To achieve the vision the Bible describes for the world, and which I outlined in the previous post, the spread of Christianity is an absolute necessity.
The problems with the world are not primarily intellectual but ethical but both are necessary, along with obedience to King Jesus, to fulfill God’s vision for the planet.
The first question, and the one looming above all other when deciding how a nation should act in its relations with other nations, is, “Does the nation’s conduct promote or hinder the spread of Christianity?”
Sometimes that might mean supporting a fledgling democracy where pluralism provides Christianity an opportunity in the marketplace of ideas. At other times it might mean supporting a less democratic leader who protects a Christian minority from persecution by an anti-Christian majority.
This doesn’t mean a Kingdom-based foreign policy will never ally itself with a Muslim nation. The Byzantines were brilliant at allying the empire with one foreign threat as a buffer against another. It’s one of the reasons the Byzantine Empire—the first Christian empire in history–survived 1123 years.
At the same time, it’s naive to advocate for any true long-term alliance with any religiously Muslim country. (I use the word “religiously” to distinguish from those that are culturally Muslim–like Turkey–but essentially secular.)
Countries naturally ally themselves along civilizational lines. This is the point Harvard professor Samuel Huntington made in his book, Clash of Civilizations. The Cold War, which divided the world among ideological lines, was an historical anomaly. Nations have always more naturally allied themselves with those who shared the same culture, and culture is religion writ large.
So, how does a Kingdom-based foreign policy play out in the real world?
First, a Kingdom-based foreign policy should assist, advocate and encourage the spread of Christianity around the world. This would include actively pressuring nations to not persecute Christians. This could include diplomacy, economic pressure, or pursuing sanctions in the United Nations. It could include lobbying nations to permit Christian missionaries entry into their country to plant churches and build Christian schools.
The United States’ policy toward China is a example of how not to conduct a Kingdom-based foreign policy. Instead of pressuring China to stop persecuting Christians, the United States borrows from China to finance American deficit spending. The U.S. has, Biblically speaking, become China’s slave (Prov. 22:7) and, as a result, is in no position to carry out the most important Kingdom-based foreign policy principle: the advancement of Christianity. How can the U.S. pressure China to do anything when it is dependent upon China to finance American deficit spending?
The next post will address the second principle of a kingdom-based foreign policy. GS