Moral Contradictions

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Changing hearts

Part of the reason I blog here is to help myself clarify my opinions and boil them down to something I can remember should I need to pull them up quick. In other words, I'm learning about myself.

Inspired by comments over at Michael the Leveller's blog, I discovered a powerful yet concise way to convey my thoughts on the power of the church and government.

Government has the power to restrain evil, but only the church can change hearts. God gave us the Holy Spirit and Church to change hearts, as that naturally restrains evil. Thus, as Christians, if the same amount of money and effort that is poured into political campaigns were diverted to local missions and evangelism, perhaps we would be able to realize the full and awesome power of the Holy Spirit and Church to affect society. Changing hearts invokes willing spirits, while coercion is the government's tool for restraining evil.

Okay, I'm not sure if that made sense, but it seemed profound at the time. God didn't give us the government - let's start using what He did give us.


  • Thanks for the kind words. I think government can do more than restrain evil--a view that leads to a minimalist government concerned with policing and military defense and enforcing contracts and not much else. Government can promote the common good through distributive justice, market regulation, environmental laws, etc.

    But government cannot and should not try to usher in the Rule (or "Kingdom") of God on earth or spread the gospel. That's not its job and usurps the role of the Spirit and the church universal.

    Again, thanks for the plug for my blog.

    By Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White, at Wednesday, July 19, 2006 5:26:00 PM  

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