The State’s “messiah”

inkshield.jpgI have written several articles describing how American evangelical Christians have confused the role of government and the role of the Church. I’ve pointed out how we’ve come to expect the state to be God’s instrument of grace (when Scripture clearly gives that role to the Church), how we’ve mistaken nationalism for patriotism, and how we’ve come to regard our “country” so highly that we’ve fallen into idolatry. As a result I’ve received e-mails and comments from readers telling me I’m overreacting, that a strong love of country is not idolatry, and that it’s silly to think anyone views the state as “savior.”


Then may I refer you to an article that asks the question, “Is Obama the messiah?”

Now, I realize there probably aren’t very many people who regard Barack Obama as God in the flesh. However, to attach the word “messiah” to a mere political candidate is to betray one’s true view of government. It’s an admission that the government can be our savior — if only we would elect the right person to run it. It demonstrates an investment of hope in what the government can do and an absence of trust in the God who sent the real messiah so that we might have the blessed hope of eternity.

Civil religion — the worship of the state — is nothing new. I just hope that now someone has finally had the gall to call a potential president “messiah” it will open our eyes to that fact.

About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

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