Acting As If Christ's Atonement Were Unnecessary
We should be sceptical when Christians aspire to enter politics. We should be very cautious supporting Christians who aspire to exercise warrants of governmental power. More often than not Christians make disastrous political and civil rulers.
One reason modern Christians do more harm than good when it comes to government and law is because they confuse the roles and duties of the state with the church and the family and civil society.
The state is an institution of power. It is entitled (and commanded by God) to employ force (the sword) for the punishment of evildoers. When an individual or group do not submit to the authority of the state they can end up stripped of property, freedom, and even life itself.
The power to confiscate, impoverish, enslave, incarcerate, and even execute is so threatening to ordinary citizens that historically Christendom insisted that the powers of the state be carefully defined, limited, prescribed and proscribed by law. In the Christian republic, law is king, and all law--to be genuinely holy, just and good--had to be grounded upon God's higher laws.
Historically, Christendom insisted that government powers be carefully limited and very narrowly focused. The doctrine of the divine right of kings (where the king was regarded as answerable solely to God and thus the power of the king was implicitly absolute) was rejected emphatically in time. The doctrine of the separation of powers of government into various loci of competence and authority (executive, judicial, and legislative) was another development to restrain and restrict absolute tyrannical power.
The twentieth century oversaw a vast expansion of state power. Modern Western governments have claimed authority and powers which even "divine right" monarchs could never have imagined. The expansion of administrative controls continues unabated--ceaselessly added to by faceless committees and a multitude of regulatory bodies.
When modern Christians get involved in politics and government they invariably seek to wield government powers for good. In most cases this is nothing short of tragic. It supplants the grace and mercy of the Saviour for the dead law of man. God commands that we love our neighbour as ourselves. Christians--with all the best intent and motives--inevitably try to take hold of state power when they have the opportunity to so regulate, legislate, and command that we are made to love our neighbour, we are compelled to love by regulatory fiat. Such a mistake is oxymoronic. Its fruit is terrible.
The state has been appointed by God for the administration of vengeance upon evildoing (Romans 13: 4). It is not appointed to be an institution to make people holy, righteous and good by means of wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command. It has no appointed efficacy or power to transform people from sinners into saints. Were that the case there would have been no need for Christ's atonement and blood sacrifice upon the cross, and no need for His resurrection. Salvation could have been achieved by passing a law and ruthlessly enforcing it.
The authority and competence of the state is exceedingly narrow. Christians make a grave mistake when they think they can enter politics to "make a difference". In most cases they will end up inflicting far, far more harm than good. When it comes to making people righteous the law is worthless. If Christians have not got this clearly fixed in their minds they should stay away from politics, government, and civil administration as if it were the plague.