Selbrede: Government is ministerial, not messianic

It’s important that the statist era in which we live, for us to understand the nature of the doctrine of grace as held by statists. Until we understand that, and the kind of problems that the statists think they’re solving (which are all environmental ones: economic, social, personal, psychological environments—never sin but just environmental things) we’ll never understand that they manufacture the false doctrine of grace, which takes the form of social change by government edict.

Therefore we have to set against that the doctrine of grace, that scripture points it out. And this means that the Christian view of government and the statist view of government are very different. It is messianic if your doctrine of grace involves social change to alter the environment to perfect man. But, if we take the Christian point of view that man is redeemed by the work of Christ and that grace is God’s work, then government is not messianic, but ministerial, and its focus is not social change but restitution and justice.

Setting these two things against each other, [R.J.] Rushdoony makes very clear what the Christian calling is, in that we need to confront man’s true problem—which is not his environment, but his sin, his rebellion against God. This puts us on the proper ground for rebuilding and restructuring our culture: calling men to repent, not to change the environment—which is a false solution to a false problem.

My two cents

I like this summary from Martin Selbrede. He shows how in today’s era especially, people tend to look at government as a saviour, perhaps the only saviour in their lives that can solve their problems. I’d like to know how people ever got to this point, because a century ago, I doubt the mainstream thought like that; the reach of the state was much smaller. (I think the media plays at least some part in shaping this.)

In the workplace, I overhear statist people talking about some government program. I think to myself, “but that’s not the role of the state”, but I don’t think that possibility has been considered seriously by them—and maybe it never will.

If there are four main units of society, being (1) the individual (2) the family (3) the church, and (4) the state, then the humanistic/messianic state continues planing away at the autonomy of the family and the church. What’s more, this act is often egged on by the electorate. Pushed to its logical conclusion, it will be the individual relying on the state—or rather, the state capriciously dictating and micromanaging increasingly more aspects of the individual’s life. That’s not very Biblical.

Quote source

Selbrede, M. (2013). Faith for All of Life ~ January/February Issue Summary. Available: Last accessed 29th Apr 2013.


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