F. Earle Fox
United States membership in the United Nations has posed a significant problem for Christians, both as Christians and as Americans. Christians have a problem because they already have a higher allegiance to God, specifically to the Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, an allegiance rejected by the UN (and by every secular liberal democracy, the United States included).
Wariness on the part of Christians is understandable, but Christians often see world government as wrong on any terms. Most are surprised, and recoil, at the suggestion that Christians should be strongly for, not opposing, a world government, and sometimes panic at the very thought of world government, even under Jesus.
That is partly because Christians do not understand that "Jesus is Lord" is a political statement, not just a "spiritual" one. Caesar would never have persecuted the Christians had they meant it only as a "spiritual" claim, with no implications for civil government. He knew perfectly well that they meant lord over him. Jesus would have been welcomed in the pagan pantheon as "one of the fellows" -- but not as King of kings and Lord of lords. We have returned to the same pagan pluralism today.
The idea of a world government was stolen by Satan from God. Satan would like to rule the world, but he is too late. Jesus is already appointed Ruler. So the best Satan can do is persuade us to be disloyal to God and vote ourselves in as the rulers -- which he did in the Garden of Eden.
But falling for that lie removes the necessary support given by the law and grace of God, and de facto makes Satan ruler over us. It puts us inevitably under the influence and control of the world, the flesh, and the devil (the unholy trinity) because, no longer dependent on God, we will have lost our spiritual integrity, that is, our ontological and moral independence from the world. We become dependent on the world for our security of being and for (the illusion of) a moral standard, things only God can give. We thus become subject to the forces of the "closed circle" cosmos, the world without God. We get drawn into the worldly power struggle to maintain at least a semblance of our own personal identity and independence.
It would thus be political and personal insanity for a free people knowingly to submit to a God-denying world government. Such a government will always drift toward tyranny ruled by an elite. There is no possibility in a world without God of maintaining the freedoms we have in a democratic republic. We will either be conquered by force, or we will sooner or later vote away our freedom to purchase an illusory security. This is precisely what is happening in the West as we chip away at our Biblical foundations. We are slowly voting ourselves into a tyranny -- from which we will not be able to vote ourselves out.
Christians must both display and market God's version of civil government.
If God is sovereign, then, as the American Declaration of Independence states, we have our freedoms from God, not from civil government. The role of civil government is then to administer those freedoms (and therefore those laws) already granted by God. Chinese rebels some years ago in the Tienaman Square revolt held up that Declaration.
America is being seduced into a world-government which has no legality or legitimacy because we do not know how to present publicly and reasonably the claims of God on His creation. It is not true, as almost universally assumed (even among Christians) that the Biblical case has no intellectual credibility. It has far more intellectual and moral credibility than the secular/pagan choice. Christians must learn how to stand on the ground of the law of God, not allow secular critics persuade us that there is no such thing, and that the secular way is the only way.
Few Christians today know how to talk about Jesus in public. We do not know how to address a culture which considers itself "pluralistic". Christians rarely understand Godly pluralism, and how God commands the very kind of free government that most people want. God is the Best Friend, not Worst Enemy, of a free people. The essential bondage is the Fall, which brings necessarily fallen government, and liberation was His idea from the beginning. It cost the King the crucifixion.
Christians have let the "other side" dictate the terms, defined as secular liberal democracy (which turns out to be neither liberal nor democratic) concerning the separation of church and state and the alleged irrelevance of the law of God to such matters.
If we continue to let them define the terms of the debate, they will surely win. If we begin with secular assumptions, there should be no surprise at arriving at secular conclusions. Christians have done that for nearly two centuries because we did not know how to defend our own Biblical foundations, and so have been chased from the public arena -- unless we appropriately secularize our speech.
If we do not stand on the moral (and therefore political) authority of God, we will be reduced to the secular level. And there, the winner is not the one with fact, logic, or moral rightness, but the one with the most power or the most capacity to deceive and manipulate. There is no possibility of secure moral consensus because there is no objectivity to any moral claim, and therefore none also to any political claim. We will have given up the only solid and objective moral (and therefore political) ground there is. All other ground is sinking sand.
We must therefore force the other side to grapple honestly with the claims of God. Truth and righteousness have no solid ground upon which to stand apart from the law and grace of God. Everything dissolves into relativism and power struggle. So Christians dare not desert their own ground, treating their faith as intellectually bankrupt, or God as a non-entity who cannot prove His own case.
Many Americans resist world government because of the potential threat to national identity and sovereignty. However, the real threat for Americans is not the loss of sovereignty to international powers, but rather that we have already, right here at home, lost sight of the principles of the federal republic which our forefathers gave us. We do not know any longer how to administer a free government even in America, let alone in the world. We are increasingly giving wrongful authority to federal, state, and local control. And we are exporting secular liberal democracy, not a democratic republic under God.
If God is not in charge, civil government will be -- and everything civil government does, it does at gunpoint. Government, as George Washington said, is not eloquence, it is not reason, it is force. That is why the founding fathers insisted on limiting it to its rightful areas. We will be ruled by the Bible or by the bayonet. And we have given up on the Bible.
We have thus so badly compromised our own freedom that we do not know how to transfer free-government principles to other peoples. Secular liberal democracy is not a democratic republic under God. Because all authority comes from God, secular governments can have only power, no authority. They can threaten and coerce, but not command in the moral sense. They are under no law higher than themselves, and so must create the illusion of being able to make law on their own. But they can make only coercion, not law -- which implies moral legitimacy.
The problem, therefore, with secular liberal democracy is that a genuinely freedom-honoring government cannot be had apart from God. A God-less world has no moral foundation upon which to base political obligation for freedom (or anything else). So secular liberal democrats are insisting on a political freedom which cannot be had apart from a theological reality they are unwilling to grant. Only if God mandates our freedoms are they inalienable because no source other than God has the authority to impose obligations or to grant freedoms. Freedoms granted by civil government can be, and routinely are, removed.
So we must stand on the intellectual, moral, and spiritual high ground at the only place it exists -- with God.
Christian Americans should be advertising their government as a part of the Gospel -- freedom under Lord Jesus Christ. We should point out that political freedom apart from Christ is always at risk because it is without the backing of the moral law. Apart from the command of God, there is no obligation to honor the freedom of anyone at all.
We should be saying to the world: We will join a world government which is based on the freewill covenant principles of a democratic republic under God, and no other -- and we reserve the right to secede from any form of government that violates those principles.
That is the meaning of retaining national (or state) sovereignty. Only a tyrant will deny that freedom.
If America is to market freedom to other peoples, America must return to the original Constitutional vision of a freewill federal covenant, out of which members can, with good reason, secede. God Almighty requires a freewill covenant for entry into His Kingdom. Government by God is the model for all human government. We dare not require harsher standards for entry into our own.
If federal America will not honor local state sovereignty among its constituents, we have little ground to expect it in the family of nations. (Note: The Chinese communists have used the American civil war as justification for their designs on Taiwan.)
It is irrational to put ourselves under the lordship of a secular/pagan government which cannot supply either spiritual or political freedom (they go together) when we have a Lord who can and does supply both.
That will draw the line in the sand and force a choice, but we can say to the world that we do indeed know what freedom is about, and we are willing to share that with others. It will mean a fearful spiritual, and perhaps military, battle here in America, to rid ourselves of totalitarian forces which have come close to capturing our culture. But we have no choice. There is only one way to freedom.
World government is inevitable. There is no way to avoid having one. Just as the "wild west" had to be tamed, and just as the internet will be tamed, so also the global village will have to be tamed. I.e., there will have to be some legitimate way of adjudicating between disputing parties on the international scene just as on the personal scene, or the corporate scene, or the interstate scene. The issue is not whether? but how soon?, and by what means?
So merely fulminating against the world government toward which the morally and politically bankrupt UN is certainly heading us only makes us look unrealistic and foolish. We should also be taking the lead toward a global government -- but in Biblical terms. That would include the freedom to proclaim Jesus as Lord, and the freedom to reject that claim. But it would require a government based on a moral/political structure under God.
As Christians learn how to handle these issues reasonably, they will then be standing openly and justly for Jesus Christ as King and Lord. People will disagree, which is legitimate. And that may bring persecution. But such a stand will set people free, both personally and politically. And, in the end, faithful believers will win because God holds the intellectual, moral, and spiritual high ground.
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