Things That Matter

In his recent book, Things that Matter, popular journalist and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer writes:

“While science, medicine, art, poetry, architecture, chess, space, sports, number theory and all things hard and beautiful promise purity, elegance and sometimes even transcendence, they are fundamentally subordinate. In the end, they must bow to the sovereignty of politics. Politics, the crooked timber of our communal lives, dominates everything because, in the end, everything— high and low and, most especially, high— lives or dies by politics. You can have the most advanced and efflorescent of cultures. Get your politics wrong, however, and everything stands to be swept away.”

As a Christian, I don’t believe that politics is the organizing principles around which all of society revolves. In fact, I would suggest that a strong community requires four elements – each of which depend on the other:

  • Strong churches
  • Strong businesses
  • Strong and impartial judicial system
  • Strong, but limited government

The Christian church does not live or die by government, as Dr. Krauthammer suggests. Instead, the Christian church lives or dies by its’ faithfulness to Christ, both in being and in doing. Recently, a Facebook friend tossed out this question:

How do you define success?

I answered it by saying that success is doing what God wants me to do and being who God wants me to be.

Success for the church doesn’t depend on getting our politics correct. The church has been known to survive and even thrive in some of the most oppressive political contexts, though there have been times when the church has not done well at all in some cultures where the political oppression of religious freedoms was extreme and persistent.

I would suggest to Dr. Krauthammer is that political freedom is based on philosophical freedom. And philosophical freedom is based on theological freedom.

Boiled down to common English, what I’m suggesting is this:

Good politics depends on a worldview that is in touch with reality – both in the physical and spiritual worlds.

Good world view depends on a good theology of God and how we relate to Him.

Get your theology right and you’ll get your worldview right. Get your world view right and you’ll get your politics right.

What you believe about God ultimately influences your politics. I urge you to base your beliefs about God in the Scriptures, the very Word of God.

Bill English, CEO