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  • Writer's picturejaredrrolston

Where Christians Are Pointing the Sword

Christians With Secular Cologne

One of the worst things to come from the church in the last century, in my opinion, is its political influence. Though we've been taught to believe that the church, as an institution, has nothing to say in the political realm, it has not stopped us from getting rowdy in the public sphere as individuals at times. We have considered this involvement permissible by staying very principled, not bringing our Bibles into any debate, and engaging from a supposedly religiously neutral position. But the secularists are right to point out that we don't do secular well. We may not reference the physical Bible in political debates, but the Bible's influence can be all over our argumentation, and the secularists can smell it.

There is a simple reason why we have struggled to stay religiously neutral in our politics, and that is because it is impossible. Secularists aren't neutral, and neither should we be. Christians should point out the Darwinian worldview that is assumed in the secularist's abortion policies. We should not be ashamed when the secularists point out that our biblical worldview is assumed in our abortion policies. We are in a war of worldviews, and it needs to be fought on that level. We say that abortion is murder, presupposing the Christian understanding of human worth, that life has the same value in the womb as it does out of the womb. This makes sense, and the Darwinists will look silly in quick time if they try to justify a value distinction between human matter and the matter they stand on.

To the secularists, it must look as though we are ashamed of our Lord the way we go about politics. We assume the knowledge of Christ without referencing Him as our Lord. I think it's time we stop masking our Christianity with imitation secular cologne. We're fooling no one. They smell that we're phonies. Those who are perishing are picking up the savor of death from the standards of Christ even when we're trying to hide Him.

"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ." (2 Corinthians 2:14–17)

If the Church acknowledged Christ in the public sphere, we may look a little more like a triumphal procession rather than a drop-lipped scattered group that is playing out the game with the belief we are on the losing side of history. Now I'm showing my eschatology, but please hang in there my premillennial and amillennial friends.

Inescapable Violence

If we can all agree that having good political influence is a good thing and that Christ ought to be the authority over our political positions, then I think it is important for us to understand the nature of the thing we are trying to influence. The concept of civil government came from Christ. So we must ask, what did He make the state for, and is our influence helping to achieve those ends?

Scripture says that God gave the state the sword, not to paddle people with the flat side, but to avenge His wrath with its sharp sides.

"But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he [the state] does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer." Romans 13:4 (brackets added)

He intended our government to be a minister of violent judgment, and if it does its job well, it is for the benefit of our society. In New Zealand, we should be glad to have a police FORCE. We need good enforcers of good law.

Since we are in a democratic society, the people are essentially telling those who are governing where they ought to point their sword. I don't think Christians have understood that their voice and their vote are directing the state where they should administer violence. We have been thinking about achieving ideal social outcomes, and not about the violence that it takes to have those outcomes achieved. Every policy must be enforced because a portion of the population will not willingly comply.

Someone might object to this saying that the state has other means of gaining compliance than just violence, such as fines and taxation. My response to that would be, try not paying your fines. You'll eventually be in cuffs. If you resist the state, the only power they have to keep you in line is physical force. In this world, a violent state is inescapable because God made it to be a sword-wielding enforcer of the law. If they put down their sword we will have an even more violent world of Anarchy.

Christians Persecuting Christians

At the beginning of this blog, I stated that the Churches political influence in the past century has not been good. I believe this is the case because we have directed violence toward those we should not have. Without understanding the gravity of our actions, Christians have turned the sword of the state on each other. Whether it was Christian conservatives in the years of alcohol prohibition or Christian progressives banning spanking in recent years, Christians have bound the consciences of other Christians with the threat of state-sanctioned violence.

Drunkenness is a societal problem, but the solution is gospel preaching and repentance, not prohibition. To ban alcohol stops drunkenness, but it also makes Jesus a criminal (John 2:1-11). Permitting spanking can lead those without self-control to commit child abuse, but spanking is a command from God that we are told saves a child from death (Proverbs 23:13-14). Banning spanking makes criminals of good parents.

Not all social problems have political solutions, and we have looked to the state far too often to be our saviour from societal ills. Jesus did not confront greed by asking the state to force a more equitable wealth distribution. The answer to sins like greed is repentance that flows from a changed heart. Government wealth redistribution also goes directly against what Jesus taught about private property. He said that people have the right to do what they wish with what they own (Matthew 20:15). If the state assumes rights over our property, it robs us of our God-given stewardship and responsibilities. Supporting wealth redistribution is like supporting Ahab's seizure of Naboth's vineyard.

The only social problem that God has given the state jurisdiction over is the national crime. And if we are going to call some behaviors criminal, we must define crime with the objective standard of God's word. No one has the right to violently take away a person's freedom without being given authority from God to do it. Anything beyond God-sanctioned prosecution is pharisaical and is the very definition of tyranny.

Since our political positions have not been rooted in anything objective, Christians have been active all across the political spectrum. As a body, we have tried to be good, compassionate socialists, redistributing the nation's wealth, and at the same time have been staunch conservatives that use the law to violently prohibit sin and hold back our national degeneracy. We are politically divided, and this division cannot remain outside the church's doors. Our political choices affect our Christian neighbors in the real world. We have to sing praises next to the ones who voted in parties that campaigned for the new anti-Christian hate speech laws that are coming. In the worst cases, our political influence has sealed our own persecution.

Thou Shalt Vaccinate

The latest violent policies that I've seen being promoted by both left and right-leaning Christians are vaccine passports and mandates. The picture below is what a mandate looks like - a woman being beaten when trying to shop without adequate papers.

Christians that want every last person to get vaccinated have one legitimate avenue to achieve that goal - persuasion. Using our political influence to impose our will on others is an unchristian way to use our influence. We do not impose our will with force, using our own swords, or using the sword of the state.

Just as the Jews laid their garments at the feet of Saul when they murdered Stephen, the police will lay down their garments at the feet of those who voted Labour when they enforce the new hate speech laws. You could protest their actions and say that you don't condone their behavior, but who else is to blame for putting them in power? Did they not say they would do this before you voted for them?

Moral Culpability and Repentance

Of course, the extent of the Labour voter's moral culpability is different from Saul's. But to the extent that a vote makes you culpable, you should own it. Labour is currently outlawing Christianity, and whatever pragmatic considerations were used to justify your vote, nothing could support your approval for this God-hating regime.

But even if Labour goes as far as Saul, stoning Christians in the streets, God offers forgiveness to those who are culpable through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. Repentance is necessary. I have had to repent for my past political activity. I've been a pragmatic secular voter my whole life up until the last two elections. I'm still learning what it is to be a Christian in the public sphere, and I know that in the future I will need to ask for further forgiveness due to my culpable ignorance.

With all this being said, the Christian's temptation will be to abandon politics altogether. But that kind of neglect would be a different kind of sin. If we are going to love our neighbour, we have to want their freedom from oppressive tyrants. Some things require political solutions. Some things require the ministry of the church. Some things require the ministry of the family. All things need to submit to the good governance of Christ.

The Need For Prayer and Sermons On Voting

For some, this is likely the deepest that you have thought about politics from a Christian perspective. That is a real shame, and it shows that your pastors have not done a good job of giving you the full counsel of God. The Bible is full of direct and implicit teachings on these things, and we as a Church are suffering for our ignorance. This is where the battles are hottest in our culture, and we need the counsel of God in this area more than ever.

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."

Proverbs 14:34

We have had been murdering our babies, enforcing oppressive lockdowns, prohibit righteous work, printing money and diluting our currency, indebting future generations, stripping people of medical choice, and are soon to prohibit Christian conversion. Our sin is a reproach to our people. We must stand for righteousness and ask God to pour out His Spirit on this nation. God is our only hope. It looks as though we will be dashed into pieces by Christ's rod of iron before we see revival (Psalm 2). But whatever is coming our way, we know that God will preserve His faithful through it all. And we can have confidence that everything He does will ultimately serve the advancement of His Kingdom.


If you would like to have some resources recommended to you regarding Christianity and politics, feel free to message me. No doubt I'll be addressing this topic further in the future.

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