Plato, Aristotle, and Hegel held the task of the state to be that of realizing justice and virtue. But one thing they did not see: that force and violence must ultimately fail. And the state lives exclusively in the sphere of force. Socialism, with its rigorous organization of the masses and strictly applied discipline, is simply another form of totalitarian militarism. Marxism, too, has to compensate for the absence of the Spirit by applying coercive measures. Therefore the dedicated church can have nothing to do with these powers of the state.
The church represents one thing alone: the all-sustaining power of love. It is the church’s task to exert its influence on the political life for the sake of social justice and peace, for the sake of encompassing love. But to master the murderous spirit of mammon, the church must call on spiritual forces far greater than the ideals of economic politics. It has the one and only hope by which to achieve unity and freedom among human beings: the one spirit who is the Spirit of God.
Read more on this subject from Eberhard Arnold in God’s Revolution (Plough Publishing House, 1997).
Article edited for length and clarity. View original document here: “Jesus and the Future State”.