09 October 2014

China, Christians, Second-Class Citizenship and Political Agitation

Woe and lamentation.
Numerous reports have come out that there are many Christians involved in and in some cases leading the protests in Hong Kong. While the government in China is indeed a detestable one, this is nothing to celebrate and yet that is exactly what Christian Media seems to be doing.
Charismatic and Dominionist theology are spreading around the world and the coming harvest will spell doom for Christians the world over.
Apparently there are some Chinese Christians who oppose this activity. May their voices be heard. Those who bring down the wrath of Beijing are not suffering for the gospel. This is agitating, causing trouble, meddling and trying to destabilize the power. When the sword comes down on them it is not persecution, it is simply political preservation.
This is not how the Kingdom is built. This is not honouring to God.
We were all moved watching 'Tank Man' back in 1989 and indeed non-violent civil disobedience can be at times worthy of great admiration.
I admire and respect Gandhi but it must be understood that Gandhi's non-violence was a form of threat. It had a political motivation and goal. His goal was to drive the British out.
The British were murderous criminals but even this type of non-violent political activity is in the end a form of coercion.
Again I can respect this more than it's opposite which is suppression but it still falls outside the scope of appropriate Christian activity.
Government and politics (or the power struggle behind it) is in the end all about who gets to wield the legitimate violence...the sword. We don't wield the sword. We don't seek it or want it.
The Kingdom speaks to the world, proclaims the Gospel and the wrath to come but the Kingdom is not of this world. We're not after their thrones. Christ was not after Caesar's throne.
That's what Antichrist was after and still is. That's what we get when Christians confuse the Kingdom of Heaven with Babylon.
Just the other day I heard John MacArthur saying that Christians shouldn't be rebels or political agitators. Of course he says this in the context of his venomous criticism of 1960s activism. He's a good patriotic conservative who laments the collapse of the enforced social consensus.
I don't like the 1960s activists but I don't like the Christians who stood with the Establishment either. I understand why lost people agitated and protested. I can't understand why Christians felt they should stand with a government engaged in great evil at home and abroad.
I haven't heard MacArthur with regard to Hong Kong, but I suspect that many conservative Christians would feel that non-agitation rule doesn't apply outside the United States and for that matter how many would willingly apply it to America's own history?
It is discouraging to see Christians in places like China and Africa embracing degenerate and destructive theology.
We need to be content in being second-class citizens. That is our calling. Christians cannot be the Establishment. If we become the Power, then we abandon Christ and worship an idol. Civil Governments are violence and evil and yet even in their self-seeking, Lamech-like self-deifying perversity they bring a certain order to the world that God has provided and we can be thankful for.
If we don't make political trouble (resist them) then generally speaking they'll let us be. But if we resist them, then we shouldn't be surprised when they strike back. It's actually quite clear. Sadly many so-called teachers bring their baggage with them to the text and turn it on its head. They're bringing down judgment on God's people.
All we want from the state is social stability and hopefully a degree of imperfect justice... to expect any more is delusion. If we don't have all the 'rights' others have and even if we have to suffer some kind of economic penalty or social alienation then we need to be content. In fact that should be the norm. At that point we're being the Church and we can be thankful that we're bringing glory to God's name. 
We can be thankful that even lost societies often will eventually make right some of the wrongs. I can understand why people march. If I wasn't a Christian I certainly would. In fact I would do a whole lot more than just marching. I sure wouldn't be a Right-wing Nationalist either.
However as Christians, all of our hopes and certainly all of our other identities and identifications must be subjugated to our status as members of the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Living God, the New Covenant Israel.