Re: Shapes of a Wedge

From: Peter Ruest <>
Date: Wed Jun 09 2004 - 12:54:00 EDT

Hi, Jan,

Jan de Koning wrote:
>At 06:45 AM 07/06/2004 +0200, Peter Ruest wrote:
> Those of us who are privileged to live in democratic societies also
>participate in bearing some of the responsibility for its laws, whether
>this is by means of voting for constitutions and electing parliaments or
>other law-making bodies, or even by means of initiatives and referenda
>regarding specific laws. By the way, I don't see a principal difference
>between legislative law and case law, as human sin represents a
problem in
>both areas. And any existing body of law is a result of humanity
>determining right and wrong, with only some of the legislators taking
>laws into account. On the one hand, we must recognize that there is no
>thing as a "Christian state", as a majority of the citizens are not
>following Christ. Thus, we cannot expect to be able to provide for a law
>system fully in accordance with the intent of God's laws. But on the
>hand, trying to avoid participating in the law-making process is not a
>option for us, as it is not possible to disentangle oneself from the
>of the world-system in this way. Abstaining from politics in a
democracy is
>also a political action, which may have negative consequences. Experience
>shows that even minorities can exert a political influence.
>My (Jan de Koning's) reply:
>Generally speaking, I would agree. However, there are a few things to
>think of:
>1. In Canada we are voting by "districts" and whoever is voted in is
>representing the district. The result is, or rather should be, that the
>person voted in should be mostly interested in his district, rather
than in
>the well-being of the country as a whole.

In Switzerland, we elect two chambers of the Federal Parliamant, one
representing the people, in general, and the other the Cantons (member
states), as well as Cantonal and community parliaments and governments.
The Federal government is elected by the the united chambers of the
federal parliament. Constitutions (Federal and Cantonal) are voted on by
the people. Popular initiatives may propose constitutional changes, to
be voted on by the people. Base laws are made by the parliaments for
their respective jurisdictions, the important ones being subject to the
people's vote. Application laws are made by the governments, but may be
brought to a people's vote by popular referendum. Furthermore, decisions
on important issues are sometimes preceded by public enquiries open to all.

>2. A Christian party should be possible, but most Christians have divided
>their life in two parts: the spiritual part and everything else (mostly
>dominated by the economic side of life.) I would like to show in my
>that the Economy is not the most important part for me, but for
example: "
>How do we take care of those who fall by the wayside, no job, no
family, or
>who need assistance continually. " I want the government, just like
>churches (should) show that they care about people. For example, here in
>Toronto homelessness is growing, because some people cannot find
>places to live. That is contrary to what God wants us to show.

One of the four big parties in Switzerland calls itself "Christian", but
it is dominated by the Roman Catholic church, and its politics is often
concentrated on promoting the political power of that church, to the
detriment of others. Two of the half a dozen smaller parties declare
themselves evangelical, one of them with an ecumenical emphasis, the
other one with a biblical-conservative one. Starting with the new
legislature, the two of them form a common "fraction", as they have
together 5 (of about 200) parlamentarians, allowing them to obtain seats
in any special commissions.

>3. here in Canada we have an election in a few weeks, however, in our
>"riding" the only choices are Conservative or Liberal or the small Green
>Party. Both of the large parties seem to think that the "ECONOMY" is the
>most important thing. I must admit that they do mention health-care, but
>it is tied in with "who is going to pay."
>4. then there are certain issues which would not give too much
trouble, if
>the growing secular society was not forcing their will on
>Christains. Examples: homosexual weddings, abortion etc. Again, a
>Christian party is needed, if it is only to tell the nation that they are
>on the wrong way.
>More could be said, but . . .
>Jan de Koning

Yes, politics is difficult for Christians, but God encourages His people
to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried
you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too
will prosper" (Jer 29:7), although they certainly were not in a majority
or any position of power in Babylon! How much more does this enjoinment
to actively use the political rights and freedom in democracies apply to
those of us who have them!

Peter Ruest

Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
<> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
"..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
Received on Wed Jun 9 13:22:30 2004

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