I was going to try and stay away from topics like this for a while at least but I just read where a grandmother in Finland, a member of Parliament, may go to jail for maintaining her belief on life issues. She is member of our sister church in Finland. Any way something in my files about government- don’t remember where I got it…..
But there is also another side to government, of which the theologian Emil Brunner reminds us in very forceful language when he says: But just as power, both material and personal, is based on the Divine Will, so also it is an almost perfect instrument for that egoism which is opposed to God. The superior material power of the State leads to tyrannical misuse of the Holy. Material power makes the State terrible. Religious power makes it horrible. No sphere on earth provides a better playground for the satanic element than the power of the State. It appears in its most dangerous form in the idolatry of the power of the State, that is, when the power of the State is confused with the Absolute, with the Holy itself. We cannot say only that in the State men express their most savage desire for power and in the State their will to power receives a wholly different, even a pseudo-religious character. It is, therefore, no accident that in the New Testament the State is described quite as often under the figure of the Dragon ( Satan) , Rev. 12: 3, as by the title of an authority. ordained by God.”
Luther writes: You must know that from the beginning of the world a wise prince is a rare bird indeed; still more so a pious prince. They are usually the greatest fools or the worst knaves on earth; therefore one must constantly expect the worst from them and look for little good from them, especially in divine matters, which concerns the salvation of souls. . . . If a prince becomes wise, pious, or a Chris-tian, it is one of the great wonders and one of the most precious tokens of divine grace upon the land. For the usual course is ac-cording to the saying in Isaiah 3, “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them”; and in Hosea 13, “I will give thee a king in My anger and take him away in My wrath.”
And Augustine: God did not intend that His rational creature who was made in His image should have dominion over anything but the irrational creation -not man over man, but man over beast. And hence the righteous men in primitive times were made shepherds of cattle rather than kings of men; but through sin came slavery as its just desert, together with the lust of power and the manifold evils of the Civitas Terrena.21 Again, Brunner says: Every State represents human sin on the large scale; in history, in the growth of every State, the most brutal, antidivine forces have taken a share to an extent unheard of in the individual life, save in that of some prominent criminals. In the State we human beings see our own sin magnified a thousand times. The State is the product of collective sin. . . . Over every State there broods something of the light of the divine creation and a heavy cloud of antidivine forces.
And George Washington said: Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master!