Strategy for Christian Reconstruction - RR164A1
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
Man’s concerns are usually man centered. And this is especially true in a humanistic age. Even amongst Christians, as we saw earlier, too often the sins regarded as serious ones are those which most often affect other people, sins such as murder, adultery and theft. The laws of the Bible number a little more than six hundred. Many are not punishable by man nor by any human agency. Such sins in particular effect our relationship to God. To illustrate again with the law sited earlier. No penalty punishable by man is attached to the law of tithing although in Malachi 3:8-12 God tells us of the penalties He exacts. The sins individuals and the church or the state can deal with are sins which God allows them to punish. Powers are always coextensive with jurisdiction. Thus, I have no right to punish my neighbor’s child nor to correct my neighbor’s wife if I were so foolhardy. Such things are normally out of my jurisdiction. Similarly neither church nor state can rule in spheres outside their jurisdiction. Failure to honor this rule has led to much trouble.
The boundaries of our powers are the boundaries of our jurisdiction. This means a limited power of both judgment and forgiveness. Sins of man cannot punish. He also cannot forgive and the same is true of all spheres. The teaching power is not similarly limited. Powers to execute for capital offences are given by God to the state, not to the family, nor to the church. Neither the family nor the church can execute a murderer. But, they can and must teach that murder is a sin. This is an important fact for Christian reconstruction. Moreover, even as there is no limitation on teaching so there is none on prayer and action in conformity to the Word of God. It is necessary to note that in the liturgies in the early church prayer often had a direction. It looked for the fullness of God’s kingdom and saw the Lord as King over all. Thus in the introductory prayer of the liturgy of St. James we hear this note:
“Oh beneficent King of the ages and Maker of the whole creation, accept thy church approaching Thee through Thy Christ. Fulfill that which is profitable to each. Bring all to perfection and make us worthy of the grace of Thy sanctification. Gathering us together in Thy holy church which Thou hast purchased by the precious blood of Thine only begotten Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with whom Thou art blessed and glorified together with the most holy and good and quickening Spirit. Now and ever and to the ages of ages. AMEN” [00:04:27]
Such prayers which abound in the early liturgies do...
Such prayers which abound in the early liturgies do look to the end. They are important in that they speak of the church as Thy church and of the Kingdom as His. Moreover they prayed for practical things. In the liturgy of Malabar the priestly prayer included such a petition as this:
“May He bless the seeds of your field. May He bless the fruits of your trees and may He multiply and bless your substance and of His love give you long life.”
Turning to Christian action it is important that Christian action as often been nullified and quaffed by non-Christians because of similarity of our objections has led to a belief in the identity of causes and purposes. In the United States in the early 1800’s the antislavery movement became a major force. Previously it had been a Calvinistic movement but with the rise of Armenianism revivalism it became a major concern of most churches. At the same time Unitarians, Universalists and some antichristian elements became equally opposed to slavery. As a result Christians showed less concern in converting slave owners and slaves as had Calvinists Samuel Hopkins and Quaker John Woolman and others earlier and more interested in applying political coercion to slave owners and slave states. By feeling that they had a common cause with the non-Christians in the battle against slavery they shifted the ground dramatically and it ceased, it ceased to be a Christian concern. It became instead a means of violence, of hatred. According to John L. Hammond writing in the Politics of Benevolence, the struggle over slavery in the United States, and I quote: “Became a struggle between competing economic interests.” Unquote. It ceased to be a Christian moral concern in its political form and became rather, and I quote again from John L. Hammond: “The struggle between the slave labor system and the capitalist free labor system for control of western expansion and national politics. “ Unquote. [00:07:51]
Christian moral concerns become a fa...
Christian moral concerns become a façade for non-Christian concerns, methods and goals. Both the United States and its churches have suffered greatly ever since for this warped approach to a moral problem. To abandon Christian means to Christian goals leads to very unhappy results. Righteousness or justice goes out of a society when God’s law is disregarded. This disregard can stem from either unbelief or antinomianism. In any case the consequences for society are evil. Let us remember that in one point in the Middle Ages according to a scholar thereof justice meant, and I quote: “the right of levying fines or the product of those fines.” Unquote. And high justice meant, quoting again,” That one have the right of levying fines of more than sixty sous. Organized as we see it in the twelve century justice was a form of the exploitation of tenants by the senior. Our Lord tells us we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness or justice. And justice in Scripture is the expression of God’s nature in His holy law. Grace, mercy, judgment and more all express God’s nature. And the Christian has a duty to be faithful to God’s Word, to express as God’s image bearer His purposes for the life of man. [00:10:06]
Huggins, Nathan Irvine Huggins in his history of Boston...
Huggins, Nathan Irvine Huggins in his history of Boston called attention to the special social feeling of community that led the Puritans in their errors to bring all people up to their level. As Huggins wrote:
“The Catholic church, the church of the urban population who were most the cause of the alarm, seemed not as appalled by the sight of poverty, begging and vagrancy as was the Protestant and while Jewish philanthropy organized to meet the social crisis of these years, it’s historical concept of charity and community was far more tolerant of poverty and dependency then were the Protestant Reformers.”
In the early church there was from the beginning an amazing array of superior people culturally, intellectually, socially and economically. The readiness of the church to however to receive people of all classes and of slaves as well led its critics to damn the church as a slaves cult. But, the church created institutions to minister to every need of man. To those in every kind of trouble. The Christian concern of the early church came from a different concept of community. Today for many urban people neither faith nor blood govern their community. Their circle of friends is essentially a bond not one of Christian faith nor of family ties. In a personal realm a religious community has given way to loose associations with people of common tastes rather than a common faith. Beyond that the state has become as with Rome and other pagan states a supplier of community and the charities of the community. And statist’s hands charity which is an expression of both God’s grace to us in a sense of community has given way to welfarism, entitlements, and the belief that one has the right to reason money and to receive dental and medical care and more. We have our own version of bread and circuses. [00:13:21]
A friend in California began when there was a situation...
A friend in California began when there was a situation of joblessness in his area because of the closing of some plants to give away food and clothing through their Christian school after school hours. And he noted with interest that as people lined up to receive it that when some learned that it was Christian that led to this action they immediately stepped out of line and left angrily. They did not want charity. They had a right. An entitlement to whatever they needed. And that attitude now prevails around the world. George Bernard Shaw saw the issue clearly. “It was, he said, between the church militant and socialism militant. Christians hope, he said, Christians hope for, and I am quoting, “the peaceful regeneration of the race by the cultivation of perfection of individual character whereas socialism seeks a revolutionary and a political means.”
Since 1892 socialism has become more militant and the church less so. It has stressed both regeneration and Christian action to a lesser degree. In 1848 Charles Kingsley very, very tellingly told us why in ?Parson Locks? letter to the chartists, I quote, “ It is much cheaper and pleasanter to be reformed by the devil then by God. For God will only reform society on the condition of our reforming every man his own self. Well the devil is quite ready to mend the laws and the parliament earth and heaven without ever starting such an impertinent and personal request as that a man should mend himself.” End of quote. Because we believe that the government is now upon Christ’s shoulder and because we as members of His body share in His duties we have a duty to govern ourselves by His Word and Spirit and be members one of another. [00:16:38]
The essentials of government for us are not lording...
The essentials of government for us are not lording over one another, nor the exercise of power and the relish of its trappings but service and ministry. Our Lord declares, “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise Lordship over them. And their great ones exercise authority upon them but so shall it not be among you. But whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister.” Having said this we must emphatically say that our goal cannot be the caring society or any like humanistic goals but the kingdom of God and His righteousness. As David says in Psalm 86:9: “All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee oh Lord, and shall glorify Thy name. “ The goals must be God ordained. Neither more nor less than His Word requires. I began by calling attention to the fact that sins that a man cannot punish he also cannot forgive because man is not the Creator of heaven and earth nor of himself. He therefore cannot give to himself and the world goals other than what God ordained. To do otherwise is a disaster named HELL.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism and its appended verses tell us at the onset, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. “Then the verses cited are Romans 11:36, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things to whom be glory forever, Amen.” And 1 Corinthians 10:31, “And whether you therefore eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.” And Psalm 73:25 -26, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee. My flesh and my heart faileth but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” We have too many Christians who are rich towards themselves and poor toward God. They believe the church should make them feel comfortable about God instead of troubled or stirred by His Word. The church comfortable is a poor substitute for the church militant. It is Laodicean to the core. [00:20:11]
In the United States early in the colonial era Roger...
In the United States early in the colonial era Roger Williams did much damage to the church by his teachings. In protesting rightly against compulsion in religion in the form of a ruthless state establishment thereof he went to the extreme of exalting man’s freedom to illogical extremes. Among other things he was responsible first for exalting man’s personal assent to an extreme position wherein man’s will became the ultimate arbiter of all things. His idea of soul rape, that is forcing the conscience of anyone, has come to father in the United States in the hands of his self-styled heirs and true heir, a rejection of mandatory Christian instruction for children by parents and teachers. Second, in the words of Philip F. Gura, and I quote, “Groups like the seekers and Baptists in the United States rejected this intimate connection between personal sainthood and social progress. For them Christ’s kingdom, as William so often argued was of another world never to be realized here.”
Now, this doctrine of Roger Williams is now one of the most common opinions among churchmen, and this is an amazing fact. Marxist beliefs have in a century and a half captured much of the world. Islamic faith is again on the march and dominating nations. We have seen Fascists, Shintoism, and other faiths exercise great power. If we have churchmen who insist that Christianity’s influence must be a purely personal one and without social ramifications we have one prominent internationally known so called Christian leader in the United States who has made a point of saying that he is not interested in justice. He could have added he is not interested in morality either. It is hard to imagine a more observed belief or one more at odds with Scripture and church history. One of our staff members John Lofton Jr. having worked with presidential personnel in Washington D.C. as a journalist found to his amazement that two prominent ones said that they were born again evangelical Christians. And he had never recognized them as such nor suspected them of having faith. Worse yet, both criticized John Lofton for writing in the media as a Christian and subjecting the white house and the congress to a Biblical standard. Christian faith they insisted is a deeply personal and very private thing. So private, John Lofton retorted that ‘I would never have guessed it.” [00:24:29]
Our Lord declares, ...
Our Lord declares, “You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth good fruit but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit and neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruit ye shall know them.” Could our Lord have spoken more plainly or clearly then that? What nonsense is it when people try to explain away the lack of any evidence of Christianity by saying, “You can’t judge their heart” and insist that such people of infamous works are true believers. Our Lord says, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” Our choice is either to believe and to serve or our Lord says, “To be cast into the fire.” Joshua’s challenge is with us still, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” [00:26:31]
If we are the Lord’s we will bring forth the fruits...
If we are the Lord’s we will bring forth the fruits thereof. And that is what Christian reconstruction is about. Thank you.