As we conclude our discussions on attempting to envision our country as officially a Christian one, you may have had one of the two following reactions to the changes I suggested:
- “This won’t work. It isn’t practical. To think that this is a workable plan is ridiculous. You could never get even a small percentage of the population to agree to such a scheme.”
This is probably the reaction most of you had, and, of course, it is undeniably true. However, our task is not to convince anyone of anything but simply to try to understand the ways of God ourselves in every area of life and say, “Yes, Lord!” to what the Bible says He is doing.
Without thinking, our tendency is to go about our daily responsibilities in the customary “way of the world,” the way all those around us are functioning in various facets of life. When it comes to politics and civil government, if we believe God is interested at all, we don’t even think to ask. “What does God want in this sphere and how do you know?”
Without a spiritual awakening in our country, the ideas presented in these postings will obviously not be implemented, and to try to do so would be a sinful attempt to “live by the law.” As earnest Christians in America today, Psalm 119:27 is appropriate for us: “Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.” Our mission is to first understand the general, overall plan of God for civil government as laid out in Scripture, and then to meditate, or continue to think about, how this may eventually work in America.
This is doing nothing more than having a vision of where God is eventually taking us in regard to civil government—just as did the sons of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32, “who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” Make no mistake−Jesus will one day reign, in experience, over all the nations of the world, just as He now reigns in fact.
There also may be a few of you (but very few!) who reacted like this:
- “Wow! We’ve got to get to work. We’ve got to let Christians know about this. Time’s a wastin!”
This is the opposite extreme from “This won’t work.” It is the idea of “Let’s make it happen!” They are both equally as misguided. With no momentum from the Holy Spirit, our efforts are a gigantic exercise in the flesh, trying to produce results without the means—the Holy Spirit deciding to move.
When God brings His awakening, there will be no questions, no necessity for promotion, no need for recruiting or pumping people up. All we will do is hem up the mighty flood of God’s Spirit as He sweeps away all extraneous debris before His mighty power!
Ecclesiastes 3:3 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . . a time to break down, and a time to build up.” If God’s purpose, as we have seen, is that Jesus rule over the nations of the world, our civil government will be broken down and rebuilt, because in its present form—a pluralistic government—Jesus’ ruling is not allowed. This “breaking down” may, or may not, be peaceful, as in a revival, but the flood of the Spirit of God will ultimately sweep the wreckage of this temporary, pluralistic system all away.
When this occurs, how do we rebuild the government of our nation? What kind of a constitution do we need? Then an understanding of God’s law will be crucial. Then, those who know it, have ruminated upon it, endlessly discussed it, and have answered all questions in their minds over the years, will be ready for their time in history. Their wisdom and understanding will be crucial in God’s great eternal purpose. They were created for such a time as this. May we, and all our descendants, be these spiritual sons of Issachar.
The following bibliography has been helpful to me in the study of this subject:
1. Andrews, Robert, Let Earth Receive Her King – Does Jesus Rule over the Nations?, (Spokane, WA: Sentinel Press, 2013) 73 pages. A fuller version of which these blog postings have been a brief summary. Available at www.twoedgesofthesword.com
2. North, Gary, Political Polytheism, (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989) 773 pages. Contrasts John Winthrop’s view of a Christian America with Roger William’s view of a pluralistic secular state. A creative and fascinating study. Available online at www.freebooks.com.
3. Kelly, Douglas, The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World, (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992) 156 pages. Kelly examines the impact Calvinism had on the civil governments in Geneva, France, Scotland, England and colonial America.
4. Perks, Stephen C., A Defense of the Christian State – The Case Against Principled Pluralism (Taunton, Somerset, UK: The Kuyper Foundation, 1998), 240 pages. A solid, biblical case for the establishment of a Christian nation based on the model of ancient Israel as opposed to a pluralistic one. Very stretching and thought-provoking.
5. Rushdoony, Rousas John, The Nature of the American System, (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1965), 180 pages. A look at the founding of our country in terms of a specifically Christian framework. Calls attention to aspects of American history generally ignored by humanist historians.
6. Scott, Gary, Ed., God and Politics – Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1989), 300 pages. Explores the four basic positions that are generally held by Bible believing Christians as to how they are to relate to civil government.
7. Verduin, Leonard, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Grand Rapids: Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1964), 292 pages. An historical study of the Reformation from the perspective, not of doctrinal reformation, but of the reformation, or lack thereof, of the structural church.
8. Verduin, Leonard, The Anatomy of a Hybrid−A Study in Church-State Relationships (Sarasota: The Christian Hymnary Publishers, 1976), 274 pages. The best defense of the Principled Pluralist position I have read. Only after much study did I disagree.
9. Verduin, Leonard, The First Amendment and the Remnant (Sarasota: The Chrisitina Hymnary Publishers, 1998) 381 pages. A spirited, Ana-Baptist defense of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the “no religious test” clause in Article 6, Section 3.
10. W0ods, Dennis, Discipling the Nations, (Franklin, TN: Legacy Communications, 1996), 269 pages. Outstanding analysis of what constitutes a biblical civil government and how the U.S. has regressed in that regard from Plymouth to today. A most comprehensive summary of the topic.
Robert I didn’t realize that you used a bibliography for your series – and it is an impressive bibliography. Thanks for research and thought and inspiration – as always