Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is Christianity Deficient?

"Perhaps Christianity, despite its many great qualities, needs to be balanced out by other more worldly elements, such as attachment to nation states."

This was the parting shot by the blogger Fjordman at the end of an essay titled A Christian Background for Political Correctness?

While I found most of Fjordman’s essay to be very well done, I have to comment on his final statement quoted above. Biblically based Christianity is not an impediment to loyalty to one’s nation. Christ himself said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” This tells us that the civil government is a legitimate institution sanctioned by God. The Bible states very clearly that governing authorities are instituted by God and should be respected (Romans 13:1, 6).

This, however, is not to take the form of a grudging recognition of the government’s power over us. Instead, we are to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Praying for others is an active form of love. Not a touchy feely warm fuzzy love, but a form of love in action. I believe there is nothing unchristian about the concept of identifying oneself with a nation state and having a love for that nation.

So are Christians to do what ever their government says? Of course not. The Bible shows us the example of Daniel and others who would not bow to false gods. If the laws of our nation are in opposition to God’s laws we have an obligation to stand against them. However, if we do live under a system that grants us freedom of religion do we have a right to defend that system from those who would have us worship false gods? I would say that it is more than a right. It is a duty.

Contrast all of this with the Islamic notion that only the laws of Islam are valid. Muslims are taught that only Islamic law should be followed in all matters, religious or civil. They say that they ought not to follow the laws of men but of God only. Christianity, on the other hand makes it clear that the governments instituted by men are done so within God’s sovereign power. It would seem that the Islamic god is too small to control the world unless every person on the planet adheres to Islam. The God of Christianity has no such problem and is quite able to use the governments of men for His own purposes.

There is no need for additions, deletions or corrections to Christianity. It is perfect as it is. The fault lies in our sinful selves and our propensity for twisting Christian doctrine to suit our own agendas.

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