Two Political Doctrines
Post date: Dec 07, 2016 5:6:55 PM
Nov 11, 2010 by Daniel Eby
In America today, it’s clear that we are seeing the fruit of a secular, man centered political philosophy, and frankly, it does not matter whether it is left or right, or whether it is liberal or conservative. The fruit is always the same. If we want to find our way out of the status quo, we have to take a totally different direction: we have to look at God, not man. What sets Explicitly Christian Politics apart from other philosophies is its recognition that God, and not the state, is all powerful.Explicitly Christian politics rejects what we have come to recognize as the battle between ‘conservatives’ and ‘liberals.’ It rejects the “conservative v.s. liberal” explanation of things, and identifies the root cause of any issue as either the politics of ‘unbelief,’ or the politics of ‘Biblical faith.’ The battle, we recognize, is not between conservatives and liberals, but between two political doctrines.
The ‘politics of unbelief’ holds the premise that the state is all powerful, whereas the ‘politics of Biblical faith’ asserts that absolute power resides only in God Almighty.
So we have these two conflicting doctrines. And this is where the rubber meets the road! This is where we see the real differences of philosophy and worldview: biblical vs secular. As Christians, we need to argue from the right premises, and not the wrong premises. When issues surface, do we trust in God’s Word for civil government? Or do we trust in man’s human wisdom for policies and determinations?
Van Til on Culture & Religion
Van Til once said that “Culture is religion externalized.” I say, “Politics is religion externalized.” At some point, you’ve heard someone say, “We can talk about anything except religion and politics.” That’s because these ideas–religion and politics–connect at the very foundation of society. So if we have unbiblical politics, what can we surmise? We’re frankly worshiping the wrong god!
Biblical faith ought to produce Biblical government, Biblical politics! So let’s look at these two political doctrines.
First, let’s consider the politics of unbelief and revolution. I really want us to understand this, because it’s really the key for what I believe we ought to be doing. The politics of unbelief is the politics of autonomous man. The roots were seen first way back in the Garden of Eden. It continued to be seen at the Tower of Babel, and it was manifest at the Crucifixion. It raised its head again in Paris during the French Revolution, and I submit to you that the seed of that revolution has borne fruit in the modern day rebellion against God, called “democracy.”
Genesis 11:4 says, “Come let us build a city and tower… into the heavens and make a name for ourselves.” This statement was a direct rejection of the authority of God. They were going to make a name for themselves, as well as an idol and a god. This is none other than open rebellion against God’s rule, and God judged them.
Unbelief, therefore, is the root cause of all the efforts of man to set up parallel kingdoms. As Groen VanPrinsterer of Holland stated, “Unbelief is the germ, and revolution is the fruit.” And by revolution, he did not mean one of the many events whereby a government is overthrown, as in France, but rather the unfolding of a wholesale skepticism in which God’s Word and law have been thrust aside.
The Politics of Unbelief & Revolution
Now, when you understand these ideas– the politics of unbelief and revolution– you start to see what’s at the root of our society today. By “revolutionary” ideas, Van Prinsterer meant the basic maxims of liberty and equality we’re so familiar with today. These ideas –equality, popular sovereignty–have crept right here, into our own country. This is where Van Prinsterer begins to step on our toes, because too many Americans today think some of these ideas are pretty good ones. Yet we have to recognize where they come from!
Social contract and the artificial reconstructionist society by common consent– notions which he said existed in 1847– are venerated as the cornerstone of constitutional law and the political order. He was seeing the fruit of unbelief (or rather the “germ” or seed of unbelief) way back in the 1800’s in Europe! He insisted that the germ is unbelief, that the revolution is the fruit.
The consequence of revolutionary ideas, he stated, cannot be combated with success unless one places himself outside their influence– outside the influence of those ideas on the ground of what he called the “Anti-Revolutionary Principles.”
He said, “This ground is beyond reach, however, as long as one refuses to acknowledge that the foundation of justice lies in the law and ordinances of God.”
The Fruit of the Revolution
The trouble for American Christians is that we do not identify with the fruit of the revolution in our own country. We see the fruit of the unbelief, but we haven’t always recognized the ideas like “popular sovereignty,” which is none other than the rule of the people or “democracy,” about which the founders of this country were pretty unanimous in their view that it was the most hated of all governments.
These are the fruit of ideas that are contrary to God and His Law! Van Prinsterer said, “A denial of the living God is related to disorder, injustice, slavery; so the union of freedom, with law and order, is sought in vain apart from the submission to the Highest Lawgiver and King.”
Biblical faith produces liberty, while unbelief produces revolution. The great question is, which God will we serve?