quote:
" There is no doubt then that Christianity is imperiled by great and serious dangers. Two life systems are wrestling with one another, in mortal combat. Modernism is bound to build a world of its own from the data of the natural man, and to construct man himself from the data of nature; while, on the other hand, all those who reverently bend the knee to Christ and worship Him as the Son of the living God, and God himself, are bent upon saving the "Christian Heritage." This is the struggle in Europe, this is the struggle in America, and this also, is the struggle for principles in which my own country is engaged, and in which I myself have been spending all my energy for nearly forty years. In this struggle Apologetics have advanced us not one single step. Apologists have invariably begun by abandoning the assailed breastwork, in order to entrench themselves cowardly in a ravelin behind it.
"From the first, therefore, I have always said to myself,"If the battle is to be fought with honor and with a hope of victory, then principle must be arrayed against principle; then it must be felt that in Modernism the vast energy of an all-embracing life-system assails us, then also it must be understood that we have to take our stand in a life-system of equally comprehensive and far-reaching power."
God bless as we endeavor in our small ways to uphold the truth.
I've been reading Lord Acton's essays on religion and politics as well. As you know, he was a devout Catholic.
Here's some of what he had to say in his wonderful essay "Political Thoughts on the Church."
"If we seek repose and shelter in the view that the Kingdom of God is not of this world; that the Church, belonging to a different order , has not interest in political forms, tolerates them all, and is dangerous to none; if we try to rescue her from the dangers of political controversy by this method of retreat and evasion, we are compelled to admit her inferiority, in point of temporal influence, to every other religious system. Every other religion impresses its image on the society that professes it, and the government always follow the changes of religion. Pantheism and Polytheism, Judaism and Islamism, and Protestantism [all] call forth corresponding social and political forms. All power is from God and is exercised by men in his stead. As men's notions are, therefore, in respect to their positions towards God, such must their notion of temporal power and obedience also be. The relation of man to man corresponds with his relations to God...The view we are discussing is one founded on timidity and a desire of peace. But peace is not a good great enough to be purchased by such sacrifices. We must be prepared to do battle for our religious in every other sphere as well as in that of doctrine."
I agree with Acton. Do we of religious faith truly believe we are not in mortal combat with what are essentially religious views posited by modernism and post-modernism? Do we truly wish to hand over temporal power to the world views that have animated the politics of Nazism, communism, socialism and nearly all "isms" that have characterized Western society of the twentieth century and now the twenty-first century? Do we not see the dread results and do we not wish to propose the alternative and liberating views characterized by Judeo-Christian thought?
Some thoughts from Tim:
Dana Mathewson adds:
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