In an article in Modern Reformation Magazine called Church or Political Action Committee by Michael Horton are some snippets:
”The Reformers taught that God is sovereign over both the world and the church, but in different ways. Christ’s twofold reign is exhibitedin this era of redemptive history by his lordship over history through ordinary providence (which is secret to us), and through the miracle of justification and rebirth by the Spirit through the gospel (which is revealed and proclaimed to the ends of the earth). Christ is Lord over the world and the church, but neither the church nor the world is to lord it over each other. ”
(but do they? yes.)
”Because non- Christians are still wired for law, they can build decent civilizations. And because Christians are simultaneously saint and sinner, there is absolutely no guarantee that a ‘christian nation’ will be any better than a pagan one. In fact, it may well be worse precisely because of false expectations derived from bad theology.”
(think about it, do we really want or need a Christian nation? Do we really think we are a Christian nation?)
Quietism is a Christian philosophy that swept through France, Italy and Spain during the 17th century, but it had much earlier origins. The mystics known as Quietists insist with more or less emphasis on intellectual stillness and interior passivity as essential conditions of perfection; all have been officially proscribed as heresy in very explicit terms by the Roman Catholic Church.
”The doctrine of the two kingdoms calls us simultaneously to recognize Christ’s lordship over all of life and the distinction between the kingdom of heavenly grace and the kingdom of earthly power. Each is legitimate and Christians belong to both.”
”The Church is not called to seek worldly power and influence, but to insert a strange, confusing, new kind of power into the world’s power grid. The power of the gospel that it wields sets a limit, a ceiling, and an end to the powers that the kingdoms of this world claim for themselves. The state tends to demand ultimate allegiance, final loyalty, and absolute status. “We’re Americans first and whatever else second.” No, says Christ in his kingdom of grace.
His gracious regime is first and everything else- including our national identity- is secondary.
Our ultimate good is Christ’s.”
(hmmmm, how many of us really think like that?)
” So my (Michael Horton’s) problem withthe current state of evangelical political action is not with its concern to make a difference in the world. Rather, it is that the church is giving into the temptation to be something other than the uniquely commissioned and uniquely gifted institution appointed by Christ to deliver the gifts that he is pouring out from heaven as the conquering and ascended King.
The church in its ministry of the Word and sacrament makes a difference in the world, but not in the ways that individual believers shaped by that ministry make in the world through their calling.”
So, we are to make a difference in our world, and Christ, church, hearing the Word and doing what Jesus commissioned us to do is what makes the difference. I like.
”The bible addresses all of life, but it does not address every issue. Therefore, neither should pastors and elders. Christians should feel free to evaluate secular matters in the light of their Christian convictions and on the basis of the knowledge and wisdom that God gives to believers and unbelievers alike in his common grace.”
(and on that note, believers and unbelievers need to have the facts on what they are evaluating to make informed decisions)
Ok, this got long winded and I didn’t get to put as much as I wanted to, if any of this interests you, I can send you a copy. it’s not up on the website yet. But go check out Modern Reformation Magazine, it’s good stuff.
Thanks for listening. Or reading as the case may be. 🙂
The Home Engineer