28 June 2010

Two Kingdoms- Neither Left nor Right on the political spectrum

I was posting a comment on a great website which is actually interested in discussion. It's called The Confessional Outhouse. The author/poster was writing about how Two-kingdom theology is accused of being leftist because they so heavily critique the Christian Right. He wrote a good piece talking about the same Constantinian tendencies on the left. I think he was right in what he said...I just wanted to comment, and interact a little with it.

Here's the blog posting....


Here's my response....

It's quite interesting the Christian Right picks on people like Jim Wallis...but as you're saying, he's on the same page, just a different interpretation.

In Europe, most of the Protestant churches are on the left. Conservatism was something associated with aristocracy and state churchism. It was the theologically conservative Free Churches that were often at the forefront of what we would call leftist issues. Kuyper's political movement in Holland might be an exception. But Kuyper, to me at least, was something of a disaster whose thinking has inflicted deep wounds on the church. His legacy and the legacy of Dutch Reformed Cultural Christianity....well, it speaks for itself. And yet, I would rather live in Holland, than the Bible Belt.

The conservative Baptist types I've known in the UK...they're all Labour party. They find American Conservatism quite offensive to their Christian Sensibilities. They think a Christian Government should offer things like Universal Healthcare. It's Constantinianism but with different Biblical principles....another type of Triumphalism. Rather than using Moses as the model, they're trying to legislate something like the Sermon on the Mount. Both sides are wrong.

I think once you remove the Sacralized Kingdom notion...and realize the state is the realm of Common Grace....Natural Revelation plus Providence. Natural Revelation is never enough. Natural Law will never really get it. But what are we trying to get? Triumphalist Utopia? This world's kingdoms will always be 666.....never the 777.

Natural Revelation in the end (because of man's fallen state).. fails...but it is enough. Providence holds it together...or doesn't if it be His will. Civilizations come and go. The Church outlives them all. Natural Revelation + Providence.

So for us....I think we're witnesses to Christ, and in terms of the Government. A sort of sanctified pragmatism is to be our rule. Whatever helps us propagate the gospel and enables us to live our quiet lives, working with our hands, and essentially minding our own business.

It's like the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof. I'm sure it makes Kuyperians grind their teeth.

May the Lord Bless and keep the Tsar...far away from us....

Capitalism is a system that breeds and rewards greed. It is the opposite of loving your neighbour.

But we as Christians can do just fine under such a system, but we can never adopt its ethics. It can lead to Plutocracy and injustice...we've got it here in the United States.

Loving my neighbour means I can't have a business attitude that leads me to shrug my shoulders...and say, buyer beware. I have to treat people the way I would be treated. You don't get very rich that way...but I can sleep at night and look people in the eye.

Socialism can create a stable society, but it can also lead to an hyper-unity, a loss of property freedoms etc...

I've spent a lot of time in Western Europe. It's a lot nicer than here. But there are a lot of rules. It's a trade off. Would you rather live in a more stable society with a higher standard of living...nicer roads, towns etc.... but lose some of the freedoms with building codes, business law, wages etc....?

or, would you rather have potholed roads, some people living in McMansions, others in dilapidated trailer parks, junk cars on the lawn, and growing instability...but you have more freedoms than Europeans have....well, if you have money, you do. If you're poor, though you can buy lots of cheap junk and tech stuff, you are incapable if getting justice in the courts, getting healthcare, things like that.

Where I live, I can do work on my house without a bunch of permits and inspections. I can run a business how I want....keeping it ridiculously simple. In Europe I couldn't do that...but in Europe I could go to the doctor...not end up homeless....have a vacation more than once in every ten years. Do all these things really matter? Not at the end of the day...it's all a trade off.

I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I think Lee Irons was trying to look at things in a practical matter. We want civil liberties, so we can flourish. Sinners are going to act like sinners. A stable society is more pleasant to live in....Sinners don't need to be forced to act like Christians, they need Christ.

Why do Kuyperians think that the unbeliever can act like a Christian and please God?

Why do Theonomists think we need more laws?...if society was Christian...not in the Constantinian sense, but indeed full of Regenerate people...we wouldn't need more laws, we would need less.

But what about the Mosaic law they would cry? It wasn't about statecraft and legislative pardigm...it was typological. They really miss that.


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