Something to Consider, Part 3

This blog continues the politics and religion discussion.
  • The first blog asked the question, should religion or utilitarianism legislate politics?
  • The second blog reviewed multiple religions and established two ideas: morality exists in each religion, and religion provides guidelines for its adherents.
  • The third blog examines the history of politics in Christianity because Christians are the loudest when it comes to US politics.
First, my disclaimer:  The views expressed in this blog are my own personally. They do not represent the views of any one faith, creed, church, denomination, sect, religion, etc. I hope to keep this blog as objective as possible, but with religion, I believe, for most people, it can be subjective. While I hold strong to my beliefs, I still try to remain objective in my blogs.

Further, in my attempt at objectivity, I am choosing a liberal definition of Christianity: Anyone who claims to be a Christian fall in this category.
First Leader
The first time we see mention of a leader is in Exodus when God establishes himself as king of his people (Exodus 15:16-18; 23:23). As a heavenly leader, he didn't need land, servants, or livestock. He didn't require taxes to pay for his upkeep. All he required was that His people be obedient and in return, God would lead them, defend them, and provide for their needs. Nevertheless, the people of Israel demanded a different leader.
A King
In the book of Deuteronomy, a prophet revealed the people would ask God for a king (Deuteronomy 17:14). In the book of 1 Samuel, this happens. The people ask Samuel to pray to God and beg for a king because everyone else has one. They wanted to be like everyone else (1 Samuel 8:1-22). God speaks through Samuel the "cost" of having a king, but the Israelites don't care. They replace their heavenly king for an earthly king. They demand a man as their leader rather than infallible, omniscient, and omnipresent God. Yes, God, appointed by a prophet, would select their king but of all the kings of Judah and Israel, only nine were "good". David was a "good" king, but he slept with another man's wife and killed her husband. Did God want to show the Israelites man is fallible and God is not? God requires the ultimate obedience, trust, and faith; and not an earthly king or leader. Paul in Romans, chapter 3, reiterates this fact for both Christians and Jews.
Consequences of a King
With man as the leader, God's people suffered many repercussions: From the destruction of the Jewish temple to the diaspora and the capture of the Jewish people by empires. In the Christian world, kings claimed Christianity to meet their needs. Monarchs united with the pope and directed the seven crusades. Kings and emporors led all God's people now, continuing the Jews's demand for an earthly king.
Enter the United States
Let's move to America's discovery and government establishment. America's first immigrants sought a shorter trade route. Later, some emigrated, escaping a controlling government. Ironic, isn't it? Many Christians left their home because they didn't like their king (similar to what every other nation had) and wanted a government with no king (one different from what every other nation had). Still, God's people wanted to be managed by men. A representative government, elected by the people, created laws and judged people according to those laws. This government instituted freedom of religion. They didn't adopt any national religion, ensuring all people could worship as they chose. Christians expected representatives to reflect their values and to pass laws matching their beliefs. Exchanging one leader for a representative government created more conflict with increased immigration, but Christians maintained their freedom meant a leader sharing their beliefs.
Present Politics
Like the original immigrants, both Christian and non-Christians live in the US. Assume all citizens appreciate their freedom to worship as they choose. Unlike the Jewish people, once separated from all other people, US is a meltingpot of people of all cultures and all religions. Jews demanded an earthly leader, and we continue that practice. Can Christians and Jews reject their earthly leader for their heavenly leader or demand their earthly leader to act as their heavenly leader?
I'll answer this question in my next blog.
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