James S. Larson
Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
Series: Religion and Spirituality
This book is about the basic differences between Democrats and Republicans that divide our country. It is also about God’s perspective on the issue, as revealed in the Christian Bible, and about God and the future- our future in heaven with him. God appears to sympathize with Democrats on certain public policy issues, as expressed in his views on the poor and the need to care for them. This implies God’s sympathy for the use of government intervention on their behalf when the private sector economy fails to provide for them. However, the Democratic view is problematic when the Bible is applied to certain social issues. Republicans rightly point out that God is not neutral on these social issues.
How can political parties in the U.S. reach agreement on these and other issues? The idea of a society that is regulated by government to ensure more economic equality needs to be balanced with the freedom to pursue individual dreams. Republicans and Democrats will always fight over where that balance point should be placed. On the important social issues of the day, both sides need to pay more attention to God’s point of view as expressed in the Bible, and not simply dismiss that view when it fails to agree with contemporary mores. To risk God’s displeasure is a foolish course.
Christians also should view world politics from a more cautious perspective. Jesus was not optimistic about human nature and our ability to solve problems with worldly values. Similarly, we should not be optimistic about man’s ability to politically and socially engineer a perfect world. Human nature and the presence of evil in spiritual realms will prevent that.
To maintain some optimism, we need to focus on the future and God’s plan for us in heaven. Christians believe that we will reign with Christ in heaven, where he will be King of kings. Heavenly government seems like a contradiction in terms, but the Bible talks about a millennial reign of Christ on earth, followed by an eternal reign of God the Father. When God the Father comes to reign on earth, his power will be centered in a New Jerusalem which will descend to a physical earth that is newly renovated. All of these events are described in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible.
In the meantime, Christians need to prepare for heaven by growing closer to God. By being better Christians, we become better citizens in the earthly nations of which we are a part. In doing so, we need to recognize that democracy, for all its virtues, is a flawed system of government, and social progress on earth is limited. This should not result in cynicism, but in a renewed effort to see our public problems and solutions from God’s perspective, a perspective of love and faith. (Imprint: Novinka )