Too often American-ists takes the property of the church and apply it to the State. Was palace servant Obadiah supposed to go into Jezebel’s face and tell her that he and the 100 prophets he was keeping hidden were opposed to her religion and actions? No, that was Elijah’s job (1 Kings 17).
Consider also the Psalms. David has to go to God about the troublemakers (“workers of iniquity”) because there is nothing he can do about them directly. Much as he’d love to deal with vicious Joab, he knows that it would tear up the kingdom to do so.
“Oh, but he should have trusted Yahweh and done what was right. He should have kicked out Joab and put their choice of a king – a ‘perfect’ king – in his place. His pragmatism shows a lack of faith. He should have acted in the State the same way a priest would at the Temple, even if it would have blown up the kingdom Yahweh entrusted to him.”
Really? Then why do the Psalms portray David as a man after God’s own heart?
Too often American hyper-”conservatives” are not acting like people after God’s own heart. Like all of us they reject pragmatism, but they use this to refuse to learn from the Bible how to be practical in the area of politics. “Just stand for Christ and let everything blow up.” That is not how Biblical wisdom works.
Some of the problem for us Americans is seen in another statement: “There is a problem when Christians with Reformed worldviews are ready and eager to compromise in hope to gain federal power. The thought of societal progress through a centralized seat is thoroughly pagan.”
Now this would be quite surprising to Joseph, Daniel, Mordecai, and others. In the cases of Joseph and Mordecai, their advice actually strengthened centralized government. No societal progress came through Charlemagne or Louis IX? Not in the view of the Reformation. Like Christians for centuries, Reformation leaders often addressed their works1 to kings in order to encourage them to use their power to bring about national reformation. Two fine examples are The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1509–1564) and De Regno Christi by Martin Bucer (1491–1551). Bucer in particular exhorts King Edward VI to use his power to reform the laws and courts of the land: societal progress through a central seat of power indeed.
Turning now to Mitt Romney, such perfectionists need to ask themselves why long-time paleo-conservatives like Ann Coulter and Emmett Tyrrell support Romney and have all along. Or why people who have been theocratic Reconstructionists for longer than some of these guys have been alive — like Jordan, DeMar, and others — are willing to support him now. (I’ve been reading the American Spectator since it was founded in 1967. I became a Reconstructionist in 1972.) Are we fools? Have we no knowledge of Biblical statecraft?
There are reasons. Unlike Gingrich, who talks a better line, Romney is a one-woman man. He has experience in the private sector as a healer of fallen businesses. He’s a grown-up. As governor of the most liberal state in the union, he was willing to try to get as much as he could. He’s a member of a religious sect that was responsible for defeating queer marriage in California. He’s pledged to act conservatively if elected.
Of course, maybe it’s all a front. Maybe he’ll be as liberal and stupid as George Bush. Maybe it’s a conspiracy, and he’s really a tool of the Bilderbergers and the international Jewish Conspiracy. Maybe.
But we know what Obama is.
Yet, who cares? Let’s stay home and let the country burn to the ground. Let’s stay home and not vote, trusting like fools that King Jesus will actually honor our manipulations and do a miracle for us. No guys. I don’t think Jesus likes being manipulated.
I’m voting for Romney. I’ll put up a sign for Romney. I hope Romney wins. Why? Because as a Biblical Christian I vote for the person who best provides peace and room for the Church to act and the gospel to go forward. I don’t look to the State for the things only the Church can do. If Romney is moving “right” for “merely pragmatic reasons,” then hurray! So what? Romney will provide more peace and freedom for the Church than will Obama. And from a Biblical standpoint, that is the ONLY* thing I ask.
James emailed me and wanted to change this to: “And from a Biblical standpoint, that is the FIRST thing I need to be concerned with.”
- “Mirrors for Princes” (a genre of literature). [↩]