Maybe it's a subtle distinction - if it even exists - but I question that true righteousness can be brought about by laws. It seems to me to be a matter of the heart, and one can be righteous and have the correct relationship with God, no matter what the laws are. On the other hand, all the right laws can be in place, and people still be evil, murderous (hate-filled), and very far from God (reference Iran - stoning for adultery, chopping off hands for stealing). It does get complicated, because I do believe the "right" laws should be in place, i.e., the killing of innocents outlawed, robbing and stealing carrying consequences, etc. I also believe we can honor Him with our government, laws, and behavior. It's just that (as I imagine most if not all of us here believe) in the end, the Lord God destroys kingdoms or heals the land; He kills and makes alive.
Thats where I come from. I agree with Eaglesway we should cry out against oppression. I agree with Molly that our republic is the most free form of government our world has seen. I unfortunately don't put any hope in our political process anymore. It seems to be a sham, and is nothing more than babylon. I would like to see us return to a constitutional republic, but even then, that will never change hearts. Like Sheila said, it may be the best thing for us is to live in true persecution, and I've always felt that was what would bring about the glorious bride even before i understood kingdom principles. I hate to say it but I would like the whole system to fail, and I have a feeling and have for a long time that the sons will be manifested in the midst of a worldwide collapse of society.
Their will be laws as long as man is in the process of reconciliation/restoration. The light that shone in the world through our laws have changed the laws of the whole world, or at least put them under scrutiny- largely do to the influence of the gospel here. I believe the sons of God walk in all aspects of life and are the reason why the world is moving forward in the light on any level. The United States did not just "come to be". Israel did not just "come to be". All of these things have developed as a part of the continuing administration of the ages. As long as we must (IMO we must) struggle against darkness, we ought to carry the torch of the kingdom of God. The problem, as I see it, is that we want to put a banner over it, a badge on our chest(I am a Christian), and just wait until the Lord comes to make them see. I just see a more proactive view expounded by the prophets. The first step in legislating righteous laws, is protecting freedom. The framers of the constitution understood that. Because of that, we have enjoyed two centuries of freedom previously unknown in the world - except during the righteous reigns in Israel. Because of that- no one here gets stoned or gets their hand chopped off. That is not "law". That is the chaos of anarchy functioning under a veil of totalitarian oppression.
We ought to have the ability to articulate such distinctions because we see them clearly. Our fore fathers did. Although it may be true that the sons will manifest more brightly after the collapse, and all governments will crumble before His at some point- THIS SHOULD NOT OCCUR BY DEFAULT. The prophets continued to prophesy no matter how iniquitous the rulers of Israel became. The Lord PLEADED through them. He REASONED through them- and yes, he even THREATENED through them- but His threats were ALWAYS INTENDED TO TURN THEIR HEARTS and were ACCOMPANIED BY CLEARLY ARTICULATED PROMISES. Jesus faced the unrighteous rulers in the streets ROUTINELY, and his disputes with them were not all, so-called "spiritual issues". He addressed every aspect of their corrupt government even as he articulated his government.
So, in my opinion we ought to do both, "Strengthen that which remains and is about to fall", so to speak. As one of the prophets said(Amos I think). "Woe unto you who say, "The Day of the Lord, The DAy of the Lord, For the Day of the Lord is like a man who runs from a lion and meets a bear, or leans against a wall(to rest) and a snake bites his arm."
Did the sons come forward when the czars fell? No, Lennin and Stalin murdered 30 million Russians. Did the sons come forward when the Nazi's rampaged? Where were the sons when the Tutsi's and the Hutu's were murdering one another? Are you so sure that the sons are poised to manifest over the next horizon of callamity? I am not, and even if I was, I would stand like a son and shine whatever light against it that I can.
There are critical times in the history of nations. This is a critical time in our history, obviously, but.... I would rather fall at some version of the Alamo for an ideal that has hope in it, than just sit around and debate scriptures with Christians who have not got the inspiration even to lay down their petty differences and stand together in love as family (just speaking in general, please -no one take offense). I think the sons are out there, making a difference, as well as in the closet, interceding for all who are in authority that we might live peacefully in the earth, as well as out in the highways and the bywys, inviting all they meet to the wedding feast. What can I say :o) I certainly don't believe in maintaining the status quo, I just see the present crisis as an opportunity to stand in the gap for people who are willing to give all for their posterity. I guess we all do that in different ways.
Dietrich Bonhoffer wrote one of my favorite books, "The Cost of Discipleship". He was executed by the Nazi's for assisting the underground and speaking out against Hitler. IMO most definitely a son :o)