Everyone has a worldview. Christian or secular atheist, both come at issues with a core set of beliefs (clearly defined or culturally assumed, they exist) that inform them in their decision making processes. If a person’s work is to shape and govern a nation’s law, he should do so from his own genuine conviction, be they religious or not. The Christian should not limit Christ’s Lordship to his personal life, never challenging the laws established by unbelieving world-views. Engage the presuppositions, debate the standards for each law, challenge the consistency of truth claims…doing so requires speech, and speech will influence.
As a Christian, I believe Jesus Christ is the uncreated Maker of heaven and earth and is currently the Lord of the nations forevermore. God has revealed himself to man in nature through His creation, sent His Son to earth to redeem a people for Himself, and has spoken to His creatures in scripture; a core message in scripture is that everyone is accountable to Him. God is perfectly holy, loving, just and unchanging. Such core beliefs drive my worldview. Where God has spoken, I’m to obey and encourage others that obedience to God is a good and holy thing, however culturally offensive that may be. Since I trust in God’s goodness, I bow the knee to his revelation regarding life, marriage, and sexual morality. If I truly believe God’s design is good not just for me but for everyone who would follow after him, I ought to plead with others to do the same…I’m actually commanded to.
When it comes to faith and politics, there are helpful distinctions in scripture that Christians ought to remember when treading these waters. For instance, those in the church are to judge members from within the church according to the standards Christ has redeemed those members into. A Christian cannot expect an unbeliever to desire to bend the knee to Christ, indeed scripture says an unbeliever cannot truly follow Christ unless he be born again. We are to expect obedience from those who claim the name of Christ, but call those who do not to the faith once for all handed down to the saints.
There is no forcing someone into Christianity in scripture, the only way in is through God’s sovereign grace. God has commanded obedience to the nations yet grants it to His church alone. The church is called to proclaim repentance and faith in Christ alone to every person in every culture; the church and all her members are subordinate to the law of Christ before the laws of men. If by God’s common grace political power can be influenced such that it aligns more with God’s created order and His revelation, then his blessing is upon that land. History and scripture is a good teacher however that such blessings are temporary; man loves darkness and God withdraws his blessings from the land that spurns him. I’m convinced by scripture that no culture this side of judgement day will fully honor God in their government, for unbelievers are naturally opposed to His reign. For the Christian, the law of Christ commands obedience to the rulers of the land until those laws violate obedience to scripture. The inevitable result historically is persecution against those who do not compromise their Christian convictions.
How is a man, who’s conscience is held captive by God’s revelation, to withhold his speech on any given subject in any given theater of vocation or practice? Even in political office? Does not the secular atheist also have passionate convictions, creeds, and presuppositions by which they argue their position and derive their agenda? I say we must allow them both have their place in government, in school, in sport, in society. Let’s not send our representatives or our children into an echo chamber. Seems to me that Christians have by and large allowed the secular worldview go unchallenged for too long; this article sparks some hope for those of us who bow the knee to Christ and trust wholly in His goodness.