If you are an American no discussion of foreign policy is complete without addressing foreign aid.
Many Christians in America seem to have an ethical objection to foreign aid. They believe America gives too much money away to nations that end up hating America.
I understand why people feel that way, but the reality is that foreign aid should be part of a Kingdom-based foreign policy, with two qualifications.
First, foreign aid should not be a part of deficit spending. Deficit spending is presumptuous and immoral, whether it is done domestically or as a part of a nation’s foreign policy. As Dennis Peacocke says, God pays for what He orders.
Second, foreign aid should be used in accordance with principle #1 to advance the purposes of the kingdom of God. This means foreign aid should usually have conditions attached that advance the kingdom of God. This could include conditions requiring a nation to allow missionaries into the country, building of Christian schools or ensuring religious freedom. It can and should include giving toward the eradicating of disease and hunger.
I’ve written a lot about the Byzantine Empire here because it was the first Christian empire and survived over 1,100 years. The Byzantines were masterful diplomats and in the use of foreign aid. They, like America today, enjoyed extraordinary wealth relative to the other nations of their day. The Byzantines used their wealth wisely to maintain peace and cement alliances that helped ensure the survival of a Christian empire in a region of growing Islamic influence.
Bottom line: foreign aid should be given from a surplus and conditioned upon Kingdom principles.
In the next post I will address the fifth principle of a Kingdom-based foreign policy. GS