The Lordship of Jesus Christ in the Realm of Politics

Post date: Dec 07, 2016 6:8:5 PM

Mar 6, 2011 by Daniel Eby

An Adaptation of Bahnsen's Apologetic

In his book, Always Ready*, Dr. Greg Bahnsen called his first section, “The Lordship of Jesus Christ in the Realm of Knowledge.” Chapter 6 is a summary and application of that section.

The following is an adaptation of that summary to the field of politics. I have greatly benefited from Dr. Bahnsen’s writings and believe the application of his seven points to the field of politics will greatly benefit the Christian who seeks to apply God's Word to the arena of politics and civil government–something every Christian should support. (Bahnsen's original text is shown in italics.)

The Supremacy of God's Word

1. All knowledge and wisdom is deposited in Christ. God’s Word has supreme, absolute, and unquestionable authority in all of life, including politics. Man’s knowledge of the truth about politics[1] and government[2]depends upon God's prior knowledge and His revealed Word and begins with the fear of the Lord and requires submission to God’s Word.

The Fallacy of Not Acting According to God's Word

2. Political thought and action which does not presuppose God's Word is a vain deception; by suppressing the truth, submitting to human traditions, and reasoning according to the presuppositions of the world instead of Christ, such thinking leads to a darkened mind and futile conclusions. God makes foolish the vaunted wisdom of the world.

The Immorality of a Neutral Stand

3. Endeavoring to take a neutral stance in politics between presupposing God's Word and not presupposing it, is an immoral attempt to serve two lords. No man can serve two masters, and thus one must choose to ground his political efforts in Christ or in man’s autonomous wisdom; there is no middle ground between these two authorities.

Compromising Is Hostile to a Christian's Faith

4. Neutralist thinking in politics (as well as all of life) erases the Christian's distinctiveness, blurs the antithesis between worldly and believing mind-sets, and ignores the gulf between the “old man” and the “new man.” The Christian who strives for neutrality or who seeks for a “seat at the table” in political parties which reject God’s authority and demands, unwittingly endorses assumptions which are hostile to his faith.

The Believer's Politics Must be Rooted in Christ

5. The Christian is a “new man,” having a renewed mind, new commitments, a new direction and goal, a new Lord and hence new presuppositions in all of life, including politics and government; the believer’s politics and thinking about government ought to be rooted in Christ (after the same manner in which he was converted): submitting to His comprehensive Lordship rather than the wisdom of autonomous man. The Christian renounces the arrogance of human autonomy and seeks to obey God’s commandments and wisdom with regard to the government of nations in such a way that God receives the full glory.

Cast Your Ballot for Christ

6. The alternatives are then quite clear: either ground all your thinking about politics in Christ’s Word and thereby gain the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, or become compromised by the dictates of autonomous thought and autonomous man and be thereby deluded and robbed of a genuine knowledge of the truth of Christ's total lordship over civil government and politics.

No Other Foundation

7. Therefore, God’s Word (in Scripture) has absolute authority for us and is the final criterion of truth for all of life! The application of God's Word to politics and a nation's affairs is of paramount importance, if a nation is to receive God's blessing in its culture, economy and varied institutions.

*Bahnsen, Greg, Dr. Always Ready, Directions for Defending the Faith, edited by Robert Booth, American Vision, Atlanta Georgia, 1996

Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the English Language

[1]Politics: The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation.

[2]Government: Direction, regulation; Control, restraint; the exercise of authority; direction and restraint exercised over the actions of men in communities, societies or states.