Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Christianity at the government level

Welcome back to my blog! We are exploring together what the Bible says about personal wellbeing. In other words, how can the Bible assist you in living a more contented, purposeful life? 

I concluded last week’s blog with the thought that personal service benefits not just the individual serving but the community as well; and this assistance promotes a courteous culture which allows all to pursue their best!

How Christianity influences society remains a controversial topic. I propose that Christianity profits society on two broad levels; first, at the governmental level, and second, in the local and national societal levels. This week we will examine the influence of biblical Christianity at the governmental level.

I emphasize the term ‘biblical Christianity,’ as opposed to the organized hierarchical Church, because the two have different goals and are based on a different set of beliefs.  The former establishes its basis for decision making in the Bible and seeks to follow its precepts while the latter is grounded in certain man made distortions of the Bible.

In fact, the hierarchical church seeks to follow humanistic principles. Certainly it has performed many important functions historically, including especially in the Middle Ages such as:
  • The maintenance of important historical documents for future generations
  • Provision of an organized government and society in many localities
  • The promotion of education and healthcare
  • Secure living arrangements and employment for both men and women
  • Community defense arrangements

However, the hierarchical church’s departure from biblical Christianity from the late Middle Ages onward.  It promoted unhealthy societal trends such as war, oppression, corruption and totalitarianism based in political opportunism, wealth and power. Its forceful influence was from a top-down perspective.

In contrast, biblically based Christianity promotes an organized society, based in the individual, where each person is encouraged to work and provide for their family (II Thessalonians 3:10-12), and to obey the government and pays their taxes (Romans 13:1-7).  Further, each one of us should desire to maintain a good reputation in their work, be non-violent, raise responsible children (I Timothy 3:1-7), be honest (Ephesians 5:9) and do good to all men (Galatians 6:10). We will discuss these characteristics next week but suffice it to say in this blog these characteristics, on an individual level, should promote a societal atmosphere which allows for good and honest government.

Although to my knowledge no good academic, prospective, well controlled study proves or disproves these points, the best evidence of my thesis is an analysis of world history and current society. It is those countries which historically have adhered most closely to biblical Christianity (Northern Europe, the UK and the countries derived from its original colonies) that generally are the most successful economically, enjoy functional non-corrupt government, live in free, organized and efficient societies, promote science and innovation, and fight for justice for those who cannot defend themselves or who are impoverished both inside and outside their own country.

Further, government benefits from a society based in biblical Christianity because it promotes honest, hardworking individuals who minimize the need for government action to maintain order as well as provide a population with individuals of strong character to serve in the armed forces and administration.

The Bible promotes healthy wellbeing not only for the individual but also encourages healthy government and government societal interactions as well!

Thank you for joining me today. Come again next week as we discuss the Bible's benefit to local and national societies.

What was Christianity’s influence on the Roman Empire? To participate in our latest poll question - please visit our website at http://teleiosresearch.com/#anchorpoll

Thank you for joining me today. I welcome your comments and questions.

WC Stewart

These sources contributed to this blog:
Hannah JD. Charts of Modern and Postmodern Church History. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015.

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