annatar1914 wrote:@Potemkin and @Verv , gentlemen, my friends:
Very good, and well said. That is to say that on a personal and individual level, the Christian can live anywhere under any political and social economic system in almost any mode of existence. As long as society is possible at all, even an evil government under evil rulers is acceptable as long as the wicked restrain the wicked, at least.
But on a more universal level, it appears too that errors can have no rights and Christians have an obligation to themselves and to others to find more just political and social economic arrangements if possible, for the good of all. If possible.
Obviously too, this would not be a individual undertaking. Left to themselves, people tend towards naturally developing democratic institutions, like the Soviets . Autonomous, anarchic, and collective, surviving and thriving best under cooperation not competition.
These two distinctions you have just made may be the most important observations that we can make as Christians...
(1) We can abide in any system - including evil ones. We are not 100% responsible for what the government does. It might actually sometimes be preferable for us to live in an evil system where the wicked is kept in check by the wicked, than in a system that is good on paper
and where the government itself commits no evil, but the government cannot keep evil in check...
(2) Errors have no rights.
(3) Christians are obligated to seek justice when possible - not in some super ambitious way that means heading some movement and taking control (and thus imposing) some view, but in the sense of feeding the widow, clothing the naked, etc.,
and just trying to improve what is around you in a humble way...
Politics can then be something of a playground for Christians to try to use to illustrate points, I guess.
Perhaps it is also the case that Christians should then be willing to be relativists to some degree: to believe that the right path for the American is perhaps a Libertarian, while the best route for an Iraqi would be Ba'athist, and the best way for an Indian to think could be some Indian liberal party that is not nationalist and very socialistic...
This would be because the different situations and setups require different language and work, and there are even different strengths and truths for different peoples to draw upon... Truths that may only be relevant to themselves and their culture.
After all, in Orthodoxy we do pray for this city and this country.
Of course, we pray for the world, but it makes sense that there are divisions... Not because the act of having people divided as in people should not feel united,
but because the division of people itself can be beneficial since different cultures & peoples have different needs based off of their circumstances, and different systems and infrastructure that they use...
This is why it is refreshing to meet Christian Socialists... and Christian Anarchists... in addition to the monarchist cosplayers and dangerously far right fellahs playing a bit too much with fire.