Biblical Politics in a Nutshell

By Chalcedon Editorial
January 30, 2017
All men and nations are inescapably tied to God’s covenant, whether as covenant-keepers or as covenant-breakers. God’s covenant is “the everlasting covenant” with all men. Man’s relationship to that covenant can change from blessings to curses, but the covenant remains.[1]
~ R. J. Rushdoony

One sure sign that a Christian is close to humanism is his or her lack of mention—and therefore lack of understanding—of God’s covenant. What is God’s covenant? In simple terms, it’s His “defined relationship” with us, and if there’s anything modern man demeans, it’s a defined relationship.

In other words, God doesn’t “date” anyone, and He has no “girlfriend” for a church. Those are “undefined” relationships. God is covenantally joined to us with clear and explicit terms. There is no ambiguity. Our relationship with God is defined from top to bottom.

You Can’t “Vote In” His Blessing or “Pray Away” His Judgment

 In truth, God’s covenant is the framework for everything we experience, and it is the key to understanding the times in which we live. For example, how is it that we go through continual political election cycles without any mention of God’s covenant? We are God’s people before America is God’s nation, but that is often confused by Christians. Maybe this explains why they believe we can “vote in” God’s blessings and “pray away” His judgment.

Isn’t that why Christians vote? Besides rectifying obvious criminality such as abortion, aren’t Christians engaged in the political process because they are looking for the multiple benefits that a more “Christian candidate” may provide? But is that what Deuteronomy says? Read all the overwhelming blessings God promises His people in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Do Christians honestly believe they can “vote” those blessings in? God is clear—or “defined”—about how those blessings are granted:

And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. ~ Deuteronomy 28:2

The Priority Is the Lord’s Hand, Not the King’s Heart

In other words, the greater concern on the part of God’s people should be our present status in terms of God’s covenant and not governmental policies or those holding political office. After all, as Proverbs 21:1 declares, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The priority is on the Lord’s hand, not the king’s heart, but where has our emphasis been?

If we emphasize God’s covenant, His hand shall move upon the king’s heart, and that is Biblical politics in a nutshell. If you recall, even the apostle Paul spoke generically about the Christians’ relationship to politics noting:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. ~ Romans 13:1

Obviously, the early church was living under Roman rule, so there was no chance of them voting to change their circumstances, but it did not matter. The apostle goes on to describe what truly matters in terms of God’s covenant people in any age:

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law… Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. ~ Romans 13:8, 10

In other words, the government powers are ordained of God, and therefore in His hand. As for us, let us be diligent about fulfilling the terms of God’s covenant by keeping His law towards one another.

Biblical Politics Means Being a Covenant-Keeper

God’s covenant is everlasting, but our relationship to that covenant is the only thing that can change. There’s no doubt that our nation has sinned and forsaken God’s covenant, but the real issue is where are we in relation to His covenant? Can God affect the culture positively when His own people obey? Surely He can and does.

Does this mean a Christian shouldn’t be concerned with politics? Not at all. Incrementally and individually, God is at work throughout all spheres of life, but the point is that our emphasis is often misplaced because we lose sight of framework for our Christian life: God’s covenant.

If we better understood its meaning and importance, and then operated in terms of its policies—Biblical law—we would sooner see the true and lasting blessings of God upon ourselves and our respective nations. If you want Biblical politics in a nutshell, it’s “be faithful,” for God’s desire is to provide us with predictable results in history whether they be blessing or cursing.

Biblical politics means being a covenant-keeper!

[1] R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. 1,  (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1973), p. 694.

Topics: Biblical Law, Christian Reconstruction, Culture , Dominion, Government, Justice, Statism, Theology

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