First of all, I’m a Southerner. That is, State’s Rights where applicable, theocracy in all cases, right-leaning, decentralization of government, and above all, a postmillenialist.
Because Christ is not coming back to rule earth (for eternity) until the Great Commission has been fulfilled (every knee shall bow and the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth), Christians need to be active in politics. Gary North points out that American (mostly) “rapture fever” renders Christians politically impotent. If Christ is coming back any second, why bother? Besides, that steps on too many toes. Americanism adheres more-so to retreatist pietism, in his words. This accomplishes nothing. The pagan doesn’t even bother to acknowledge this group.
Then you have the group that believes that government is the way to reform. Get Ron Paul in the White House and all our problems will magically disappear. Outlaw abortion. Ban gay marriages. Homeschool or nothing.
Not that any of those things are wrong, of course. Abortion is a sin, as is homosexuality. Homeschooling may have benefits (and maybe not). The government certainly needs to curtail its abuse of power.
What this camp fails to realize (and this bothers me a good deal) is that politics is not the answer to our problems. You can picket in front of the abortion clinic all year, but if America is not convicted by God that it’s a sin, no laws will be passed. You can’t pass the law and expect everyone to follow blindly. In fact, you couldn’t get the law passed in the first place. The correct way is to reform the people themselves. Make them realize that murdering babies is wrong. Then they pass the law. Not before.
Even a Christian president won’t change much, especially under the pseudo-republic of America. He’s a figurehead anyway.
So how do we change America (or any other nation)? We realize that government is an institution for the management of a nation, punishment of the wicked, and rewards to the righteous, and subject to God’s law in all cases (the Founding Fathers, by the way, supported theocracy). So of course we want Christians in office. Roger Williams shocked early America when he had the nerve to suggest that an unbeliever could hold public office in America. How dare he!
I believe that we cannot change an institution, particularly one hostile to the Gospel (America’s current administration) from the top down. Would it be nice if we had a strong believing President who was true to his word? Yes. Would it change anything? No. Constantine declared the Roman Empire to be a Christian nation, but that didn’t make a bit of difference. It was the people who made that a reality. Granted, many came to the Light through Constantine’s work, and we bless God for him, but he did not truly turn the Roman Empire Christian. It’s people.
The Spirit rarely works through the powerful. He prefers to move through the weak. He is a still small voice. God uses weak vessels to accomplish great things.
When the hearts of the people turn to Christ, then we can legitimately call that nation a Christian nation. We cannot change a nation’s heart by passing laws. We can’t get those laws passed anyway.
By no means think that I’m advocating political apathy. Get into law school. Get Christian influences back into the courtrooms and the classrooms and the Senate floor. The Cultural Mandate demands that we do this. All of creation subject to Christ.
I’m just concerned that perhaps we’re putting too much faith in changing the world by means of politics. You’ll see this especially in the Libertarian party. While I agree with almost all of their positions, I hesitate to be that fanatic about something like this, because of reasons roughly traced above.
As an aside, one of the great things about Ron Paul being so extremely right-wing is that he has tipped the balance, as it were, back towards conservatism as regards the casual voter (Dr. Jim Jordan’s observation).
In short, I suppose I am not so much for reform of the American government as I am for replacement of it entirely, with something better (although I realize this would be a baptism by fire). I do not advocate revolt, but I do think that God is about to do something to America (when a nation openly tolerates homosexuality, they are inevitably destroyed). That could happen in 10 years or it could happen in 1000 years. But I am certain that, given the current trends, Christianity will not survive under the current system of government.
I said “current.” I think it’ll change. To what? I don’t know. I don’t even know if this line of thinking is correct (obviously I think so, because I’m posting it). I’d love to hear some feedback on this (David, I’m looking at you).
In the long run, going to Church faithfully and singing the Psalms in a covenant renewal service makes much more difference than who you vote for. That’s all I’m really trying to say.