Archive for November, 2011

On the Worship of the Church and the Government of the World

Friday, November 25th, 2011

My last post argued that Christ’s authority extends not just over believers but over secular government and all men today.  His status as ‘Ruler of the kings of the earth’ is a present reality and not just a future promise.  However, Jesus expects His Church to cooperate with Him in the government of the world.  He moves in response to the prayers and especially the corporate worship of His Church.  The following excerpt from EMPIRE expands on this concept.

“The Church on earth is called the Church Militant and the Church in heaven is called the Church Triumphant.  The book of Revelation shows us how the worship of the whole Church governs the world.  The prayers of the earth bound saints assembled in corporate worship go up like incense to the throne room of God in heaven, where the saints in heaven and all the heavenly hosts are likewise gathered in worship.  In response to these prayers, lightning and thunders and a great earthquake are poured out on earth.  In other words, when the Church Militant, assembled in its official capacity, joins with the Church Triumphant in worshiping God, and bringing prayers and supplications to His throne, God moves in power on the earth and changes the course of history.

“In contrast, worship in churches today looks nothing like this at all.  The idea that the Church worships to wage war, change history, and advance the kingdom against its foes is almost completely absent everywhere.  If worship is not dead liturgy it is vapid Christian entertainment.  At best, it is a ‘bless me and pray for you’ service.  The idea that the Church gathers together to wage war in worship is alien.  This is why the Church lacks power, and why, despite her numbers, wealth and programs, she is losing the cultural battle to her much weaker foes.  When reformation in worship along the lines of ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’ begins, that will be reformation that matters.”

If you buy one or more copies of EMPIRE through December 14 you can get 25% off by using the following code at checkout – BUYMYBOOK305.

Here are a few other interesting clippings from the web.  Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Fisherman’s fish stolen by feds

Gibson guitars attacked by feds

The great restructuring


 

Just what belongs to Caesar and not to God?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

The following is an excerpt from EMPIRE on the true meaning of Christ’s statement in Mark 12:17 “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  

            “Probably no verse in the whole Bible has been more misunderstood than this one.  (See also Matthew 22:21 and Luke 20:25)  This saying of Jesus is commonly used to support the proposition that there are two separate spheres of government, each with a legitimate claim on our obedience.  God has some sort of limited claim on our spiritual life, while the civil government has an independent claim on everything else.

            “Nothing could be further from the truth.  The prior verses 13 through 16 show that Jesus knew He was answering a trick question.  The tax paid to Caesar was a tribute, a tax that acknowledged his claim to total sovereignty.  If Jesus said to pay the tax, He would be agreeing with Caesar’s claim and undercutting His whole ministry.  If He said not to pay the tax they could have Him arrested.  So He asked them whose image was on the coin used to pay the tax.  Of course, it was Caesar’s image.  His indirect answer was to give what is Caesar’s to Caesar and God what was God’s.  The obvious point is that while the coin bore Caesar’s image, Caesar and every other man bore God’s image.  Thus, without giving them an answer they could use to have Him arrested, He affirmed that everyone and everything is subject to God, denying Caesar’s claim to sovereignty.”

            It is important to understand that the civil government is not another god with a sphere of action independent from the true God in heaven.  That way of thinking amounts to denying the total Lordship of Jesus Christ and in fact borders on polytheism.  When Christians say “I am personally opposed to abortion but would never impose my morality on others because not everyone is Christian” they are affirming the Lordship of Jesus over their personal life and denying His Lordship over civil government.  Revelation 1:8 calls Jesus “the Ruler of the kings of the earth.”  Do we proclaim that total Lordship,  or a more modest and limited one?  Is our confession of who Jesus is adequate or inadequate?

            Let me submit that this limited view of the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a doctrinal error that has corrupted our faith and witness.  It is necessary for us to confess this error, repent, and take up a full throated defense of our Lord before men.  Let us be like John the Baptist who said to Herod concerning his brother’s wife “It is not lawful for you to have her.”  Better we should lose our heads for a faithful confession before men than risk Jesus being unwilling to confess us before the Father.


 

More on OWS

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

The following is from a letter I sent to the Orange County Register on OWS:

The OC Reister’s Letters to the Editor last Saturday in support of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement illustrate the fundamental problem in their thinking.  The whole complaint is over growing income inequality, and their only proposed solution is redistribution of income and wealth by the government. They assume that growing income inequality must be due to some wrongdoing without specifying the wrongdoing.  Yet income disparity may result either from legitimate effort or from wrongdoing.  The OWS folks do not care.  They just want it all redistributed.

In truth, income inequality has many causes.  We must identify those that involve wrongdoing or stupid policies and correct these things without punishing people for hard work, saving, and right living.  Here are some specific examples of wrongful policies which manifest as income inequality that should be corrected:

1.) Manipulation of the money supply by the Fed.  The Fed should maintain a steady value of the dollar.

2.) Privatizing profit and socializing risk through schemes like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

3.) Regulatory capture by entrenched interests.

4.) A tort system operated by lawyers primarily for the benefit of lawyers.

Allowing specific unjust practices to continue and trying to fix things with income transfer after the fact will just make things worse.  Two wrongs do not make a right.