Deserting Christian Soldiers, Fleeing From The War, Why Is The Church Of Jesus Failing To Engage This War?
Deserting Christian Soldiers, Fleeing From The War, Why Is The Church Of Jesus Failing To Engage This War? Exchanging State As Master, Surrendering To The Foe; Retreating From The Battle Let That Banner Go! Refrain: Deserting Christian Soldiers, Fleeing From The War, Why Is The Church Of Jesus Failing To Engage This War?
There is an aspect of the Reformed Faith that has become known as Christian Reconstruction which is really a call for the Church to awaken to its biblical duty to revival and the reformation of society. Christian Reconstruction has the priority of individual salvation but additionally holds that cultural renewal is always to be the necessary and essential consequence of the gospel as it steadily finds results in the lives and hearts of people and is the natural result of bringing all things under the Kingship of Christ. Christian Reconstruction therefore looks for and labors for the rebuilding of the institutions of society in accordance with a biblical blueprint as the obvious result of the true gospel of Christ. The challenge of the Reformed faith and/or Christian Reconstruction is additionally to answer the unprecedented threat facing the Church of Jesus Christ from the 20th century. The revival of secular humanism and the parallel escalation of statism. The state has and continues to threaten to render impotent the Church by actions such as property taxation, zoning laws, and stifle the freedom of speech of the gospel message itself by direct court action. This is all directly contrary and an attack upon the Word of God. In one scenario, a Methodist church was sued by sodomites for refusing to marry them REF. Lesbian Methodist Suit. Sodomites are filing law suits against publishing companies that print the Bible! REF. Sodomite Law Suit. In another, the church raided and seized for not acting as government agents to collect taxes for the government. REF. Church Raid. This really is only what we know on the surface; there were several thousand civil suits pending against churches in mid-1980s.
There Are Two Disastrous And Lethal Errors Of The Church That Are Occurring In Churches Today
1 - Flight Instead Of Fight
Many Churches would rather flee or retreat the mandate from God to apply the Word of God to culture and society. It appears that many pastors are guided far more by Plato in some facets of their thinking than by Christ. The problem today is the Church is failing the application of scripture to the secular. The Church is failing to recognize that every sphere of life is subject to the Word of God and under the Kingship of Christ. The flight is demonstrated in many Churches each Lords Day from Sabbath School to the pulpit - there is no biblical teaching on civil law, economics, government and other cultural applications. The Church has traded piety for pietism. Example: Since 1973 regarding the legalization of the massacre known as abortion by the supreme court there is no outrage and little response by the Church.
2 - Catachresis
Catachresis is the misuse of words occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect. In Christianity the misapplication of the Word of God in society and culture is serious & heinous. This is considerably the more elusory error for anyone to grasp. An example would be a Christian socialism like that espoused by Tony Campolo and Ron Sider REF. Christian Socialism.
In a time when people try to label and pigeonhole people the label Reformed Faith and "Christian Reconstruction" are nothing more than faithful believers calling for a return to the principles of the Reformation [The five solas 1) Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone 2) Solus Christus - Christ Alone 3) Sola Gratia - Grace Alone 4) Sola Fide - Faith Alone 5) Soli Deo Gloria - The Glory of God Alone] where God's people seek to restructure every sphere of life according to the Word of God. This is true biblical revival. A look back at history and the example of revival in Scripture we know that work of redemption wrought by the Holy Spirit is extended beyond individual repentance to impact every facet of culture. For example, rekindling of the Law by King Josiah - 2 Kings 22,23. This produced a reformation (but not a revival) leading to reconstruction of the entire Hebrew culture. In the New Testament, proclamation of the crown rights of King Jesus resulted in changes to all life, it being said that the world had been turned upside down - Acts 17. More recent, Calvins reformation in Geneva & Knox in Scotland all transformed every sphere of life and culture.
3-The Foundation: The Sovereignty of God
The foundation of the Reformed Faith and Christian Reconstruction resides on one solid foundation: The absolute sovereignty of God. Sovereignty is Gods supreme power and rule and guardianship of His creation. God's reign and control extends into every sphere of life, here and now, not just in eternity. To postpone the Kingship of Christ is to deny His Crown Rights. The Bible contains the directives of the King of kings for every area of human activity, including civil government, economics, art, science, family, church, and more. Activity in each sphere is to be governed by His word and the precepts thereof, with minimal interference from civil government. It is impossible for there to be any neutrality or indifference if you are a Christian. God sovereignty is exercised through many secondary agencies/entities. For instance, the civil government is responsible to God to bear the sword, executing Gods wrath against violators of His Laws & precepts. The Church, as the repository and trustee of the Word of God is to provide Biblical instruction for every sphere, including civil government. The Church is not to control civil government, but rather to provide expert spiritual & legal counsel - Deut.17:8-13. God's people are expected to assume the responsibility of civil leadership. The Reformed Faith and/or Christian Reconstruction Is Based On The Foundation Of Gods Sovereignty And Has Four Essential Hallmarks
I - The Word of God
The Reformed Faith and/or "Christian Reconstruction" espouses the inerrancy and authority of the Word of God in every sphere of civilization. Christians are to carefully apply God word in ethics - 1Timothy 1:8. The text clearly implies a lawful and an unlawful use of the Law of God. We know that it is unlawful to seek acceptance with God by trying to obey the Law of God - the ceremonial & sacrificial law, or any human additions to the Law. His people are justified by faith alone - Ephesians 2:8-9. Christians must look to the Law of God as His guide for living to the chief end as well as civil statutes. The perfect standard of the Law shows us how we are to live, how much we fall short of His perfect standard and how much we need mercy and forgiveness from the Savior. How do we know this? We know that the law is good if anyone uses it lawfully - 1 Timothy 1:8.
Here are some examples of unlawful application of the Law
1. Salvation by Works - Ephesians 2:8-9 2. Sacrificial Observances - Galatians 3:24 3. Man-made Traditions Added to the Law - Mark. 7:7
Here are some examples of a righteous application of the Law
1. Guide for life - Psalm 119:133 2. Convict us of sin - Romans 3:20 3. Civil law to protect & punish - 1Timothy 1:8,9
What does it mean to not under the law?
This means that Christians are no longer condemned by the Law of God since those who trust Christ alone are justified by faith. It does NOT mean we are no longer ethically and morally bound to obey Old Testament law. Legalism is what results from a misapplication of Gods moral Law or from traditions added to the Law and is found in numerous Churches in the land. You will notice this from anything from dress codes to the use of wine for the Lords Supper to the consumption of distilled spirits, brewed and fermented beverages. Childlike obedience to the God's law does NOT equal legalism but freedom. The erosion of the Church has been propagated thanks to an erroneous theological concept that began to evolve in the mid 1800's that became known as dispensationalism. Dispensationalists have been spreading a cancer within Churches by perpetuating their false antinomianism gospel. Ill only mention one of todays popular proponents Charles Stanley. And so, sometimes out of ignorance or whatever it might be, they attempt to gratify and meet those needs the same way they did before they were saved, and therefore, you can't tell a carnal believer from a lost man. That is, you can't tell the cold from the carnal because the truth is, they're both acting the same way. Now, one of them is in Christ and one of them isn't. One of them is lost and the other one is in Christ. One of them knows about God and knows him in the experience of salvation; the other doesn't know him at all" [Spiritual Vs. Carnal--Study in 1 Cor., Tape #8, PQ092]. The erosion of the Biblical view of the Law of God has been undermined. Dispensationalism tried to use Biblical theologys break down of the epochs of revelation to mean different plans of salvation. As a result, today a person who professes faith and lives like the devil is ok and is considered a carnal Christian. How did this all come about? This faulty interpretive principle of Old Testament law is to assume that the Old Testament is invalid unless confirmed by the New Testament. The Biblically faithful interpretive principle is to assume that the Old Testament is valid and still in effect unless where specifically transformed by the New Testament. I will not go in any detail about the responses because they have been well documented ANTINOMIANISM and The Antinomian Way of Justification The Reformed have a much different view of Scripture. Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) Chapter 1 Section IX - The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly. REF. - WCF The New Covenant wrought changes in several aspects of Gods Law. For instance sacrificial laws, ceremonial laws, Sabbath laws, dietary laws and agricultural laws. 1Timothy 1:9 lists a type of civil crimes that the Law of God is to prevent under the New Covenant - murder, kidnapping, adultery, perjury, etc. As a result, one beneficial use of the Law of God is to prevent and when necessary punish evil doers in civilization. The term theologians use to describe this approach is theonomy, from the Greek words theos meaning God and nomos meaning law. When people reject the Word of God and His Law as the standard, they are left with autonomy (self-law). The attempts of autonomy in culture takes many forms and applications in culture like natural law, pluralism, democracy - law of the people, statutory law and common sense. The forms of government have all been tried with these premises Monarchy, Dictator, Republic including Democratic and Socialist & Democracy. Each as a result of rejecting Gods standard has and always will wind up with bedlam, conflict and turmoil and never a lasting peace within the land. When the Church rejects the inerrancy and authority of Gods word and refuses to follow the precepts of His Law apostasy will come. Those going the apostate road will usually adopt what it calls is the law of love to guide their decisions. Doesnt it sound nice? This is not real love and not a Biblical love and it has no substance. This is the sloppy agape that exalts unity over truth to avoid "offense" or a "confrontation." But authentic biblical love goes hand in hand with the Law. Jesus said, If you love me, you will keep my commandments - John 14:15,21. By rejecting the standard of Gods word and His Law, the Church is no different than the world because there is no substance to offer the world and therefore the Church has no relevance in society. The end result is social clubs where cancer is spreading and not being healed and bad medicine is dispersed that produces about as much good as the tobacco smoke enema in reviving the dead. Blowing smoke up the backsides of the faithful as they sing, it is well with my soul may make the sick and afflicted feel good but produces no world changing results and only helps advance the erosion of Christian culture.
II - Presuppositionalism
Presuppositional Apologetics is the approach of defending the Christian faith by which the only basis of rational thought is based upon the self-sufficiency and authority of scripture. This is the logical conclusion of the sovereignty of God in revelation. This understanding of God's Word of leads to a much different approach to sharing the gospel and defending the faith as well Many Christians try to prove the Bible to the unregenerate person by presenting evidences from logic and creation. They think the issue is purely cerebral and that faith will naturally result from an unassailable explanation of the facts. But the Bible makes clear that an unregenerate person deliberately suppresses the truth - Romans 2:15. The issue is not a lack of evidence, but the unregenerate person wanting to establish themselves as God and the ultimate judge of truth. The core issue of the fall centered upon Adam & Eve wanting to become as God and the judge of what God commanded Genesis 3:5-6. Using presuppositional apologetics radically alters an approach to the non-believer. If the defense of the faith is comprised solely of presenting evidences (Evidentialism) to an unregenerate persons independent reason, then a person is only encouraging the independence of God in the thinking of the unregenerate and it is impossible for them to understand. Contrast that with a Christians who follow a presuppositional approach (reconstructionists/reformed). Instead of a focus on persuasion with facts and logic they challenge the unregenerate person in their belief that they are the ultimate judge of truth. God's Word does not need to be proved, it needs to be used. I believe, therefore I understand is the best way to simplify Presuppositional apologetics. Reformed/Reconstructionists/Presuppositionalists presuppose that God's Word will penetrate the hearts of unregenerate people knowing that the Word of God and His Law has been made plain to them in their soul simply by confirming the truths of His word.
III - The Purchase Of God
God is Sovereign in salvation. All men are sinners - worthy as a result of their rebellion of eternal separation and punishment from God in Hell. But God became flesh in Jesus Christ who perfectly kept the law, died as a substitute to atone for the sins of His people. Christ gave up His life and poured out His blood in to buy back those whom are to receive mercy instead of the just eternal punishment and suffering that all should face. God justly pardons all for whom Christ came to die and as a result they will believe the Gospel, are justified Romans 6:23 and granted them eternal life and will glorify them when He returns Romans 8:30 This justification is completed totally by the grace and mercy of God. All people are totally depraved and utterly dependent on God for providing salvation, including the quickening of the soul to have ears to hear and exercise the gift of faith to believe the Gospel. Eternal life and the salvation of God does not reside on a decision made by a person. It is Gods Sovereign decision to save that particular person. You did not choose me, but I chose you Jesus said in John 15:16. Gods people were chosen before the foundation of the world. - Ephesians 1:4-14. So how do we know who are His people? We don't but we can based on a profession of faith and a life that is being changed. How can you tell when even in the Church there is no contrast between those who live in obvious rebellion to Gods law? Today there are Churches that have degenerated into synagogues of satan where they would never think of calling a sodomite to repent, instead they will marry them and ordain them to preach! People know you are His by the gospel message you share, the way you strive to live for His glory and labor to build His Kingdom. If you are reading this and are not sure of where to find a faithful Church look on my website or contact me to find one near you.
4 - The Result: He Reigns NOW
The result in history of the Sovereignty of God is victory over sin and death. Christ reigns from heaven NOW and is advancing His Kingdom in history via His Church. The Bible insists that Gods Word and His Law will control every sphere of earthly activity, in history as well as eternity - Matthew 6:10. Gods sovereignty ensures He will control His creation this way. The Church has been commanded to carry His gospel teaching them to observe all things Matthew 28:20 (including His Law) to the nations. God will empower His people and the Church for this task. The problem in many well intentioned Churches are preaching a blasphemous message of defeat and shuddering behind the gates of hell because they dont understand the meaning of the word world and how it is used in scripture. You hear it all the time about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket and all we can do is be concerned about sharing the gospel for the sake of the souls of His elect and let the world go because He will come back and take out His enemies. Many would rather believe that satan rules and reigns until Christ returns. Regardless that nowhere in scripture do we read of the sovereignty of satan. Are we told to not love the world? No! - 1 John 2:15. But wait! Doesnt God love the world? John 3:16. Many Christians may say Jesus reigns and talk a good game but they really believe, act and think that satan has the victory here on earth and as a result it will only get worse. After all, Jesus death and resurrection did not attain victory and is limited and after all satan rules and reigns till Christ returns right? Redemption certainly can NOT be comprehensive and reaching as far as the curse is found - right? WRONG! Not true! Christ's death and resurrection dismantled all the authorities and powers of this world and triumphed over them - Colossians 2:15. Did not Christ come to destroy the devils work? - 1John 3:8. Certainly! Could it be true that this earth is the Lords and everyone and everything in it and that He is orchestrating all things for His glory and the good of His people? Absolutely! Psalm 24:1 makes this clear and quite clear in our confession of faith - Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter V Of Providence
The consequences of the view you hold are profound and have consequences! Do you believe Satan as now ruling the earth?
If you do, then you will think and be doing the following: - You will only focus on the salvation of souls from this evil world. - You will view Christian culture as a minority and only to be persecuted in an evil world. - You will see worldly pursuits as secular and only to be dealt with when necessary and the Church's mission and purpose to only be spiritual. - You will think the world must get worse before Christ returns and that reformation of all spheres of life are impossible.
Do you believe God as Sovereign and ruling the earth?
If you do, then you will think and be doing the following: - You have a commission that is great where you are to fill & subdue the earth and build Christian nations through evangelizing and discipleship. - You know that Christian culture is the only acceptable culture and you see all others as deviant and sinful. - You know that everything you do each day is a spiritual activity where you are to fulfill your chief end. - You know that we are expected to be always reforming and it is expected. These two views show the importance of how they each have consequences in the daily lives of Christians today. Unfortunately these days it seems that many Churches and their members have renounced their responsibility in providing a leadership role and would rather deny the crown rights of King Jesus and instead let secular humanists rule over them instead. The Reformed Faith and/or Christian Reconstructionists are the only group of professing believers who are unashamedly stating that their view is the only one that biblically answers the question of how Christians should share and work to transform this world in every sphere of life and culture.
We must understand the following:
We cannot fail to apply the Bible to the problems of society - Flight instead of fight is not acceptable! - Catachresis of God's word is sin and must be exposed for what it is. - The Church must continue to progress in the Reformation and/or Reconstruction of every sphere of life and culture according to God's Word - His Law and the precepts of all of His word. - The effects of the true gospel is the salvation of each of those for whom Christ came to redeem where the natural byproduct will be His people making all things captive to Christ. It is inevitable that this will lead to the reformation of culture and government as God's people not only stand for but advance the crown rights of King Jesus. Will you live to your chief end? This is what the Reformers and Reconstructionists in the past were known - Calvin's Geneva, Knoxs Reformation in Scotland, The Puritans and Pilgrims who labored to this end coming to the Americas and had this as the original intent of forming this current government and today are known as being "Reformed" or "Christian Reconstructionists "... So what about you? Will you sound the trumpet of retreat or to advance? Will you do more than just give lip service each Lord's Day for an hour or will you take God's word seriously and actually do more than going along to get along and bring His word to bear upon all things and share it with others? May God bless His people as He works to will that which is according to His good pleasure using His Church and His people to advance His Kingdom NOW and forevermore! In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Amen