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In the World But Not of the World: Ideologies Do Not Rule Us


(Picture sourced from here

Because the Church and State are two separate entities and serve two different functions — the State serving to keep justice in the land, the Church serving to love others sacrificially — Christians can hold different political / economical opinions and yet still work together in the same Kingdom, because the Kingdom is our primary concern.

In Jesus’ day Simon was called a Zealot, which indicates that he held a certain political opinion. Basically, the zealots believed the Romans should be chased out of Israel by brute force.

On the other hand, Matthew was a tax collector, who effectively was working with the Romans and collecting tax for them. It’s easy to see that these two men held two vastly different political opinions, but Jesus calls them to the same Kingdom and they work together for the same end. That’s how the Kingdom works.

Likewise, you may be a socialist and I may be a capitalist. Or, rather, to prevent those ideologies from being our identity (calling you a socialist makes it your identity, which it isn’t) let’s rather say that you may believe a socialist form of government / economics will work, while I believe a capitalist economical system will work for the nation. We may hold extremely different viewpoints politically / economically, but we can work together because we agree on the same things in the Kingdom — we both agree we should love all sacrificially, that we should tell people that God loves them and wants them to know Him.

There are a couple of points that can be highlighted here.

First, neither capitalism or socialism is more biblical than the next, because the New Testament makes no comment on how a country should be run, but more on how a Christian should live. There are some basic principles that a country should do (uphold justice), but there are no detailed policies listed in the New Testament. As I said in my previous post, Christians are called to turn the other cheek, the State is not.

Because neither is more biblical we should never use the Bible to promote a political / economical ideology. Many pro-democracy people, especially some Americans to be honest (I’m not slamming Americans), think that Democracy comes from the Bible, and that the Bible supports democracy, so if they spread democracy they believe they are spreading the Kingdom. But if you check it out there are scriptures to support socialism in the Bible as well, and there are many. The point is that the Bible isn’t interested in these ideologies.

Second, in reference to this, our ideologies do not rule us. We are born into a Kingdom with a King, who is Jesus. HE rules us. He tells us what to do and we do it.

Third, we should never bring these ideologies into the church. Churches must not run like democracies or social governments. They run according to the Kingdom, under one Head, who is Jesus, and work through relationships between those in the church.

So when it comes to how we live we don’t apply the principles of capitalism on how we should handle money. We may believe capitalism is good for the country and good for our business, but it’s not good for our personal lives, and it’s not good for the Church. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. We serve God and Him alone, and we don’t run our personal lives or the church by ideologies like democracy, capitalism, socialism, collectivism, or any other of these types of ideas.

So do you run your personal finances like a capitalist or a Christian? Do you approach your income like a capitalist or a Christian? That’s the challenge for us in South Africa, where capitalism is becoming the culture.

Sorry for the long post. The next post will cover transformation — so how should we affect government / society / politics / economics then? Do we have nothing to do with these? Or do we influence them in some way? And how could we influence them without getting sidetracked and with keeping our focus intact?

About Ryan Peter


Ryan Peter is a writer, journalist and ghostwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes fantasy, sci-fi, inspirational fiction, and on faith. Ryan is also part of the New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI) translocal team.

5 replies
  1. despicable
    despicable says:

    I have always maintained that Marxism is a way to understand the way society changes “SCIENTIFICALLY!”
    My understanding of the “Scientific Method.” is that SCIENTISTS do not believe! They either “KNOW or they DO NOT KNOW!”
    “Belief” is the absence of knowing, and that is why BELIEVERS must rely on FAITH to eliminate doubt from what they believe in.
    Scientists do not have or need FAITH , because their understanding is determined by “EVIDENCE” and the more verifiable evidence that the scientists have, the more probability that the findings of those that use the scientific method is correct.
    Philosophy cannot be an objective understanding of OBJECTIVE REALITY.
    The product of a philosophers abstract thinking. It is primarily not based on the discovery of evidence, but is the inner workings of the philosophers brain. It is SUBJECTIVE NOT OBJECTIVE!
    “DIALECTICS is based on the “PHILOSOPHY of Hegel! But what MARX did with the philosophy of Hegel, was to turn HEGEL’S philosophy on it’s head and turn it into it’s opposite of what it formerly was.
    Marx turned Hegel’s “Dialectic,” from a subjective Metaphysical philosophy of “How many angels could dance on the head of a needle,” to a Objective Materialist Science. A science that became “DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM!”
    Dialectical Materialism is the understanding that Matter is PRIMARY and nothing exists outside of MATTER IN MOTION!
    It is impossible to destroy or create the matter that exists, so the only conclusion that can be scientifically arrived at is that MATTER ALWAYS EXISTED!
    Matter is constantly changing and the way it changes from one form to another form that is incidentally a more evolved form, …is by moving in a DIALECTICAL way that is forced to do so by the irreconcilable contradictions that exist inside of all forms of matter and everything that reflects “MATTER IN MOTION!” 

    When Hegel’s Dialectics was transformed by Karl Marx it was no longer a subjective philosophy. It became an objective SCIENCE!
    Qualitatively different from what it formerly was.

    All true scientists attempt to discover what is objectively true and they attempt to do so by approaching their subject matter with as much of an open mind as is humanly possible.
    To do otherwise would prejuidice their scientific findings and would contaminate what they were scientifically attempting to do.

    Because my understanding of Dialectical Materialism is objective and not subjective.
    It would not be rational for me to BELIEVE in Dialectical Materialism, because It is not an “IDEOLOGY! It is a SCIENCE!
    A Science of understanding of what occurred in the past and what is occurring in the present and consequently what will occur in the future.

    Because it is a scientific understanding. and it is not an “IDEOLOGICAL BELIEF, I cannot believe in what events will happen in the future! … I can SCIENTIFICALLY know what events will happen in the future!
    I know that ‘Socialism will follow Capitalism and that Communism will follow Socialism!
    This is not what I believe, this is what I know!
    SCIENCE is capable of predicting outcome. Science when it understands a particular cause can accurately predict the particular effect of that particular cause.
    Science using the scientific method can accurately predict the future!
    Those that enter the arena to argue that MARXISM is an IDEOLOGY or a PHILOSOPHY is dead wrong and does the science of Marxism a disservice!

    Reply

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