The BvO™

My First Letter to the Crown Editor:

Esteemed Editor,

In the previous issue of The Crown, an article was printed entitled "Christians Should Not Vote for Earthly Governments." I would like to take a moment to address some of the more heretical points crowded into this piece.

Initially I thought the crux of the problem was with labelling politics as a "sinful corruption" rather than a legitimate sphere. If politics is merely a corruption, then what is it a corruption of? Using the author's analogy of the sex trade: if prostitution is a corruption of loving relations between spouses, then there is a positive, normative relationship that is being perverted - that of faithful committed marriage. Again I ask, what is earthly political activity a reflection of?

As I read and reread the article though, I realized that there was something else - something deeper - that was wrong. This deeper problem is buried in the sixth paragraph, where the author claims that God (Yahweh, Creator of the World, Holder of all the Cards) "has instituted many things in our fallen world that are 'necessary evils' but are not valid components of the cosmic law-order* that God established at creation." As Christians called to kingdom work, how do we know what to battle - the "real evils" in the world that sin has introduced, or the "necessary evils" that God has introduced? Does the above actually require refutation? Am I taking crazy pills here?

But there's more! So much more!

"All the rulers who have ever existed, including Nero, Hitler and even Satan, were legitimately in office in the sense that God had preordained their actions and achieved His purposes through them. God's master plan for history could not have been carried forward if they hadn't played their respective roles."

Apparently either A) God's good and perfect plan for the world includes homicide, genocide, and all other nasty things or B) God needs people to commit these heinous crimes in order to bring about His end. Another way of putting it, God is either spiteful or weak. I'll move on.

In the very next paragraph, it is claimed that earthly government is wrong because it hinges on the use of force. The author rightly points out how a state is impotent without force to both enforce its laws internally and to protect itself from external aggression. This use of force, we're told, is "to be completely rejected by Christians."

One very salient conclusion the reader might draw from the article then is that Hitler ought not have been opposed by force. The good example of the surrounding nations, and perhaps even his conscience, would have ended - non-violently - his murderous quest to ride Europe of all undesirables.

The author winds down his article claiming that applying one set of rules to political entities (states) and another set of rules to individuals is a dualistic approach. Au contraire! Different spheres have different callings in God's world. Authorities are called to wield the sword so that the individual can be free to live out the peaceful life in Christ that the author promotes. Thanks be to God for creating the potential of a rich and multivarious organization of people on His earth!

It is unfortunate that this venue does not allow sufficient space for an extended discussion on where and why more faithful and critically-thinking people ought to exert their political energies. Suffice it to say: read your newspaper, meet your representative, become a card-carrying party member, and for heaven's sake, VOTE!

Brian vanOosten
Alumnus? Class of 200_?

*(apologies are in order to the good H. Dooyeweerd for the flagrant abuse of his terms)

This post bubbled to the surface on Friday, November 05, 2004

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