Claiming Your Politics Aligns You With God? Really?
God does not inform my politics. Which means he doesn’t inform yours either. You can pray, seek guidance, but in the end, you really don’t know.
For anyone claiming that God does informs his or her politics, I would recommend a brutal period of self-examination to see if God even informs your life. But if one is that arrogant, you’re probably too far gone for self-examination.
The most useless and probably the most un-Godly debate usually consists of some variation of “How can you support [NAME] and still claim to be a Christian?” (Or a good Jew, Muslim, Citizen, Human Being, etc).
Our Elected Leaders.
We are all flawed human beings. If one decides on a career in politics, then one’s enemies will ensure that all those flaws are laid bare. Romans chapter 3 reads, “There is none righteous, not one:” We can talk ourselves into believing that we are voting for the lesser of two evils, or convince ourselves that the moral defects of one candidate exceeds the other, and thus justifies our vote. Who knows? It might even be true. But in the end, for all our pretenses, we are just voting our self-interest.
None of us leave the voting booth from the moral high ground. But we like to imagine that we do.
It’s important to feel good about our decisions. Sometimes we tell ourselves that this is how God would have voted. But to know? To truly know if God prefers this candidate or that one? Have fun with that.
The Wisdom Of Our Founders.
The Constitutional Convention of July 1787 had been meeting for five weeks. The lack of compromise and the state of conflict between the delegates made the 8-year War For Independence seem like the easy part.
The delegates were deadlocked on multiple issues, most notably on apportionment and representation.
With no solution in site, the fledgling Republic looked as though it would be slain in its crib. Then, something extraordinary happened. The oldest delegate in attendance, an octogenarian of questionable morals tottered to his feet. The chair recognized him and the room feel silent. Here is an excerpt of what he said.
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” (Emphasis, mine).
Thank you, Benjamin Franklin. That one speech was worth armies.
The scriptures speak to governance.
“…till he [King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon] knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.” – Daniel 5:21
God’s message is meant for all the rulers on Earth: “You all work for me.”
Interestingly enough, God names Nebuchadnezzar his servant. Few in the Bible to bear that honor, and depending on how one regards Job, Nebuchadnezzar is the only Gentile.
“…now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.” – Jeremiah 27:6
“And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. – Jeremiah 43:10
So, do we take this to mean that every government that has ever been set up is and was allowed rise by Him? When that government falls, is that God’s will too? Is this our take-away from Daniel chapter 5? Even as a Christian with a firm belief in the Almighty, I’ll allow that this seems awfully convenient.
Does optimal government exist?
God set up a theocratic judiciary for the Children of Israel, and it lasted for centuries. One may argue this is the optimal form of government since it was clearly ordained by God. Would that work today? Is God not eternal?
Such a system might work today if we were not a fallen people living in a fallen world.
Samuel The Prophet appointed his sons Joel and Abijah to the judiciary of the nation of Israel. They were inexplicably corrupt. I say ‘inexplicably’ because they had a front row seat to the workings of God through their own father. Yet they still took bribes and perverted justice.
In response, the elders of Israel petitioned Samuel for redress. Their request was not to simply dismiss Joel and Abijah, but to for Samuel to appoint a King to deal with this problem. Yes, the people thought the solution to a corrupt government was… more government. Samuel was grieved by this. He explained that handing over yet more power to government would mean an increase in taxes (sound familiar?) and ruinous military adventures. The response? The people said, ‘Fine. We still want a King.’
Joseph de Maistre, one of the great political philosophers of the early 19th century wrote “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” We sure do.