A good two-kingdom argument for Trump...

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This is a very helpful response by Alex Guggenheim to my response to his response to my post. As I said under this comment where it originally appeared, I don't have time to respond to Mr. Guggenheim's latest just yet, but I didn't want readers to miss it. Many thanks to Mr. Guggenheim for his careful and thorough disagreement.

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Thank you for the time you took in formulating a post...

Firstly, I completely sympathize and agree with the observation regarding the obliteration of the PCA. Its leadership has been slowly filled with men possessing the skill of rationalization and relevancy and not those of fidelity to sound exegesis and its application. It appears many cannot bear the social consequences of where God’s Word takes us. But I am not responding to that portion, rather to the civic principle being addressed.

We have a theological difference which I believe structures our arguments separately, categorically speaking. Thus, I do not believe that working with separate frameworks will result in effective debate or dialog and this is what I mean, so that you may understand where or how my position originates.

I come from a Lutheranized structure with respect to the church and state...

The church, Luther referred to as the kingdom on the right or the spiritual kingdom and the state or civil government he termed the kingdom on the left. He recognized that after the Theocracy of Israel was deposed and the church of Jesus Christ, our Victor, was ushered in, God’s people were issued new and distinct protocols which include an identity which is spiritually based and a nation which is spiritually formed which we call, the church.

So with respect to the reference in Judges, while it is true, its context is that of the Theocracy of Israel. Additionally, while the Scriptures never outright express the taxonomical distinction of the two kingdoms, it is quite observable and stated as much within texts which distinguish the church from the state whereas, during the Theocracy of Israel, it was both.

This is not to say the kingdom on the left is without divine protocols by which God intends for them to abide, whether as a nation without a spiritual man or woman at the lead or with it. But so long as they abide by such things, they act as clients of God, again, wittingly or unwittingly, whether led by a heathen or a saint.

I readily acknowledge that we, as a nation, do need to adhere to left kingdom principles found within the Scriptures but the issue for the kingdom on the left isn’t whether we have a godly man or woman, rather, whether or not we have one who understands divine principles of establishmentarianism for civil government which essentially, when maximized, will be found in people who support nationalism, personal freedom, freedom from social tyranny, national security abroad and at home, and a strong policing of the nation for its citizens as well as reduced government insertion into the private sector and economic liberty. There is nothing spiritual and need not be, about that, because these are simply divine principles of establishmentarianism which, in this case, Donald Trump holds to and Mrs. Clinton practices against, though she would say otherwise, no doubt.

Would I that Mr. Trump held to a greater code for his personal demeanor? Certainly I would but in comparison to Hillary Clinton, this man is heads on heads above her in his commitment preserving our freedoms and civic stability and I do not believe his personal deficiencies disable his acumen for understanding the principles I just mentioned and the government necessary to guard and preserve them.

Now, as to the church, does it need to repent in many ways and of many aspects of its theology and practice? I cannot imagine a spiritually mature person stating otherwise. Further, I admit there is a truth, an undeniable truth, that as goes the church, so goes the nation, but that truth is not as a result of the church failing to infiltrate and arrest control of the government but because God’s people disgracefully use the divine blessing of the host nation which provides freedom of gospel witness and work as well as opportunities for personal logistical affluence and prosperity to their own spiritual injury. As a result of this, God removes such blessing in the host nation since his people have not and possibly cannot, properly handle such logistical wealth.

When asked if I believe a Christian at the helm would increase the odds that such establishmentarianism values from Scripture would be applied in his or her policies my answer is that in some cases, yes, but it other cases, such as someone holding a theology like Russell Moore (I know he is not running, I am referring to his theology), no. He is seriously crippled in his understanding of the Biblical doctrines of establishment and especially nationalism. His treatment of Scripture and ethics issues appears to me to be an academic play toy. And on the issue of nationalism, Mr. Trump has a far superior compass than Mr. Moore and I say that to Moore's shame.

However, that said, a non-believer with his expected shortcomings, may very well, indeed, guide this country with good reason and understanding of divine principles of establishment whether he or she ever acknowledges they are from God's Word or not.

One of my favorite examples of this is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the great Turkish liberator and reformer who, while not being a Christian at all, understood the two kingdom dynamic and divine principles of establishment reflected in Western governments which he applied directly to Turkey, resulting in its accelerated growth as a free nation, with prosperity abounding, particularly in Western Turkey. Of course, now we have something else going on there.

Can and should Christians seek entrance to and influence within the kingdom on the left? Undoubtedly they should but not in the name of or on behalf of the church of Christ, but on behalf of God’s protocols for the civil kingdom, the kingdom on the left, which are separate and distinct from the protocols God has issued for the church.

That, I hope, explains the dynamics of my theology and so, I end with Trump, himself and the choice.

I read a comment by a reader at the other post where I originally commented that appealed to the idea that because God can do anything, a third party could win and we should vote for that. I really don’t know what else to say to that other than the obvious. I suppose we shouldn’t put clothes on, feed ourselves and sit in our cars until God starts them and drives us down the road because, of course, God can do anything. But we know better, theologically, that God has revealed to us that while he can do anything, there are many things he has given us to do which he will not do because such things are assigned to us by God as our responsibilities. Thus, we are not to engage in poor theological, (and I should say a proof-texting kind) of thinking and ignore all of the rest of the Bible which displays a God who expects us to take responsibility for our actions using which is more than laying things on God’s shoulders but using wisdom when less than ideal choices demand our custodianship.

Forming a nation, choosing a leader and participating in the kingdom on the left, in civil government which begins with the self, then moves to marriage, family and then small clans, tribes, villages, towns, cities, states and national government, are our responsibility. We are assigned, by God, the freedom and responsibility to formulate, found, maintain and preserve a government for ourselves, for the perpetuity of a way of life which a peoples have chosen to establish. God not only permits but has ordained that we do just such a thing for our social and civic welfare.

So it is up to us, whether we like it or not, to make a choice with imperfect men and women and God isn’t going to take over my will, your will or anyone else's and suddenly make them vote for a magical third candidate. We are going to get either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, that is wisdom of statistic speaking and there is no hidden promise in Scripture for America that God will do otherwise because, again, he has ordained such things for us to do.

With Donald Trump, who by the way has shown his hand already with the choice of conservative ChristiansMike Pence but apparently that means nothing, you will get a man committed to preserving our freedoms and with emphasis on his preference for Christian values being expressed and promoted, albeit, from a man who has little theological reference but one who understands, at least in the most basic sense, what is good for a nation and right. You will get a man who wishes to promote our identity as a national entity with emphasis on our benefit, first, a very Biblical principle. He is committed to our military, to fighting against a corrupted government and with a desire to reduce taxes on business which is strangling our nation’s economy. Finally, he is committed to a conservative, constitutional SCOTUS choice(s). It isn’t a guarantee that they will always vote as we Christians like us but it certainly will not be the radicalized leftist court Hillary will bring, and that leads to the other person, Mrs. Clinton.

Understand what you will enable if you vote otherwise, the further erosion of our national and international posture, a radicalized leftist SCOTUS who will happily attack Christians, both institutionally and individually. They will do the real work of evil. Understand, she seeks to destroy your constitutional right to protect yourself with the ownership of a handgun, a rifle, a shotgun or other firearms. She seeks a further radicalized socialism which we see, today, at its extreme end in Venezuela or as was Russia when she collapsed under Communism. She will continue to deliver this country into the hands of strangers, interlopers and those who do not seek our national welfare but to dispossess us our unique and blessed role in this world.

Both the short and long game are in view and it will take both in mind to preserve what we can.

So I exuberantly stand by my charge, we all are going to aid in delivering either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, one way or the other.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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