|The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
of Church and State!
2) Let Us Escape
|Separation of Church and State !|
We are hearing a great deal about violent crimes, including 'drive by' shootings, drug related crimes and teen gang violence. In one weekend alone, from Friday night, 4/5/91, to Sunday night, 4/7/91, Chicago reported 12 murders. The police chief gave three answers for bringing this violence under control; drug control, gun control and eradication of poverty. This is the same old song and dance and will not change a thing.
We are hearing of calls for the President to declare war on crime and drugs as he did in the Gulf, even calling in the military. (One of the complaints of the Colonies was the quartering of troops on the civilian population.) Unless the Lord in His mercy intervenes, the public will pressure the civil government into taking some drastic steps. These steps could very well turn this nation (cities especially) into a totalitarian police state, enforced by our own military. (Or by UN Peace Keeping forces under the control of the Undersecretary for Political and Security Council Affairs, all of which have been communists, and all but one from the Soviet Union. Shads of Amerika! [See "Whose Side Are They On?" The John Birch Society, Box 8040, Appleton, WI 54913])
The police spokesman in Chicago also said that the public did not blame the police for the violence. The blame was being put on the court system, and the spokesman used the term, "Breakdown in the judicial system." The judges were not doing their job of punishing evil.
Now, observe an important point here. All judges answer to the people, some directly, some indirectly.
It is strange how people cannot connect the breakdown in the judicial system with their own personal moral breakdown into wickedness. (A good example of this breakdown is the public demand for legalized gambling. Here in Indiana, the ones in authority were amazed at how fast and far the people turned their backs on well over a hundred years of Christian heritage against gambling.) The judges who are turning loose the murderers and drug dealers, are there because the people either put them there or tolerate their retention. This through direct vote, or through their elected representatives.
Also, another interesting point. The judicial system which is turning loose the violent, wicked criminal element upon society, is the same system which is removing every trace of God and Christ from society. What do we expect from a system which is at war against the Lord and His Christ? When they are at war against God, inescapably they must be at war FOR evil.
This separation of God from society is being done by the state, and involves every thing the state touches. This warfare is being accepted by Christians under the guise of, "Separation of Church and State." Obviously, what is actually meant is the separation of God from society. As the Prince of Peace is removed, violence must take over, and it is. (Dr. Dixon tells of a famous Southern Baptist Evangelist who agrees that the ten commandments should not be posted in public places, such as shcool rooms. Unwittingly, this thinking is the root of our problem. This man, under the name of Christianity, is advocating the removal of good from society.)
Matthew 19:16, 17, is clear; Jehovah God alone is good, therefore, all good must emanate from God. (good.. upright, free from guile, particularly from a desire to corrupt the people, Jn. 7:12; pre- eminently of God, as consummately and essentially good, Mk. 10:18; Lk. 18:19.) (Cf. Ps. 14:1; 143:10, Thy spirit is good..; Ecc. 2:26. Micah 6:8, only God is the source of goodness, justice and mercy. [Thayer])
Thus the opposite of good is a desire to corrupt people. Therefore, as God is removed from society through Separation of Church and State, He is replaced by a wicked desire to corrupt the people of that society. This desire is easily seen today in every area that meets the eye and/or ear (or pocketbook).
(Titus 3:8, 14, good is that which is beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy; morally good, noble.)
Note that this world's good of 1 John 3:17, is speaking of that by which life is sustained, resources, wealth [A.V. living]: Mk. 12:44. Because the world's definition of good revolves around the temporal, they see no harm in separating church and state. As long as they have material prosperity, they believe they have good. This same heresy has been imbibed by Christianity, 1 Timothy 6:5.
Therefore, any system which is against Jehovah God is against good. If that system is against good, it must be for evil, Luke 11:23. As long as society in general desires to be free from the restrictions placed upon it by the word of God, it will be overrun with evil, violent people.
The result will be oppressive civil government. If society refuses to allow the Prince of Peace to rule over them through His word (and we are seeing the general population's insistence upon this separation of church and state), we will either have anarchy (Chicago, 12 murders over one weekend), or an oppressive, godless police state. (Cf. 1 Sam. 8.)
If the present trend of separation of Jehovah God from every sphere of society continues, our society will descend into the pit of barbarianism, probably such as was before Constantine's edict of toleration in 313 A.D.
After this victory at Rome (which occurred October 27, 312), Constantine, in conjunction with his eastern colleague, Licinius, published in January, 313, from Milan, an edict of religious toleration, which goes a step beyond the edict of the sill anti-Christian Galerius in 311, and grants, in the spirit of religious eclecticism, full freedom to all existing forms of worship, with special reference to the Christians. The edict of 313 not only recognized Christianity within existing limits, but allowed every subject of the Roman empire to choose whatever religion he preferred.. (HISTORY of the CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Schaff. Vol. III, pg, 29.)
Notice that Constantine did not exalt Christianity above paganism. All he did was to give Christianity equal rights. It is quite obvious, all heaven and earth is being moved today by the 'secular' crowd to undo what was done in 313 A.D., removing the equal rights of Christianity under the law.
Under the name of Separation of Church and State, Christianity is being reduced once again to a religion which is not tolerated in any area touched by the state. (While professed Christians sit back and wait for the rapture, as they have done for about 100 years.)
There are legions of victims from society's war against good (Separation of Church [God] and State). An obvious one is the economy.
This following a time when household consumer debt grew during the 1980s about 50 percent faster than disposable income. And what is true of individuals is true of corporations. Overall, the debt that America's households and nonfinancial corporations accumulated in the 1980s now stands at 130 percent of GNP-But during earlier credit crunches it was never more than 100 percent. Debt payments now consume such a large share of personal income and corporate cash flow that neither consumer, nor capital spending, nor housing demand, can be counted on to quickly pull the economy out of this recession, particularly in the environment of a continuing credit crunch. USN & WR. EDITORIAL, 4/15/91.
Typical examples of this reduction of Christianity to the position it had before Constantine are found everywhere, especially in the reports issued regularly by Bob Jones University. In one copy they report that a federal appeals court upheld a suburban Denver's School District's removal of two Christian books from a classroom. In addition, they upheld that the teacher could not read his Bible silently. (The news article which I saw said that they feared that if these impressionable 5th graders saw their teacher reading his Bible, they might be influenced to do the same.) At the same time the school allows student access to anti-Christian books on Buddhism and American religions.
The same issue also reports that the Gideon Bible distributors in Boise, Idaho, will no longer be allowed to give Bibles to elementary school students. A practice they had been doing for 54 years. WHAT IN THE WORLD! Vol. 9, #6. (Vol. 9, #8, reports that a public high school principal in Cincinnati, Ohio, would not allow the same access to a teen Bible club as he did to other outside groups, such as the Boy Scouts. The principal only yielded when an attorney sent a brief to him outlining his obligations under the Equal Access Act.) And then they wonder why the education establishment is falling apart. They are at war against God, therefore, God is at war against them. They love death and death is catching up with them, Pro. 8:36.
A more telling report is found in the AFA Journal, 4/91, pg. 22.
On June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court, ignoring historical precedence, ruled in Engel v. Vitale that school prayer was unconstitutional. In reality, the myth of separation of church and state is only 28 years old. Within a 12-month period, the Court consolidated its position and removed prayer, Bible reading, religious principles and instruction. Our Christian heritage was effectively thrown out and the myth of separation created. These and other related rulings have had an incredible impact on America.
Since 1963, for girls 10 to 14 years old, pregnancies rose 533 percent; single-parent families increased 160 percent; the number of unmarried couples living together increased 353 percent; violent crime increased 544 percent and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores have steadily decreased. The Education Department now says this is the first time in U.S. history that schools are graduating a generation of students who know less academically than their parents did. The U.S. now has the highest illiteracy rate of any industrialized country and leads the world in confirmed AIDS cases.
This article concludes with:
Many U.S. Christians seem to ascribe to this myth of separation. They often believe there are not enough God-fearing citizens to turn America around. Yet just last year, I saw a poll which showed that 89 percent of Americans desire prayer back in our schools. If Christians pray and get involved, then God can turn anything. Christ and the Bible, not human reason and secular politics, still hold the solutions for every problem we face.
A few points:
First, the rise of public acceptance of evil cannot be ascribed to the Court or to the removal of prayer from a system that was already antichrist (the state schools). The premise behind the public schools is freedom (from Christianity) and salvation apart from God. The purpose of the "common schools" was/is to remove God (good) from society. In this goal they have made marvelous progress. "And in terms of Mann's presuppositions, what he envisioned was a new religion, with the state as its true church, and education as its Messiah." THE MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF AMERICAN EDUCATION, R.J. Rushdoony. The Craig Press, 1979. Pg. 32.
Check the curriculum. As the antichrist philosophy took it over, society has followed. Thus, any effort to return prayer back into government schools is a 'red herring.' The religion of this nation is 'secular education,' and the buildings are the chapels. (A local church was having a speaker against drugs. They tried to place posters in some of the statist schools and the officials called the police on them for trespassing. There is a sign on a local HS which warns any person coming on the property that they are entering a private building, and the one entering must have permission from the administration to enter.)
Violence is rapidly growing among these young people which the state is trying so hard to protect from God. The reason? The state is protecting them from good. Then they wonder why these same young people peruse evil with such a passion and hardness. What do they expect when good is forcibly removed?
Second, according to the AFA Journal, the removal of God from society is being done over the objection of 86% of the people. But, it is obvious that they do not really object or they would do something. If those who profess a religion which claims the word of God as its rule of action, would only place it in action, the world would be won to Christ within a very short time.
When Jehovah God is removed, good is removed. The removal of good will result in paganism and anarchy. As the laws increase in the effort to control the anarchy and paganism, so will the coercion needed to enforce the laws. The resulting police state will be accepted because of the violence and threat to life and property which resulted from the removal of good by the state.
So we have a choice. Either work and pray for a general return of society to God (the advancement of the kingdom of God), or a totalitarian police state. The police state appears to be winning out as even now we are hearing calls to place the military in areas of high crime and drug traffic. Worse yet, even professed Christians proclaim say that it is wrong to work for a godly society and state.
We also need to keep some things in mind.
1. When the wicked are in control, they desire a police state, rule from the top. And guess who they plan on being at the top. We would be foolish to think that the wicked would not work a plan, or arrange circumstances to bring about conditions to make the people desire a police state. Leaders either desire to follow good (God-like-ness) or to corrupt the people for their own purpose of power and wealth.
2. There is big money in crime. Conspicuously, lawyers control the whole judicial process. Lawyers dominate the Congress, sit on the bench as judges, prosecute and defend the accused. It is to their advantage to have a breakdown in the judicial system. They will cry about such a breakdown all the way to the bank. (The early Colonies knew what they were doing by baring lawyers from this continent.)
3. I am no fan of Jim Bakker. I also believe that civil government was ordained to protect society from fraud, but we must look at what took place in the light of Scriptures. The judicial system took out its hatred for God (because in the ungodly's eyes, he stood for God) against Bakker. They placed him in prison for 45 years and will not even permit him the freedom allowed the most violent criminal, freedom while he appeals his conviction.
At the same time, a large percentage of violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, even the ones out on bail. I read of a man who gouged out the eye of his wife, yet only received a 6 month sentence. A man here in Indiana, while released from prison "on leave," killed his ex-wife who had him arrested in the first place for his abusive activity.
Until the people desire to have God (good) back in the state, and are willing to take (Godly) action, evil will continue to be released upon them. That evil is in the form of violent persons who attack society, evil of oppressive civil authority and the many other evils which we have pointed out, or could point out.
As long as the voters continue to vote for individuals, as either judges or representatives to whom the judges must answer, who allow evil persons to be released upon society, evil will continue to grow. And the voters will continue to return the ungodly to office, because they do not want anyone to interfere with their "Freedom."
God is good, and when God is separated from the state under the guise of Separation of Church and State, the state will be a terror to the good and praise the wicked.
May God in His mercy, see fit to deliver us from such unchristian thinking, especially from among His people.
|Let Us Escape|
We are told in this passage that the Spirit of God is given to the people of God for a purpose- that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. These things are the deep things of God, v. 10. But the context clearly tells us that these things are freely given. In other words, these deep things are no longer deep things to the one receiving instruction. Now, Paul is primarily speaking of things to come, Eschatology, v. 9, within the context of Salvation. But, obviously, this would include a wide area of topics, the deep things of God.
This is a very interesting statement. Let's cover some basic points here. Elsewhere Paul identifies the purpose of these things that are freely given to us of God, 2 Timothy 3:16. We are to search the Scriptures for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. These benefits are for the one searching, and in this context, (Timothy), for preaching. In other words, the Scriptures are to be searched for their practical application in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
As Joseph Parker said over 100 years ago: "What is the sermon if not the text magnified, amplified, and in a sense illuminated." Preaching is the law-word of God applied to the situations of life; it is the victory provided by our Saviour made practical.
As we read and study the Scriptures, the Spirit of God will show us what He wants us to know. This knowledge will not be all inclusive. Even the great Apostle Peter said that he didn't understand all that Paul wrote, 2 Peter 3:15.
Notice Peter's warning. It is against those who would seek to pull difficult passages from their context and teach them. They do this to their own destruction. His warning continues, v. 17, beware of such action. When we see others doing this, avoid them and the temptation to do the same. Then, v. 18 contains the urging to grow in grace and knowledge.
Now, what has Peter said? As we read and study the Scriptures, there will be portions which we will not understand. (After all, they are the wisdom of God.) The Lord will reveal to us what He wants us to know. It is by reason of use that we receive more knowledge, Hebrews 5:14. When we no longer act upon what we know, the source of practical knowledge and applied truth will be cut off, and what we do have will be taken from us, Mark 4:21-25. (As my former pastor used to tell me, "Use it or loose it.")
In fact, notice what Paul goes on to say in Hebrews 6. If the person who has tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away it is impossible to renew them. They had the knowledge and power of God. They no longer acted on that knowledge by the power (grace) of God. They lost what they had and now they are useless. (My! how many times have we seen this come to pass?)
Thus we see that difficult passages are opened to us by the Spirit, as we: a.) study, b.) pray for wisdom, c.) apply what we have been shown from the passages which we do understand. The Spirit of God is given to us that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, not that we might know the things that are hidden from us. The hidden, deep things of God turn into freely given things of God as we apply what we already have.
This gives us a dangerous principle, especially for a pastor. We hear many pastors say, "Well, I know what you are saying is right and is the proper way that we should go," and then he gives his reasons why he will not follow the direction he knows he should go. What has he done? This attitude has cut him and his people off from the truth of God in other areas also. This attitude has left him and his people open to the deceiver in every other area.
These freely given things are given that we might do them. As we do them, we will be given more by the Spirit. Therefore, we search the Scriptures to find what TO DO, what to apply to our lives and how to apply what we find. The searching of the Scriptures must be so we can KNOW AND DO what He commands.
There are more verses on this than we care to look up. A few of them: Num. 15:39, 40; Deu. 4:6; 5:1; 30:8, 12, 13; Neh. 10:29; Isa. 56:1; Jer. 11:4, 6; 23:32; Eze. 11:20; 36:27; 37:24; 43:11; Lk. 6:46- 49; 8:21.
Thus, the primary purpose of searching and studying the word of God is to find out what He desires of us, then prayer to claim the power to do that requirement. If we have the opportunity to help someone in need, our purpose for studying God's word is to find what God has provided for us to help them with in their situation.
If this is not the purpose of our searching and study, we are open to the real danger of deception, James 1:22. If we search the Scriptures to find anything except what God wants us to do, how He desires us to act in any given situation and how to advance His kingdom, we are open to deception. If we search to: Prove someone wrong, see the future, establish a pet doctrine, permit doing something we want to do, prove we don't have to do something we do not want to do, or find out what God owes to us, we are headed for false doctrine. We are open to anything the deceiver wants to place in our mind.
The purpose of the Spirit of God under the New Covenant is: To convict of not doing His word, Ezekiel 43:11, to show what God's word requires and how to apply it, thus how to be holy and known as His people, Jeremiah 11:4; Ezekiel 11:20; 36:27; 1 Peter 1:16, and how to glorify God in all that we do, John 16:14.
Peter's subject in chapter 3 is the return of Christ. He uses this promise to urge the people of God to holiness. His statement about Paul's difficult passage is at the end of his instruction concerning the return of Christ.
Thus the study of these difficult passages concerning the return of Christ, must be an outgrowth of our study to understanding how to apply the law-word of God to the many situations around us. This is reminiscent of the frosting on a cake. The emphasis is on making the cake. After that is all done, then the frosting.
The emphasis must be on the practical application of the word of God. As this is searched out, prayed over and applied, the fringe benefit will be insight into difficult passages (as the Spirit sees fit to give that insight), including the ones concerning the return of Christ. When these difficult passages become a topic of study in themselves, the result can be disastrous. In fact, the results were destructive to the Darbyite crowd who emphasized these difficult passages of Eschatology, while they overlooked the practical application of the word of God into society.
Worse yet, the purpose of their study of passages dealing with Eschatology was to escape from the present situations. The Darbyites had no answers for the difficult situations in society around them, so rather than studying Scriptures for answers, they studied prophecy (A History of the Brethren Movement, By Roy Coad, pg. 33).
It was in fact the beginning of a great deal. Following English precedent, Darby made the study of prophecy the pivot of his work; and his delineations of millennial glory dazzled the minds of his hearers. There existed in Vaud [Switzerland] a certain religious malaise, of which the growth of Methodism in an otherwise uncongenial soil had been a symptom. The Free Church had yielded less satisfaction than its promoters had hoped, and the minds of its adherents were prepared to hail the charms with which the certain future--doubtless it was said, the near future--was invested in Darby's prophetic dissertations. He was never "weary," Herzog tells us, "of urging on his hearers this decisive word: 'Prophecy tends to snatch us from the present evil age; that is its principal effect'." (A HISTORY OF THE PLYMOUTH BRETHREN, by W.B. Neatby. Second Edition, 1902, Hodder and Stoughton, London. Pg. 81)
As we have seen, this motive for study allows for all kinds of false teaching to creep in. It permits a great amount of deception and wrong conclusions to be reached from the word of God. This strips the word of God of its power to set the sinner free, to expand the kingdom of God and to change society for God.
We hear of many conferences to search out the deep things of God, what God has done for fallen man, etc. Where is the emphases on what the redeemed fallen man owes to God; how to apply His law- word into society? We would think that with all of these conferences going on, there would be a change in society, but the only change that appears so far, is down.
We know of many people who spend their life searching for principles from the word of God which will allow them to follow a desired path. And they find things which no one has found before as they bend the context to fit what they want or do not want to do.
Many ministries are built on the hidden things of prophetic speculation. People love this topic because it involves no sacrifice and commitment on their part. This kind of study allows for an escape from responsibility to take a godly stand and maybe suffer persecution for that stand.
But this warning would not be restricted to the study of prophecy. When we search for the deeper things of God at the exclusion of the application of the word of God into society, we are open to deception. The results of such study is seen all around us.
As these people search out the hidden things of God, they do it to their own destruction and to the destruction of the society in which they live. Why were they destroyed? Because a study (such as prophecy), which emphasizes anything except how to apply the law-word of God into the individual life and into the world around us, will lead to deception. The purpose of studying Scripture must be how to be doers of the word of God, and not hearers only. Any other purpose of study is self-deception, permitting the Scriptures to be taken out of their context, allowing them to say something which they do not say.
Paul's indication here in 1 Corinthians 2:12, is that it is the spirit of this world which drives us to study and be concerned about the things that are not freely given to us of God. It is the spirit of this world that gets us side-tracked on things which are hidden, so we will not seek the freely given things and apply them.
Paul determined not to know anything except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This would be the application of the victory, power and the implications of the Cross to everything, Acts 18. The result was persecution and God showing him the deep things of the Spirit. The result was the ones converted under his ministry stood in the power of God, not in the wisdom of men.