Discuss the following statements as a group...
- We can solve the earth’s problems through politics
- Having a government with the right ideology would fix our broken world
- Electing better politicians would resolve the issues in governance
- Politics is a force for good (expand its reach)/politics is a force for evil (limit its reach)
Although governance and politics are a good part of God’s original design for creation, the Fall destroys the created order. Governance will therefore fail to fulfil its purpose of promoting good and restraining evil, even whilst that task is most needed. Instead, politics will be characterised by the power struggles and relationship breakdown initiated at the Fall and enshrined in its curse. Politics is broken and will remain so until Christ returns.
Passage: Genesis 3: 1-24
Created order is fractured
How does humanity sin against God?
- In what ways do these errors manifest in political life today?
What are the effects of human sin? How does human overreach undermine the duties laid out in the creation mandate?
Be fruitful vv7-24 – the earth is now in conflict with humanity, not operating as it should, making work and productivity difficult
Multiply and fill the earth vv7-24 – we see the breakdown of the relationship between man and wife and the introduction of pain in childbirth
Subdue the earth vv7-24 – the breakdown of created order means rather than subduing the earth, humanity will be subdued in death and in shame
Rule over the created beings vv7-24 - the authority structures of creation are broken as conflict is introduced between creation, humanity, and God. The banishment from God’s presence shows the complete breakdown of the original governance plan
- In what ways do we see the consequences of this in politics today?
In what ways is the creation mandate upheld following the Fall?
None of the four factors completely collapse, rather they are in conflict, and thus they will be a source of difficulty and pain as well as joy and blessing moving forward
- The creation mandate continues but is now subjected to frustrations and pain – how should this shape our view of governance?
There is a real and genuine hope, however. What is it?
- How does this future hope affect our view of governance? How should we think about politics as a result?
What would it mean to recognise the sinfulness of politicians and humanity more broadly in the way we...?
- Approach political institutions and systems?
- Approach individual politicians?
- Approach the duties of political office?
- Spend some time repenting of our sin and our temptation to use power to abuse creation or serve our own selfish ends
- Thank God for the hope of a redeemed world in which governance will once again be, and do, the good it was intended for