Church and Community Question and Answers - RR183B4
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In every sphere of life and thought we are confronted with bad news. The problem with the church is that too often it has a Pollyanna attitude, not a scriptural one. It does not want to hear bad news. It refuses to believe our Lord when he says: “In the world ye shall have much tribulation.” In fact, we have many who believe they are going to be raptured out of tribulation. I’ve encountered more than a few people who was in premillennial circles the thinking is beginning to shift, who are ready to renounce it if there is no pre-trib rapture, because they don’t want to go through the tribulation. Our Lord said in the world ye shall have much tribulation, but of be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. We are on the winning side, we are facing judgment and I hope you’ve seen that from what I’ve said thus far. But: if we did not undergo judgment in the years ahead there would be no salvation for us. Because one of the clearest teachings of scripture is that judgment and salvation go hand in hand. The judgment upon Egypt was the deliverance of God’s chosen people. The judgment upon the sin of all the sons of Adam at the cross is our deliverance, our salvation. The cross is the total coincidence of judgment and salvation. So, as we see judgment in our day we need to rejoice, it means that God is at work. [00:02:22]
And while it will cost us something, and it will be
And while it will cost us something, and it will be difficult, you can be sure it would be a lot worse if Gods judgment did not descend upon our generation, it would mean we would settle into hell. As we continue thus with communion and community we need to remember we belong to a community that has the guaranteed word from God that the gates of hell cannot prevail or hold out against it. We are told that we are a community at war, but we are also told that it is a victorious community and the gates of hell can never prevail against it. What victor does that convey? Not of hell attacking us but of us attacking and overcoming the very gates of hell. Well the idea of community as we have seen rests on something in common and what we have in common is Jesus Christ. And there is no communion nor community apart from that. The modern world as we saw this morning tries to find something in common among men apart from Christ and thereby to build its community on that. But how can you have community in sin? Sin divides. Sin destroys. Thieves have something in common in stealing and murderers have murder in common. But it doesn’t make them happy with each other! Sinners have sin in common but it doesn’t give them any community. [00:04:53]
In fact, precisely the things that sinners have in
In fact, precisely the things that sinners have in common divide them. Greed, pride, a hatred for their superiors and much, much, more. We have something in common today in this country, shared by the overwhelming majority of the people and it is true around the world in one country after another. Envy. And what is envy doing to the United States and to every country the world over? It is leading to laws which destroy initiative, laws which destroy property, laws which destroy community, laws which destroy one thing after another. In other words, if what people have in common is sin, community cannot exist. Sin divides, sin disturbs all relationships and it leads to dissension not community. The dictionary of sociology which I referred to this morning very significantly had no definition for sin, none whatsoever. It does have a definition of crime. And it is that crime is a violation of the conduct code sanctioned by the state. So, if that state code says it is a crime to be a Christian then it is a crime, according to the dictionary of sociology. So, in terms of this definition Christianity can be a crime, morality can be a crime, and much more. If the state is the definer of community it is the definer of law and of morality. The state has taken over all the functions of community and of God. [00:07:19]
As statism rises we see community decline
As statism rises we see community decline. The state replaces community with itself because it sees itself as the source of law and as the source of commonality. The modern state has a doctrine of crime; it means any violation of statist laws. It does not have a doctrine of sin. Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us ‘sin is a want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God’ which is simply a restatement of First John 3:4. The state can punish crime but it cannot eradicate the evils which lead to crime against man, property, marriage, peace or anything else because it has no doctrine of sin and no savior except itself. The state rather than furthering community furthers isolation. It separates man from man. And with the rise of the modern state men has lost their sense of community and so we read a great deal about alienation, the communication gap, the loneliness of modern man and so on and on. The modern state has controlled or [unintelligible] the many associations and agencies which once provided community and government, Christian agencies, Christian means of government. Men are usually without the once close and lifelong ties which once marked everyone. [00:09:16]
Most men are in closer touch with the IRS than they
Most men are in closer touch with the IRS than they are with their own families. And necessary connections are now created by Washington. But community is a religious fact; it rests on communion as we have seen. Although the state is now playing God, it can no more provide a valid religious bond then Congress can resurrect the dead. It can only tax the dead and believe me Congress is doing that with the inheritance taxes. But it has never resurrected the dead. In the early church because the Lord’s Day was not a legal holiday, congregations met at home in the evening. Men went to the meeting place from work because it was not a holiday and the women and children met them with their evening meals. A love feast or a potluck followed and then the preaching service. And sometimes the love feast or potluck was also the communion service. At the last supper after the Passover meal, our Lord instituted the communion. And the early church had its evening meals in common each Lords day and then also communion. Paul calls attention to the failure to share ones meal with poor members and he called attention to the gluttony of some. Apparently poor and hungry members were sometimes gluttonous. There were sins thus among the rich and the poor. Then Paul said in First Corinthians 11: 26-27:
“For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup you do show the Lords death till he comes. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of body and blood of the Lord.”
Now in the first of these two verses, verse 26, Paul tells us that communion and the bread and wine celebrate the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of course he only mentions the death because that death is a victorious one over sin and the grave. So that when you speak of Christ’s death you are speaking of a victory over sin and death. It sets forth our Lords death. Our salvation lies with sovereign grace of God. So the celebration of that life giving death means that the priority in our lives is not our own nor of us. It is the Lord. [00:12:30]
Then in verse twenty seven we have the logical conclusion
Then in verse twenty seven we have the logical conclusion which is drawn from this fact of priority. Our lives are not our own. Nor we do have the right to live in terms of our priorities. The rich and the poor saw the fellowship in Corinth in terms of themselves not in terms of Christ. And Hodge noted and I quote:
“The way in which the Corinthians ate unworthily was they treated the Lords table as though it was their own, making no distinction between the Lords supper and an ordinary meal. Coming together to satisfy their hunger, not to feed on the body and blood of Christ and refusing communion with their poor brethren. This, though one, is not the only way in which men may eat and drink unworthily. All that is necessary to observe is that the warning is directly against the perilous and profane and not against the timid and the doubting.” Unquote.
There’s still another fact here in more than one parable such as the parable of the great supper in Ruth 14:15-24 we read of the mandate to bring the people to the great supper. Communion has been historically associated therefore with the remembrance of mission and of charity. In the early church every man in baptism laid upon himself three responsibilities. First, repentance, a renunciation of all sin and the devil and a changed direction of life. Second, faith in a belief of the doctrines of Christian faith. And third, quoting from an ancient sentence, "A holy and constant obedience paid to the laws of this holy religion." Unquote. [00:14:52]
In communion certain other things were specified in
In communion certain other things were specified in the literature of the early church. First: faith with growing knowledge including knowing the meaning of the sacraments. Second: growth in repentance and obedience. That’s a very interesting point that the early church stressed: growth in repentance. As a man grew in faith he grew in the awareness of what his sin had meant. Third: justice and restitution. Fourth: a life of peace and unity. Fifth: charity and mercy to the poor. Sixth: charity in forgiving enemies and in pardoning offenses. As a result they saw communion as the motive for action. Because being members of Christ they know had to demonstrate they were members one of another. Together communion is seen as a mystical rite that is an end in itself. And I really feel fearful of communion now because I think it is too commonly celebrated and it’s an act of judgment on those who celebrate it. Communion sets forth the fact of God’s sovereign grace unto salvation. Having received grace we have a duty to manifest grace, freely having received, freely give. That motive is gone from communion but this has been the function over the years of the deacons offering at communion, now almost meaningless. [00:17:01]
Calvin stressed very strongly this aspect of the life
Calvin stressed very strongly this aspect of the life of the church, in fact I believe in a very beautiful little book to be prepared thus going through all of Calvin’s writings collecting what he has to say on this subject. In commenting on Hebrews 6:10 on the labor of love he wrote and I quote: “By saying that they had ministered and were still ministering he commended their perseverance which in this particular was very necessary for there is nothing to which we are prone more to weariness than in well doing. Hence it is that so many are ready enough to help their brethren yet the virtue of consistency is so rare that a large portion soon relaxes as though their warmth has cooled. But what ought constantly to stimulate us in even this one expression used by the apostle? That the love shown to the saints is shown toward the name of the Lord. For he intonates that God holds himself indebted to us for whatever good we do to our neighbors according to that saying: ‘what ye have done to these the least of these ye have done to me’. And there is also another: ‘he that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord’.” Unquote.. It’s sad that today people who profess the Reformed faith have forgotten the great stress that Calvin placed upon ministering to widows and orphans, to the needy, to the sick, and to others and this was done by the great Reformers without exception. Calvin continued to say with respect to Hebrew 6:11 quote:
“That they are two parts in Christianity which correspond with the two tables of the law. Therefore he who separates the one from the other has nothing but what is mutilated and mangled.” Unquote. [00:19:38]
He went on to say that our faith requires both faith
He went on to say that our faith requires both faith and love, a responsibility one to another. Calvin emphasized that need very strongly. He called for supporting the poor, encouraging the faint hearted and bringing people into the communion and peace of Christ. To fail to recognize this fact in our Christian heritage is to falsify history. At one time Christians took care of all social needs. At this was true of Catholics and Protestants. A little after Calvin in Milan, Italy the bishop there, Saint Charles Borromeo took care of the poor, he took care of little children who were homeless, he had a fund to provide dowries for girls who otherwise could not have married because there was no funds. Consider that, he even had a home for wives escaping from wife abusing husbands. There was not a social need or an educational need or a ministry that he neglected. And what he did, while he did it with greater intensity and passion then most, was routine in the church in his day. Communion and community for Christian faith begins with God’s grace to us in Christ and our duty then to manifest grace to others, this is what Godly community is about. In the absence of community in the modern world is very well summed up by a character in one of James Joyce’s stories who insisted that and I quote: “The modern spirit is vivisected.” Unquote. [00:22:08]
This is very true
This is very true. This dissecting spirit is basic to the modern world and to humanistic education. My university days go back to the early and mid-thirties when education was better than it is now. But the amazing thing to me then that I’ve never forgotten was that the students were routinely asked to critique Milton and Shakespeare and other writers when the students could not even critique the comic strips in good English. But they were to sit in judgment on everything as little gods and the whole of humanistic education is geared to create sinners who will sit in judgment on God and man. Not understanding, not appreciation, but critiquing, sitting in judgment was and is the essential educational goal. It’s the attitude of the intellectual elite. It should come at no surprise to us that in February of 1988, very recently, about two hundred parents signed a petition protesting the Ripon California elementary school, that children eat their school provided lunches, everything, because it was a design to teach nutritional habits. And the children were prone to go for the meat or the potatoes or the bread and leave the vegetables. These were children in grades one to six. But nearly two hundred parents signed a petition in Rippon protesting this, and Rippon is one of the most Christian and conservative communities on the entire west coast. However such behavior is common to the home as well as to the school. [00:24:43]
How can community be possible when a child’s self-will
How can community be possible when a child’s self-will is so readily indulged? It began with a child refusing carrots, I believe. We have a society that goes to court over everything because all want their way and will tolerate no restraint. Hence, there is no community. But the bible speaks not only of the necessity of being members one of another but of forbearance. Paul says for example, I therefore the prisoner of the Lord beseech you that you work worth of the vocation of which you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, long suffering, forbearing one another in love. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Forbearing one another and forgiving one another; if any man has a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you so also do you. Without patience and forbearance no community is possible. Because the foundation of our standing before God is his grace, it is not ourselves, grace and forbearance must mark our lives and only then is community possible. The basic premise of fallen man is his will to be his own God, to determine good and evil, to ordain law for himself in terms of his premise, my will be done. On this foundation there can be no community only conflict. And the ultimate end: a humanistic man’s premise of community is hell. In hell there is no communion nor community. The very words in Greek and Hebrew for hell are [unsure], the dump heap of Jerusalem. In a dump heap nothing is related to anything else. All you have is a vast collection of miscellaneous junk, so that the remnants of a broken typewriter can be next to a broken chair. Nothing has any relationship to anything else. This is what hell is about, there is no community, nothing is related to anything else and it is a place of total isolation. It’s sad that the best account of hell in our day was by an existentialist, a humanist, Jean Paul Sartre in his No Exit. [00:28:01]
In which everyone sits in hell talking to himself wondering
In which everyone sits in hell talking to himself wondering whether the door is open or shut and nobody tries it, they are there in perpetual self-isolation. Heaven is the great community of our Lord. Hell is the absence of all community.
Now as we continue in our final section, our subject is the moral foundations for true community. I mentioned earlier the book published recently by a former state assemblyman, then a state senator, a man who has been a university professor, and who gives us some of the political wisdom of his legislative associates and friends. This is James C. Mills or James O. Mills in A Disorderly House. And his political wisdom is that you vote against tax increases but for appropriation while promising to cut the fat out of government to pay for the appropriation. That’s the way to fool the taxpayer. It means recognizing, he says, in a democracy people always want more than they will pay for and you give it to them. The basic rule with regard to ones associates is and I’m quoting Mills literally: “Always kick a man when he’s down.” Unquote. And to remember that and again I am quoting: “In politics, appearances are the only reality.” Unquote. These are the common operating premises of the modern state. But they are hardly the premises of operating community life. And with the state dominating our life today and practicing these and other operational premises that Mills sets forth you can understand why our world is going to bad to worse. [00:30:38]
And all the while people keep looking to the state
And all the while people keep looking to the state as the saving agency. Beginning with the enlightenment people began to see man and society on the edge of chaos all the time and reason and the modern state is the only way of salvation. Well, we have seen that the humanistic plan of salvation at work from 1660 approximately till 1988 and God’s patience is beginning to wear out. He gave the Canaanites four hundred years and he’s given almost as much time to modern humanism. But modern humanism, the modern humanism is apparently taxing the patience of God even more than the Canaanites did. The state has seen itself as the source of reason; it has seen its purpose as giving direction to human social life. Law they held very early had to be a product of human reason and all social institutions had to be rational constructs. And human reason it was held could in time supply all man’s needs and solve all man’s problems. The sufficiency of reason was an article of faith. In time, grafted onto that was the idea of scientific reason. About the same time that this began New England Puritans were affirming a very contrary faith. Edward Johnson, 1598-1672, held that it is, I quote: “As unnatural for a right New England man to live without an able ministry as for a smith to work his iron without a fire.” Unquote. In other words, they said you can live without anything but you can’t live without the church of Christ. This is the foundation of community and of life. And all things require the foundation they held of the ministry of God’s word. The state, the family, the school, foundational to all, they said, was the ministry of the word of God. [00:33:43]
But, from the renaissance on, modern man outside of
But, from the renaissance on, modern man outside of the Reformation agreed with Francis Bacon: that by systematically studying nature man might in some part recapture Eden that was their phrase. Whereby his fall he had lost his dominion over creation, so said Bacon. In time, politics from being a subdivision of religion became a form of new religion, a humanistic faith. Whatever gap existed between lords and their peasants from the middle ages was still bridged by their common membership in the church. They were alike, a people of Christ. Given the precedence of the modern era in our schools most people have trouble recognizing how great was the decline of the state of the common man from the middle ages to the modern era. Because once he was separated from the faith he fell to the bottom of society and he fell economically, his motive was gone. A dramatic dehumanization set in to society with the enlightenment. We must not forget that it was commonplace in the eighteenth century for the poor to line up day after day to abandon their children in foundling homes or to quietly kill them. The gap grew so between man and man that anyone who was a commoner was regarded as sub-human. And noble ladies thought nothing of dressing and undressing in the presence of male servants because they did not consider them as men in a relationship to themselves as women. They were a lower order of being. [00:36:31]
Before the division between man was religious not political
Before the division between man was religious not political or racial. To this day outside the areas of humanisms influence racism does not exist. The blacks of more backwards parts of Africa do not subscribe to black racism, their division is tribal and cultural, and they do not see the difference in color but in association. When Europe began to think of itself as European rather than Christian it began to divide and it began to have prejudices towards those across a boundary and Christian community began to disappear. More’s Utopia set forth the premises of the new humanistic and statist order. More’s Utopia has three premises: first, evil is social in origin so that to eliminate evil a new social order and a new environment must be created. Second, the new environment will curb and eliminate evil and make men good. Third, the timeless rules of reason can be discovered and will enable men to design the right social order. For More and others community was no longer a religious fact but a political and rational construct. Christ was being left out of education step by step, out of politics, out of economics, out of any planning for man. Moreover, this kind of approach removes morality from the person, from the individual in a very radical way because if evil is social in origin, if it is environment, mental, then biblical morality is wrong in declaring a man to be accountable for his sin. [00:38:35]
They are then not sin but social reflexes. To have a moral person, if you can use that term in humanism, requires the right kind of social control through the state. Robespierre drew the logical conclusion when he said and I quote: “A single will is necessary.” Unquote. The dictatorship of the proletariat. Centralization, concentration of all power increasingly, into one hand or one agency because given the right dictatorship of reason evil can be removed from society and men. Now with this shift of evil from man to his environment men began to despise all talk of duty and responsibility and to talk instead about rights, about their legitimate claims against other men and the state. Even six or seven year olds are now talking about rights under the leadership of our schools. As, for example, the right to refuse the lunch which represents a balanced diet. Rights have replaced moral duties in the modern world and a demand society has replaced community. Community presupposes morality; it requires the observance of the Ten Commandments and the whole of God’s law which is the premise of true community. Our lord declares thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets. [00:40:48]
But our Lord is saying is that we have moral responsibilitie
But our Lord is saying is that we have moral responsibilities and moral towards God and in God towards all men. The duty of the church is the ministry of the word. Its work includes training up a godly people to preach to all believers. God’s law is to become basic to the inner man in all his royal priesthood. As Wycliffe saw it and I quote: “Every man is responsible for keeping God’s law.” And by God’s law Wycliffe meant the bible, the emphasis was on dominion by grace. Man is the responsible agent. But he cannot be responsible without regeneration, he must be born again. And being regenerate, being faithful to God’s word, this is morality! And there is no other biblical standard of morality than God’s law. But we have today two major forces undermining this fact. First, the humanists deny that man is morally accountable to God, they reject the gospel of sin and they see evil as environmental. So, social planning replaces morality, then second, antinomian churches undermine the moral foundations of the faith. Paul in 1st Timothy 3:15 speaks of the church as the pillar and ground of the truth. But how can an antinomian church do other than subvert God’s kingdom. Too often has substituted humanism for God’s law. And one writer, James Turner, in Without God, Without Creed: The Origins of Unbelief in America has said that modeling Victorian sentimentalism led to heart religion to replace the old Calvinism and in Turners words and I quote: “The will of God became the good of man.” Unquote. [00:43:22]
There is too little morality in many churches today
There is too little morality in many churches today because there is too little law, God’s law. In some churches it is forbidden to read or teach the Ten Commandments, is it any wonder that even evangelical leaders are beginning to admit that with regard to sexual morality alone there is no difference between the young people in the church and outside the church in many of the evangelical churches. We read however in Leviticus 19:15 and 18 God’s rule: “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, thou shalt not respect the person of the poor nor honor the person of the mighty but in righteousness thou shalt judge thy neighbor, thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grunge against the children of thy neighbor, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, I am the Lord.” Now against this remember what James R. Mills, our state senator of a few years ago said, always kick a man when he’s down, the first rule of good politics. Well this seems to be the de facto rule in some churches as well, I won’t go into specifics but I’ve known of a number of sad situations of that sort. And there’s no question which rule makes community possible. Our Lords…not Mills. Our choice is more and more a very clear one. Christian moral foundation makes community possible, whereas humanistic statism undercuts morality by making evil an environmental fact and by seeing this solution to our problems in social planning and engineering. [00:45:28]
The goal of the modern state is power not community
The goal of the modern state is power not community. In the court of Louis the Fourteenth because of this worship of power, courtiers debauched themselves and their families to gain access to power. And Charles Blitzer, a historian has written and I quote: “Nobles and prelates of the most exulted rank, plotted to introduce their daughters and nieces and even their wives into the royal bed, for to be related to the kings mistress was the source of inestimable prestige. For those who had only sons there were similar favors to be gained from the kings homosexual brother, Philip of Orleans.” Unquote. There’s reason to believe that this kind of thinking is known in the modern state for the world has not changed much since then. It will not change until we as Christians take Gods every word seriously. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. And if we live by every word that presides out of the mouth of God we take the bible not as an inspiring book, because it isn’t always inspiring, especially when it hits us between the eyes with regards to our sin. It’s an inspired book, it is a command book, it is marching orders for the church. It is the word to govern us whether we feel inspired by it or not. We have our marching orders. If we obey those marching orders and by faith move ahead we are going to see indeed God’s judgment fall on this generation. But we shall be like the children of Israel let out and delivered. Do we want deliverance? If we do let us hear the every word of God. Thank you. [00:48:09]
I believe we are to go directly into the questions
I believe we are to go directly into the questions and I’ll start with those that were left over this morning. The one on the top: How can we obtain housing in southern California without going into debt?
Well I think the answer to that is that you don’t obtain housing. You do everything necessary to stay out of debt and it used to be routine for young couples and middle aged ones to wait until they could afford a house and pay it off in a short time before they bought one. As a matter of fact in all of the United States before World War Two mortgages were for five years only. That was in terms of biblical law. But nobody seems to remember that. The only time I’ve seen that mentioned has been in one or two ads by a banks and loan agency saying aren’t you glad you can live now when you can have a thirty year mortgage instead of the old days before World War Two when it was only five years? So you save, you wait for the future, and now with all that’s coming it’s a dangerous time to go into debt. [00:49:45]
Do you see a need for public preachers to reprove,...
Do you see a need for public preachers to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long suffering and doctrine in the marketplace and like the prophets, in the city gates?
Well, now we have to remember that when the prophets were in the city gates that was the place of the market and also the court and where the city council met. They went where they could be most effective. How can we be most effective today? Well today it is the printed word, the spoken word over television and over radio that are most effective. We have to see the opportunities in terms of our times and then in terms of that, speak. And we have to recognize that we cannot be crowd pleasers. Our age wants stars whether it is in films or in the pulpit. And the preacher who goes against that by putting the emphasis not on his ability to be a showman and someone who sways the crowd, but places the emphasis on the word of God is going against the grain. But it’s got to be done, after all that’s what the Gospel is about. It goes against the grain of the natural man. [00:51:27]
Briefly I’ll outline how you would outline how you
Briefly I’ll outline how you would outline how you would attempt to move a pietistic congregation towards reconstruction. Preach the word. Don’t use any buzzwords that are going to upset people like Christian reconstruction, or dominion theology, or kingdom theology, just expound the word. And if you do they are going to get the message. One of our problems is that the word is not faithfully preached. One of the finest, the most lovable pastors I ever knew as a young man was a man who over the years had gotten to a crotchety kind of preaching, that’s the only way I can describe it. He was a fine preacher, a lovable thinker [???], but he was preaching more and more from his favorite passages of scripture. So finally he had the gospel of John and he had Philippians and he had certain portions of Isaiah, in other words, a very small Bible and although he was a man who believed the Bible from cover to cover he had a Bible that was smaller than that of any modern [unintelligible] because he was concentrating on a few subjects, a few things. I know many pastors who concentrate on the rapture, and others will be very critical of those pastors who concentrate on the five points of Calvinism. You don’t concentrate on anything but the whole word of God. You teach it thoroughly, then you are going to have a congregation which is going to be effective. And we’ll see the implications of the whole word of God. [00:53:38]
What role, if any, can the para-church organizations
What role, if any, can the para-church organizations contribute to communities? Without the administration of the sacraments, do these organizations oppose community?
Well first of all the word para-church is a modern one. The word church as it exists in the Bible has reference to Ecclesia. It means, first of all, those who are appointed to govern, and then those who are the body who work with them. In the Septuagint, that is the Greek translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek because so many of the Jews were Greek speaking in our Lords day and earlier, we find that the word is used for the entire nation when it was godly. It was used for the army on the march, it could apply for the family, in other words it was broader than the sanctuary and the worship. So, the church is Christ’s people in action wherever they are. You as a family are a part of the church; you are an agency of Christ, not the church as an institution. You see, when we think of the word church we think of an organized body, an institution. Well the church is an institution but if we define it in terms of the institution we’ve lost its meaning. It is the life of Christ manifest in the nation, in the world, in our family, wherever. So, these so called para-church organizations are indeed contributing to community when they function in the name of Christ, when they reach out to people on skid row. I’ve defended a lot of street preachers in the courts as a witness. And some of them have done amazing work, most recent that I defended a couple of months ago started a congregation in one community just out of those had saved through their street ministry and were now moving into another community. [00:56:21]
Now, that was a para-church organization, it was just
Now, that was a para-church organization, it was just a group of men who had been saved out of alcoholism or one thing or another and they were hitting the streets on their own, they had no organization behind them. But they left a church behind them in one place. And each of the men had been associated with a church somewhere else, meanwhile they were ministering to people who were down and out.
Do you regard one extremely large congregations and two Presbyterian church Polity as inconsistent with decentralization?
Well, I’m not going to get into the areas of polity. I will say this: that back in the thirties a sociologist did some work which nobody was interesting in publishing, unfortunately. But what he discovered was that in the cities the most effective congregation was between two and three hundred. Because there could be more community and there was better learning, better growth. In a country community where everybody knew each other and there was not a great deal moving in and out it could go up to six hundred. And he found that this was because those sizes seemed to establish bonds of community and mutual helpfulness to greater degree. [00:58:16]
What should our response be to the public schools?...
What should our response be to the public schools? Do you expect the public schools to fall under their own weight?
Well, as Christians we cannot put our children into public schools, they belong in Christian schools because the basic fact in education, to know the Lord, is forgotten, systematically excluded. However, I feel that as far as the public schools are concerned, I’m not interested in fighting them. I will fight for the Christian schools but indeed the public schools are going downhill, both in the caliber of their education and in their enrollment. They’re dying. They know it, that’s why they’re trying to kill us off, because they see defeat ahead. In fact, as far back as the 1950s when the movement just began, one writer in a publication in the educational department of Stanford referred to the fact that at the present rate of growth public schools would be finished by the year two thousand. Well they are declining. So let the dead bury the dead, let’s just go on building our own schools. [01:00:05]
Why in your opinion did Reagan fail as our president
Why in your opinion did Reagan fail as our president, what things did he have an opportunity to do to make a real impact on this country that he failed in?
Well, Reagan never did really face up to the fact of inflation and it’s running twenty percent in spite of the figures the federal government is releasing. He never met congress head-on on any issue; we have seen the national debt increase more rapidly under Reagan than any other president. Now he has the power of veto, he has seldom used it. So, he has from a situation where he could have done a great deal to reverse the ugly trends that are threatening us in the world with devastating economic and monetary collapse, he just drifted. He said the right things but did not do much. So he’s been a very personable and likeable man as president but basically ineffectual. [01:01:30]
Using Romans 13 as the basis for their arguments, some
Using Romans 13 as the basis for their arguments, some individuals believe that the American colonists were not justified in their fight for independence from Britain. How would you respond to such individuals?
Well I would say they don’t know their history. Because each of the colonies was an independent realm under King George of England and they never did rebel from Britain. They were never under Britain! King George the Third was king of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, and also king of Massachusetts and New York and Maryland and each of the colonies. None of the colonies were under parliament. And what happened was that the crown ministers, given the fact that George the Third was increasingly mentally incompetent, conspired with parliament to throw everything into parliaments hands, to make parliament ruler over the American colonies. Now this was a violation of the charter of the constitution of each of the colonies. So what they did was to repeal an armed invasion by a foreign power, Britain, its parliament, under whom they had not been. The only jurisdiction that parliament had was over a few areas of common concern for all the areas of the empire. As a result, if you go to the Declaration of Independence there is no mention of parliament. It was a declaration of independence from King George the Third for his violations of the constitution, for by the constitution or charter was dissolved. So, it was not a rebellion, it was a resistance to an armed invasion. That’s how little our schools teach us history. [01:03:51]
Would you define and contrast civil law from a biblical
Would you define and contrast civil law from a biblical perspective with that from a socialist perspective, including the purpose and scope of civil law?
Well during the first fifty, sixty, seventy years of our history when anyone went to court and there was a trial, whether on civil matters or criminal, the jury decided things out of this book, the Bible. And so then civil law then was biblical law, whereas modern civil law in this country and in the Soviet Union is statute law passed by the state. Now, every year congress passes a number of laws, but even more is the laws of the bureaucracy passed. They are so many that if you put them in this room there would be no standing place. They would fill this room. They govern us. There’s no way that you can begin to know what is in that law, that body of law. And everyone know to function has to have endless forms, whether in socialism or in our country. In fact, so many forms are required that as of 1980, it’s worse now but I don’t know the figures for it, General Motors, our biggest corporation, had to have twenty three thousand, five hundred people working full time all year long each year filling out federal forms. So you know what’s ahead for all of us if they have their way. So, civil law today is manmade, our civil law used to be God made. [01:06:10]