Christianity is not, nor can it be, utopian. This is due simply to the fact that Christianity is a belief that humans, both as individuals and a species, are separated from God through a sinful nature. According to holy writ the wages of sin is death and, in their mortal state, humans require salvation from eternal judgment through blood sacrifice. That blood sacrifice was paid once and for all by Jesus’ death on the cross.
Not only was the mission of Christ offered by God as a remedy from the blight of human nature, but the entire Bible is a record of failure brought by human works. This flawed record begins in Eden. It was amplified in the flood of Noah and continued into Babel. It followed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as they attempted to put their stamp on God’s plan for establishing his own chosen race.
God’s efforts to provide a select land for His chosen people were further inhibited by the disobedience, idolatry and cowardice of those subjects. After God allowed them to occupy the land chosen for them, they proceeded to neglect the commands God made to occupy their land, subjected themselves to continual war, allowed their leaders to indulge in various self aggrandizing pursuits and devote the country to destructive war and alliances.
It did not take many years for Israel to pass from God’s protection to a divided and prostrate gathering of people living in a land ripe for the taking by any and every nation that could dispatch an army. Along the way those who were born into God’s chosen bloodline were busy violating his moral restrictions, killing or torturing those who spoke for Him, and finding ways to make themselves appealing to their various captors.
Later, according to those who kept the records of the early Christian Church, followers of the new way established by Jesus Christ were troubled by greed, heresy, carnality, and factionalism. All the while those attracted to the new beliefs were persecuted as a threat to the various governments and economic systems that demanded absolute fealty.
Consequently, the heaven so sought for by all of us is, according to the Bible, only available after we die–or until God returns to cleanse the world with His final judgment. Utopians, however, believe that perfection can be achieved during this existence if only we apply the right formula. Such a belief is not dissimilar to the Serpent’s appeal to Eve in the Garden that, to paraphrase, we can all be as gods.
It, therefore, should be of no small concern to Christian supporters of President Bush that he has verbalized utopian faith in the purifying influences of democracy. “If the peoples of (the Middle East) are permitted to choose their own destiny,” so declared the President at the 20th anniversary celebration of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on October 6, “and advance by their own energy and by their participation as free men and women, then the extremists will be marginalized, and the flow of violent radicalism to the rest of the world will slow, and eventually end.”
The President’s trust in the salvific influences of democracy is, by no means, limited to a single speech this past October. During his inaugural address this past January, which was little more than an ode to freedom, he declared, “So, it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” More recently, on December 14 at The International Trade Center in Washington, as part of a concentrated PR campaign to rally public support for the war in Iraq he said, “I strongly believe a democratic Iraq is a crucial part of our strategy to defeat the terrorists, because only democracy can bring freedom and reconciliation to Iraq, and peace to this troubled part of the world.”
For Christians to embrace President Bush in spite of his unrepentant faith in an utopian world founded upon democratic practices is a clear departure from Biblical and historical fact as well as from Christian doctrine regarding human depravity. The President’s democratic utopianism is not his only departure from the application of Christian restraint on the exercise of power. His decision to invade Iraq was preceded by a public campaign to persuade the country to support it. The moral quandary this should cause Christians is that the campaign was based upon false intelligence that some have claimed proves administrative incompetence at best and bold prevarication at worse.
Government and military officials, under the President’s authority, have violated laws regarding torture, leaking the names of covert intelligence agents, and the issuance of unauthorized wiretaps on American citizens. Furthermore the agenda of the President and his party not only violates Constitutional limits the power of the federal government, but defies principles the president’s party claimed to support during its march to win governing majorities in Congress and in most of the state legislatures throughout the country.
Note need be made of the fact that although candidates supported by Christian voters are clearly in an ascendancy in America’s political power structures, Christian influence over the culture seems to be receding to a low ebb. Families continue to break apart under moral and financial strain, personal debt is spiraling out of control, and non marital sexual conduct is the national pastime. In the meantime the government that has been established by Christian activism is accelerating the deficit spending that is ruining the currency, and embracing trade, labor, and immigration policies that is destroying America’s middle class families and work ethic.
During his aforementioned speech to the NED, President Bush also declared, “By standing for the hope and freedom of others, we make our own freedom more secure.” Someone should make the president aware that both our freedom and security are under continual threat of humans who fall to the temptation to use their power for personal purposes.
Bob Strodtbeck has been writing commentaries for The Apopka Chief, a news weekly circulated in a community ten miles north of Orlando. His analyses investigate a wide range of topics from what he calls a “Christian pragmatic” view – that is to say, he considers that human interactions are largely driven by the human instinct toward self-service, which is traditionally known as sin. This perspective has given Bob great liberty to criticize governmental officials from both parties upon the standards of constitutional laws they swear to uphold and review cultural and economic phenomena from moral standards defined in the Bible. Bob currently lives in Orlando with his bride Pam and children Charlotte and Richard. He may be reached for comment here.
Back to The Covenant News
Covenant News | Pro-Life News | Freedom of Speech | Politics | Aboms.com | Family Topics