1. God’s Legacy of Progressive Peace:

The fifth part of a Biblical covenant is a program of inheritance– a lawful transition that mortal men need in order to extend their dominion over creation.

The goal of foreign policy is peace. This means peace on God’s covenantal terms. There is no other basis of lasting peace: personally, locally, nationally, or internationally. God does not offer rebellious mankind peace on any other basis. To be at war with God covenantally is to abandon the only basis of peace on earth.[1]

Almost everybody proclaims that they want peace. The Biblical ideal of swords being hammered into ploughshares (Isa.2:4; Mic.4:3), appeals to most, until they consider their requirement to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So far as true peace is concerned, it is at root an ethical issue for “the righteous nation” (Isa.26:2). International peace has mostly been an illusion, because those who proclaimed that they were seeking it have mostly been at war with God (and thus with others), in their hearts. The individual or nation at war covenantally with God, will never find peace in this life or the next.

Jesus did not come to bring us peace in this world. He brings us peace with God which assures us of conflict with God’s enemies. The search for peace goes on, but Christ alone brings perfect peace through perfect victory. He gives it definitively to His people when they are converted. He brings it progressively in history. He fulfils it finally at the last judgment. (HON, p.122).

Ambassadors or Diplomats?

The problem with Western foreign policy [today] is that it is conducted by diplomats for the sake of those elitists who benefit from continued trade with the enemy. The economic deal-doers have taken control of the policy-making organizations… Diplomats are specialists in softening rival positions, trading with the other side. The result has been a steady retreat by the West in the face of danger for over three generations… An ambassador is to represent the national interests of his country. He is not a professional negotiator. Negotiators are useful professionals, but only when a nation is negotiating with its allies. They should not be let anywhere near a self-identified enemy. We should not trade with the enemy, so we need to keep specialists in trading (that is, economics or politics) completely out of the picture (HON, p.132).

A pre-occupation with commerce has muddied the waters, and weakened the foreign policy of western nations. Thus, as one shrewd observer wrote in 1984, “for both constitutional reasons and reasons connected with the peculiarities of totalitarian politics, the State Department [of the U. S.] is not the proper agency to formulate and execute foreign policy toward the Soviet Union or any other totalitarian state. These states play by different rules and must be dealt with accordingly.”[2]

We need ambassadors who understand the theological nature of the confrontation, and who will press the claims of Christ. Diplomats can negotiate the details with covenanted allies, pagan allies, and even neutrals. They should not be allowed to negotiate with hostile nations. They do not possess the required skills (HON, p.137).

Clearly, the inheritance of the earth by the covenant people of God is a long-term process. It is cumulative. It necessarily involves a transfer of assets from the unjust to the just. Those who obey God’s covenant laws steadily inherit the inheritance of those who disobey God’s covenant laws. Thus, the covenantal process of cumulative inheritance necessarily involves the covenantal process of cumulative disinheritance.[3]

In Summary:

  1. The goal of international relations is peace with God, not peace with Satan.
  2. International relations must face the fact that nations seek to impose their will on other nations, just as God seeks to impose His will on His enemies.
  3. Christian nations must trust in God, not weapons.
  4. We are not to go unarmed into battle, however: David and Goliath.
  5. Christian foreign policy is to seek the surrender of the nations of the world to God through an international covenant.
  6. Peace is the fruit of a previous victory, though not usually a military victory.
  7. Perfect peace comes only at the last judgment.
  8. Perfect peace is a legitimate goal in history, but impossible to attain.
  9. Perfect peace, perfect victory, and perfect humanity are found only in the Person of Christ.
  10. This perfection is imputed to us definitively at the point of conversion.
  11. Peace with God produces conflict with God’s enemies.
  12. Humanists seek their peace through conquest or international agreement.
  13. Swords are turned into ploughshares as the enemies of God surrender covenantally and nationally to God.
  14. If there is no such thing as a Christian nation, there can be no such thing as international peace in this world.
  15. God lures sinful empires to turn ploughshares into swords as preliminary acts of aggression against Christian nations.
  16. This act of rebellion then brings destruction to the rebels.
  17. Tyrants eventually “overplay their hand.”
  18. Arms control is an illegitimate international goal.

Conclusion:

One of the greatest challenges in our era, is convincing Christians how important they could be both in their own nation, and amongst the nations of the world. Christians have been reluctant to believe that their mission could be beyond individuals and families. We have believed the gospel, but we have had difficulty believing that the gospel of Jesus Christ had an application beyond these spheres. This has resulted in a comprehensive lack of effectiveness beyond the realm of the individual.

Until Christians start taking the offensive by preaching the whole counsel of God, the absolute sovereignty of God, and the gospel of comprehensive redemption, they will remain covenantal subordinates to the retreating humanists of the West. They will remain on the side of the losers (HON, p.237).

But all this can change. It will change at some point, when believers wake up to the fact that they have been seriously neglecting their responsibilities before God, and that the promised land of the whole world awaits them. What must we realise?

That Christians are ambassadors of reconciliation: primarily, the reconciliation of man to God, and secondarily, the reconciliation of covenant-keeping men to each other. Christians are assigned the task of announcing to the whole world that the gospel of Christ alone offers hope to the world. God is reconciling the world to Himself in history through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is God’s program for healing the nations. No other program, no other faith, no other plan can work. This is the only basis of permanent peace that God offers to men and nations in history (HON, p.233).

 

 

[1] North, ibid, p.121.

[2] R. Pipes, “Survival is not Enough: Soviet Realities and America’s Future,”1984, p.275.

[3] North, ibid.p.217.