Christianity and Democracy

InLove

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Hello Everyone--

I started to post this thread in Politics and Society, but then I realized that my question really is for my Christian brothers and sisters. It is a hard question for me to ask, and if I knew the answer, I would not be asking.

I want to hear your opinions on how one like me, who loves democracy, reconciles what democracy stands for with the Word of God.

I know the answers will be varied, and they will be interesting, and hopefully there will be many. The reason I hope for many responses is so I can consider all of them.

I am truly in a quandry.

InPeace,
InLove
 
Hi InLove,

This is an interesting topic...I will return to reply. But first what do you mean by democracy? Do you mean the type of government we have here in the US?

luna
 
Hey, luna--

Yes--thank you for narrowing that down. That is what I mean.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts when you have time.

InPeace,
InLove
 
Interesting question. But for a more concise answer I'd like to be aware of where the difficulty lies.

In our Democratic Republic that was founded, run and populated mostly by Christians we would all benefit by knowing what your issues are.

Gotta love the concept though...I was raised on not discussing politics and religion in mixed company.
 
open arms to all, peace and safety to all, rights and freedoms to all, giving and assistance to all, freedom of religion and freedom from being ruled by religion. the tricky part is agreeing on what is moral for everyone.
 
Hi wil--

Hmmm...my issues...

Okay--good question. My issue is this: What if the majority in this democracy votes for something I do not think coincides with what I think the Bible says a Christian should accept or practice?

Is that enough?

InPeace,
InLove
 
BlaznFattyz said:
open arms to all, peace and safety to all, rights and freedoms to all, giving and assistance to all, freedom of religion and freedom from being ruled by religion. the tricky part is agreeing on what is moral for everyone.

Sorry, BlaznFattyz--I did not see your response before. Yes, I agree about having all of these things and then agreeing on what is moral. You are right about the tricky part. Thus my quandry. Should democracy be founded on morals--and who's morals? And how should a Christian view all of this when the majority rules against what he or she believes to be instructed from God?

Just an aside--I know this may look like a set-up. If I were reading it, I might think so. But I promise that this is not my intent. It is just something that really bugs me.

I am pretty well-versed in Scripture, but I do tend to see things in ways that may seem unconventional (a little, anyway) to many other Christians. I witness so many divisions in regard to this subject, and I am just trying to find something that helps my thinking on the matter.

InPeace,
InLove
 
Hi again, wil and BlaznFattyz and everyone--

Let me clarify a bit, as I have been reading over my words, and I don't think they are all that clear. It is a hard subject for me.

BlaznFattyz--what I mean to say is that all of the stuff you listed sounds good to me. It sounds like true democracy--even Christianity to a certain extent. But how does the Christian hold forth the idea of democracy when it appears to go against God's Word?

I mean, do any of you think it does?

And wil--I know you would like me to state some specific issues, but the idea for this thread grew out of some of those specific issues that have already been hashed to pieces. I don't see the need to name anything in specific--in fact, in order to find out what I am trying to discern, I think that naming specifics would only distract. Am I making any sense?

InPeace,
InLove
 
those that are leaders are responsible for upholding morality and they will all be held accountable to god for their decisions and actions. to be a leader of a free country such as the u.s. would indeed be very hard because you can't please everybody, and sometimes there is no middle ground. there are issues of abortion, same-sex marriage, death penalty, etc. and your stand on these determines who you are and what you believe in.
having said that, it is absolutely necessary for christians to run for office, and once in office do the very best they can to turn a nation to what would please god. for every law that is passed and direction the country goes, it is a moral issue first, and how much better it is to have god as your foundation and guiding light on these issues.
 
Well, I guess there are two possible courses of action: participation or non-participation.

There is a strong apolitical tradition within many Christian and other religious groups. One can still respect the political institutions, ala Paul, but remain detached from the "world."

OTOH, we have a representative form of government here in the States. Vote for people who will represent your values. Bother your elected representatives so they know the concerns of their constituents. Get politically empowered and work for change.

Imagine the radical changes that could be made if Christians freaked out and pushed with all their might for economic equity, civil rights, hunger eradication, universal excellence in education and health care, and responible eco-values. I mean, really now...WWJD?

Chris
 
Kindest Regards, InLove!

Gotta go with both Blazn and China Cat on this. Especially the part China mentioned about there being "a strong apolitical tradition within many Christian and other religious groups." The problem I see with this is that if one leaves their "fortunes" to "fate" as it were, by distancing themselves from the process, well, they get what they pay for... Besides, while you might complain about the process, if you don't participate your voice is not heard. The US system was basically built upon a series of legal precedents that included, among others, the Ten Commandments (along with the Magna Carta and Greco / Roman democracy and English common law) and a bit of Thomas Paine governmental philosophy. The founders were by far predominantly Christian and Deist.

Now, this is in the representative democracy called the United States. How it is built and functions elsewhere may be modestly different, but I suspect on the whole is pretty much the same, although the religious basis may well be patterned after the cultural norm.

I would add, what is the alternative? A Christian theocracy? (I wince here, history has already shown us how well that went over, and how difficult it was to fix after a thousand years...)
 
juantoo3 said:
Gotta go with both Blazn and China Cat on this. Especially the part China mentioned about there being "a strong apolitical tradition within many Christian and other religious groups." The problem I see with this is that if one leaves their "fortunes" to "fate" as it were, by distancing themselves from the process, well, they get what they pay for... Besides, while you might complain about the process, if you don't participate your voice is not heard.

I would add, what is the alternative? A Christian theocracy? (I wince here, history has already shown us how well that went over, and how difficult it was to fix after a thousand years...)

But isn't it right for us to be apolitical? To just keep to ourselves? If Christianity is about one's relationship with God then politics and the values of society don't matter. What matters is your relationship with God. The rest of the world is none of our business.

Why should we care about what society values? The most important thing is ourselves. It doesn't look like we're going to change much in a hundred years' time. If we do people will simply think it's just another bunch of Christian bigots trying to control society. Why do we act and behave as if we owned Western society? Methinks this isn't our world.

I think there are enough problems in Christian communities. I've heard it said that the divorce rate among Christians is the same as for non-Christians. I guess it's because we're so busy with politics, telling the world and society how to think and behave and pointing figures at people that we've neglected our own families. We think, oh, I'm Christian, I'm so good!!!

A lot of these divorces are among Christian pastors and leaders. And we said we had such high moral standards and family values. Being a pastor or minister is a very boring job. It's a job that can involve a lot of pressure and put a lot of strain on a marriage. Surveys have revealed that at least 15% of pastors actually commit adultery. Some touch people inappropriately (sexually). Some actually have sexual intercourse, have affairs or kiss and make out with members of the opposite sex.

It's not about being apathetic and having a don't-care attitude. It's about us realising that we have our own problems. I don't think we can help the rest of society. I think we should start helping ourselves. What's the point of trying to change the world if we don't have self-respect? Who is going to listen to us?

The early Christians didn't try to change the Roman system of government. They were persecuted by it. Can we be more passive like the early Christians?

A workaholic mentality dominates much of Western society. Getting involved in politics is one example of workaholism. It sure makes life complicated to get involved in politics doesn't it? Do you think we should start looking after our own needs first? Get our house in order first?
 
Hello Everyone--

I started to post this thread in Politics and Society, but then I realized that my question really is for my Christian brothers and sisters. It is a hard question for me to ask, and if I knew the answer, I would not be asking.

I want to hear your opinions on how one like me, who loves democracy, reconciles what democracy stands for with the Word of God.

I know the answers will be varied, and they will be interesting, and hopefully there will be many. The reason I hope for many responses is so I can consider all of them.

I am truly in a quandry.

InPeace,
InLove

Hi InLove,

First we don't have a "democracy" in the purest sense of the concept. We have a Federal Republic based on democratic principles. We rule ourselves by representation. If we lived in a pure democracy, that would amount to "Mob rule", and as such a purely democratic form of government is only good for such, as small groups, like a village of a few hundred people.

Second, the Word of God is specific in our requirements toward following our respective governments, regardless of what kind they are. We are to obey the legal authorities as have been placed over us by God Himself (He puts the governments over us). We are also to get involved with our governments and be active (how else can God make change?).

Third, there may come a time in one's life wherein the Civil government directly conflicts with our religious beliefs and/or faith...that is when the proof is in the pudding. Do we follow civil authorities, or God's authority?...

It's a hard call, and one only the individual can make. There will be ramifications either way...

The object however, is to be involved with civil government in order to help make change (if we are tools for God to use, what good are we if we sit in a box, safe and sound, and useless to God?)

Case in point: Planned Parenthood gets $250,000,000 from the federal government each year, yet PP accounts for assisting with 20-25% of the abortions in the United States, each year. That is my tax dollars helping to fund the ending of new life...do I stop paying taxes?

No. I'd get involved with lobyists, and litigators who are vying to stop such tax dollars from going towards something I am against.

If my representitive is not of the same mind as me, I vote for the other guy/gal who does see as I see.

Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasars, and unto God what is Gods...many subtle bilines in that statement, don't you think? ;)

v/r

Joshua
 
...the Word of God is specific in our requirements toward following our respective governments, regardless of what kind they are. We are to obey the legal authorities as have been placed over us by God Himself (He puts the governments over us). We are also to get involved with our governments and be active (how else can God make change?).
i agree.
 
I just wanted to stop by and say "thanks" for all the responses. I see that a great deal of thought has been put into them, and I appreciate it very much. I am mulling all these things over, and I've got some things to do this weekend, but I will post again soon. In the meantime, I hope the thread continues to expand. I can use all the help I can get!:)

(Q--I like your new avatar)

InPeace,
InLove
 
I think a lot depends on the eschatological leanings and the identity establishing mechanisms of one's sect. If now is the time of the end, and the whole world including the political institutions are in the grip of Satan heading for the final showdown, then it makes sense to withdraw from participating in a lost cause. Many sects, especially relatively new one's have established a group identity based on being the "remnant church", or only true holder of the truth. In that context the group control mechanisms employed take on an isolationist tone.

Chris
 
I just wanted to stop by and say "thanks" for all the responses. I see that a great deal of thought has been put into them, and I appreciate it very much. I am mulling all these things over, and I've got some things to do this weekend, but I will post again soon. In the meantime, I hope the thread continues to expand. I can use all the help I can get!:)

(Q--I like your new avatar)

InPeace,
InLove

Why, thankyou. I found it all by my self (this time) :D

v/r

Joshua
 
I think a lot depends on the eschatological leanings and the identity establishing mechanisms of one's sect. If now is the time of the end, and the whole world including the political institutions are in the grip of Satan heading for the final showdown, then it makes sense to withdraw from participating in a lost cause. Many sects, especially relatively new one's have established a group identity based on being the "remnant church", or only true holder of the truth. In that context the group control mechanisms employed take on an isolationist tone.

Chris

Chris,

The world will end when God says it will end...not one second before or after. And the last time I checked, He didn't exactly give us a time line...so we continue on each day, trying to make the best of what we have.

We plan for tomorrow, but live today as if it is the last day...(in this Mee, Dor, FS, Thomas and I agree).

Can't go wrong living each day as if it is the last (Carpe Diem)! :D

v/r

Joshua
 
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