I’ve purposively avoided political issues here because I believe them to be unnecessarily divisive and often a distraction from more important issues of the kingdom of God. But on August 26, 2010, I blogged on the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, and that began a stream of conscious of posts on political issues that ended on September 1, 2010, with a post asking whether an abortion advocate could be a Christian.
If there is a common thread in the my recent posts on political issues it is in the attempt to think through these issues outside the left/right political box, more specifically, from the perspective of seeking first the kingdom of God.
First, let me be open about where I come from politically. As a general rule, I prefer limited government and low taxes. I prefer the Church be primary source of meeting the needs of the poor, not the government. I prefer fewer government laws and regulations and less government interference in the marketplace.
I think I can make a pretty good argument that the Bible supports all the preferences I’ve just listed as ideals for a society. At the same time, I recognize others believe redistribution of wealth through high taxation and government programs is more in line with the Biblical standard. But rather than approach this from a Religious Right or Religious Left perspective, I want to approach this from a kingdom of God perspective.
I think all Christians can agree the more obedient to God and self-governing a people are, the less need there is for government, taxes, laws and regulations. A law against speeding is only necessary because some people drive too fast and endanger others. If people drove responsibly on their own, there would be no need for speed limits.
The problem is man, though created in the image of God, is sinful, and the more sinful man is the more government is needed, which means higher taxes and more laws and regulations and interference in the marketplace is needed. If people (read, Church) don’t take care of the poor, the government will have to do so. If businesses discriminate against people because of their race and no one steps in to stop it, the government will have to do so.
That is why I used the word “prefer” repeatedly above. I prefer the government stay out of everyone’s business, but if African Americans are repeatedly victimized by discrimination, denied jobs, service at restaurants and seats on buses, and no one else can stop it, I prefer the government put a stop to it. I don’t know if that makes me a Republican or Democrat. I hope it makes me a Christian.
The need for government, taxes and laws is directly proportionate to the goodness of the people governed. In an ideal world–the Kingdom world King Jesus is making–the need for government, taxes and laws will be less than at any time in history, save the beginning.
The Republicans and Democrats both make the mistake of believing government is the answer to creating such a world; it’s just that Republicans believe less government is the answer and Democrats more. Kingdom people recognize the key to an ideal world is not the size of government but the goodness of man, and only King Jesus makes good men. GS