Watch This!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Theologically Sound Politics

In light of the upcoming election and the fact that I've kinda struggled over whether or not I felt right about voting at all, I wanted to go ahead and post a thought that I had after reading an old Baptist confession from 1644.

Keep in mind that the men who wrote this confession didn't have the privilege that we in America have to take part in the process by which our leaders are appointed. They also had much more to lose than we do if the wrong person came to power; they had to worry about their lives while we worry about much more self centered things. This being said, they still had a Biblical attitude and outlook on the situation no matter who got in the office.

My questions when sharing this are:
1. Do we have the same attitude?
2. Do we believe that God is totally sovereign in the whole process?
3. Will we be content with whatever God brings about in this election?
4. Do we trust God with the outcome?
5. Will we submit to the authority (when it doesn't compromise our obedience to our God)?
6. Will we pray for the salvation of our leaders and our safety when they get there?

Well, here's the section of the confession that inspired me to write this. I really pray that we can have the same mind that they did on Wednesday morning no matter what God gives us...


That a civil Magistracy is an ordinance of God set up by God for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well; and that in all lawful things commanded by them, subjection ought to be given by us in the Lord: and that we are to make supplication and prayer for Kings, and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a peaceable and quiet life in all godliness and honesty.


The supreme Magistracy of this Kingdom we believe to be the King and Parliament freely chosen by the Kingdom, and that in all those civil Laws which have been acted by them, or for the present is or shall be ordained, we are bound to yield subjection and obedience unto in the Lord, as conceiving ourselves bound to defend both the persons of those thus chosen, and all civil Laws made by them, with our persons, liberties, and estates, with all that is called ours, although we should suffer never so much from them in not actively submitting to some Ecclesiastical Laws, which might be conceived by them to be their duties to establish which we for the present could not see, nor our consciences could submit unto; yet are we bound to yield our persons to their pleasures.


And if God should provide such a mercy for us, as to incline the Magistrates' hearts so far to tender our consciences, as that we might be protected by them from wrong, injury, oppression and molestation, which long we formerly have groaned under by the tyranny and oppression of the Prelatical Hierarchy, which God through mercy hath made this present King and Parliament wonderful honorable, as an instrument in his hand, to throw down; and we thereby have had some breathing time, we shall, we hope, look at it as a mercy beyond our expectation, and conceive ourselves further engaged forever to bless God for it.


But if God withhold the Magistrates' allowance and furtherance herein; yet we must notwithstanding proceed together in Christian communion, not daring to give place to suspend our practice, but to walk in obedience to Christ in the profession and holding forth this faith before mentioned, even in the midst of all trials and afflictions, not accounting our goods, lands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, brethren, sisters, yea, and our own lives dear unto us, so we may finish our course with joy: remembering always we ought to obey God rather than men, and grounding upon the commandment, commission and promise of our Lord and master Jesus Christ, who as he hath all power in heaven and earth, so also hath promised, if we keep his commandments which he hath given us, to be with us to the end of the world: and when we have finished our course, and kept the faith, to give us the crown of righteousness, which is laid up for all that love his appearing, and to whom we must give an account of all our actions, no man being able to discharge us of the same.


And likewise unto all men is to be given whatsoever is their due; tributes, customs, and all such lawful duties, ought willingly to be by us paid and performed, our lands, goods, and bodies, to submit to the Magistrate in the Lord and the Magistrate every way to be acknowledged, reverenced, and obeyed, according to godliness; not because of wrath only but for conscience sake. And finally, all men so to be esteemed and regarded, as is due and meet for their place, age, estate and condition.

LII. [sic]

And thus we desire to give unto God that which is God's, and to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to all men that which belongeth unto them, endeavoring ourselves to have always a clear conscience void of offence towards God, and towards man.

...and thanks to Phil Johnson for having this confession readily available on his blessing of a website, Go check it out!

No comments:

Dramatized Exegesis