The Myth of Political Neutrality

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5 Responses

  1. Awesome. I love this guy. He did one on the doctrine of Grace as well. I’m glad to see him speaking about this myth now.

    It’s too bad that our seminaries are teaching our pastors that the church has nothing to say to politics. 😦 (e.g. http://confessionalouthouse.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/protestingreformed/)

    Thanks for posting these Lar.

    kazoo

  2. It seems to me Mr. Sproul Jr. totally contradicts Jesus. Jesus did say His Kingdom is NOT of this world. It doesn’t get much clearer to me than that.

    Our government leaders need the Gospel preached to them. They need to get born again. Jesus and Paul’s passion is simply not the passion these men are talking about. Where did Paul ever preach against Nero!? And he was 50 million times worse than anything we have now! On the contrary, Paul said pray for the man!

    Let’s be like Paul and Jesus and busy ourselves with preaching the Gospel to lost sinners. As I read the New Testament, they hardly gave a thought to politics, especially in comparison to the passion they had to seek and save the lost.

  3. Joseph thank you for stopping by!

    I don’t think Sproul Jr is contradicting Jesus at all. Honestly I think you’re reading in an “Anabaptistic” view of the Scripture into that text.

    The text you mentioned is found in John chapter 18 verse 36. Jesus here is responding to Pilate about the nature of his kingdom. His kingdom is not like the kingdoms of this world, it does not get its authority in this world, nor does it fight with the weapons of this world – Its authority is from heaven and its weapon is the truth, this is simply what Jesus is saying to Pontius Pilate. It is not just simply a “heavenly kingdom” that is in the “hearts of men only” and has no effect in this world or its political order.

    We must harmonize the Scriptures. For instance see Matthew 28 where Jesus says “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Notice he says all authority “on earth”. Would you dare say that he is all authority except political authority? Also, we are told to pray that His will would be done here “on earth” as it is in heaven.

    When you say Jesus and Paul hardly gave a thought to politics I think you are seriously mistaken. Jesus constantly confronted the political leadership of his day – the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes; these folks were the lawyers of the day who still had political authority under Herod (who was under Rome).

    John the Baptist rebuked Herod the tetrarch “because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done,” Luke 3:19

    Jesus told his disciples that they would stand before kings and governors because of him. Matthew 10:18, Mark 13:9, Luke 21:12,

    Jesus is said “to be the ruler of the kings of the earth” Revelation 1:5

    Paul in Acts 13:23 declares Psalm 2 fulfilled in Christ (see also Acts 4: 25-26) which says “now therefore be wise “O Kings” be instructed you “Judges of the earth”… Kiss the Son less he be angry and you perish in the way.”

    The Bible, the Gospel, and Christianity deal with sin and ethics and because politics inevitably deals in the realm of ethics (by writing laws about what is right and wrong) the Christian can never abandon the political sphere; he must speak prophetically to it. I would also encourage you to read Christopher Neiswonger who has an excellent recent post on this topic

    There are more passages and so much more it could say. but much of it I have written already.

    For starters I would encourage you to read my post titled : “Is the Law of God Only Binding on People in the Covenant?”

    Grace and Peace,

    Lar

  4. Kaz,

    What’s even scarier still is that many evangelical seminaries are not telling them to abandon politics. What they have done is they have turned the whole politics thing on its head.

    They no longer want to confront “the culture of unrighteousness” with the truth, rather they want to come alongside of the culture on the political issues of the day, like “social justice issues” and “environmental issues”.

    There is kind of an attitude in seminaries (and in evangelicalism at large) that want to salvage Christianity from what it perceives to be fundamentalism. They seem to want to say; we are not like those legalistic rigid fundamentalists – “we too” care about social justice issues (by means of the state of course) and saving the planet from the evil capitalist polluters.

    So they are not really apolitical at all; they’re still political, they just don’t want to confront the culture about sin and righteousness and judgment…

    The sorry part about all this is it comes from evangelicals!

    Lar

  5. Larry,

    In regards to whether the Law or its sanctions are only binding upon those who maintain covenant fidelity, in book one of Economy of the Covenants Witsius makes the sound argument that this argument is inherently self-defeating. For if it is true then it would only take one sin to free us from any further culpability and necessity to obey the law of God. I think that this further strengthens your point.

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