The Perfect Republic

Many Christians today, while opposing certain evils like abortion and homosexuality, are some of the most rabid supporters of empire-building by means of foreign wars.  Christians who voice their opposition to and rightly proclaim God’s hatred for these and other sins are too often eager to support the warmongery that this nation has been embroiled in for at least three quarters of her relatively short life. They justify their hypocricy with sentiments like, 'we must root out evil wherever it crops up', and 'we must support the nation of Israel at all costs.' Most of these same Christians, also would tell you that we must blindly obey any governmental authority!
A representative republic is, by definition, a nation whose form of government is 'of the people, by the people, for the people' according to the Rule of Law. Elected representatives of the people govern through law that the people consent to through their representatives. This vision is fast fading in this great nation. Our representatives, for the most part, have become corrupt & rather than representing the people, within constitutional boundaries, they are representing themselves & the elite through greed, maliciousness & terror!
'We the people' are not immune from this same corruption. Much of the problem, though admittedly not all, lies with the general population. When it comes to decimating the “Islamic Horde” most Americans are almost as blood-thirsty and adept at warmongery as our corrupt leaders. The answer to the question, 'can we serve the Prince of Peace & bomb our neighbors' should be a simple one. That answer should be a quick and definite NO! While peace is not always the easiest option, there are times when it seems all you can do is bomb those who threaten our way of life. We must remember however, that too often our way of life and especially our Foreign Policy threatens their way of life! With our history of animosity towards particular neighbors, even if we began to treat them as we should, we would most like not see an immediate reciprocation. As Christians though, is it not we that are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves and to treat others as we would like to be treated? Is it not we that are called to love even our enemies? Is it not we that are to do good to those who hate us and not return evil for evil?
Having treated other nations like we have, we now find ourselves on the receiving end; we are now, as a nation, probably one of the most hated (though feared) and perhaps on par with Ancient Rome. Much of what has made the evening news recently, including domestic violence, can be attributed almost directly to our involvement in foreign wars. Although Islam, as a religion, is in opposition to Christianity, groups like ISIS would probably not be lopping heads off if Christians had simply followed Jesus' command to love their neighbor. Again, this is not to say that Islamists would have never opposed Christianity but, if we Christians had not taken the violent tack we have, we would at least not be guilty of warmongery & Idolatry!
If we are to have a good republic, one that is rightly governed by representatives of the people, then we must have a people who are Governed by the Rule of Law and that law must be our Creator's Law. We must obey Jesus by loving our neighbor as ourselves and treating them like we would want them treat us. Until a change registers in the hearts and minds of American Christians we can expect more of the same and possibly worse. Until we repent of our American sins it will only get worse. Our American culture and its system can hardly be called a republic anymore. King Jesus just may bring it crashing to its knees before its citizens will realize that the Kingdom of God rules and until we understand, acknowledge and act consistently with this truth, there will be no lasting peace.
If American Christians would speak out against the killing of our neighbors across the seas, we would no doubt see a steep decline in the foreign conflicts that the we involve ourselves in. May Almighty God speed the day when Christians demonstrate a religious opposition to the senseless killing of our neighbors, whether they be next door or over the seas!
So what are we Christians to do? What is the answer to our present dilemma? It’s the same answer as it has always been; Return to the Lord our God. Seek his face and determine to walk in obedience. We can demonstrate our fealty to Christ by loving our neighbor as ourselves. We can begin treating others as we would have them treat us. This may seem a bit simple-minded and like closing the gate after the horse gets out, but at least we will have done our part. We can show ourselves faithful to our Savior’s command even though it seems as if we as a nation have pretty much irreparably stuck our foot in it. We can pray that God does a mighty work in our nation but prepare our hearts and minds to the possibility that he may put an end to “America as we know it.” We can be ready to separate from this Union as we repent of the idolatrous notion of empire-building. Christians can and should put their efforts into and place their confidence in the Kingdom of God. We should hold lightly the notion of a nation known as the United States of America, for where-so-ever are our treasures, there also will be our hearts.

Charles Haddon Shank & Steve Wagner

Covenant Community Church
P.O. Box 99
Whitehall, MT 59759
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