In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21:25 ESV
Winston Churchill said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Well, maybe. But is even the best democracy the best we can aspire to in this world? Might not Christians hold onto hopes for a society, this side of Heaven’s perfect City of God, where standards of what is ‘right’ may not only be agreed upon but also followed; and what might such a Christian society look like? This first of three brief posts on the theme of A Christian society comes from C.S. Lewis…
C.S.Lewis wrote: “The New Testament, without going into details, gives us a pretty clear hint of what a fully Christian society would be like. Perhaps it gives us more than we can take. It tells us that there are to be no passengers or parasites: if man does not work, he ought not to eat. Everyone is to work with his own hands, and what is more, every one’s work is to produce something good: there will be no manufacture of silly luxuries and then of sillier advertisements to persuade us to buy them. … To that extent a Christian society would be what we now call Leftist. On the other hand, the New Testament is always insisting on obedience – obedience (and outward marks of respect) from all of us to properly appointed magistrates, from children to parents, and (I am afraid this is going to be very unpopular) from wives to husbands. Thirdly, it is to be a cheerful society: full of singing and rejoicing, and regarding worry and anxiety as wrong. Courtesy is one of the Christian virtues; and the New Testament hates what it calls ‘busybodies’.
“If there were such a society in existence and your or I visited it, I think we would come away with a curious impression. We would feel that its economic life was very socialistic and, in that sense, ‘advanced’, but that its family life and its code of manners were rather old fashioned – perhaps even ceremonious and aristocratic. Each of us would like some bits of it, but I am afraid very few of us would like the whole thing.
“That is just what one would expect if Christianity is the total plan for the human machine. We have all departed from that total plan in different ways, and each of us wants to make out that his own modification of the original plan is the plan itself. You will find this again and again about anything that is really Christian: everyone is attracted by bits of it and wants to pick out those bits and leave the rest.”
From C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.