And The Government Shall Be On His Shoulders

government Lindsay Brooks with special guest Donald McConnell, Dean of Trinity Law School.

For the Christian, any talk of government is heavy with baggage. While the secular world is moving more and more toward a stance of the freedom _from_ religion, cries of “Keep your religion out of my government!” ring from every corner of the public square. The so-called “Christian Right” are set up as a bunch of theocratic buffoons and knocked down with slogans about “H8” and criticisms of picayune attempts to get Christianity taught in schools in the guise of Intelligent Design. Meanwhile, the Anabaptist Christians refrain from involving themselves in public political discourse at all.

That Christians are conflicted about their relationship to government is not a controversial statement. On the hot issues of the day we hear the ambivalence in statements like, “I think [insert hot issue here] is wrong and contrary to Scripture, but I wouldn’t want to pass a law about it.” On the other end of the spectrum are those who hold the Mosaic Law applies today in its totality except those things explicitly set aside in the New Testament.

Biblically, there has never been a time when humanity wasn’t under authority, either the immediate authority of God or the authority of God mediated by human beings. Yet even when mediated by Judge or King, the government was conceived of as under God’s authority, for it is God’s moral law that the government was to enforce.

Forming a good government that provides what is best for human thriving, and understanding rightly how to see the Church in relation to that government depends upon seeing humanity rightly, the moral law rightly and the meaning of the Kingdom of God rightly. Therefore the Bible is indispensible to the right understanding of these things.

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