God, the Bible and Political Justice: Part 1, Introduction




There can be only one legitimate reason for building the Kingdom of God and that is to make Jesus known. The only way to know the Son of God in depth is by saturation in His revealed Word and radical application of it through daily obedience to the Holy Spirit. The only way to restore Political Justice to God’s design is by so hearing the heart of God and so seeing the perfection of His thoughts and ways in His Word that we see Him and, therefore, know what we must do.


The book of Genesis frames everything God gives us in Scripture. Wherever we begin our study of Scripture, we must remember that, first, God explained and set the context of our origins. He created everything that exists. We humans fell from perfection, taking the material universe with us. The family of man quickly devolved into a violent and inhumane species threatening the very purpose of God’s creation, life itself.  Having allowed us to see what we can become alone He began His plan of redemption. 


God chose a man, Abraham, through whom He would raise up a nation. God would reveal reality through the Law given to Moses and the Prophets to this nation of people.  A perfect law applied by an imperfect people would produce historic greatness, but the chosen would fail. The second part of His plan was to send the One who could perfect a people trough sacrifice, redemption and grace. They, in turn, would live such a radically different set of values for the world to see that they would become “salt and light” in their imperfect nations, revealing the supremacy of the returning Creator who would finally establish the perfect Kingdom with His perfected people.


Today we have the written revelation of the Origins of our universe, the Law, the Prophets, and Jesus has come and is coming again. He has left us His Comforter and Perfecter in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is within us. His Spirit dwells within us to show us the way. The Spirit God has sent will begin where the Scriptures begin; by helping us understand our Origins.  It all begins in Genesis.


In Matthew chapter 22:36-40 Jesus summarized the whole teaching of the Law in two sentences:


36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


The message of the Kingdom of God is revelation of who He is, who you and I are, and how we are to live together as a community. The last century of Christianity has emphasized what God says about me, the individual, what He requires of me and will do for me.  With our emphasis on salvation we stress personal blessing, personal sin, and personal holiness.  Nowhere is this more visible than in the popular hymns and choruses of the last few decades. Understanding how God relates to me is not wrong, but it is incomplete, out of perspective with the bigger picture of what God is showing us in Scripture. The whole of the Bible is about how I am to live out the nature and character of God in my community and nation. In other words, I reveal my faith and knowledge of God through how I treat you and how I accept that you to be treated.



If we are to think like the God of the Bible we must begin where He begins.  And God begins in Genesis with the creation of the cosmos, the earth, and everything in it.  Just two chapters are dedicated to this space- and time- creation event.  Not a great deal of explanation for such a monumental event.  But these two chapters lay down the foundation stones of all Biblical thought.  They lay down three themes the whole of the Bible then fleshes out:  Who is God? Who am I?  How am I to live with you, my neighbor?  Without Genesis chapters one and two, our thinking about God and life will drift towards either mysticism or rationalism.


One, mysticism, holds a magical view of reality and sees solutions in terms of invisible powers in unseen places. The other, rationalism, sees reality as a purely material manifestation and solutions as solely pragmatic and man made, things we can see, taste, touch, and measure. Without a clear understanding of Genesis 1 and 2 we begin to develop a duality between the seen and unseen world.  We begin to define Kingdom reality in terms of either miracles or science, heavenly or earthly, visible or invisible, secular or sacred, spiritual or unspiritual, losing the powerful message of Christ-Creator of all.  Paul labors this integrated reality of God’s Kingdom with the Gentiles in Colossians 1:15-17


15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.


In Genesis God declares these two realities, seen and unseen, visible and invisible, to both be created by Him and under His authority.  He declares man to be in dominion over both realms on earth and that our destiny as a human race is to multiply, fill the earth and create communities (cultures).  Therefore, those who seek to think like God and find his solutions and direction must marry the realities of the seen and unseen and the individual and community as part of the one and only Kingdom of God.


Our Struggle

As believers today, our struggle with a split concept of reality is often revealed in our dualism between the Old and New Testament.  Jesus labors with our tendency towards this in Matthew 5:


17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”


In other words, greatness in the Kingdom of God is being able to marry and live the Old and New Testament values.  The Old Testament emphasis is on nations and how we live together as a community and the New Testament emphasizesthe individual, salvation and reaching the lost. These must be married to see God and His Kingdom clearly.  The revelation is progressive and we do not leave the beginning in the Old in order to achieve the end in the New. One builds on and fulfills the purpose of the other, revealing the full purposes of God.


God gives away power


Genesis 1 and 2 also give us a summation of God’s foundational values and where He places authority and responsibility. The delegation of and power to carry authority in the Kingdom of God is the basis of every legal and justice issue and, therefore, the values base for Governance.  This is the template of ideals we, as believers, are working towards for civil law in a fallen world.  Our goal is to move towards God’s values and rightful authority by restoring His thinking in and through our lives, our families, our vocations and our communities.


In Scripture we find God’s establishment of rights and responsibilities, authority and power. Every person has rights and with those rights come the weight of responsibility. However, no one has all rights and all responsibilities at all times, in all places or over all things. The rights of men and women, animal rights, the earth’s rights, rights of workers, rights of immigrants, nations’ rights, border rights, community rights, individual rights, religious rights, parent’s rights, children’s rights, the right to speak, the right to communicate, the right to know, spousal rights, property rights, rights of ownership, sexual rights, the right to protest, the right of civil disobedience, the right of parental disobedience, the right to religious freedom, the right of religious disobedience, reproductive rights, prisoners rights, the rights of the poor, the right to my reputation, tribal rights, victims’ rights, owners’ rights, the right to work, the right to live and more are all present and defended in Scripture. We can rightly say that the Scripture validates and in some cases, historically creates the concept of ones rights, privileges and responsibilities. 


Civil Law

The burden of Civil Governance is to sustain and secure these God given rights. Impossible? Yes it is. But we are to work for the highest level of justice possible and then continue to work for a higher-level while, at the same time, upholding the rights society already has established,securing the rights God gives but society still denies. Our focus, rather than on ourselves as Christians, is on those whose rights are most abused, the widow, orphan, alien, and poor of Scripture.


Our Call To Governance

As God’s people we are called into civil governance for the Glory of God and the good of the people. Our goal is not to perfect the world or nation, but to offer God’s perspective, a better way, and allow society a choice.  We are not the Jews in the Promise Land; we are God’s people in Babylon.  God’s people surrounded by nations in darkness, offering “salt and light.” 


We have influence, but we are not in control.  We are not defending God’s Kingdom; His Kingdom is already established.  We are not here to “bring back the King,” the King is already coming.  We are ambassadors of Light, helping to dispel darkness.  We are “salt” preserving and changing the flavor of our communities’ choices.  We are “salt” that can bring healing.  We are an alternative choice to the lies of the “lawless one.”  And we are preparing to deliver God’s justice beyond the borders of this world and time.


As citizens, peacekeepers and governors of a nation our objective is to “win” our nations to the highest level of justice they will accept.  Having been loved into the Kingdom of God ourselves, do not think that we will beat the lost into understanding God’s values of political justice.  We must win them over to God’s thinking by revealing His superior blessing in our lives and through our defense of His laws and values.


To what end do we pursue this passion of the Kingdom?  That all may see the Glory of the Lord, that some might be saved and all be blessed.