Since Dec 12, 2000
"...I discovered the Reformed tradition of "Old Princeton" while in Bible college...I can still remember an all-nighter that I spent immersed in the works of Charles Hodge, B. B. Warfield, and W. G. T. Shedd. I drank in their wisdom and erudition with an almost giddy sense of excitement and renewal, constantly whispering to myself, "Where have you been my whole life?" It was as if I had finally discovered why I had a brain.If My people, who are called by My name
-- from the book Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith
will humble themselves
...we Christians better start getting used to the idea that we're part of the problem. Yes, we helped make this mess...
...if we're not asking for His help, we might not get it...
and seek My face
...He's not just our Savior, He's supposed to be our Lord. We need to find out what He wants us to do. We don't tell Him what we want to do...
and turn from their wicked ways
...again, we've been part of the problem all along. If we don't admit it, and we don't change what we're doing, don't expect the things around us to change either...
then will I hear from heaven
...notice it's an if/then equation. If we don't do all of the above, He makes no promise to hear us...
and will forgive their sin
...we need to recognize that our country's problems are ultimately ethical problems. God [the Person you are praying to/seeking the face of] sets the rules....
and will heal their land."
...note that this comes only at the end of everything above. If our priorities are out of whack, we'll probably think that God needs to heal this land first.
We who are Christians need to repent. This is the only thing that will free this country again.
The Catholic Church is failing to stem the tide of immorality here in America. The creedally orthodox Protestant churches are failing as well. IMO we can argue all day regarding whose numbers are increasing or decreasing, but none of it matters if cultural rot is still the result. We are failing to be salt and light.
-- Alex Murphy, December 22 2008
....In short, I believe that Christians in 2008 have lost ground, and are now too small a minority to sway elections in and of themselves. We have become strangers in a foreign land (Exodus 2:22, cf Jeremiah 5:19).
-- Alex Murphy, November 10 2008
Year-by-year census numbers show that the number of believing, practicing Christians in this country has been steadily declining for decades. I think we have finally shrunk to the level where we've lost any influence over the culture, morality, or politics at large. IMO that's what the 2008 vote demographics are saying.
We can't influence the ballot box, until we start changing the hearts and minds of the unbelievers among us. We'll remain a statistical oddity, "strangers in a foreign land" (Exodus 2:22, cf Jeremiah 5:19), until we increase our numbers (and I don't mean simply filling seats in the pews). We Protestants and Evangelicals need to take the Great Commission and all Ten Commandments seriously again.
-- Alex Murphy, November 7 2008
IMO the answer begins with creating a (counter-)culture for ourselves. The Christians in the first century had their own courts, their own "welfare system", their own traditions and customs. When Rome collapsed, the Christians didn't go with it because they were capable of governing themselves (and others). They'd already learned not to look to the State to meet their needs.
Your "7-day-a-week" comment ["The challenge is to convert the "Sunday go to meeting Christians" into "7 day a week Christians", as well as evangelize the unsaved"] is a start to doing this. Christians need to rediscover the idea that Jesus Christ is Lord over all of His creation, including politics and government. There is no "neutral area" that the Gospel does not apply to. I'm not talking about ecclesiocracy here. I'm talking about families and businesses and governments being subject to Christ's rule, not subject to a church's rule. There should be a common Lord and a common ethic shared between them all. This country was created and settled by Protestants who held similar ideas. if we want to take our country back from the liberals and the Godless who are turning it into a Nanny Police State, then we Christians better get educated on where that "back" is. Otherwise, we'll just go off in another direction again.
-- Alex Murphy, November 9, 2008
|"...These two world views [Christian theism vs naturalist, impersonal matter or energy shaped by impersonal chance] stand as totals in complete antithesis to each other in content and also in their natural results--including sociological and governmental results, and specifically including law.
It is not that these two world views are different only in how they understand the nature of reality and existence. They also inevitably produce totally different results. The operative word here is inevitably. It is not just that they happen to produce different results, but it is absolutely inevitable that they will bring forth different results..."
- Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto (1981), page 2.
Any strategy of resistance to tyranny will have to deal with the fact that tyranny is a curse of God. It must recognize that to rail against God's righteous judgments is merely to perpetuate and aggravate them. It must start with a humble submission to His will, a reverential fear of His judgments, and a full recognition of the righteousness of His moral government. Although we may marvel at the iniquities that men commit, at the fury of the "Commune" or the depravity of "Bolshevism," although the utter evil of God's instruments may astound us until with Habakkuk we are compelled to cry out to the Just and Holy God, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?" (Hab. 1:13); yet we must always remember that He styles Nebuchadnezzar his servant and terms Assyria the rod of His anger. It is still with Him that we have to do.
Ultimately, the only solution there can be to the problem of tyranny is to solve the problem of how we can turn God's curse into blessing; how we can transmute His anger into favor. The question becomes one of how can we appease His anger and stay His wrath.
What can shield a man, or a people, or a nation from the curse of God? Ever since the fall by the sin of one man, death and curse have been universal. All have sinned and come short, there is none that doeth good, no not one, and so by both original and actual sin all men and all societies bring judgment and wrath down upon themselves. One of the forms of this wrath is that God sends tyrants as He so clearly warned in I Samuel 8. Men need a covering, an atonement, to shield them from the wrath of God. They need a Daysman, a Mediator, to intercede on their behalf with an offended and omnipotent Deity. In short, men need the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. They need to be Justified before God. And the Biblical, the Protestant, the Reformed answer to this need is that men need to be justified by faith in Christ Jesus. But faith is inexorably linked in the divine economy with repentance and the latter is again just as inescapably linked with reformation. The same golden chain that links election to effectual calling, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification also links faith with good works, and the new nature with the fruits of repentance. If we would have a covering from the wrath of God and from His curse including the curse of tyrannical government, the road leads inexorably to justification by faith, repentance, and reformation. And we come to the very same conclusion whether we examine the issue in its negative or in its positive aspects. Whether we are seeking to avoid God's righteous curse or whether we are seeking to bring down His blessing, including the blessings of peace, liberty, and just government, either way the answer is reformation. For if I Samuel 8 teaches that the fruit of apostasy is tyranny and unjust, coercive government, Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28:1-14 assert that God's blessing will attend a faithful, covenant keeping people. In the Abrahamic Covenant, the covenantal blessing that God will be a God and a Father to us and our seed after us is linked with the covenantal command to "walk before me and be thou perfect."
-- excerpt from the essay
"THE FUNDAMENTAL BIBLICAL TACTIC FOR RESISTING TYRANNY"
by Louis DeBoer
There's nothing in the Constitution that prevents the Federal government from endorsing a religion. Nothing whatsoever. It's not in there. What is there is this:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,Note the phrase "an establishment of". "Establishment" isn't a verb, it's a noun referring to something that has been established. It refers to an established group, i.e. a denomination or entity. In other words, the Federal government is prohibited from creating legislation that sponsors, endorses, funds, or legally constrains one religious denomination over another. Rather, it is supposed to step back and allow all to exist within the Commonwealth, provided they act within the laws of the land.
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
More importantly, however, I believe there is nothing within the Constitution that prohibits our Federal government from officially recognizing, acknowledging, and declaring fealty to a deity or Lord worshiped by the Republic's citizens. In fact, I believe the Federal government (with the caveat that the vast majority of the states, and people that it represents, agree to such) ought to formally acknowledge the risen Jesus Christ, Second Person of the Triune Godhead, as it's Sovereign Lord and King of the United States of America via an amendment to the Constitution. If the citizens of the United States of America are (by overwhelming majority) of the Christian faith, then IMO that's what I believe our constitutional, representative Republic ought to do.
-- Alex Murphy, April 28, 2011, first stated on August 24, 2006