Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Political Temptation

When Christians become interested in politics, is it always too powerful a god that eventually overthrows them and takes over their religious belief?


Grim said...

The Medieval answer is that it is proper to order the state to uphold Christian moral values, but that the actual religious function should remain segregated: “Lords Spiritual and Temporal.” There could be other answers that approach the problem without completely yielding to the idea that political power should be wielded by non-Christians.

Of course, the hermitage approach is available. If it leads to an oppressive state that martyrs believers, well, martyrdom is supposed to be desirable according to scripture.

Christopher B said...

I think the greater temptation, as C.S. Lewis eluded to in the "those who torment us for our own good" quote, is to sincerely believe that what we identify as Christian virtues should be put in place because of our superior moral understanding.

james said...

Aristotle called politics the greatest of the sciences, or something like that.

It offers the promise of more power than pretty much anything else, and since it is pretty much always turned to deplorable ends, it is obviously in most need of my guidance. So yes, it is a terribly seductive idol. Second only, perhaps, to reforming religion--which is typically also in desperate need of reform.