This article originally appeared in the Septemeber 25 edition of the Cottonwood Chronicle
© 09.23.08 By D. Eric Williams
Ah, autumn; the season for brilliant colors, football games and political skullduggery. As Christians we should praise God for the beauty of his creation and the joy of athletic excellence but how should we deal with the realm of politics?
To begin with it is important to accept the fact there is no area of life exempt from the rule of God. Christians are called to engage every part of creation as they bring their sphere of influence under the authority of Jesus Christ. Believers must work to provide examples of how the kingdom of God is realized in every legitimate and moral pursuit. And yes, this includes the realm of politics with participation as candidates and voters alike.
Yet, how shall we define "Christian politics?" What are the issues that must guide us as players in the game of government - again, as voters and candidates?
Certainly there are the obvious issues Christians may not ignore. No Christian can ever support a "pro-choice" (pro-death), position. Believers must always stand in defense of life from conception to natural death. Moreover, God fearing folk must affirm the sanctity of marriage - a covenant relationship between one man and one woman. We cannot support candidates who believe otherwise and we cannot run for office without these planks as part of our platform.
However, when we move beyond these matters and begin to discuss the overall role of government we enter a realm where there is much disagreement among conservative Christians. Specifically there is disagreement concerning the size and scope of government.
Although the Bible does not say exactly how far the reach of the civil authority should extend, it does teach us the best government is self government under God. The whole of the Bible teaches us that each individual is responsible for his own actions and for the oversight of those under his immediate care. The Scripture also reveals none of the principal institutions is chief over the others. We are instructed to give honor where honor is due but we are also taught Family, Church and State are complimentary and each has its particular sphere of influence. This is an aspect of what is known as the "anti-sovereignty" doctrine. In other words, none of the basic institutions is sovereign over the others. Instead, each derives its authority from the Sovereign ruler of the universe and is thereby answerable to God.
These things were understood by our nation's Founding Fathers and so the constitutional government they bequeathed us rejected the idea of a sovereign state at any level. Indeed as R.J Rushdooney once wrote,
This anti-sovereignty doctrine, medieval in origin and Puritan in development, was transplanted from England to America. The Boston Tea Party was the burial of the sovereignty of the State as far as America was concerned. The English Middle Ages had no political sovereignty and Americans moved in terms of that tradition; medieval English history is more theirs than the periods in which they had a separate history of their own; and instinctive memory has much to do with political thought and the writing of history. The colonists, with regard to taxation, law, and constitution wanted a mediaeval restoration in which each estate or state made its own grant and was bound by that alone.
As a Christian and citizen of this nation, I want to encourage my fellow Believers to carefully consider their political participation this election season. No doubt you must vote pro-life and pro-family; I humbly suggest, you must also vote to restore the idea of separate and equal institutional spheres. I believe failure to do so is to ignore the Bible, betray our national heritage and encourage the current slide into tyranny.