Christian Public Engagement – Reformation Restraint… Cautious Because of Our Callousness, Suspicious of Puritan, Utopian Absolutism
Oh, there is so much to be angry about today it seems, right? Everyone thinks that they have the answers that will make everything better, or do we? When it comes to radical changes, a Two-Kingdom citizen probably will be hesitant at first. Why? Well, there’s that teaching that God is at work in the world in the Left-hand Kingdom, even through people who might not be believers in Him. Crazy, right? Not really. When you understand, what God is doing through His Left-hand Kingdom, you can understand how He can even use “sinful, unbelieving” people to keep things relatively peaceful and temporally just. There are people right now who are doing a “good” job in their vocations as politicians, police, entrepreneurs, business people, even fathers and mothers, whose “heart may not be totally in it,” but they know they need to do the right thing for others in their work. Is that optimal? No. But God can even work through that to keep a nation, a community, or even just a neighborhood from imploding.
In Romans 13, the Bible teaches a basic relationship to all authority that is honoring, holding it in respect. It is not “absolute,” for the Bible teaches that when such authority, which is under God’s Left-hand Kingdom rule, oversteps its boundaries or teaches something contrary to the fundamental teaches of the Bible (see Acts 5:29), the Apostle Peter teaches that “we must obey God rather than men.” But even here it is not with a rebellious heart, but a heart that wants what is best for others as well as oneself. Reformation Restraint is the belief that God is at work in the world, and He is ultimately seeking the best for each person. Jesus himself tells us that “all authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to Him. Restraint, even if it becomes proper resistance in time, eager waits to see what God is up to first. Count on it.