Why The Political Right Is All Wrong
Years ago, when in high school in Carmel Indiana, I found myself in what would become one of the most memorable classes I would ever take. It was a class that was entirely focused on the French Revolution. I cannot remember my teachers name, but he was good. I say that because I remember on the very first day the man walked into the classroom and virtually oozed with excitement about his subject and the potential, real or feigned, of his new students. From that first day to the end of that particular course, I was hooked. This man had my attention, and made a moment in history exciting. That’s a gift in my book. The interest in history has been with me to this day, fueled by later chats with my father and his colleagues who I would listen to with interest while they discussed such topics as the ‘war of northern aggression’, the assasination attempts of Franz Ferdinand and other monumental, historical moments in world or American history.
Out of all that learning over the years, I have heard certain terms in the discussion of history or politics repeatedly, and rarely, if ever, had interest as to their origins. Well, until recently. For example…
In almost any discussion of politics, be it secular or Christian related, the terms “left”, “moderate” and “right” will be in the mix somewhere. Generally speaking, Christians have seen the “left” as bad, “moderate” a little better, and the “right” or “far right” the place you want to be. That’s the ticket, or so many think.
Well, if that has been you’re way of thinking, I’d like you to pause for a moment and rethink. Take off you’re “I’m an American” hat for just a second, and remember that, as a Christian, your citizenship is in heaven (Php 3:20), you’re constitution is the Word of God, and consider the following:
The modern political terms of “left” and “right” originated in the very beginnings of the French Revolution (1789-1799). In the legislative assembly, those who sat on the left side of the isle were generally seen as the most radical and dangerous of revolutionaries. The most extreme members of this group sat in the balcony – on the left side – of the uppermost chamber. These folks were known as the Jacobins. More on them later.
On the right side of the aisle in the legislative assembly in France you had those who were less extreme than the Jacobins, but were still revolutionaries in the common cause, that is, they had basically the same goal.
On that right side of the isle, there was a group who dominated, and they were known as the Girondins. They are what we would call today ‘Republicans’. They supported the middle and upper-class and business interests while the Jacobins goal was the support of “the people”.
Here is where it gets interesting.
If you were a Jacobin back then, you supported the revolution and favored a secularized, non-Christian and centralized government that would be the equivalent of today’s modern view of a …. well, the current government we have in America. Federal, controlling, godless (except itself), no state is independent, etc. You get the picture.
During the French revolution, if you were a Girondin (the “right”) you would have supported the very same ultimate goal, but by different means.
The “left” would accomplish that goal much faster, but at a great immediate cost. The “right” would eventually get there, although not as painfully soon.
When you study the historical worldviews of the Jacobins and the Girondins, there is this startling conclusion: they wanted the same things. Power. Control. Sovereignty over their subjects. Like todays’ Democratic and Republican parties, they both had the same ultimate goal.
When you get right down to the bottom line, both had more similarities than differences. Both sides wanted power, both sides wanted control, and both sides denied the absolute Sovereignty of God Almighty as the Supreme Sovereign in all things. The same can be said today of our Democratic and Republican parties. They are not enemies of each other, not really. They are actually in cahoots with one another. The only difference is in their timetable and rhetoric.
The final goal for both parties is the same: sovereign, autonomous man living in a pragmatic, materialistic world sans King Jesus, His Word and commands for life and practice of the Gospel.
There are many today within the visible church who are Republican, pro-life, “conservative” and in general, stand for all things biblically moral. But there’s just one problem with being in that camp. These labels and standing for those issues do not make one a Christian, and therein lies the danger.
There are many who are conservative, republican, pro-lifers. Yet they are not Christian. They are not, as a result of regeneration by the Holy Spirit and by the power of God living a life of repentance and believing the Gospel, trusting Christ Jesus finished work as the only hope of eternal life.
It is the Gospel that is the solution to all political and moral failings.
I have become increasingly aware that many professing Christians have and are presently equating being republican, conservative and pro-life with being a recipient of God’s grace in regeneration, and are confusing being “right” with being a child of God.
Beloved, let’s rethink our thinking. Being a conservative, republican, pro-life American means nothing in light of the Gospel message of a life of repentance and trust in the finished work of the King of kings.