First published on Christian Converser
David French has written another informed commentary about the gun violence situation in the US, and here we see again the contrast between New Zealand and the American nation, and our different heritages. French sees the key problem as it happens in America today as being one of gun idolatry, and perhaps that is a reflection of national politics in recent times. It is certainly something that was stoked by the previous administration, and lots of Christians and others are left wondering if they would be more likely to see a repeat of January 6th in the future than has ever occurred in the past, noting that that lawless fracas was explicitly or implicitly supported by some churchgoers.
The most important lesson we can learn is that America is prone to many types of idolatry, due largely to the lawlessness encouraged by their constitutional experiment, sowed in the massive inequalities which are excused and even exalted across their nation. The real concern, of course, for a nation like New Zealand, is to see conservative groups, including Christians, openly championing the US way , including Trumpism. It’s useful to note that just as there has been deep divisions sowed in US churches during the first term of Trump, there has also been a clear level of influence upon the church in countries like New Zealand as well. It is not farfetched to say America is engineering its way into a civil war, and that the actual expectation of conservatives is they need to maintain their stocks of weapons to ensure they have the ability to win the battle by military force. Hence the situation French elaborates upon in his article.
Most of the admiration seen in NZ for the Trump administration is based on the same questionable theological reasoning seen over there, the assumption that a theocratic government is the only right one for a nation for which they claim a Christian foundation and heritage. Democracy may not be a perfect system of government, but its existence is the basis of most of the personal freedoms that people enjoy in democratic societies, of which the most important for Christians is the right to practice their faith. The promotion of theocracy indicates that Christians in US are attempting to have it both ways: a supposedly free and just society run by a non democratic (theocratic) government. Old Testament and early church history proves that this is not something that is possible to achieve long term, and this is why the UK eventually transitioned to democratic governance, and why the US was founded on the assumption of it. Of course, the main presumption for Christian theocracy today is based on dispensationalist theology and in particular the assumption that the millenial rule is to be interpreted literally. These forms of theology are as noted previously, fairly unique to the US, and show that it has not appreciated past lessons of history in Europe in particular.
(As always, CCNZ disclaims that reproducing a David French article implies full endorsement or support of all of his viewpoints)