Friday, July 17, 2020

Democracy and Christianity

Democracy imposes the views of the majority of people on the rest of the people. In reality, the way that party politics works means that the government often only represents a minority of the population. The system allows a minority with political power to impose their will on the majority of the people.

  • This is a huge problem for Christians. Political power is coercive power. The state has the power to make people do things that they do not want to do. Christians are not interested in coercion, because God wants people to be free.

  • When Christians held a majority position in society, they were quite happy to use democracy to impose their views on the rest of society. Now the boot is on the other foot, we do not like a secular majority imposing their ungodly laws on us. This sounds like sour grapes.

  • Being in the minority is now giving us an understanding of what it felt like for people who disliked Christianity when they had Christian views imposed on them by Christians using democratic power.

  • The only way back in a democratic system is for Christians is to win the struggle in the marketplace of ideas. If we could get back to where Christians are the majority of people in the society, then secular people in parliament would not be able to impose their views on us. However, we probably don’t want to go back there, as we understand now that it is not right for one group in society to impose their views on others. Now we know what it feels like, we should avoid a situation where we are imposing our views about how society should be organised on people who have different ideas (I suspect many Christians would still like to do that).

  • The only solution to this conundrum is to find the lowest common denominator, ie set of ideas that everyone in society can agree on. Then no one will have rules that they do not agree with imposed on them.

  • There are two principles that the majority of people in a society agree on.
    • Assaulting another person is wrong.
    • Stealing is wrong.
    These two principles represent a consensus on which everyone can agree. This means that human governments should limit themselves to dealing with assault and theft.

  • Not surprisingly, these two principles are the heart of the laws for society that God gave to Moses.

See Political Space.

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