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A Biblical Perspective in the Preeminence of Scripture in Christian Politics

by | Jun 23, 2023

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As we traverse the complex pathways of modern politics, we encounter an ever-changing terrain of ideas, values, and movements, each vying for prominence in our socio-political landscape. Emblematic of this dynamic is the growing popularity of progressive thought which finds its place on issues as diverse as economic policy, civil rights, and bioethics. In light of this, we must bear in mind Robert Conquest’s Second Law: “Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.” (Thank you to one of my astute readers for reminding me of his name. To join our vibrant conversation on Substack, click here). This principle, though not scriptural in origin, provides a valuable warning about the propensity for ideological drift.

Churches, institutions, and even individual minds initially founded on conservative values can gradually be infiltrated by disordered, progressive thought, bending their trajectory toward the left unless they’re consciously and constantly realigning themselves with right-wing principles. A striking example lies in some modern universities, which were originally grounded in biblical principles and rooted in conservative, Christian thought but have gradually strayed from these founding principles to champion secular and progressive ideas.

A similar trend is seen in the professing church community as well. There are so-called “Christian” denominations today that label themselves as “progressive Christians,” purportedly standing on the teachings of the Bible while espousing views directly at odds with the Scripture. These faux Christian groups may attempt to reconcile biblical teachings with modern social ideologies, often by creatively interpreting or outright ignoring parts of the Scripture that do not align with their preferred narratives. But many don’t even try and have abandoned the Scriptures altogether. The result is a distorted version of Christianity, one that diverges significantly from the Bible’s teachings.

A case in point is the shifting stance on sexual morality within these circles. Some progressive Christian denominations are accepting, and even celebrating, practices such as homosexuality and transgenderism, which are clearly forbidden by Scripture. Rather than obeying the Word of God and honoring its timeless truths, these groups yield to contemporary cultural pressures, demonstrating a stark departure from the authority of Scripture. This drift from foundational truths signifies the progressive infiltration predicted by Robert Conquest’s Second Law, further demonstrating the need for unwavering vigilance in grounding our beliefs and actions in the infallible Word of the Most High God.

In this rapidly evolving climate, how should we, as Christians, navigate the tumultuous sea of political ideology and action? The answer is uncompromisingly clear: we must anchor our political motivations and principles in the unchanging authority of God’s Word. He has spoken, we must obey!

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The Word of God, as revealed in Scripture, is where we ground our faith, our epistemology, and our worldview. As stated in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV): “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” This very God-breathed text equips us and informs our political perspectives and guides our approach to social policy.

Reliance on secular consensus or personal preferences is precarious at best. This approach presumes an autonomous human intellect, able to discern right and wrong outside of God’s revealed wisdom. Such reliance disregards essentially the entire theme of God’s sovereignty and perfect wisdom found the Scriptures, including the admonition of Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Let’s first consider the issue of abortion as an example. As Christians, our opposition to this practice isn’t predicated merely on the biological realities of fetal heartbeats or the capacity for pain. These, while valid considerations, aren’t the crux of our stand. Rather, we reject abortion primarily because the God we worship abhors it. He declares in Proverbs 6:16-17 (ESV), “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…” The innocent blood of the unborn falls squarely into this biblical denouncement.

We can further illustrate this point with the burgeoning trend of “transgenderism” and its various “gender-affirming” treatments, such as sex change surgeries and hormone therapies. This is especially egregious as the movement targets young children. Our opposition to this ideology and its practices isn’t merely because it inflicts irreversible bodily harm that might later be regretted or that it may even cause or exacerbate mental or emotional distress. Our stand is rooted in the conviction that it constitutes rebellion against God’s ordained design for human sexuality and gender. God declares in Genesis 1:27 (ESV), “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Any attempt to modify this divine decree is an affront to the Creator and His intentions for humanity.

Unfortunately, many churches and church leaders have veered from this scriptural foundation, substituting the gospel of Christ with a pragmatic approach to sociopolitical issues. Some may argue their intentions are good, aiming to make Christianity palatable to the contemporary mind. However, a number of these departures are driven by a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of Scripture. This shift bears the fingerprints of Satan himself, not of God.

In navigating these issues, it is especially important to remember that while citing secular studies or appealing to biological realities isn’t inherently wrong, they can never form the basis of our policy positions. As Christians, we are obligated to seek God’s position on these issues and firmly adhere to them. To build on anything other than the solid rock of Scripture is to construct upon sinking sand. Our position must always begin and end with God’s Word, for only it provides the sturdy foundation that withstands the shifting tides of cultural opinion.

The preeminence of Scripture in the life of a Christian, including in the political sphere, cannot be overstated. As Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV), “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” This is our mantle, this is the standard we uphold, and this is the course we must faithfully tread as believers navigating the complex arenas of politics and social policy.

This unyielding commitment to the authority of God’s Word serves not only as our compass but as our groyne against the subtle drift into progressivism forewarned in Conquest’s Second Law. Any relaxation of our tether to Scripture, any concession to the shifting sands of popular opinion, initiates a dangerous drift away from our biblical foundations.

By grounding our political positions in the unchanging truths of Scripture, we anchor ourselves firmly in the eternal wisdom of God, enabling us to examine contemporary issues through a biblical lens, guard against the pervasive creep of progressive ideology, and remain steadfast in a culture that ebbs and flows with the tide of public opinion.

Thus, anything less than this commitment to Scriptural authority is a capitulation to the whims of the world and a betrayal of the absolute truth God has graciously revealed to us through His Word. As we confront the societal and political challenges of our day, we must never lose sight of the one and only infallible standard by which we assess and respond to these challenges—the Word of God, our ultimate authority.

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