If anyone has anything that can be a political construct for the human race it would be our Jewish brothers, and we see the facts about the application of any version of the Mosaic economy. It is not “written in stone” to declare its permanence, because we see its incapacity to prevent Israel’s descent into the lower regions of human badness, and its final subjection to Messiah. In the light of the assaults by Saul of Tarsus we remain vigilant against political constructs which can only reflect the contents of the pool. The fact that nothing happens without God’s permission or command should temper our support for governments that try to emulate Israel’s politics and protect us from jumping unprotected in the political poop pool.
Jurisprudence and grace
Let us be certain that we will not be discovering any kind of enduring political construction. The Bible does not lend itself to any political model. All the political systems of human history are tainted with human depravity and insensitivity. Western governance is decidedly not religious even though some systems have friendly stances towards religion. Christians cannot create a category for saved states. Christ did not die to save political entities, and states cannot adopt the virtues borne by the Holy Spirit. There is no such thing as a graceful court of justice. Individual judges and defendants may bend the state’s judgments (and processes) towards Christian virtues such as the fruit of the Spirit, and there is no requirement to acquit convicts.
Abusing our Freedom
Israel and the State of Utah have dared to build a society on the explicit and verbatim foundations of the either division of the Bible. Perhaps it would be good to remember that neither Israel nor the Church has any mission to duplicate itself around the globe.
The attempts to duplicate some of Israel’s historic landmarks is unproductive and destructive. Among them are:
- the call of Abraham
- his circumcision
- the Sinai Covenant
- the tabernacle, temple, and levitical system
- the kings of Israel and Judah
- the exile
- the restoration
- the lamb before the shearers
American daring and ingenuity are not in question and the right to migrate is powerfully attached to greatness.
Muzzling the liberty of believers
Many believers are vigorously engaged in politics as citizens and as civil servants and we have biblical evidence that God’s followers do so with both mindfulness of God’s standards for the state and individual and with great benefit to human and animals. It is a mighty leap to try to turn believers into convenient rubber stamps of government policy or even surrogates of political figures even when those policies and figure have Mosaic or Messianic values. The government operates without regard to the purpose of the law or the gospel and the deference the government deserves should not rise to the level of spiritual duty. Yeshua demonstrated conclusively how his followers should interact with government with a stunning example of being in custody.
Yeshua and Palestinian Power
He does not perform for government for officials.
63) Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, 64) and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?”
8) Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. 9) And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing.
His interaction with Herod is particularly instructive. The Roman authority, governor Pilate, tried passing the case of the man born to be king to local authority. Local authority was also Roman because Herod was neither of Saul’s family, nor David’s nor Omri’s. Herod was a Roman appointee. Get out your glasses, microscope and telescope: not one word came out of Yeshua as Herod questioned him.
Many of us have a lot of questions and a lot to say and much of it requires no answer because we demonstrate that we have neither authority nor relationship to heaven and the truth. US politics provides no stimulation of my intellect, it elicits profound disgust and passion. I reserve my passion for the word of God and music, two friends from whom i cannot be severed and who provide no terror.
Even the high priest and council hit a brick wall until the high priest”put Yeshua under oath”. The Christian leaders who press us to pledge allegiance or alliance to any government or state are the shrimp and pooper scoopers of our troubled times. This is not to deny exemplary citizenship and a conscientious participation in one’s society. Allegiance, loyalty and reverence have legs in both the sacred and secular worlds.
59) Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death. 60) They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61) and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62) The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63) But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
The leaders who try to get their religious views to shape government policy are walking into a trap. When human wisdom tries to exalt itself to the supreme position these leaders and their followers will have a difficult time walking away from the stand they took for law and order as supreme.
There is no religion that we can safely embed in our government. The majesty and awe of the Sinai revelation Solomon’s inauguration of the temple are administrative gems in human history but neither inspires goodness, justice and mercy. They certainly do not bring unpretentious love or humility to the already profoundly polluted political poop pool.