The Biblical Basis for Christian Reconstruction - RR167A1
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Our subject in this first session is the Biblical basis for Christian Reconstruction. There is an emphatic promise in all of Scripture which can be seen clearly set forth in Psalm 37:7-11
Psalm 37:7-11 “7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
The triumph of the Godly is repeatedly forecast in Scripture. Thus, David says again in Psalm 38:22 “For such as be blessed of Him shall inherit the earth, and they that be cursed of Him shall be cut off.” Concerning the kingdom of God we are told in Genesis 49:10, that in the era of Judea “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” The gathering of the people has reference to the nations being under the rule of God’s kingdom and His Shiloh. Before the Messiah comes the scepter of God’s kingdom is in the hands of the house of Judah and there is a lawgiver between the feet of Judah’s scepter bearer. According to Rabbi (Meir Slottavitz?), the phrase “the lawgiver from between His feet” can be translated “nor a scholar from among His descendants shall depart”. “From between His feet” was apparently a metaphor, he said, for ‘descendants’. [00:03:19]
The reference is to the fact that the scribe or expert...
The reference is to the fact that the scribe or expert in the law sat with judges and rulers. It was his duty to state which law in Scripture applied to the case while the law or king rendered the verdict. The Messiah will Himself function as the lawgiver and judge; the lawgiver as in the sense of applying the law of God to a particular case. Because the princes of Judah became apostate God set them aside in preparation for His Messiah. In Ezekiel 21:25-27
Ezekiel 21:25-27 25And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end,26Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. 27I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”
Our Lord reestablishes this kingdom in His person and work. By His atonement He creates a new humanity as God’s second and last Adam; makes His people us; a new creation. “For if any man be in Christ he is a new creature. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.” The beginning of the new creation is the resurrection of our Lord. It continues with our regeneration and we are summoned to bring all things to captivity to Jesus Christ our Lord. It is because of His victory over sin and death; Lord over all. We are plainly told that He is the only, blessed and only, potentate; the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. [00:06:10]
Because of this motive Christ, as the Redeemer King...
Because of this motive Christ, as the Redeemer King and as the beginning of the new creation, the church very early began to bring every area of life and thought into captivity to Jesus Christ in terms of 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 which told believers not to go to the courts of the ungodly but to single out the wise men among them as judges. Parts of arbitration were early established by the church. They became so famous for their justice that before long pagans were going to the church court to have their cases settled. When Constantine became emperor recognizing that the justice within Rome was in the church ordered all bishop’s to wear, when they went out in public, the garb of a Roman magistrate; and that is a bishops garb to this day although I question whether any bishop knows it. He was to be a symbol of God’s law, God’s justice, for the people. Very early homes for widows and orphans were established, and schools. This was done a couple of centuries before the church ever owned a house of worship, when it was an illegal, underground institution. The avoidance of death as slavery was practiced in terms of Proverbs 22:7 and Romans 13:8. In terms of Romans 12:13, 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8 and 1 Peter 4:9 hospitality towards fellow Christians was manifested and homes for travelers were purchased and maintained because hotels and inns then were also the houses of prostitution. [00:08:51]
Charity was practiced but the able bodied had to work...
Charity was practiced but the able bodied had to work to gain it. As Paul said, “If any would not work neither should he eat.” Hospitals were created, captives ransomed and much, much more. I am writing at present a study of the early churches application of the whole word of God to every sphere and it is startling what one finds. The fact that under Chrysostom, whose diocese numbered a hundred thousand, fifty thousand needy people, widow and orphans and people incapable of working, were supported by the hundred thousand. And yet Chrysostom preached to them, “Do not think that because your tithes and offerings enable this to happen that you are absolved of your obligation under Christ of meeting needs as you encounter them?” [00:10:11]
The church to Rome’s horror was an empire within the...
The church to Rome’s horror was an empire within the Empire, a government outside the rule of the Roman imperial government, an organization with a royal head whose word believed to be binding in a way that the Roman Empires was not. This aspect of the churches life has at times has been diminished over the centuries but it has never disappeared. What Rome could not stop, bad theologies have often done. Greco-Roman converts brought Hellenic philosophies into the church. Basic to such a world view was a radically, alien view of God. As Cornelius VanTil has pointed out, “The Greek idea of God was a limiting concept used to provide a necessary point of origin for the cosmos, a beginning, not a governing power. True ultimacy, for Greco-Roman thought, rested in the two substances which existed in dialectical tension; former ideas on the one hand, that is, a spiritual intellectual realm, and matter on the other. Matter might be alluring for the Greco-Roman but it was a lower form of being, and implicitly bad for many. Ideas mind or spirit represented a higher and a better realm. In other words, for Greco-Roman thinking, the spirit-mind-soul of man was pure. His body was impure and so the fall was into flesh. This dialectical led to a belief in the natural goodness of things spiritual or intellectual and the potentially natural badness of things material. According to Scripture, “God made things very good;” whether material or spiritual, both man’s mind and body are effected by the fall, both are transformed in Jesus Christ and the goal of history in Christ is the resurrection of the dead into the new creation. The ghostly world of Greek thought is not Biblical. But, most of the church fathers were in varying degrees infected by Hellenic thought. It is an infection lingering to our time. One form of this infection has been the doctrine of kenosis, still very influential. In terms of kenosis it has been held that, as Christ supposedly emptied Himself of His divinity in the incarnation, so we are to forsake all naturally advantages, become pacifists, despise things material and live as spiritual beings simply tolerating the burden of matter and corporeality. [00:14:24]
Two of the most influential kenotic thinkers of our...
Two of the most influential kenotic thinkers of our era were not even Christian although both have, sadly, had a markedly strong influence within the church. These men were Leo Tolstoy and Mohandas Gandhi. Greek thinking was implicitly anti historical; man’s hope was intellectual, hence salvation, by Plato’s philosopher kings. How this effected churchmen can be seen, for example, in Gregory of Nyssa’s, The Light of Moses, written in the early three hundred and nineties. Gregory’s thesis was that God could not be interested in anything save the spiritual realm. Hence, all of the five books of Moses are allegorized; whether the subject is the Red Sea crossing or the destruction of Egypt’s army or the plagues or the laws given by God, all are treated as symbols and allegories of something else. This supposedly Christian treatise also taught an ultimately universal salvation. Another church father, Origen, believed in the transmigration of souls and castrated himself, we are told, to be rid of fleshly urges only to find them operating in his mind. Origen, in his treatise in prayer, wrote that in Numbers 11, God through Moses was teaching Israel thus, and I quote, “My purpose is to free you from life when you will no longer cravings.” Unquote [00:16:49]
Not surprisingly Origen ridiculed a literal reading...
Not surprisingly Origen ridiculed a literal reading of Genesis 1 as degrading to God and Origen spiritualized everything. He wrote, and I quote from his first book on First Principles, “And who will be found simple enough to believe that like some farmer God planted trees in the Garden of Eden in the east and that He planted the tree of life in it, that is a visible tree that could be touched, so that someone could eat of this tree with corporeal teeth and gain life and further could eat of another tree and receive knowledge of good and evil.” In the twelfth century the Abbot (Wakeem of Piora?) [00:17:44]
held that contempt for the material world and for history...
held that contempt for the material world and for history is basic to a truly spiritual life. For him walking according to the flesh did not mean living in sins but living a life of material concerns and work, a life of marriage, a life of everyday work. He declared, and I quote, “ The monastic orders bear the image of the Holy Spirit who is the love of God because this order could not despise the world and those things that were worldly unless it was invited by the love of God and drawn by the same Spirit who drove the Lord into the desert. It is also called spiritual because it walks not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” For (Wakeem?) the three ages of history were first the age of the Father, an era of law, justice and material concerns; second the age of the Son, an age of salvation and grace, and third, and highest, the era of the Spirit and of exclusively spiritual, ascetic and monastic concerns. Wakem’s thinking is very much with us in modern antinomianism and dispensationalism. He is one of the primary sources of dispensational thinking. Not surprisingly, such spiritualizers, over the centuries, have found Abraham’s rejuvenation at the age of one hundred somewhat embarrassing and excusable only because the Messiah was to be born through Isaac’s line. The fact that, some years later, a much older Abraham, still rejuvenated, took Keturah to wife after Sarah’s death and Keturah bore him six sons embarrasses them even more. C.I. Schofield explained Keturah away by typifying the fertility of Israel, the natural seed, Jehovah’s wife after the first national restoration under the Palestinian covenant.” Unquote [00:20:34]
Despite apostasies and Laodicea coldness, and if I...
Despite apostasies and Laodicea coldness, and if I may parenthetically say, I once saw in the southern part of the United States, the deep south, a rural church named Laodicea Baptist Church. Apparently, what had happened was that when they had erected their new building the disgusted pastor suggested the name and no one knew any different. To this day that ostensibly Bible believing church remains The Laodicean Baptist Church and no subsequent pastor has dared tell them what it means. Well, to return, despite heresies and Laodicean coldness, the church of Jesus Christ is never without those who will bow the knee to Baal. God declare in Zechariah 12:3 that this true church will be a stone of testing to the nations. “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” As that marvelous commentator T.V. Moore so tellingly noted of this verse, and I quote, “Verse three declares that the efforts of the enemies of the church to overthrow her shall be futile and injurious only to themselves. It shall be like some huge rock, the efforts to raise, will only wound and bruise the hand of him who makes the attempt. Jerome states that it was a custom among the cities of Palestine to have a large rock, the lifting of which, was a test of strength and that he himself saw, in the Acropolis at Athens a huge spear of brass which was used for the same purpose; no athlete being allowed to enter the games who was unable to lift it. Jerusalem has literally been such a stone and the church of God preeminently has been a test of this kind to all who have been tempted to use her for selfish purposes.” Unquote [00:00:25]
In the next verse, Zechariah ...
In the next verse, Zechariah 12:4, we are told, “4In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.” The enemies of God’s kingdom will be struck with madness, with blindness. They and their acts of war against Christ’s people will turn against them, to destroy them thoroughly. The task of God’s people is to bring all men and nations to Jesus Christ and to govern in every sphere in terms of God’s law Word. We are not called to defeat but to victory. We are told by John that the love of God means a love of the brethren and keeping His commandments. Moreover, “whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.” The presupposition of this statement is that we face a great battle and that in Christ Jesus we have an assured victory. In this hour of warfare there can be no victory accept in Christ and by means of His every Word. As our Lord makes clear, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Therefore, live. We face in our time a major problem; a significant erosion in the stand of the church. A book I just picked up this past week, published in this country in the last decade by Cambridge Press, James Moore, The Post Darwinian Controversies – the study of the Protestant struggle to come to terms with Darwin in Great Britain and America, 1870 – 1900. Without agreeing with the author’s general perspective I believe this statement on the next to the last page of this study is very important. I quote, “Within forty years of the publication of the Origin of Species, the doubt thrown upon the Scriptures, not by evolution but by historical criticism alone has called into question the validity any theology which would constrain them to test by and unison to doctrines of creation and providence whatever. No less important, the political economy or theodicy inherent in those doctrines in their traditional form seemed too many not merely irrelevant but utterly pernicious as a premise for dealing with a social and economic iniquities of modern industrial society.” [00:29:27]
What Moore is saying is this, that, once the doctrines...
What Moore is saying is this, that, once the doctrines of creation and providence were destroyed and the Bible then subjected to negative criticism by the scholars, it meant that no longer was God the Lord of all creation and His Word the governing Word for every sphere of life and thought. And the church retreated into a narrow area; the walls of the church no longer applying the Word of God across the boards to every sphere of life and thought and restricting the faith to the church and to the inner life of man. And then came Sigmund Freud to say that the problems of man’s inner life were essentially medical and not theological; that man indeed had, because of primordial instincts in his unconscious a sense of guilt, and guilt was not a matter for pastoral concern but for medical concern, thus, making the modern church even more irrelevant. This is why I believe Christian Reconstruction is so important and why creationism is so important. [00:31:33]
Christian Reconstruction rests on the doctrine of creation...
Christian Reconstruction rests on the doctrine of creation. “By Him were all things made and without Him was not anything made.” If the universe is a product of a process rather than a creative act then the faith is irrelevant to every sphere and, as Freud rightly saw, even to the life of inner man. One of your number here, Dr. Monty White, is doing a great deal to restore the significance of the doctrine of creation within Britain. His work is foundational. Without that doctrine the relevancy of the whole Word of God to the whole of life cannot stand. We can rejoice therefore that man are at work here and in the States and elsewhere to restore the relevancy of the whole word of God for every area of life and thought and the doctrine of creation is basic to that concern. Thank you. [00:33:17]