How does one interact with government if Jesus is King? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
The following is an article that I wrote for the local newspaper in my monthly column.
In my last column I wrote about the gospels as campaigns with Jesus as king. What does that mean for the American political scene if Jesus is king? We are often told to render unto Caesar, but does that mean what we think it means, or have we imbibed some modern ideas into our thinking that are foreign to the 1st-century text?
In our enlightened time, it is common to think of the “world of faith” and the “world of reality” as separate. You can have your Christianity, but just make sure you compartmentalize it. Don’t bring it with you into the political sphere. Just keep it at home and go to church on Sunday and don’t interfere with education.
The Christian can have none of this. If Christ is Lord, He is Lord of everything. Jesus came on the scene essentially challenging Caesar. It was what British scholar and historian N.T. Wright called “fighting words.” Herod knew what Jesus was claiming. The priests in power knew it. Caesar would have known it as well. Jesus was claiming kingship.
Enlightenment thinking has said that faith belongs to a world above while man will rule the world down here. Now in essence, man has long ruled the world down here. Until the day when God is recognized universally as king, he has allowed men, even sometimes wicked men, to rule so there will be some order and justice.
Secularism, meanwhile, has decided that the old systems of the past must be rebuilt, and so we see an attack on everything the church has held to be sacred — be it Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox — throughout the ages. Any hint of religion is being removed to form a secular state, even now to the point where life in the womb has been killed and the world seeks to redefine marriage itself. The secular machine is on the march and is destroying all in its path under the label of “tolerance.”
What is a Christian to do? In a voting society, a Christian is certainly allowed to vote with what he believes to be true. A Muslim, an atheist and a Jew should all have the same right. If you think something is true, why should you compartmentalize it away from reality? Of course, I also hope more Christians would educate themselves on reality to get more than just “the Bible says” as to why they hold a certain moral stance. Our own Bibles tell us that moral truths are known apart from scripture and we need to be able to establish those moral truths, and if we can use the weapons of the enemy against them (weapons, by the way, that come from the Christian church and have been hijacked), then all the better.
Secularism has been tearing down the fences that have been built without asking G.K. Chesterton’s question: “Why were they put up in the first place?” Yet too many of us know that when man seeks to expel God from the world, he will have to put something in God’s place, and usually that something will be a mirror. If man thinks he has no authority that is greater than him that he is subservient to, then we can expect that his true colors will be revealed. If any doctrine of Christianity will be established then, as it can be today easily enough by watching the evening news, it will be that of original sin.
How do we follow Jesus’s advice, then? We give Caesar what is his due, but make sure we do the exact same with God, and keep in mind that God is a higher authority than Caesar. We are by no means to take up arms and seek to destroy Caesar that way, but we are also not to lie down and do absolutely nothing when Caesar comes after us. We must make our stand today and state that we are people of the true king of this Earth and seek to further the time when his rule will be completely realized on the Earth.