Politics Isn't God
This is the first in a series of articles in which we will consider how biblical teaching should inform our political lives. I submit this material in faith, wishing to stir the reader up to love and to good works.
Election season constantly bedevils us, even in "off" years like 2017. We hear daily about Congress, the President, the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential election. Most understand that one should not talk Christmas until Thanksgiving; can we not then forbid 2020 until at least 2019? The whole affair is nauseating and contemptible and seems interminable--though, thank God, it is not.
As people of the Book, we must let Scripture guide us as we consider our political lives. We owe our highest allegiance to the God of Heaven. Our American citizenship and whether we register with an "R," a "D," or anything else--these things are secondary.
This week I want to encourage us to take an eternal perspective on our politics. The 24-hour news cycle depends on our focusing on the minutest details, living from crisis to crisis and treating each as if it has us on the precipice. This kind of fleeting, momentary obsession is the very image of being "blown about by every wind."
Know today, in the midst of all the scandal and fear, that God reigns over all and has His hand in all--especially in the power He affords the nations.
Consider the example of Daniel. The Babylonian captivity looks like a loss not only for Judah but for their covenant God. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah suffer the indignity of bearing Babylonian names--Belteshazar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego--that declare the victory of Babylon and its gods over Judah and its God. Babylon indoctrinates the four youths in Chaldean language and literature, attempting to corrupt their faith.
We fear because the spirit of our age is a Babylonian spirit. It crows that the church in America is declining and will eventually disappear. It seduces our children to call good "evil" and evil "good," attempting to turn them against us and the Faith. We fear that this spirit is winning and that our only recourse against it is political.
The God of Heaven exposes this Babylonian spirit as a liar and a fraud. God explicitly declares His control over the power of the nations, and we must have confidence that He still reigns over ours.
In Daniel 2, God shows King Nebuchadnezzar a vision of a statue made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay. Daniel interprets the dream to mean that Nebuchadnezzar's empire will fall. A lesser empire will replace it, which shall fall in its turn to a third empire, and so on until God establishes His eternal Kingdom. The lesson is that God Himself appoints the rise and fall of each of these kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar's power is an illusion, as is the power of any human monarch, general, president, or congressman. The real power comes from God Himself.
So it is today. God has not ceded control of history just because the Messiah has come. He has circumscribed limits on all things--including the power of secular progressives to corrupt society and the ability of governments and other human institutions to fulfill human needs. He has set expiration dates on all things, on every nation and every human institution--including our own.
Who has your faith? Is it the God of Heaven or a political party? Do you place too much stock in the powers of this world to fight against God's eternal Kingdom? Weigh these things daily as the Adversary tempts you to place your hope in the world. Turn your heart to God in prayerful repentance and confess that He alone is King.