Last week, I wrote a piece entitled: Trumpism, Not Donald Trump: Part 1 https://marknealprince.com/2019/07/18/trumpism-not-donald-trump-part-i/. In that piece I spoke briefly about my normal apprehension in writing posts that are political in nature. I’ll urge you to read that piece first if you missed it, and simply jump right in to what may take another post or two to complete. However, just to have some cohesion to what I began to introduce, I opened my thoughts on the matter with an explanation of the danger of putting all “deplorables” and “Dregs of Society” in the same basket. Afterwards, I also wanted to talk a bit more about giving genuine inquirers several reasons why “so-called” Christians voted for Donald Trump, or what I like to call Trumpism instead. My first reason was due to the fact that it was a reaction to what they and others like them believe is a now full-scale attack on what made the West great, which I gave some very brief thoughts on. The second one is this:
An Understanding of Two Kingdoms
By saying two kingdoms, what I simply mean is that the vast majority of Christians, I believe rightly understand the difference between the Kingdom that is of God, and the one that is of this world. In fact, they understand it properly only from mining the whole of scripture to do so. As a result, one emerges with a clear and glaring difference between what the church is supposed to do and teach, and what the government is to be about; and how they differ.
The Anomaly That is America
It is of course no secret then in saying that, as we discuss America, we rightly understand that we are somewhat of an anomaly in the world as a true Republic. A Republic in which all citizens (red, yellow, black, white, Christian, non-Christian, etc.) are protected by law in being able to both speak freely, and more importantly; in being given the great privilege of the right to vote. And of course it should be no surprise to anyone, that regardless of the country’s now militant desire to eradicate religion from public life altogether, it is virtually impossible (even for those who want to rid us of it) to exercise our free speech and cast our vote without also bringing our worldview to bear on the decisions that we make. To deny that this is the case, or that it should not be the example at all times is not only preposterous, but a clear denial what has always been—which applies to both sinner and saint among us. Equally worth noting, is that to live in stark opposition to what we say we believe, no matter who we are, is to in fact believe nothing at all.
Failure to Legislate a Religion
However, since blogs are to be “short and sweet”, I want to explain briefly what I mean by the difference of which I speak in these two kingdoms. For instance, if we (speaking of Christians here) take an honest look at the entirety of scripture as I said earlier, we understand this distinction all too well. This is after all why true thinking Christians do not wish for a theocracy as some might think, like many of our Muslim friends, due to the fact that a full legislation of morality or a religion is a failed experiment time and time again in the kingdom of this world. For it underestimates that it is indeed the law that gives sin in us the opportunity to further enslave us, thus stoking our “middle finger’s” defiance towards it, as well as our continual failure to meet its holy demands (Romans 7:8-25). For indeed it is the letter that kills, but only the Spirit that gives new life a fighting chance to actually desire from the heart to do the right thing (2 Cor. 3:2).
The Kingdom of God on Earth Begins to Crumble
But back to the division of kingdoms. We begin to see this dichotomy most clearly in the life of Samuel (I Sam. 8) where he is rightly upset that the Israelites have rejected God as their King, yet who instead desire a human king like the rest of the nations “to judge for them” and to “fight their battles”. Samuel is of course taken aback by this and inquires of the Lord about it, at which point the Lord simply says for him to go back and let them know what they are getting into. In other words, he wants them to understand that having a King and a Kingdom will require their sons and daughters, money, land, and taxes–as well as their full devotion to his and his kingdom’s service. He concludes by reminding them that the byproduct of this wish fulfillment of theirs, is that a people called by God to be free moral agents, will in fact be enslaved to their King instead. This is of course the history of most of the world until the radical idea and experiment of self-government was introduced by our founders. Of course one would think that once they heard this, they would relinquish their naïve request, and ask God to put the crown on instead. Nothing happening. The people replied to Samuel that this slavery stuff actually sounded pretty good and cried out nonetheless, “Give us a King”. As Samuel then reports back to God, the creator lets him know to go ahead and give them what they wish for. The Kingdom of God is not yet to be ushered in. In other words, God sovereignly allows it, and the rest is in the annals of history.
Still Giving It a College Try
As a result of this track record, also like other nations, they were continually enslaved to both good and bad Kings, all the while over and over claiming to want to put God somehow back on the throne (Judges). Afterwards, as Kings were commissioned to at least stand in proxy for God as administrators of righteousness for the public good, everyone from wicked Saul to righteous David, and from the virtuous reforms of Josiah to the decadence of Ahab and Jezebel, each failed abysmally. The irony in all of this is that even the most righteous King David, who it was said was a “man after God’s own heart”, during his reign of office, cut down a man in cold blood on the battlefield in order to cover up his romp in the sack with his wife while he was out fighting for his country. This is of course not to rule out all the good that was done in the Davidic kingdom, nor is it the purpose of this blog to go all the way down memory lane of the good, bad and ugly of Israel’s leadership. However, suffice is to say that God himself begins to separate the idea of permanent shalom and his righteous kingdom this side of eternity, even while calling his remnant of good men to continually speak out and fight for what is right to have its place in a continually rebellious, idolatrous and degenerate culture. In fact, even during Israel’s deportation under mostly oppressive Kings who initially raped, pillaged and enslaved their people, the remnant of God’s people were still asked to buy, sell and trade and seek the welfare of their particular city as they assimilated in a foreign land that was not their own. And in fact, even under such oppressive Kingdoms, two Kings (Cyrus and Artaxerxes) actually gave their blessing and funding both to rebuild the holy temple and also to build a wall. And without going into a much longer discourse on the Old Testament’s obvious teachings around the distinction of the two kingdoms that God is historically fleshing out before us, as well as the fact that both his chosen men and men of the world are often in place both for good and for ill, God in fact also uses even men who eat their steak well done with ketchup in order to accomplish His purposes in the world. In fact, as a Christian, to not believe so is to either be asleep at the biblical wheel, or to not give a rat’s ass as to what we find behind it.
Stay tuned for Part 3