The following essay was written by James B. Jordan. James is a Christian theologian and author who has thought long and hard on worldview issues from a biblical perspective. While the following article does not answer every question; it does offer a perspective that is not often considered in terms of a biblical theology. — Gary DeMar
From time to time we read on the internet some blogger or other writer that he’s not going to vote for Romney because of this or that reason. Sometimes because he’s a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sometimes because he’s done X or Y in the past. Sometime because he’s not Ron Paul. Regardless of details, all of these bloggers make one mistake in common: Americanist political perfectionism.
A friend of mine wrote that he has three reasons to vote for Romney. 1. He’s not Obama. 2. He’s not Obama. 3. He’s not Obama. Well, that’s good enough for me, but perhaps there’s more to be said.
An aspect of this confusion is perfectionism in political life, a kind of political messianism that insists on a churchly standard of belief and of personal morality on the part of its political leaders.
The Bible, however, shows us something different. What the political leader is supposed to provide is . . . peace. In Daniel 7 God raised up a four-fold “beast” (“living creature”) whose purpose was to protect His people as they moved out into the new Imperial Age. Under the Pax Persiana, the Pax Graecia, and the Pax Romana, Jews were able to be the “four spirits of heaven” (Zechariah 2) and plant synagogues all over the empires. It was an added bonus when Nebuchadnezzar converted and when believers like Cyrus and Darius sat on the throne, but it was not necessary.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “I urge that entreaties , prayers, petitions, thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in his position, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Does the ruler need to be a believer? Does he need to do everything right? No, nice as those would be. Rather, he needs to enforce the law and make for societal peace so that the Kingdom of Jesus can advance. And that’s it. Period.
A recent blog-essay includes this statement: “Mitt Romney, a man who openly denies the Trinitarian God of the universe, can offer no hope to America’s ailments.” We may ask, so what? Since when do political leaders heal ailments? That’s the Church’s job. What we want from them is peace. But let’s apply the above mentioned blogger’s argument again in terms of some biblical realities:
- “King Nebuchadnezzar, a man who worships idols, can offer no hope for Judah’s ailments.” Compare that with what God said through Jeremiah. Nebuchadnezzar was just what Judah needed.
- “King Antiochus III, a man who worships other gods, can offer no hope for Judah’s enslavement to the Ptolemies of Egypt.” Compare that with what actually happened according to Josephus: the King rebuilt the temple, relieved Judah of taxes for three years for that purpose, permanently relieved Levites from taxation, etc.
Our unnamed blogger cites Gary DeMar:
“We’re still dealing with an electorate that’s on the government dole. They need Obama to win. There’s not much that’s going to change that except a national collapse. There are a lot of people who think that would be a great idea. It would be horrific. No one will come to our aid.”
The unnamed blogger comments:
“No one will come to our aid? Only our Lord causes nations to rise and fall.”
Well, of course. Sure. But that does not mean that Jesus ever promised that He works through presumption and magic. DeMar knows that Jesus rules and can do miracles. But he also knows we are supposed to be grownups and take responsibility. When Israel was under the Law only, after Moses, the Lord Yahweh was king and the people were children. When they were old enough, God gave them a kingdom and kings, and told them to rule by wisdom. Miracles are for babies; wisdom is for grownups (Heb 5:11–14).
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