A gentle critique: Roots are the source of life
Christianity is rooted in Law.
Throwbacks to the days of yore, who crusade under the banner of Reformed Christianity are often accused of being rude, crude, and critical. Their direct, often tightly reasoned critiques upset the calm pietism that pervades American Christendom.
Since I work under the banner of Reformed Christian Reconstruction, I will attempt to set forth the following discourse with a sanguine spirit.
I like David Alan Black and appreciate his gentle admonitions. He is an eloquent, insightful writer who does his homework and elicits regular remonstrations for righteousness. He wrote and essay entitled “The Seduction of Politics”. Read the essay here. We are in agreement on many of the issues he addresses. I agree that the involvement of American Evangelical leaders in the political arena has been “antithetical to the Gospel”. I agree that the problem is “sin”. I agree that, “Christians must maintain an ultimate commitment to Christ and eschew loyalty to a political party – any political party“.
However, I do not believe David Kuo was, is, or ever will be a prophet. David Kuo is a theologically challenged, naïve, Evangelical Christian who was frustrated in an attempt to transfer into the realm of government, responsibilities that fall under the realm of the Christian Church. The Biblical role of government is limited to protecting families and administering the sentences of Magistrates. When Christians use the power of government as a charitable instrument or as a vehicle to redistribute wealth they are usurping the responsibilities God has ordained for His Church and its members.
Being against Christian involvement in politics creates an urgent need to explain just how we should treat this significant part of God’s creation.
I discussed this issue in a previous essay. Read it here.
The use of the earthly ministry of King Jesus as an axiom for Christians to forsake attention to current political activity overlooks an element of His ministry. In Jesus time, the Holy Land had been overrun by Roman armies. However, the Jewish social order still existed under Roman tyranny and the Pharisees continued to engaged in interpreting the Law. Their interpretations were an intricate part of the function of government. Our Supreme court provides a similar service. Jesus’ strident rebuke of their conduct should provide an example of what He expects of us today. As Brother Black has graciously written, Jesus was not a “Pharisee, Herodian, Sadducee, or Zealot“. Christians should not belong to political parties. What they should do is seek righteousness in government by vigorously and stridently condemning sin.
Brother Black writes several times about “sin“, he writes about the “heart of God” and that “They read the Scriptures but refused to come to the Word of life that they might be saved. They tithed but never gave themselves to the Lord. They prayed but never prayed the prayer of repentance. They were religious but never righteous.”
Sin is a dire problem that arouses Our Lord to anger. Back in my Charismatic days we used to define sin as “separation from God“. Though we used the phrase frequently, I was never sure exactly what it meant. The dictionary informs me that “sin” is the twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is also “an offense against God, religion, or good morals” and“an offense against any law, standard, code, etc.”
Obedience brings us near to God while disobedience creates a separation. Disobedience requires repentance; obedience produces righteousness. Without the Law, obedience and disobedience cannot be properly defined.
The word “sin” looses much of its meaning without recourse to Statutes. Breaching the mandates God has given us in His Laws constitutes sin. Law defines sin. When the Christian Church fails to teach and obey God’s Laws, sin abounds.
Obedience to the Law cannot save us. Only the Blood of Christ can provide salvation. However, the Laws God gave to Moses remain the standard for righteous behavior for individuals and for governments and when they are disobeyed Satanic chaos soon follows.
Rampant sin in American churches is largely a result of the church’s failure to properly define righteous behavior by upholding the Legal standards God has graciously provided.
For several decades during a nation-wide Christian revival that began in the 1950s hundreds of thousands of Americas have been converted and discipled. Alter calls, invitations to“come to the Word of life”, are common and often the alter is full. At massive Billy Graham crusades thousands “give themselves to the Lord”. Many of these individuals have been selected by the Father and are genuinely converted to Christ.
The numerical increase in Christians has been inversely proportional to righteousness in the social order. Jesus condemned a fig tree that did not produce fruit and He condemns our Churches for the same reason, THERE HAS BEEN NO FRUIT!
Arminianism, Pelagianism, and Dispensationalism have ravaged the Christian Church creating a disparate Christian body that is useless in God’s quest for an obedient hegemony.
The American Christian Church is anarchic, sin filled, arrogant, stubborn, theologically vapid, and flaccid. It is characterized by an effort to build individual churches to the glory of the senior pastor at the expense of the Kingdom of God. It has no common theology, no discipline, no specific righteousness, no effective voice in the social order, and provides no lasting redemption for its laypeople. It has totally forgotten its roots.
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “you are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound the Scripture without the assistance from the works of divine and learned men who have labored before you in the field of exposition . . . . It seems odd that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.”
Charles Spurgeon’s ministry was flavored with Calvinism, the Westminster Confessions were flavored with Calvinism, Calvinism was flavored with Augustinianism – even after the Reformation, there was a continuity to the theological underpinnings of the Christian Church. Christianity needs to return to it roots.
The Roman Empire lasted for close to five centuries. In our day America has become an empire builder but the forces behind it are not the ones that appear on our daily papers or on our television screens. The bankers and industrialists who seek to administer Globalism are battling for world domination, they seek the ultimate empire. It will be a secular empire and those who embrace the Christian religion will be treated in the same way they were treated in Imperial Rome. We in United States stand on the brink of Martial Law.
God often prescribes captivity as an antidote for sinful behavior and sin sick, unrepentant American Christians are surely in need of Godly recompense.
Now, if you will indulge me for a few more paragraphs I want to address an essay by Daniel Larison in the November 20th issue of “The American Conservative”. Read it here.
Daniel Larison takes issue with the younger President Bush’s assertion that universal freedom is a gift from the Almighty. Citing Bush’s statement, “I know it upsets people when I ascribe that to my belief in an Almighty, and that I believe a gift from that Almighty is universal freedom. That’s what I believe.” he pronounces it epideictic (love that word) and ends his essay with these words “God is the Lord of the free and the unfree, and it is surely important for the hope of those Christians who do not enjoy the blessings of liberty to know that they are no less His children in spite of not experiencing political freedom.”
“Freedom” is another one of those words that is overworked but ill-defined. Many believe United States is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Some Libertarians seek an anarchic freedom bereft of all legal restraint. Many secularists seek sexual freedom. There is much talk about religious freedom and freedom of the press. We are told that the War in Iraq is to protect our freedoms.
With only a little thought one can understand that the human specie is a spirit captive in a physical body. Freedom from the physical prison involves death. Even the mind, itself, is proscribed by its inability to ponder infinity or to entirely control its own function. With body and spirit in tact, maximum freedom is only possible in total loneliness; two humans inhibit freedom. Freedom is inversely proportional to population. The anarchic, lawless freedom sought by some Libertarians would result in a murderous chaos that would seriously disrupt the order of the universe and require tyrannical restraint.
Order must precede physical freedom. The question then becomes what sort of order?
All systems of order designed and authored by human beings are by nature tyrannical. Human beings vary in ability but all are fallible and none have the ability to codify ultimate freedom.
Pervasive freedom is only possible under the authority of the Laws God gave to Moses. These Laws were given to a fallen creation to produce peace and prosperity. A byproduct would be the greatest possible amount of freedom. Daniel Larison is correct in stating that God is the “Lord of the free and the unfree” but he has not yet apprehended God’s design for maximum freedom.
It is, however, refreshing to hear from a Believer imbedded in the Rockefeller endowed University of Chicago.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”