By the power vested in me…
by MW Cook
The problem with authoritarian governments is that there is no leader on the planet who is good enough, strong enough, informed enough or wise enough to wield ultimate power. Some leaders are better than others, but none have ever been worthy of complete trust and absolute power. Therefore authoritarianism, as a government model, will never be adequate for running a country. If a Christian tries to make his government move toward this system there will be problems, always.
But that’s not really what this article is talking about. It seems that he’s really condemning Christianity for forcing non-Christians to adopt Christian morality.
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. – 1 Cor. 5:12,13
It is not for the Christian to judge the morality of those outside the Church. Christianity was never meant to wield power in a government. In its inception Christianity was marginalized and it seems, through Church History, that the times when the Church is marginalized and deprived of worldly power are the times when it is spiritually the most alive and vibrant.
I do not think it is the place of the Church to dictate certain points of morality to those outside the Church. I do believe that Christians always have a responsibility to preach love, truth, justice, purity and (above all) the Gospel. But it does not seem right to convince the government to outlaw premarital sex because the vast majority of people do not follow the Leader we follow. I would point out to a friend that fornication is against God, but I would not have him thrown in jail. There are no Christian countries today, we cannot expect them to have Christian laws.
The Christian nations of the past were populated by and run by Christians. It was their responsibility to make laws; obviously they based their laws on their worldview. In the same way secular lawmakers today base their laws on a secular worldview.
In some cases, however, I think Christians should speak up. Matters like abortion are not strictly moral concerns. The life of a child is at stake and anyone (Christian or not) who believes a fetus is a human being should be concerned in this. The article mentions prostitution as a victimless crime. I disagree. Anyone who has known a prostitute or has heard a prostitute’s story will know that the victim in this crime is the prostitute herself.
It seems I should mention homosexual marriages as well. I think Christians who oppose homosexual marriage should think about why. I disapprove of homosexuality (though not of homosexuals). While I believe homosexual acts are sinful I do not suggest that homosexuals be punished by the government in any way. And yet I would still argue against homosexual marriages. Not because gay people should not marry, but simply because a conjugal union of two men is not marriage. It is something else.
But on the other hand, many people talk about the sanctity of marriage even though they have been divorced many times and committed adultery. I think that marriage is not longer a sacred thing in the west. Which is actually consistent, because secular governments, by their definition, deny the sacred. Morally and spiritually, I do not believe that men should marry men. Nor do I believe people should engage in premarital sex or any of the other things God says he is against. But as regards government, I do not think the legislation of a secular country should be involved in this.
Does Christianity promote authoritarianism? Yes, it certainly does. But the authority is God, never men. Men are never trusted to handle the legislative power of God. This is why God tells us again and again to never take matters in our own hands. He will take care of things himself in his own way. Christians are, indeed, to be positive influences in society, but we are not meant to be kings here.