Monday, August 27, 2007

W2K Part Four: The Impracticability of the Alternative

For the sake of continuing the argument for the doctrine of the two kingdoms (though I'm disappointed at the lack of biblical arguments to the contrary), I will concede, for one post and one post only, that there is only one kingdom, and that the Church and State are to work together to see God's kingdom realized.

Let's examine how this would work practically....

First of all, if the State's precepts must come exclusively from Scripture rather than from natural law, what better place to start than the Ten Commandments? Let's begin with the first one (you know, the one about how it is illegal to worship any other God but Yahweh).

If, as critics of two kingdoms theology insist, our faith must not be bracketed (since Jesus rules every square inch of the universe), then the first commendment must be enforced in the civil sphere, which would effectually bring an end to Mormonism, Catholicism, atheism, and pretty much any other "ism" that fails to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (this may sound to some like a pretty good idea, to which my only response is a shudder).

Secondly, consider this dilemma: If biblical law is intended to be a blueprint for a godly society, then the State must inflict capital punishment on those offenders who commit capital crimes according to the Old Testament. But then, we're also called to "turn the other cheek" in the Sermon on the Mount. And since there aren't two kingdoms but one, the civil magistrate must somehow figure out how to kill people with the sword as well as with kindness.

Finally, since we are called in Philippians to prefer others' needs before our own, then every time we find ourselves at a Stop sign, we must, in obedience to this command, let every other car go before us, until we're the only one left.

(Oh, and you know how in basketball you sometimes do a "pump-fake" to deceive your defender, or how in baseball the manager gives secret signs to the hitter about whether or not to bunt? Well you can just forget about that, they break the ninth commandment).