Elections, Political Parties and an Eternal Hope in a King
We just concluded months—or years, actually—of "your party vs. my party" politics. So I wanted to take this moment to remind my fellow YHWH worshippers that although we have temporal party affiliations, there is a certain political affiliation that is eternal: We are monarchists. This is seen both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, we see a large theme of kingship. Let's divide the Old Testament into three acts. The first act consists of Genesis through Judges. God works to set up an earthly kingdom where he will be king over his chosen nation, Israel. However, the people ultimately rejected him, seen most clearly in 1 Samuel 8:
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him … "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
The second act was in having human kings for Israel. The vast majority of them were failures, and God brought about punishment (either directly or indirectly) for the nation's wicked behavior.
The third act, as we might think of it, is God's promise of a new covenant. This takes place chronologically from the exile, return and rebuilding of Jerusalem (read the story in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). You can also read about the promise of a new covenant (or fulfilled kingdom) in the prophets, though some research might help to identify which prophets spoke during which periods of time (pre-divided kingdom, divided kingdom, exile, etc.). Suffice it to say, through the Old Testament, God wanted to be king over his people.
For Christians, the incarnation of Christ, his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection are the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises (Romans 15:8-12). Some of Jesus's first public words were "the kingdom of Heaven is near." This was a theme in his preaching.
The idea that God's kingdom is here but not yet fulfilled comes from what is called inaugurated eschatology. According to this view, Jesus is already crowned as King. And thus, his statement that "all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18) is because Jesus is the king, and he is currently reigning from his throne.
In sum, those from a Judeo-Christian heritage believe that there already is a king who is lord over our lives. And this king is the true king.
If you've read my previous posts, you know that I think liberals are largely mistaken about how to bring about a prosperous and virtuous society. I also believe from a prima facie read of the Bible that advocating for less government in our current affairs allows us more freedom to serve God as our king.
From a historical perspective, this appears true as well: The larger the size of government, the more restrictive religious freedom is. Consider the size and scope of governments during the 20th century such as the Soviet Union or communist China: the more totalitarian the society, the more anti-theistic the society. Of course, I might be painting with broad strokes, but I'm happy to defend my hypothesis against scrutiny.