Monday, March 22, 2010

No Utopia on Earth

It is important for Christians to view politics in the light of Genesis three. No system, whether Dictatorship, Republic, or Democracy, is free from the corrupting influence of sin. Men are sinners. As a result all political structures in this fallen world are doomed to ultimate failure.

At the end of the 18th century Alexander Fraser Tyler (1742-1813) wrote the following insightful comment. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government…It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” (Quoted by Richards, in Money, Greed, and God, pg 107-08).

We are witnessing the fulfillment of Tyler's prophecy. We have discovered how to vote ourselves money from the public treasury, and there is not enough to satisfy our lusts, so we borrow.  The "each person for himself" mentality is destroying us. Each congressional district wants money from the federal government, and we are willing to take it with little thought for the good of the country.

Meanwhile the national debt is $40,000 for each man, woman, child even while the income per capita is down in the $21,000 range. At 5% we pay $2,000 interest on the federal debt for every person in America, and the debt is growing. A family of five would need to pay $10,000 in income taxes just to cover the interest on our debt.

All of this portends a less than desirable future. In this environment national wealth cannot continue to grow and the freedoms that we so cherish will diminish.

As Christians how should we react? We should put our hope in God and the world to come. All of this is God's judgment on a faithless culture and a self-centered church. There will be a utopia, but it will not be this side of the resurrection. God will create "New Heavens and Earth," and there righteousness, not greed, will reaign supreme.

4 comments:

  1. I might mention that the quote attributed to Tytler cannot be found in his work. It has also been attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville. Great quote though, whoever wrote it. See http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Alexander_Fraser_Tytler

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  2. It may not be a popular message, but the slaying of the American civil idols of prosperity and freedom may be really good for the soul.

    It is kinda a beautiful thing that lies always do lead to what they lead to, and in defeating themselves they testify to the truth.

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  3. Very encouraging!
    Thank you for your insights Bill.

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  4. “We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be” C.S Lewis

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