Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thesis 50: The State Does Not Serve God Self-Consciously

Nevertheless,[1] these same “ministers” -- kings and leaders of political (polis-centered) systems -- can also be identified with Satan himself.[2] The “State” is only an unwitting “minister.”[3] By definition, it is impossible for a State (a system of institutionalized violence and revenge) to self-consciously obey God’s Law and serve Christ.[4]

1. #49
2. Isaiah 14:11-15; Ezekiel 28
3. Isaiah 10:7; #94, #83; #78
4. Romans 12:17-21; #81

We have seen that the State is created by those who want to rebel against God's Law, and do not want to be confined to God's approved methods of dealing with social and personal problems.

"The State" is what people who want to steal and kill form, because if they tried to steal and kill as private citizens, public opinion would turn against them. There's no need for "the State" if you're content to use persuasion to raise money for your project. There's no need for "the State" if you intend to leave vengeance to God.

Romans 13 says we are to "submit" to the State because the State serves God's purposes. Many theologians say that if it is not self-consciously trying to obey God's Law, we don't have to "submit," but we can overthrow the State. That's not what the Bible says. It says "the State" serves God's purposes by disobeying God's Law (#48, #49); that no State is obeying God by stealing from people to purchase the instruments of death to take vengeance on enemies, but we are to "submit" to such empires and not to employ violence against them, because God is in control.

"The State" serves God's purposes even while it is busy denying God, defying God, and disobeying God's commandments.

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