If social science is less objective than physical science, political science makes social science look as objective as a street map of Los Angeles. Political science does not access the kinds of studies, experiments, and double-blind tests that would qualify a new cancer drug, for example. Poli-Sci consists of models – theories really – that describe types of societies and what makes them tick. And history, of course. Every political science theory – there are not that many – has been tried and has a history of facilitating a decent shot at a good life for the people living under it – or not so much.
Mercantilism is one that had its day – until the American Revolution stopped the greatest mercantilist empire in history right in its tracks. (This is a theory in which a central government makes policy decisions in terms of their benefit to big business.) Socialism is on life support if the national bankruptcies and pending bankruptcies in Europe are any evidence. (When everybody gets whatever they want, they eventually fail to get what they need. Or, as the man said, socialism is a great idea until you run out of other people’s money.) Capitalism has proven the most resilient theory ever tested, and it was birthed right here in the USA. The economic agony in which we are presently mired comes in the context of a government dedicated to mercantilism on the one hand and socialism on the other. Leaders need their billions from the big and corporate donors for the next campaign – include unions, even though they produce nothing in themselves – and their power over minds and hearts with promises like healthcare nirvana. Right now, our nation appears to be headed toward the worst of two possible worlds. Do we need another American Revolution?
Well, yes, but not necessarily a violent one. History is replete with violent revolutions that seldom improve the lot of their people. But just as common are the non-violent rebellions that generally do make life a lot better. The ouster of Marcos in the Philippines comes to mind, as do the overthrows of communism in every East European nation (excepting Albania) and Russia. The biggest nation to peacefully gain its independence – so far – is India. King Jesus says His Kingdom is not of this world, but He also says on earth as it is in heaven. He calls for overthrow of the world’s power through exclusive use of heavenly weapons, including blessing (Romans 12:14), forgiveness (John 20:19-23), and the Supper He instituted (Luke 24:13-35), all in the context of progressive repentance laced through the New Testament.
In our own time and place, we see plenty of pragmatic icons of the Lord’s methods. The 40 Days for Life campaigns that occur twice yearly have accounted for more than forty abortion clinic closings and up to 75% cancelled appointments on the days they are praying, not to mention the thousands of live births that would not have happened in their absence. Their methods account largely for the current pro-life majority amongst voters in the US, and the momentum is on their side. Rachel’s Vineyard hosts healing retreats for post abortion folks. The Joshua Project, and our own PrayNorthState Prayer Vanguards, place Christians inside school campuses (when they are not in session) to pray for, bless, and pave the way for organizations like the Faith Community Fellowship partnering faith leaders with school administrators.
The October veteran’s march on Washington is an example: veterans peacefully dismantled and neatly stacked barriers, while others cleaned parks and memorials. There are the largely successful legal challenges to restrictions on faith mounted by outfits like the Pacific Justice Institute, Pacific Legal Foundation, the Justice Foundation, and Alliance Defending Freedom. Practical fruit of this kind of rebellion includes the opening of the pumps in the Sacramento Delta, when a federal judge changed his mind following eighteen months of concerted prayer, and the bi-partisan outcry in Congress to delay implementation of Obamacare. The Civil Rights Revolution – from start to finish – was a nonviolent act of witness against Jim Crow and the Klan – and for the world envisioned in Galatians 3:28 in which there are neither Jew nor Greek but only citizens of a blessed community – to paraphrase the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The strategies I cite above are for the long haul; our God is more invested in forming good character in His people than in quick solutions. And no sane person calls for some kind of theocracy; they don’t even work in the Bible. But successful strategies employed by Bible-believing people work because they are the fruit of obedience to the God of the whole earth.
James A. Wilson is the author of Living As Ambassadors of Relationships and The Holy Spirit and the End Times – available at local bookstores or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org