Posted in theonomy

King’s Law: Of Whose in Particular do we Speak and Thereby Abide?

Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death” (Exod 21.16; ESV).1

This law is against kidnapping and it prohibits chattel slavery. The law states that the penalty for such activity is death. “Shall be…” is the equivalent of “certainly.” That is to say, “That person, who is found guilty of such activity, certainly will be put to death. Those who commit such acts deserve to die. Furthermore, God commands that when an individual is found guilty, when the punishment is to be carried out:

Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deut 19.21).

Meaning that the justice being served out in such situations is warranted and equitable to the offense that has been committed. The purpose was to purge the evil from society and to drive fear into the hearts of the people so that they did not commit such abominable acts (cf. Deut 24.7). Think for a moment how upholding God’s holy standard in society would affect society as a whole.

Rather than a Civil War, which our nation suffered under for treating a certain sector of society as less than human (i.e., animal property), where tens of thousands died, some, members of the same household, an application of God’s statutes in the civil sector of our society would have prevented it. The simple truth remains as a historical reality, where the Christian worldview (a.k.a., the biblical worldview) persists, slavery and other such undesirable practices dissipate. One such example is seen in the life of William Wilberforce (1759-1833, A. D.), a Christian parliamentarian in England whose life’s goal was to eradicate the slave-trade and the practice of holding slaves as property on the shores of his cherished country. He succeeded at the end of his life, after a long, well-fought battle.

It was Wilberforce’s convictions that stemmed from his religious zeal for the God of Scripture revealed in Jesus Christ and made evident by the Holy Spirit’s Word-driven promptings that moved England to a slave free state. The reason our nation suffered a Civil War was not only tied to chattel slavery, but an abuse of power being practiced by those serving in the offices of civil government. Rather than recognizing their duty as God’s ministers for good (Rom 13.4), they pursued the desires of their own heart.

Why? Why is this the case? Because at base all men are sinners, preferring the standard of their own subjective word over and above the revealed Word of God. But, why was it that some who professed to bear the mantle of Christ argued against freeing men and women and children from chattel style servitude? Because, they refused to use the Word of God, in particular His laws concerning chattel slavery, as a corrective lens over and above their perverted view of reality.

This attitude prevails today. People prefer their own law, their own traditions, their own understanding of the world around them rather than God’s own. People prefer a secular form of governance, rather than a divinely inspired one. I can understand this from someone who denies the God of Scripture, but not those who profess the name of Christ.

Lord and Savior (Deliverer)…

Christians profess that Jesus the Christ is Lord and Savior, but what is supposed to be understood by this profession of faith? Well, I’ll tell you what its supposed to mean. It means that Jesus is our King, our Deliverer. He is the established head over all things, having preeminence over all things, because all things were made through (and for) Him. Therefore, all things are commanded to serve Him.

James R. White sums up very nicely the reality of Jesus Christ and His gospel in a statement he made during a public speaking event. I do not have the direct quote in front of me, so I will paraphrase: “I’m tired of people presenting Jesus as a weak beggar, for He is a mighty Lord. And, the gospel is not an invitation, it is a command.”

This reality is demonstrated in the words of Christ’s Great Commission. Before His ascension to His heavenly throne at the right hand (the hand of power/authority) of His Father, Jesus declares a word to His disciples:

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28.18; NASB).

This statement does not mean that before that day Jesus had no kingly authority. He has had that type of authority before the beginning (cf. John 1.1-3; 8.58; 17.5). What then is meant? That, now as the God-Man (fully divine, fully human), having accomplished the work that He was sent to complete (John 19.30; Col 2.14-17), He has became the permanent mediator between God and man, being mankind’s chief representative, replacing Adam in the garden (Rom 5.12-19; 1Cor 15.45-49, 57), and thereby destroying the works of the devil (1John 3.8).2

According to Gary North, “This text [Matt 28.18-20], more than any other in the New Testament, places the nations under Jesus Christ.”3 A point similarly made by Kenneth L. Gentry in his work entitled, The Greatness of the Great Commission: “In the concluding Great Commission, Christ sovereignly declares that He had been “given’ ‘all authority,’ not only over the kingdoms Satan had authority over, but also in heaven….”4

Most notice the evangelistic side of the commission, but few seem to recognize the other elements pertinent for consideration. The role of the Christian disciple under this charge is that of representation. Not only is the proclamation of the gospel (a command to the nations) required, but after baptism (an identification with Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior) in the name of God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) the disciple is to train up new converts in the observing and obeying of all that God has commanded. This last reference (Matt 28.20a) speaks of God’s Law.

A key aspect of the law of God is that it is not burdensome to the new convert, but a delight to their lives (1John 5.3). An oft repeated verse illustrates this truth:

Take my yoke [figuratively, my law] upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke [figuratively, My law] is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11.29-30; ESV).

Imaging slaves…

All men (people) are slaves. No, I didn’t misspeak. All men are slaves. The question isn’t whether or not we are slaves, but who are we slaves to (cf. Rom 6.16)? Jesus explains that people will be a slave of one master or Lord (see Matt 6.24 and Luke 16.13). They will, in response, hate the one and love the other, being devoted to the one whom they serve as they despise another.

To be an image bearer means that we are dependent not independent beings. God created mankind to serve Him, to live for Him, to exercise godly dominion through the reflection of His holy mind. If we are not slaves to the Lord who created all, then we will be slaves of some other lord. We will either respond to the voice of God in obedience, submitting to what He has revealed as good, or we will listen to the voice of another. The Great Commission of Christ is that He, having all authority in all creation (both the seen and unseen), sends out His representatives into the world, commanding all sinners to lay down their arms of rebellion and serve Him. Those that become new converts (i.e., disciples) are required to learn and obey all that He has commanded.

Not a N.T. thing…

Nowhere does Scripture limit this teaching to the New Testament. The overarching principle of the Creator versus the creature distinction, which is on display even in the Great Commission, is that when God speaks (or has spoken) through His inscripturated Word we are required to listen (i.e., obey). The only time a law or command can be said to be different now than in the past, is if God has dictated it to us as such. Mankind is never, not even the redeemed body of Christ, to add to or take away from what God has declared as good, righteous and holy. How can the subjective mind of man ever have a standard as clear as the objective mind of God? It is not possible.

Applicability of God’s Law Today…

Here’s the thing, the law against chattel slavery is an example of what the Lord requires His disciples to teach to the nations. This form of sin (a criminal act against a fellow image bearer of God) is worthy of death. This is true of a multitude of sinful activities, which we would define as crimes today, and even those our modern culture would not.

Here are a few examples of crimes against society as a whole that are worthy of death. Things that make modern Evangelicals pee their pants in frustration. To rape is punishable by death (Deut 22.25-27). To maliciously lie in a court of law in order to get the death penalty for one you hate is punishable by death (Deut 19.16-19). To kidnap or steal a fellow human being is punishable by death (Exod 21.16). If a person has an aggressive animal that they have not dealt with properly and it kills another, both the owner and the animal shall be put to death (Exod 21.29). To have sex with an animal is punishable by death (Lev 20.15-16). To kill a child in the womb is punishable by death (Exod 21.22-23). To kill a thief in broad daylight is punishable by death (Exod 22.3). To mistreat the widow or fatherless (i.e., the orphan) is punishable by death (Exod 22.22-24). To curse one’s parents, to strike out against them in harm is worthy of the death penalty (Lev 20.9). Treason in its various forms is punishable by death (Deut 13). Publicly blaspheming the Name (character of) God is punishable by death (Lev 24.11). To have sexual intimacy with the same sex (a man with a man, or a woman with a woman) was worthy of the death penalty (Lev 20.13; Rom 1.26-27, 32; also see Matt 19.4-5). As is adultery (Deut 22.22), and incest (Lev 18.6; 20.11-12, 14, 17), and cross-dressing (Deut 22.5; known in our day as transitioning genders).

This list is by no means exhaustive, and it does not cover a multitude of other laws that deal things touched upon in the civil sphere. For example, theft was dealt with not by the cutting off of one’s hands, or throwing them into prison, but the penalty prescribed was restitution or indentured servitude until what was stolen was paid back by the percentage determined in light of the violation that had taken place (e.g., Exod 22.1-14). It should also be noted to the reader that just because something required the death penalty, does not in fact that the death penalty would be determined. The prosecution must prove the guilt of such a person or persons, and this only in the light of two to three witnesses (i.e., lines of evidence), anything less would not suffice (see Deut 17.6; 19.15).

It is when we get to the particulars of God’s Law that begins to get people squeamish. (I was somewhat joking about modern Evangelicals peeing their pants in frustration). Jesus is identified in Scripture as King of kings and Lord of lords (1Tim 6.15; Rev 1.5; 17.14). The reference alone should settle the debate in regards to “whose law should be the standard for living?” A king exercises authority by dictating the normative practices of their citizenry. Laws are unavoidable. According to the Bible the civil magistrate is the one charged with upholding the good and punishing evil doers (cf. Rom 13.1-7). Debate swirls around what the role of civil magistrate actually entails, around what good and what evil are being spoken of. If only we would learn to read a little further, then perhaps, and I say “perhaps” because of the desire to be our own little gods, we would discern the truth as clearly as it has been dictated to us. For it is God’s law that is referenced as the normative good that the civil authorities are meant to publish and uphold (cf. Rom 13.8-10). And if it is not God’s Law, which is the Law of Christ, then whose shall it be? I think the current culture along with her leaders speaks volumes of just what type of law is being enforced upon us today.

In the United States, there was no king and so the people sought to do whatever they perceived right in their own eyes, under the guise of “We the people…” and our civil leaders were joyous at the opportunity to impose their own subjective opinions on the hearts of all…..

ENDNOTES:

1All Scripture unless otherwise noted shall be of the English Standard Version (ESV). Emphasis added.

2This resurrection certified this result (i.e., judicially), although history has a part to play as things are incrementally brought under the sovereign Jesus’ feet: “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he [Jesus the Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1Cor 15.24-26; ESV).

3Gary North, Priorities and Dominion: An Economic Commentary on Matthew (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1999), e-book, Chapter 46, “Discipling the Nations.” https://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/sidefrm2.htm.

4Kenneth L. Gentry, The Greatness of the Great Commission: The Christian Enterprise in a Fallen World (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990), PDF e-book. When Adam sinned in the garden, he laid down his arms of warfare (contrary to Gen 2.15) and surrendered to the creature, rather than the voice of his Creator (Gen 3.17), and as a result was sold into slavery unto sin; judged ethically dead before the Lord (cf. Eph 2.1-3).

Posted in Uncategorized

Were the July 4th and 1787 Founders Deists? – The American Vision

American Vision ran an ad on Facebook for the republication of The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States. The ad went to a broader audience. Some historical crazies responded. Keep in mind that no one who had responded had read the 1000-page book that is filled with original source documentation. It’s easy to argue a case when you are ignorant and assume others are equally ignorant.
— Read on americanvision.org/posts/were-the-july-4th-and-1787-founders-deists/

Posted in Worldview Analysis

War and Violence, Peace and Unity: What Do These Four Terms Have to Do With the Christian Worldview?

Since I was little I have been a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings. As a kid I only had access to “The Hobbit,” but when I was in my early twenties I purchased the three volume set entitled “The Lord of the Rings.” Within Tolkien’s writing there are quite a bit of hidden nuggets of truth inserted from a biblical worldview. One clear line of thought that Tolkien grasped that our Post-Modern society would do well to consider, believe and cling to is that governmental powers can be exceedingly evil, because they are being led by evil persons. One of my favorite lines from the Two Towers is a discussion between Theoden king of Rohan and Aragorn rightful king of Gondor on the prospect of joining the war with Sauron, lord of the Dark Tower…the one who wanted to enslave and dominate all creation to his twisted will:

Theoden: I will not risk open war.

Aragorn: Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.1

A Call for Peace and Unity...

In my last post I noted that here in the United States there is a clarion call for peace by many political leaders, media pundits, celebrities and Evangelical Christians2. Take for example popular Pastor Tony Evans statement that he made after signing a call for peace in November of last year:

“I signed this statement because I want to see Christians unified and to bring healing to our nation, to restore love, peace and harmony for all people.”3

Citing Psalm 89:14, which speaks of the “righteousness and justice” as the foundation of God’s throne, Evans then said,

“When a nation and a government hold these standards in esteem as the Lord intends, that nation is strong and for the most part peaceful. But when these two pillars are misused, abused, or destroyed, the nation cannot stand and peace will not exist.”4

Let us just say for the moment that I agree with Pastor Evans statement. When a nation has a mind after God’s thoughts (here in terms of righteousness and justice), then that nation will be strong, it will have peace, and it will stand. But when the opposite is the case “peace will not exist.” But what is the underlying assumption being made? That those things exist to some degree in a nation that murders her offspring, robs from her citizens, calls it blasphemy when one dares condemn what God labels an abomination! How’s that possible?

Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider the following terms: war and peace, violence and unity. Which are biblical terms that should be associated with the Christian worldview? Is it ever righteous for a Christian to pursue war and violence, rather than peace and unity? Or, is it the Christian message (i.e., the gospel message) that requires we must always choose peace and unity?

The way some Christian leaders’ talk, I would think that their overarching assumption is that “peace and unity” is always preferable. Now I can understand why the world will cite Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9; ESV throughout

But I struggle deeply within myself when I hear Christians spout platitudes of peace. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the desire. No one likes conflict. We prefer to live our lives in the shadow of relative ease and comfort. In this way we are akin to the hobbits in the Shire who prefer to eat, drink and be merry without a thought to what is going on in the world around them. Current president of the SBC, J. D. Greer appears to unknowingly reflect this mindset in a blog post he wrote last September entitled, “When Peace and Unity Seem Impossible.”

After noting that we may share different cultural and political perspectives he then says we should,

“…pursue peace, [so that] our love for others is more than just surface-level platitudes…[for] one of the chief causes of disunity is a bunch of people strutting around assuming they’re right about everything. Seeking unity means practicing humility and being open to being wrong and having your perspective changed.”5

As a closer, he then opines,


“These may feel like evil times. Unity may feel impossible. Peace may feel like a pipe dream. But there is a way to love life and pursue peace: Trust like Jesus; respond like Jesus; live like Jesus; love like Jesus.”6

Peace and Unity on what Grounds?…

Noble pursuits I agree, but to what end? More importantly peace and unity based on what? Oh…to be like Jesus…. Because Jesus was always about peace and unity, right? Peace and unity based on what grounds? Peace and unity with who?

Jesus of Nazareth bears many titles that demonstrate the greatness of His Name. One of those titles is “Prince of Peace” (Isa 9.6). But what does the title mean? One thing that it does mean is that He gives His own, peace (cf. John 14.27; 16.33; Luke 24.36).

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Likewise, Jesus calls for unity or oneness as seen in John 17:11, 21, 22. But the question that must be answered is “On what grounds?” Obviously, peace and unity are to be desired if possible, but what is it that makes them a reality?

Sadly vague…

I just want to add at this point that the world loves it when Christian’s speak of these things in a very general, vague way. That way no commitment is being illustrated. No “Right” way of thinking is being demanded. I’m not sure if this type of mindset is to be blamed on the Evangelical’s ignorance of the Old Testament canon or a plain on laziness on their part. For the fact remains that you cannot have peace without first waging war, and you cannot have unity without an established standard of Truth. This is why it is laughable when varying Christian leaders offer these sweet sounding words of “peace and unity” in a bouquet of decaying flowers. Meant to sound sweet to the masses, but rotten to the core in light of truth.

“That’s a pretty bold claim,” you say “saying there can be no peace without war. Can you prove it?” Yes, I believe so. Rather easily, I might add, but first you need to understand that war and violence, like peace and unity are key component of the Christian worldview.

Knowing the Season…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8

According to Scripture there is a season for everything, including peace and war. One must know the conditions of the season in question, before they can discern which is the appropriate course of action. Since the Fall, in the beginning, creation has been at war. Violence, then has been necessary since the beginning.

“I will put enmity [i.e., hostility] between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

This the Creator promised the crafty beast of the field, the serpent. With violence against God and His image bearer did he (the serpent) enter the garden, and from that day forward war and violence would follow. Thus we read in the Psalms from the prophet David,

“Blessed by the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”

Psalm 144.1

It is the Lord our God who trains us for war, who teaches us to wage violence in battle against our enemy (enemies). With such knowledge at our fingertips we should not be surprised to read that God, after giving Joshua great victory over his enemies in the land of Canaan, left a remnant in the land to teach the next generation what it was to fight:

“Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.”

Judges 3:1-2

Answers the Critic: “But that was in the Old Testament. That language is archaic. That was a different covenant era. Things are different now under Christ Jesus. God’s people are no longer called to wage war, to exercise violence, but to strive for peace and unity with all creation.”

My response: “Really, where then is this new charge dear son or daughter of man given to us in God’s Word, that I might apply it?”

Our War-Lord7

No the fact is that our own Lord not only demonstrated that we are to, at times, wage war and be violent with forces of evil. Jesus corrects the worldview of His hearers when He unashamedly declares,

“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Luke 12:49-53; also see Matthew 10:34-36

What sort of fire is He speaking about? What baptism is He talking about? Jesus had ready the winnowing fork in His hands, so says the prophet John the Baptist (cf. Matt 3.10-12), to separate from each household those that serve God and those that serve the creature. This is the fire that Jesus brought to the earth, a fire of division, a fire of winnowing, a fire of judgment against those who refused to bow the knee to the rightful King over all. In order to finalize this, He waged a battle with Satan where the beast of the field, the serpent of old, struck a death blow at the Lord’s heel, but when the cross was driven into the ground it was there that the enemy’s skull was crushed (Matt 27.33; Mark 15.22; Luke 23.33; John 19.17; also see Psa 7.16). This is the death (baptism) that Jesus was baptized with, striking the final blow against that murder and liar from the beginning (John 8.44).

It is for this cause that we too continue the work of waging war, of extricating violence against all who stand opposed to the Truth of God:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when you obedience is complete.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Linguistic Sensitivities…

I thought it wise at this point to add this little caveat to the reader unless they assume that my rhetoric was calling for physical attacks against the enemies of Christ. The main difference between us and Israel, as they entered into Canaan, was that they were waging war as God’s sword. In this they played the role of the minister of God who does not bear the sword in vain (Rom 13.4). For this reason it was a just war, but the same could not be said of us who bear the Name of Christ. There are moments in life when an act of war or an act of violence are called for; one in particular falls under the heading “self-defense.” But, the Christian mandate is to wage war and violence against sin and an ungodly worldview not to personally attack someone just because they are servants of another.

Furthermore, I think that Christians, leaders or otherwise, that make the claim that Jesus was all about unity and peace and not about offending someone for believing something not based on the Truth of God’s Word have not done an adequate job of reading their Bible’s. Jesus purposefully stood in opposition to those who abused, changed, or thwarted the Word of God. One moment in particular comes to mind when I entertain a discussion on this subject matter with another.

Offering Necessary Offenses…

In Luke 11:37-54 you have Jesus invited to a Pharisees house to dine. In verse 38 we are told that the “Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not wash first before dinner.” This was not a thing about hygiene, but a law kept by those in Israel lest they become ceremonially unclean. The fear was that a person might come in contact with someone or something that might make them unclean and so they washed as a ceremonial ritual to prevent uncleanliness (i.e., impurity or unholiness) before the Lord God.

My experience at this point is that people just focus on the rebuke Jesus offers (see vv. 39-44). But what they should consider is Jesus’ knowledge of the facts before He comes to eat at the Pharisee’s house. He knew their customs and He ignored them. He refused to play along. In a sense He waged war on their traditions and violently opposed them.

I once had a fellow in church tell me, “You should never do anything to offend another…for to do so is a sin.” “Is Jesus a sinner?” I asked. The man was dumbfounded. I then explained this little passage as one of many examples of our Lord purposely causing offense in light of the Truth of God’s Word.

Absurdly Ignorant…

Pastor Evans and the slew of others that joined in the signing of some silly peace accord back in November of last year (it may have been earlier); along with other Evangelical leaders attacking and blaming Trump for what happened in Washington D. C. on January 6th are sorely confused individuals. I would add J. D. Greer to this confused state as well.

Peace and unity are only possible when both sides have an agreed upon standard of truth. Peace and unity are only possible when one side agrees to lay down their weapons of warfare. There is great unrest in this nation and people want some semblance of calm to return, even if it is a false veneer. I get it. But, I also understand that applying the hobbit’s worldview to a world filled with sin, to a nation that bathes in it religiously, is absurdly ignorant.

Peace comes when…

“True peace comes only when those who say Jesus isn’t necessary come to understand that they need Him, when they’re willing to say, ‘Blessed is the one coming in the name of the Lord.’”8

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but peace that is only accomplished when you bow the knee to His gospel call—“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” It is peace offered between God and man, not the offspring of the serpent (who is Satan and his people) and the offspring of the woman (who is Christ and his people).

“For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

2Corinthians 6:14

To argue and to work for peace on any other grounds is to stand in opposition to the One you profess to represent.

ENDNOTES:

1Quotes.net, STANDS4 LLC, 2021, “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Quotes,” Accessed February 15, 2021, https://www.quotes.net/mquote/567

2Some of these calls for peace and unity came before the election results were tallied and others came after what happened on January 6, 2021 at the nation’s capital. Various leaders pointed to Jesus and His gospel and that which is contained within the Word of God (Holy Bible) to challenge voters on both sides of the aisle to move towards peace, healing, and unification. Here are just a few articles to establish my point:

Rev. Mitch Hescox and Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, “Evangelical climate activists call for an end to the violence and chaos,” Evangelical Environmental Network, January 7, 2021, accessed February 15, 2021, http://redgreenandblue.org/2021/01/07/evangelical-climate-activists-call-end-violence-chaos/; Kelsey Dallas, “Religious leaders call for peace amid election turmoil,” Deseret News, modified Jan 15, 2021, accessed February 15, 2021, https://www.deseret.com/indepth/2021/1/6/22217663/capitol-protests-donald-trump-christian-religion-2020-election-joe-biden-catholic.

3Dwight Widaman, “200 Evangelical leaders sign letter calling for peace following elections,” Metro Voice, November 4, 2020, accessed Feburary 15, 2021, https://metrovoicenews.com/200-evangelical-leaders-sign-letter-calling-for-peace-following-elections/;

4Ibid.

5J. D. Greer, “When Peace and Unity Seem Impossible,” Blog, September 21, 2020, accessed February 21, 2021, https://jdgreear.com/when-peace-and-unity-seem-impossible/.

6Ibid., final paragraph.

7“The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is his name” (Exod 15.3).

8James B. Jordan & Gary North. The Failure of the American Baptist Culture (Kindle Locations 6371-6372).

Posted in politics

Some Necessary House Cleaning: Time to Take out the Trash

Dirty diapers are meant to be thrown away. Filthy hands are meant to be clean. Messy mouths are meant to be wiped. Everyone in agreement? Good.

As children we get dirty playing outside, eating our desserts, and pooping our pants. And as children we are constantly being taught that when something gets dirty or messy we do our best to clean it up. We brush our teeth in order to remove germs and remnants of food from our last meal. We take a shower to remove some of the sediments that have acquired on our bodies throughout the day due to our work or play. We wash our dishes after our meals. We clean our clothes in the laundry. We clean our workspace after doing our daily labors.

There is a common proverb that goes something like this: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” This is not a biblical proverb, even though many grow up thinking that it is. Regardless, it does teach a valuable lesson. Just as one will never be able to approach their Creator without holiness, which is purity/cleanliness from sin (Heb 12.10; only possible by the way through Jesus Christ–the Holy One of God; Mark 1.24). One will never be appealing in terms of sight or smell if they do not clean. Let’s be honest when life is a mess, not many like it; at least not the sane ones.

Growing up we had house cleaning on Saturday’s. We were supposed to clean our room and our bathrooms every day during the week. But on the weekend we would have to get the wood polish, glass cleaner and Ajax out to do a much more thorough cleaning. Though I hated this routine when I was a child growing up in my parents home, it taught me some valuable lessons.

One area of life that is said to be dirty business is politics. My grandpa used to say that politicians were some of the worst people—“They’re all a bunch of liars!” he’d retort. Sadly, he wasn’t wrong. His solution, however, was. It was a throw your hands up in the air and just live with the mess that you’ve been given—“because you ain’t going to change it!”–mentality.

Unfortunately, this attitude is infectious. A lot of people have adopted it. Politics is dirty, politicians are liars, they are greedy no good for nothin’s, and so we throw our hands up in the air and give in to the situation before us. From a Christian perspective I can see where a person’s eschatology adds the conviction that this is the ONLY way to look at our cultural climate. The type of person who says, “Things are just going to get worse and worse…so what’s the point!”

The point is that we do not treat the rest of our lives this way, so why compartmentalize the area of politics in sphere of civil government? Why adopt a “we can’t do anything about it anyway attitude?” Why give up before we start?

If politics is dirty business, then it should be our business to clean them up. If politicians are liars and are greedy no good for nothin’s, then we ought to make it our business finding better candidates for the job. And if there aren’t any, then maybe we ought to start running for political office ourselves!

Stop whining and start doing. If you are the praying sort (and if you’re a Christian, then you should be), then pray while you are actively involved in making change. I was listening to Gary DeMar’s podcast this week and he noted how the Left in our nation never quit fighting. The Democratic Party does not give up.

This got me thinking about life in general. In Psalm 2 we are given the rhetorical question: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?” (Psa 2.1; ESV). The reason is because they look at the world that God has created and it makes them sick. God has made the world as a place where His image might be reflected in every corner of creation. God desires for His light to shine everywhere; in every place. Unbeliever’s have the same desire. They rage, they fight, they kick and cuss because they want the world to reflect their image.

I was once asked the following question during a Bible study: “If Satan knows God and he knows he can’t beat God, then why does Satan keep on fighting against his Maker?” Because Satan’s desire is to win. He does not know how to quit fighting. He’s insane. He knows who God is. He’s seen what God can do time and time again since the beginning. But, being the father of lies, he’s deceived himself into thinking that if he just tries one more time, then maybe this time…he’ll win.

He won’t. Not ever. But, this will not keep him from fighting.

Those on the Left in this country are of the same mentality. They are socialists and communists at heart. It does not matter if they loose this battle here (say in the Trump 2020 campaign for president), or that battle over there, they will keep fighting. Sometimes conservatives wonder amongst themselves as to why anyone would adopt a Marxist mindset. It has NEVER worked in the past, anywhere at any time. It has failed every time it has been adopted as the ideology of those in leadership. Bread lines, unemployment, poor living conditions, and widespread death is its legacy, but we find people still pushing it forward as the golden grail to save humanity. Why? Because those who believe in it love it enough to fight for it. And like any fighter worth their salt they will bite, claw, pull hair, and gut you like a fish if presented an opportunity.

Why do we not have the same mentality on the Right? Why are conservative’s, Why are Evangelical Christians so wishy-washy? Is our Lord not the Lord of the Battlefield?

“When you go out to war against your enemies…you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you…” (Deut 20.1; ESV).

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle” (Psa 144.1; ESV).

We are commanded to fight. Why? So that in victory we not only give God glory, but we do so by ordering this world in a manner that reflects His light into every corner of creation.

Now you may not like the tone or the manner in which I am speaking. You may not agree with the concept of the Christian faith as a clarion call for war against those who rage against justice, peace, mercy, goodness and love. You may feel that your Christianity needs to be stowed and locked in your private prayer closet, your home or maybe in your local church, but not in the public arena. If that is your conviction you are wrong. You have been cowed into believing what the wicked in this world want you to believe, as they go about stealing your freedoms. If you do not begin to fight now when you still have the ability to do so on your feet, then you will be crying in agony on your knees as you are shackled by the oppression of your oppressors.

Oh, have we learned nothing from the lessons of Israel? Were they not sold into slavery by God into the hands of their enemies, because they rejected the order to fight for righteousness? Yes! That is precisely why they were enslaved by those who worshiped gods of stone, wood and metal, images made in the hearts of men…not gods at all. And do we think that we will fare any better because we are fearful to get our hands dirty in cleaning up the mess in our society. Please…wake up. Please get out and vote. Participate in this grand experiment called American liberty while you still are able. For the weight of your inactivity will weigh heavy upon the heads of your children and grandchildren!

This election year is about much more than Trump or Biden. It is the choice between a Marxist ideology that wants to rip this nation apart piece-by-piece, silencing the Christian Church (if it must with great force), and freedom to fight tyranny for at least four more years. If the language is not clear enough. The draconian lock-downs, the fear mongering, the race-baiting, the riots, pillaging and terrorist activities fall in line with the makeup of one party alone—The Democrat’s. Though the Republicans have their own sins to answer for, they are much lighter in the scales of judgment in terms of outright hatred for that which is good than their counterparts. So, unlike John Piper I will tell you who you ought to vote for—Trump 2020.

Posted in Musings

An Ever Changing World

The world has changed. It has been transformed, and yet it is still in the process of transformation…Each new generation must appropriate for itself the benefits of Christ’s work. Each new generation is faced with personal and cultural crises brought on by sin. The history of Western civilization is evidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ does make a difference both personally and culturally. (Gary DeMar and Peter J. Leithart, The Reduction of Christianity: A Biblical Response to Dave Hunt, [Ft. Worth, TX and Atlanta, GA: Dominion Press & American Vision Press, 1988], 272).

We need to remember or at least be told (if we don’t already know). That the world in which we live is under the Savior’s control. Our responsibility at this hour is to recognize that what we now are experiencing is either blessing and curse. Blessing in knowing that our lives are fragile things, a gift that should not be taken for granted. Curse…because our national sin is great indeed. All the privileges we endure as citizens of these United States of America were granted because of a humble spirit before our Maker. Do not think that they are by our own might. Our own hands did not gain us this wealth of life (cf. Deut 8.17-18), and if we refuse to repent we will learn this fact in due time.