Jesus THE King, or YOUR King?
During our Sunday afternoon meal and fellowship, I found myself conversing with a 15 year old in our congregation, who had been studying Rousseau's Social Contract theory. I expressed a vague, very undogmatic, uncomfortableness with its with Scriptural principles of government. Then I came across an Imprimis article just now, asserting that US citizenship is not by birth alone, but that a pre-requisite should be one's willingness to give allegiance to the good 'ole US of A. The Founders self-consciously rejected the common law of England as recorded in Blackstone, stating that a subject owes to his ruler an intrinsic debt of gratitude that cannot be altered, forfeited or cancelled. This is the very thing the American Founders rejected, turning instead to Rousseau's Social Contract.
Now, here's the deal. On the face of it, doesn't it seem that the Kingdom of God's politics fit far better with Blackstone than with Rousseau? Jesus is the king, even if we don't want Him. He is the Lord, even if we reject Him. One cannot renounce one's own created status before God, and declare independence from Him. This was the essence of the first sin in the Garden. Then again, God DID allow that to happen. He allows many to continue living, in rejection of His lordship. We can deny allegiance to Him, and He in His patience, gives us time to repent.
The question is, are we allowed by God to lay aside allegiance to an earthly ruler, given his sinful rule? In America, the answer is easily yes. We are used to voting with our feet, and usually find great personal satisfaction (even vengeance) in doing so. Our pietistic "make Jesus king of your heart" kind of stuff doesn't help balance this, any. Like we're doing Jesus a favor believing in Him. Sometimes we point to verses like, "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Yet this was spoken at a God-ordained time of transition in leadership from the Sanhedrin to the Apostles, when the former were rejecting Jesus. Where is the Scriptural warrant for laying aside political obligation to one's tribe and forming one's own nation? Not simply disobeying an ungodly law, like Daniel does (Dan 6:10), but rejecting the rule of those who rule over you, starting your own country in the process?
On the other hand, is there an area where Scripture gives leeway for varying interpretations? Most would agree that Scripture does not command one form of church government, whether episcopal, presbyterian or congregational. (or doesn't it?) Is this the same, where Scripture doesn't command, one way or the other?