There is a belief which maintains God has given sanction to govern mankind in His name. Not to to be confused with governing in acknowledgement of His name, but His personal representation empowered for the sake of peace, prosperity, etc. Such a party of God may identify with Jesus Christ, or, the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, or Mohammed. Types like this do exist, don’t they? Or perhaps the party might be a Gaia type, blending eco-awareness with hope for the earth. Maybe it is atheist/humanist in its religion, holding a steadfast conviction that the answer is in godless humanity. Of all political processes, these theistic / humanistic / gaiaistic systems are the least deserving to provide order. Inherently they are proud, steeped in an assumption they represent the absolute.
Let me be clear on this point. There is nothing wrong, from the standpoint of political power, with any political group acknowledging God, or giving a nod to the absolute of their choice. It would be a natural reflection of the government’s constituency. I think this is what made America great, it held an acknowledgement of God without a governmental priesthood or body of mullahs. It is rule by priest, mullah, rabbi, atheist, or preacher which brings nothing but trouble. Those who desire to be the lens though which the people understand life, those who desire to subjugate in the name of their absolute have little to offer but pain and blasphemy.
That being said, the Lord has designed we should be governed from ourselves. Through the ages there has been rule of various types for the sake of protection and order. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Rom.13:1) During the time of that writing, the Mediterranean world was under the Roman Empire. Christians were held accountable for honoring the Roman government (a pagan one at that). They paid taxes, and did not foment rebellion in the name of the Lord. (At least it was the case for those who were faithful to God.) So it should be now. Of course, if we are commanded by law to do something against the will of God; “. . . We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29) By the same token, earthly government has the God given power to do things the church cannot; maintain boundaries, engage in war, and put criminals to death, among other things. It also has the necessary job of coalescing a society made of many differing points of view. It has to make allowances for differing convictions. Good government cannot throw a religious net across the spectrum of citizens. This means concessions have to be made for some things which might be considered sin, according to the Bible.
There has been only one legitimate theistic form of earthly government; the Law of Moses as was given by God to Israel. It was a society merged under the promise of God’s blessings. If the commandments were kept, God would bless them materially. Conversely, if the nation disobeyed curses would follow, from failing crops to being overthrown by other nations. Under the Law, adulterers, rapists, and the rebellious to parents were to be judged and put to death. Allowance was made for the hardness of men’s hearts; therefore lenient divorces were granted. There were no prisons, but restitution was required. The year of Jubilee returned all land back to the original family. Every seven years, debts were canceled. Three times a year, all males were to appear at the location where the Lord placed His name (ultimately, the temple in Jerusalem). There were laws touching on every aspect of societal life, all by the revelation of God. There has not been, nor will be another earthly nation so legitimately governed.
The Law of Moses came to its end when the great promise of the covenant was fulfilled in the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. He was the one of whom God spoke and Moses wrote;
- “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
- And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deut.18:18-19)
Jesus had this to say concerning His rule and the nature of His kingdom;
- “. . .The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
- Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)
- “. . . To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” (John 18:37)
There is no Divine advocacy for Jesus being directly represented by any political party or organization for the sake of ruling a nation. He already reigns. “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” The objective of Jesus’ kingdom is salvation for all who will believe on Him. Its preaching is the Lord’s command for repentance. He has given His people no power to prosecute evil in the name of the Lord or the church. (He has already empowered human government to do that according to its capacities for justice.) The vengeance of the Lord will be upon His return. It will not be a secret return with an enclave of holy warriors initiated into His plan. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev.1:7)
~ from www.tikvah.net / Aug.2011 post
I am an evangelist sent out by the Old Lamine church of Christ, which meets about 3 miles north of Lamine, Missouri.