American Christians have often been caught up in the idolatry of democracy. Democracy is praised and practically worshiped as the solution to all political problems. On the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, many lament the efforts toward democracy that were snuffed out there. Yet what good is relief from “godless communism” – as it was so often called during the Cold War – if it comes in the form of godless democracy?
There was a time when America exported freedom and not merely licentiousness. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that “The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.” Without the restraint that comes from the fear of God, democracy deteriorates into mob rule – and that is the downward path our nation is taking.
What is “politically correct” will simply be what the mob demands at the moment. And its demands are only intensifying. The founders of our country knew that the government that they constructed would not work for a godless people. The architects of today’s secular society would insist that their goal has not been godlessness, but what is secular if not that from which reference to God has been removed?
The founders of our country worried about the effect of what they called “factions.” That is just what we have today – factions or tribes of political allegiance, each clamoring for more power and vying against the others. So loud have they all become, that individual citizens are completely drowned out. The biggest boom town in the USA today is Washington, D.C., because that’s where all the power is bought and sold. If your organization doesn’t have money and clout, don’t even think about going there to be heard.
If democracy were a panacea, we would not be in the moral, social, and fiscal mess in which we find ourselves. Do I wish to return to kings and queens? No. My point is that democracy, in and of itself, is no better. If a people are decadent, then democratic rule will be decadent. We must seek to be a reformed people if we would have a more functional democracy.
I am not calling on everyone to repent. Rather, I’m calling on Christians to repent. Unbelievers can be expected to worship democracy as if it was capable of giving them all the goodness they wanted. We who are believers in Christ, however, should know better. Democracy has given us abortion on demand, no-fault divorce, sex outside of marriage, same-sex “marriage,” and many other evils too many to count and too gross to describe.
Let us therefore stop worshiping at the shrine of democracy and instead worship the Lord Christ alone. If China had a democracy like ours they’d be in as bad a shape as we are. At least now they have within their borders a church which most knowledgeable American Christians will tell you puts the American church to shame.
Tiananmen, Forgotten, New York Times