Christianity = Democracy = Freedom?
March 15 05
In 1917, the world was at war, and President Woodrow Wilson decided it was time for America to enter the conflict. Wilson declared war on Germany and was determined that America would use this opportunity to "make the world safe for democracy." But as someone else asked in 1918, "Is democracy safe for the world?"
Now, almost 100 years later, President George W. Bush said in a speech on March 8th, "For the sake of our long-term security, all free nations must stand with the forces of democracy and justice that have begun to transform the Middle East." This echoes his 2005 inaugural speech, in which he said we must spread freedom and democracy "with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."
We must go back to that wise question, "Is democracy safe for the world?" No one is suggesting that tyranny is a good thing or that the world needs more dictators. But the idea that democracy will rid the world of evil is simply short-sighted. President Bush often uses Biblically-infused language, but it is clear that he either does not understand the word of God or he chooses to ignore it.
Can democracy change the world for the better? The Bible would emphatically say, "no." If anyone can show me in the Bible where it says the world will get better before Jesus returns, I would seriously like to know. Read anything in the New Testament, which pertains to the age in which we live, and you will find that the world will only get worse. Democracy is not our Savior and cannot rid the world of evil.
Not only that, but democracy is not safe for the world. Again, I'm not saying that we need more dictators. I would agree that democracy, if stacked up against most of the world's political systems, has much to offer. However, we must look at America's history to see that America was not founded as a democracy but as a representative republic. That means God is the sovereign ruler and the people can only govern to a point. The people were to elect representatives to go to Congress and state governments. Those representatives would do the work of voting on issues. Then Abraham Lincoln said something that would essentially change this nation into a democracy. He said, "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people." We have latched onto that idea and have run with it even though, Constitutionally, it is not allowed.
Now we are a people running wild. The majority rules in a democracy and that's a scary thing when you consider what God has to say about the nature of people. We are sinners and we are in rebellion to God. What happens when unregenerate people raise their voices and change laws? What happens when the lost change the culture? If every unrepentant sinner has a vote, what will happen?
We wonder why America is so immoral. We pride ourselves on being a democracy where the majority rules, but we wonder why there's so much crime and indecency. Why? Why do we wonder? Most people in America, while walking in freedom to live pretty much as they please, are really walking in bondage to sin. They are not free. Democracy really means that people who have no relationship with God are free to live as they please and to force others to tolerate it.
President Bush has convinced most of the professing Church in America that Christianity resides in democracy because democracy equals freedom. He believes that all people desire freedom. People may want freedom in the political sense, but not necessarily in the spiritual sense. The Bible says that men love the darkness and hate the light. We seek to serve our flesh in rebellion to God. That is the natural state of man and such men do not seek true freedom, the freedom of which Jesus speaks. They seek freedom to satisfy their every lust. Take one rebellious and fleshly man, put him in charge of his own life, give him the power to vote and exercise his will. Imagine the damage he could do. Now multiply that by every unregenerate person in a democracy.
Is democracy safe for the world? As President Bush continues to push democracies across the globe, we will continue to see more conflict, more crime, more immorality. Evil will not be abated by our political systems. What the world needs now is not more democracies but the Gospel.