This cuts to the core of what a Christian really is!
Nearly 6,000 years ago, Satan the devil (appearing as a serpent) convinced Adam and Eve to reject God’s rule over their lives (Genesis 3:1-6). That decision set humanity on a course of self-government—apart from God’s guidance and laws. Human history continues to prove that man’s attempts at self-governance do not work.
~ Time Groves, Life Hope & Truth, “The Kingdome of God: A New World Government“
Today are the midterm elections in the United States, and the last minute frenzy of political activity and people “getting out the votes” are everywhere. So, did you vote today? Should you vote today — or ever? Would Christ tell you to go out and vote today?
Herbert W Armstrong observed that the world’s governments had all gone astray. He got back to basics when he began preaching the real Gospel about the Kingdom of God. He acknowledged that a kingdom is a government, and he understood that a kingdom requires 1) a ruler, 2) subjects, 3) land, and 4) laws. He understood that it is God Who is the ultimate authority and king, and the Kingdom of God would be His kingdom rather than the corrupt governments of mankind as influenced by Satan.
Unforunately, he got hung up on government when his focus really should have been on authority. Think about it. The world has experimented with all sorts of forms, that is the outward show, of government. Have any resulted in lasting peace and prosperity? No! As long as human beings focus on the outward man, they never will!
There are several themes that run throughout the Bible, but two touch upon anything and everything you see, touch, feel, believe, perceive or can dream up: 1. Mankind’s problems are a direct result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God’s authority and partaking of the fruit of the forbidden tree. 2. Mankind’s problem is a heart problem, that is where all forms of rebellion start and end, and without changing the heart, there is no entry into God’s Kingdom.
The serpent in the Garden of Eden was not without sin, but did he grab Eve’s wrist and force her to pick a piece of fruit off of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? All he did was tempt her. He placed an idea into her mind, and ideas have consequences, don’t they? He planted a different vision in her mind, and she swallowed that up long before she swalled the fruit! Her sin began in her heart!
15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
We all are supposed to know this verse, but some of you have forgotten it to your shame:
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
~ Jer 17:9
How are human beings, so desperately wicked, supposed to govern themselves? How are they supposed to vote? By a seared conscience?
Todd Friele’s theology is a bit confused, but he makes a good point when he says, “Christians aren’t supposed to make the world a better place to go to hell from.” Yet, isn’t exactly that our attitude when it comes to voting — to make the world a better place? And, just what is a “better place”, anyhow? Is it the liberal view, the conservative view, the communist view, the libertarian view, the …?
Can we make “the world” a better place? Whose world is it?
5 And the devil, taking [Jesus] up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
~ Lk 4:5-6
Just in case the archaic English gets in the way:
6 The devil said, “I will give all this power and glory to you. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.
Whose government should we as Christians be involved in? God’s or Satan’s? Just who are we worshiping when we get involved in worldly politics? After all, who is the god of this world?
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Notice that the Gospel is hidden to those who involve themselves in Satan’s world! Why? They are submitting to his authority, not God’s!
Whenever and whereever people get wrapped up in the world’s politics and the outward show and form of government, whether secular or church related, they are submitting to Satan’s idea of how to run things!
God want each of us to be converted! Jesus called everyone to repent and believe the Gospel, not an overthrow of Roman rule. Jesus did not even mention Roman rule except when He was confronted with questions intended to trap Him.
Why? His focus was on God! His focus was on God’s authority! His focus was on the coming Kingdom of God!
We are now, in this age, called individually to build character by allowing God to rule our lives now. Our lives are one of submission, not of seizing or weilding great power for the most part. God wants humility, not the pompous arrogance displayed in civil and church politics.
Mankind has tried to build “God’s government on earth” over and over again, but there is only one problem: Each and every time it was done with their personal idea of how God would govern! It always falls apart because we cannot rule ourselves, we need God’s Kingdom. Period.
Herbert W Armstrong, unfortunately, forgot that somewhere along the way and tried to make the Church “God’s government on earth”, teaching the primacy of Peter heresy, which is the idolatry of men.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
~ Rev 21:8
That’s a sobering warning! Anything, including the writings of Herbert W Armstrong, that come between us and God is idolatry!
It is time for the Church of God to repent, whether that idolatry is in civil or church politics, and turn back to the truth!