The Idea of a Christian Society
Both the Republican and Democratic Conventions are over, the nominees have accepted, and the race for the White House escalates. In one corner is a woman whom few seem to trust and in the other a flamboyant bully. The choices do not look appealing, even when one considers the dark horse Libertarian candidate who’s pro-choice concerning the unborn but isn’t pro-choice when it comes to religious liberty.
Christians have voiced their outrage through various venues, not the least of which has been social media. Members from the two major parties long for the days either of Kennedy or Reagan, but few want to look to the future because the options seem to be less than lukewarm. Political rhetoric from the right has lent itself to the notion of a Christian society wherein believers in Christ should choose from the right wing, but from the left, it boasts of charity and justice—two platforms highly insignificant to the right more so than not.
To be clear, there is no Christian society in the United States as prominent as the church. When thinking of a Christian society, one should look to the Kingdom of God and not the sovereignty of man that is the civil government. Perhaps our society once appeared more Christian, but we can’t say that previous generations—no matter how glorious or with how much nostalgia they appear—were not without vices and sin. Christianity, after all, was born into a far more degraded society than what we witness in the United States.
Nevertheless, neither the Republicant’s or the Democraps are sincerely interested in providing a Christian society. That’s only realized in the church. T. S. Eliot notes,
To identify any particular form of government with Christianity is a dangerous error: for it confounds the permanent with the transitory, the absolute with the contigent … A theory of the State may be, explicitly or implicitly, anti-Christian: it may arrogate rights which only the Church is entitled to claim, or pretend to decide moral questions on which only the Church is qualified to pronounce … Those who consider that a discussion the nature of a Christian society should conclude by supporting a particular form or political organisation, should ask themselves whether they really believe our form of government to be more important than our Christianity.
I write all of this only to say that if you want a Christian society, preach the Gospel, and not a political platform. If some folks were as informed and passionate about the good news of Jesus as they were about their politics, imagine how Christian society might be.