Politics and the Distinction between Israel and the Church

The distinction between Israel and the Church is at the heart of what it means to be a dispensationalist. Does this belief, which stems from literal interpretation of the Bible, make a difference in one’s view of politics?  For instance, some schemes of theology depend more heavily on the outlines of OT theology.  One example is the so-called theory of the “divine right of kings” which appears to be rooted in application of Old Testament texts in certain ways at various times in the Western world. This is a small part of the larger question of how the OT in general impacts our thinking for how the world should be run in the current Church Age.  What does a dispensational contribution to this question yield for our theology and practice? It would be nice to have someone address this question.

One comment

  1. A very relevant question, for sure!! I think there’s definitely a correlation (with respect to the early question – i.e. a belief in the distinction between Israel and the church does make a difference in one’s view of politics). I would suppose that one’s observance of a distinction between Israel and the church would lead them away from affirming in any sense some “divine right of kings” as operative in the church age. Certainly, they would not affirm any transfer of divine right from the Kings of Israel to the Christian monarchs of medieval or modern history, as that would bind God’s purposes in Israel and the church together in such a way that violates the dispensational understanding of the Israel-church relationship (and traditionally, the relationship between the church and the world). When we consider democracy though, it’s a bit less clear I think. Democracy allows Christians (and all people obviously) to play a greater role in the political process than an absolute monarchy. But then the democratic angle provokes other questions I suppose, like how does the believer’s participation in the democratic political process relate to God’s purpose in this church age (if it does) – particularly the opportunity presented in a democratic system for believers to effect change in society that aligns with Biblical principles…

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