Christian Fundamentalism and Government

In the light of my last post on the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan’s universities, I found this article at Ed Brayton’s blog on the influence of John Eidsmore on Michele Bachmann’s thinking and the potential for a theocracy in the US.

Right Wing Watch is doing a great job of researching the ideas of John Eidsmoe, Michele Bachmann’s former law professor who, by her own admission, was such a huge influence on her. And it turns out the guy is a genuine Christian Reconstructionist who wants America to be a theocracy. He even quotes RJ Rushdoony, the godfather of Reconstructionism, demanding a “full scale offensive” to take over the nation and impose Christianity by force of law.

Brayton references this article at Right Wing Watch where they quote Eidsmore.

God’s Word has a lot to say about government, about crime and punishment, about abortion, about national defense, about war and peace, about the many political issues that face us daily. Paul declared that he had ‘not shunned to declare unto all the counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27). The fundamentalist who refuses to preach or consider what God’s Word has to say about politics is not declaring the whole counsel of God and has a serious gap in his ministry. R. J. Rushdoony put it well when he said,

Man must exercise dominion in the name of God, and in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness…. The world, moreover, cannot be surrendered to Satan. It is God’s world and must be brought under God’s law politically, economically, and in every other way possible. The Enlightenment, by its savage and long-standing attack on Biblical faith, has brought about a long retreat of Christianity from a full-orbed faith to a king of last-ditch battle centering around the doctrines of salvation and of the infallible Scripture. The time has come for a full-scale offensive, and it has indeed begun, to bring every area of thought into captivity to Christ, to establish the whole counsel of God and every implication of His infallible word. (p. 56)

So what exactly is Reconstructionism?

Reconstructionism is a theology that arose out of conservative Presbyterianism (Reformed and Orthodox), which proposes that contemporary application of the laws of Old Testament Israel, or “Biblical Law,” is the basis for reconstructing society toward the Kingdom of God on earth.

Reconstructionism argues that the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of life–such as government, education, law, and the arts, not merely “social” or “moral” issues like pornography, homosexuality, and abortion. Reconstructionists have formulated a “Biblical world view” and “Biblical principles” by which to examine contemporary matters. Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton succinctly describes this view: “The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God’s law.”

More broadly, Reconstructionists believe that there are three main areas of governance: family government, church government, and civil government. Under God’s covenant, the nuclear family is the basic unit. The husband is the head of the family, and wife and children are “in submission” to him. In turn, the husband “submits” to Jesus and to God’s laws as detailed in the Old Testament. The church has its own ecclesiastical structure and governance. Civil government exists to implement God’s laws. All three institutions are under Biblical Law, the implementation of which is called “theonomy.”

Bachmann is currently one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination in the US presidential race in 2012.  Although we have no voice in US elections, the outcomes can be very important to us as there is nearly always a carry-over into Canada. What would be the effect on us, and the rest of the world, of a theocracy in our neighbours to the south?


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One Response to Christian Fundamentalism and Government

  1. Pingback: Child Sacrifice in Uganda | PEI Curmudgeon's Blog

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