If there’s one criticism that is most often hurled against Christian Reconstructionism, it is that the movement is really a sort of nefarious, political action committee that seeks to surreptitiously “take over” the country and impose its “top-down” theocratic agenda on the rest of the population, bringing its own brand of “taliban”-style totalitarianism to bear on the levers of power and overthrow our Western-style democracy in favor of a brutal and backwards “biblical oppressiveness.”
There’s just one little problem with this “popular” assertion. . .
It’s COMPLETELY WRONG!
All that has ever been written or said by any of the major players in the now-40-year-old Christian Reconstruction movement–whether Rushdoony, Bahnsen, North or any of the others–points to it as being, (a), a grass-roots, bottom-up, voluntary association of believers acting co-operatively, lawfully and peacefully to bring about biblical reforms within the realms of politics–the state–the family and the church, and, (b), a movement that has a STRONG “Christian libertarian” vein running through it: SELF-government under God. LIBERTY under His law. SPIRITUAL transformation of individual hearts and minds first, cultural transformation of societies and institutions second. Renewal and restoration from the ground up, from the inside out.
No totalitarianist tendencies here.
Let’s take a look what has been happening in Uganda over the past two months.
In October, President Muzeveni prayed a public prayer of confession and repentance for the national sins of Uganda committed during its first 50 years of existence as an independent, self-governing nation, thereby doing what NO other political leader has done at any time in modern history: placing his entire nation and its people directly under the covenantal sanctions of God and begging for His mercy, clemency and forgiveness!
In November, a bill toughening criminal penalties against the practice of homosexuality in Uganda passed through committee and is scheduled to be voted on in Parliament this month (December).
The original 2009 “anti-homosexuality bill” reads like this.
The media, of course, has been apoplectic and unrighteously indignant at the inclusion of a death penalty in the bill for certain “aggravated” offenses involving acts of homosexuality. Lawmakers caved (to pressure and their own misgivings), and that provision has since been removed.
Now, in all the hysteria, the focus has been almost exclusively on WHAT they’re doing over there (i.e., oppressing gays, discriminating against, penalizing/criminalizing sexual orientation, etc., etc..)
Hardly anyone has focussed on WHO is doing it.
Or more to the point, who is not doing it. . .
It is not the leaders “seeking to impose a top-down, theocratic agenda” on the people of Uganda.
No, no, no, gentle reader. That’s what the critics want you to believe. That is what those who hate government-enforced biblical morality want you to believe.
Rather, it is the people of Uganda who are doing this. They are telling their elected officials, this is what WE want!
Let’s take a look at demographics. Uganda is a country whose population is over 80% Christian. Now, do you suppose that a pretty good-size chunk of those 80%, maybe, go to the polls and VOTE? Yes! Do you suppose that, perhaps, some of those same voters occasionally (or perhaps regularly) go to their elected leaders from time to time (“write their congressman”), attend their meetings and hearings, voice their opinions and perhaps tell them, you know, in light of all that our little nation has been through, this is the kind of legislation we’d like you to pass, these are the kinds of laws we think would be best for our people? Ya think, hmmm?
Well, that is exactly what happened in Uganda.
Coincidentally, that is exactly how “Christian reconstruction” is supposed to work. How it does work. The people, having had a “change of heart” and change in their thinking, begin to make changes in their government and in their laws as they see fit and as they begin to see the need and opportunity, according to their values, their shared beliefs, their shared convictions of what is right and wrong.
Now, here’s another twist to the unusual developments in an already theologically-loaded situation there in the east-African nation.
What’s going on in Uganda poses a unique “problem”, not only for liberals and gay activists. It poses a sticky eschatological problem for some Christians.
Not all God’s people are saying ‘Amen’!
You see, what’s happening over there doesn’t fit neatly into certain eschatological schemes, prophetic timetables and other artificial doctrinal and theological constraints placed on the belief systems and “worldviews” of millions of evangelical and Reformed Christians.
Darn those Ugandans!
Don’t they know, we’ve almost got “Antichrist” right where we want him now so that the prophetic time clock can be restarted and we can finally have our long-awaited Rapture and subsequent Jewish holocaust and unbiblical reinstatement of temple animal sacrifice like we’re supposed to?
Don’t they know the Gospel and Christianity are ‘for individual use’ only? Not intended for resale (or wholesale) to cultures and societies? Certainly not for institutional use? Don’t they know the Church of Jesus Christ is destined (predestined) to be a complete and total, global epic failure in history, and ‘Satan is lord’ (politically) until Jesus comes again to dethrone him and clean up the unholy mess we’ve made?
Bojidar Marinov, Bulgarian missionary and firebrand Reconstructionist, has written an excellent article on “a problem called Uganda” as it relates to the preconceived notions of premillennialist, dispensationalist, amillennialist, antinomian and anti-Reconstructionist Christians.
I highly recommend reading what Bojidar says.
Those of us who embrace postmillennialism (the Gospel WILL succeed globally before Jesus returns), biblical preterism (fulfilled prophecy), theonomy (God’s law, our liberty) and covenant theology (historic, not the modern discombobulated kind), on the other hand, are greatly encouraged by what we see happening in the nation of Uganda (and in Zambia, too)–unlike our unlike-minded brothers in Christ who see Uganda the way Churchill saw Russia: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.
Maybe we can invite President Museveni to come speak to a joint session of Congress and talk to our lawmakers about how we can avoid going over the “moral, ethical and spiritual cliff”!
We Americans have a lot of national sins to repent of, too.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before Facebook inexplicably erased the share count on Dec. 5, 2012, this article had been shared 31 times! I don’t know what happened, but I want to thank all of you who thought what was written here was worth sharing–PR.
Dec. 7, 2012: Looks like they reset the share counter to zero, but at least it’s working again!–PR.