Dr. Bruce K. Waltke's 2008 Christian book of the year, An Old Testament theology, contains a chapter titled The Gift of Warlords. It tells that spiritual men and women are essential for the future as candidates and elected officials as well as political operatives and mechanics. If America is to survive, pastors will have to take their civic responsibility over the coming 30 years to a whole new level, when they move from meetinghouse to marketplace as the ekklesia, as formulated by Christ Jesus in Mark 16:18.
Present-day Christianity has lost the mission and ministry of civil government, defined by the Founding Fathers, who pledged "to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth."
While a recent Republican president may have heralded "democratic capitalism" as America's greatest export, to the early American Founders, the greatest export was Jesus Christ.
It will require a fateful turn of events to get the spiritual leaven of the Word back into the culture in order to cure secular America. That, and unconditional obedience by His children, as described in 2 Chronicles 7:14, is the only hope for a spiritual resurrection of the United States. Anything less or else will fail or have no effect.
As Christians make a stand against both the religious and political crisis generated by secularists and the withdrawal of the church over the last century, America's youth are about to learn something that can be learned in no other way: 1) liberty and independence cannot exist apart from God, and 2) their spiritual inheritance can only be gained by committed engagement.
"It's warfare from end to end," A.W. Pink wrote in Gleanings From Joshua.
The turn the American culture has taken over the last century can be attributed to unilateral evangelism, an eschatology espousing the turn of phrase that one "doesn't polish brass on a sinking ship." Unless the church gets out of the church and into the marketplace, things are not going to end well. The challenge for Christians is to find believers whose faith includes voluntary abandonment of things cherished by men, in order to counter and halt the ostensibly unassailable authority of secularism.
A.W. Pink's incisive commentary speaks to the "pious heresy" of the "polish brass" turn of phrase above:
It needs to be clearly insisted upon that the exercise of faith does not preclude the use of all legitimate means, though we are not to rest in the means alone, but rather count upon God's blessing the same. To decline the locking of my doors and the fastening of my windows when there is an epidemic of burglary in the neighborhood, or to retire for the night and leave a roaring fire in the grate, under the pretext of counting upon God's protecting my property, is not trusting but tempting Him. Faith in God does not preclude the discharge of my performance of duty, both in taking precautions against danger or using proper means for success.
Two distinct religions are vying for control of the public square in America: secularism versus Christianity. Unable to coexist, one will ultimately go under due to the rise of the other.
Pertinent countermeasures include the following:
"First-century ekklesia introduced a radical and revolutionary social agenda that launched a process that literally changed the world," wrote Ed Silvoso in Ekklesia. "With the subsequent institutionalization of the Church, however, what was a lifestyle that implemented Jesus' agenda became programs of good deeds that fall short of transforming society.
"Jesus did not state, 'I will build My temple' or 'I will build My synagogue,' the two most prominent Jewish religious institutions at the time. Instead, He chose a secular entity first developed by the Greeks when He said, 'I will build my ekklesia' [Gr. ekklesia, called-out ones] 'and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against [them]' (Matt. 16:17b).
"The teachings of Jesus that the first-century ekklesia modeled, constitute what is now known as Christian ethics. No other philosophy has come close to matching it. In fact, [Western Civilization was] built on it because Christian values and ethics have no rival in either the secular or the religious arena.
"Jesus' ekklesia was never meant to be so heavenly minded as to become earthly irrelevant."
The essence of the battle facing 21st-century America for that reason lies in reestablishing the authority of Scripture in the (earthly) culture. Religious secularism, a pagan religion and Christianity's chief competitor, can only thrive in the absence of a biblically literate (or well-informed) populace. Thus, one will easily perceive the baneful effect of the secularized 1963 Warren Supreme Court's removal of the Bible from culture, public education and higher learning.
Regarding the power of the Word, Martin Luther translated the Bible from Greek to German in 1522, and next from Hebrew to German in 1534. Those efforts alone launched the Protestant Reformation, establishing the Bible as "the fixed point in order to judge," according to Blaise Pascal. That thereby transforms "traditional Western moral and legal philosophy by making not reason but the Bible, and more particularly the Ten Commandments, the basic source and summary of natural law," according to Harold J. Berman.
Western civilization is at stake, unless secularism gets vanquished from America. It's time for Gideons and Rahabs to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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