godnix (greyfeld) wrote,
godnix
greyfeld

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So what would a really Christian government look like?

Second in a series of random stream-of-consciousness rants about another way to think about the relationship of Christian faith to the current conflicts now going on in the world. There is so much more to say than there is room or time to say it that the only way to get started is to jump in in the middle, jump out again, and jump back in.

what would a Christian government look like?
First, there would be no secrets. Jesus: What you say in darkness will be spoken in light; what you hear in the ear will be proclaimed from the housetops. One version of this has it, not in the indicative, but in the imperative: what you hear in the darkness, that speak in the light; what you hear whispered in the ear, that proclaim from the housetops. For there is nothing covered, that will not be revealed; nor hid, that will not be known.

So a Christian ruler, obedient to Jesus, would have no CIA, no DIA, no classified documents, no closed-door meetings, whether to plan health care policy or energy policy. Hey, that one dovetails with actual democracy, as well: freedom speech and of the press, at least (but confidentiality of sources, dear to this last, might become a problem...)

There certainly would be nothing like the so-called Patriot Act, where government could spy on people without their knowing it, detain them without charges,

How about the death penalty? for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them

How about protection of the private property of the rich? Let's look at a few.....

Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; then come and follow me

Too harsh? Well, we can go back to Moses and the Old Testament for more on the relation between rich and poor:

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the edges of your field or gather the gleanings of the your harvest. Do not go over your vineyards a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God. Do not steal. — Leviticus 19:9-11

Yep, in a Christian country, refusing to let poor people and immigrants take part of the profits away from the rich for their own purposes, would be illegal; in fact it would be called stealing.

It would be recognized that private property is not absolute, since everything belongs to God.

Speaking of immigrants, a Christian government might learn from the same chapter of Leviticus that foreigners must be given all the rights of natural-born citizens: When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself....

A Christian government would recognize that bankruptcy laws are firmly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and would enforce the provisions in Deuteronomy 15:1-11 that requires all debts to be canceled every seven years.

A Christian government would never engage in retaliatory strikes against an enemy. Do not repay evil for evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing tis, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-21)

By the way, this last little bit immediately precedes the the more oft-cited bit about how the powers that be are ordained of God, and we should therefore submit to existing authorities, pay our taxes, and all that. Now of course when Paul wrote that last bit, he was talking about clearly unjust, pagan authorities —the Romans— which were at best indifferent, and in some cases hostile to Christians. These idol-worshipping, Christian-persecuting pagans were the ones whom he calls (verse 7) God's servants.

Now let me go back to winning the war on terror. Fighting evil with evil, violence with violence, deceit with deceit, secrecy with secrecy, is likely to have predictable enough results: even in the unlikely event that the enemy is, for the moment, defeated, there is a transforming element at work, and we are liable to become the very thing we hate. The only way to avoid becoming transformed into the likeness of those we fear, is to refuse to be transformed in that way. Now here's the good news of Christianity: transforming influences can work both ways.
Tags: politics, spirit
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