Friday, August 03, 2007

On Neutrality and Commonness

I promise I'll move on eventually, but for now, I just can't let this issue go....

The section on Christendom in the Joint Statement on the Federal Vision states:

"We deny that neutrality is possible in any realm, and this includes the realm of 'secular' politics. We believe that the lordship of Jesus Christ has authoritative ramifications for every aspect of human existence, and that growth up into a godly maturity requires us to discover what those ramifications are in order to implement them."
I'm guessing by "neutrality" the authors have in mind some arrangement that seals off certain aspects of society from any and all divine jurisdiction or influence. To my knowledge, no one believes this (except maybe some eighteenth-century deists I've never met), so I'm not sure who, exactly, our brothers are arguing against here.

On the other hand, there are certain cultural questions that are "common" (though not "neutral"), and are to be tackled by those whose citizenship in the kingdom of man and whose creation in the image of God entitle them to join in the conversation. And yes, this includes Christians and non-Christians.

The problem with denying this -- if that is indeed what the Joint Statement is doing -- is that it places "every square inch" of the civil kingdom under the jurisdiction not just of God as Creator, but of Scripture, of the gospel, and of Christ as Redeemer.

The result of this, in addition to watering down Sola Scriptura to the point of meaninglesness, is a "baptized" version of politics with God's trademark stamped on the brochure. But what if this "Christian worldview" fails to capture the concerns of those sincere believers who don't think that GOP stands for "God's Own Politics"?

What of those believers who are against the present war? What of those who think the free market is a sham? And what of those who simply want to keep their religion free from the partisan bickering that characterizes the culture wars?

Apparently, they won't find refuge in Moscow, ID.