By Rev. Cary K. Gordon
The legal foundation for the original 13 states at the time of our federal Constitution’s ratification – the entire Mosaic Decalogue (Ten Commandments) – was codified into law, but it has been clearly discarded by our present American federal and state governments. That is a grievous error that we, as a nation, are atoning for at this hour. If the atonement is to be acceptable to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Creator of the Universe, then we must change course and correct our error as a nation – reasserting the Ten Commandments as the template of good government for our nation and the nations of the world.
I know, I know…people like me (and apparently our founders) are “liberty-crushing scoundrels who, if left to our devices, will turn America into a theocracy like Iran.” May I say up front that if you are guilty of actually believing this kind of lemming drivel, this article is not meant for you. Your time will be better spent reading something else. In our culture, it is a custom to say “goodbye.” Both parts of the word, “good” and “bye”, have meanings. When I say “goodbye,” I don’t secretly wish to say “bad-bye”, even though your thoughts are obscene and disrespectful. I hope that your departure from this article is as good for you as it will be for me.
With that said, for whom is this article written? Well, I’m here to reason with those who sincerely believe they are Christians and that the Bible is a good thing to carefully heed and fearfully obey. Based upon the evidence I’m prepared to present to you, I think it’s safe to say I probably just narrowed my audience a second time. Having winnowed my readership again, let’s have a heart-to-heart about God’s immutable laws. Neither the leftists nor neo-atheist boogeymen are our primary problem in America at this dark hour. On the contrary, they are easily defeated in a battle of truth, because they never come to the skirmish with any ammunition. No, they are not our real threat. Annoying white noise? Yes. Insolent? Yes. Destructive and murderous when allowed the reins of power? Certainly. The source of our peril as a nation? Not so much.
The anemic church is the theological source of America’s great problem. The fledgling church is the cradle of the American return to tyranny. Sadly, and long before the federal court ordered a righteously defiant Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court to
remove the Ten Commandments from both his intellectual rulings and his courthouse displays (primarily the former was the goal), the Ten Commandments were first sweepingly discarded by most American churches who began to teach a curiously too-convenient-to-be- true version of “grace,” irreconcilable with carefully studied scriptures. It seems grace and love has “replaced” the law…or so they claim. As one poor soul, trying to be an effective antagonist, wrote to me recently (I paraphrase), “The Old Testament equals death, plagues, and vengeance! The New Testament equals forgiveness, love, and ‘Dad’ wants you to call home. I guess having a kid really mellowed God out.”
Don’t be too angry with the silly man who wrote that pithy jab; he was, after all, only summing up the logical conclusion of what is essentially preached across America every Sunday. Of course, to claim that “grace and love replaced law” makes as much sense as claiming that “fairness replaced the strict rules” of any board game brought to you by Milton Bradley. Try selling that line to my siblings growing up, and you’d get what you deserved, too. Did Jesus end the need for the Mosaic sacrifice of animals and other ceremonial issues regarding the priesthood? Yes. Did Jesus do away with the need for the command, “Thou shalt not steal”? Do I really have to explain that? Say it ain’t so!
The good news is that a growing number of churches have begun to realize the extraordinary error of jettisoning God’s law from our pulpits, and incidentally, the hearts of those listening in the pews on Sunday morning, who, on occasion, contribute to our statist terrors by running for political office and winning their elections…in Jesus’ name.
The textbook definition of “limited government” once found in 18th Century America was a much different definition than that of our 21st Century. For example, some folks champion limited government by hollering, “I believe in LIMITED government!” Pry a little, and you’ll find out what they actually mean is, “The government has no right to tell me I can’t kill my baby if it suits my [selfish, cruel, and materialistic] preference to do so!” It could also be described as, “The government has no right to ram religion down my throat by unfairly outlawing my enjoyment of government-sanctioned prostitution!” Or how about these government-limiting ideas: “The government has no right to say I can’t marry my friend’s parakeet,” and “The government has no right to limit my freedom to enjoy four wives of either the opposite or same sex?” (Oh, and don’t forget…these particular forms of “sexual freedom” are perfectly healthy for all children involved, and anyone who says differently is an “intolerant, religious bigot and hate-monger!”)
Let’s define secularism in a way that is hard to misunderstand, since it seems so en vogue to be a “Christian secularist” (a pure contradiction) these days. All forms of so-called American (or western) secularism are little more than a willful rejection of the Ten Commandments as a basis for proper civil governance in the modern world. By this simple definition, we are able to particularly expose any confused Christians and even pastors who are little more than church-attending secularists, right along with their atheistic counterparts. [i]
What is the present result – the fruit – of secularism both inside and outside of the present American paradox permitted by a disorderly church world? Well, for starters, look no further than Biblical illiteracy. In an October 2010 publication of Students Living a Mission (SLAM), columnist Ben Reese laments, “In 2007, Kelton Research polled Americans on their knowledge of the Ten Commandments. Most of the participants couldn’t name a single commandment. More people knew the ingredients of a Big Mac than what the 6th Commandment was. Surely Christians know more about the Bible than hamburgers. Unfortunately, this is not the case.”[ii]
I’m certain it was from a member of this particular demographic now residing in Iowa, who sent me a rude message encouraging me to not only leave the Republican Party, but while I was at it, the state of Iowa, too. Why? Because I strongly objected to Iowa District 1 Republicans removing the plank in their Republican platform that stated marriage was only between one man and one woman.
It is an illogical contradiction for the same man (or party) who says, “I believe my rights come from God”, to also just as firmly declare, “I believe civil government must be a secular institution.” The popular attempt to argue both at the same time by overemphasizing valuable things like personal choice, the importance of local control in government, and “private” matters of faith, is a confusion of sound and sense. Pretending that a God-honoring religion-sanctioned state is equal to or worse than Iran is unpatriotic insolence of the highest order. The great Christian, William Penn, namesake of the state of Pennsylvania, is rolling in his grave that any American citizen would actually think so depravedly of his own founding origins. It is illogical smoke and mirrors commonly used by – wait for it – wait – for – it – self-described Christians, and it denies the reality of how the Ten Commandments actually worked as a civil code (not merely a religious code as so many errantly suggest) under Moses’ world-shaping personal leadership.
According to both God’s divine law and that pesky thing some still call “reality,” the state does not create or grant life, but it is called upon by God to defend it, criminalize the tampering of it, and punish those who take it unlawfully. Said God to Moses, “Thou shalt do no murder.” God informed the entire world, according to Deuteronomy chapter 4 (not only Israel) that a state was required to criminalize murder. Murder was wisely criminalized. Simple so far, right? That supposed Iranian theocracy predicted to materialize as a result of Biblical theists asserting themselves in politics hasn’t yet destroyed anyone’s alleged “liberties”, so let’s build further upon this line of thinking.
According to both God’s divine law and that pesky thing some refer to as “biology,” the state does not create or authorize the institution of marriage (where life is created), but is called upon by God to defend it, criminalize the tampering of it, and punish those who unlawfully violate it. It is bizarrely, nay, embarrassingly difficult, it seems, for our American legal world to deal properly with the CRIME of adultery. Adulterers are treated with more leniency in America than drivers who receive traffic tickets by mail. (Thanks to the unconstitutional traffic-cams.) All this, despite the fact that the adulterer’s crime is a far more serious offense and causes much greater suffering to society at home and at large.
Now that “love and grace replaced law” in the church, I suppose it was only a matter of time before Caesar (who faithfully attends your local antinomian church of hyper-grace) announced he was smarter than God. It is no wonder to me that with all this “grace” and “love” saturating the airwaves of our pulpits, Christian TV, and the local Christian bookstores, we penalize drivers more harshly for not plugging their parking meter, than we do those responsible for causing a divorce. Divorce is, without any doubt in my mind as a pastor of nearly 20 years in one Midwestern church, American’s most popular and socially acceptable form of child abuse. The last time I got a parking ticket, I was punished by the State of Iowa with a $15.00 fine (SHAME ON ME!), but if you commit adultery, the state declares it’s not your fault. In 2013, when Iowa State Representative Tedd Gassman proposed a bill to undo the folly of “no-fault-divorce” law, the slanderous ridicule came like a tsunami from the “judge not” crowd, screaming, “SHAME ON HIM!” I digress.
Said God to Moses, “Honor thy FATHER and thy MOTHER.” First, notice that God mentions the genders of male and female, and Moses wisely responded to the implicit meaning of this particular command by criminalizing the perversion of all non-matrimonial sex. God informed the entire world, according to Deuteronomy Chapter 4 (not only Israel), that a state was required to outlaw all forms of sexual promiscuity be they incest, pedophilia, necrophilia, prostitution, or sodomy.
Said God to Moses, “Thou shalt NOT commit adultery.” Notice that God told Moses the state was required to criminalize adultery, and therefore, tampering with the marriage institution was wisely criminalized. God informed the entire world, according to Deuteronomy Chapter 4 (not only Israel), that a state was required to outlaw all forms of sexual sin aligned against His divine definition of marriage.
The theological flaw of the secularist argument to get the state out of marriage is the same as recklessly arguing, “Get the state out of murder!” Oh, and we Americans are guilty of both acts of barbaric and uncivilized rebellion against sane civics! How truly pathetic we must appear to God. No wonder He has clearly removed his hand from our nation and left us in our well-earned mess! By promoting such barbaric ideas, one ignores the God-authorized role of a government according to the divine revelation given to Moses in 1534 B.C. at the top of Mt. Sinai. Ignoring God NEVER improves the world in which we live. It CANNOT increase liberty! It certainly WILL NOT fix America!
Now let’s weave everything together that I’ve explained so far. By authorizing government to punish murderers, we do not legitimately risk having a government that suddenly believes itself to be the mystical “giver of life.” By authorizing government to punish adultery, fornication, sodomy, etc. (and to restrict uncles from marrying their under-age nieces), we do not risk having a government that suddenly believes itself to be “the final arbiter of the definition of marriage.”
In both cases (a state that stupidly begins to believe itself to be a “giver of life” and a state that stupidly believes itself to be the “final authority on marriage”), the cause could not have been requiring the government to fulfill its duty before God, as authorized by our Bible. To say that Caesar rendering to God what is God’s (obeying Jesus) is the cause of tyranny is a personal indictment against God’s integrity – it is to accuse Him of trampling human freedom with some kind of divine fascism whilst He dishonestly declares Himself to be the source of all human liberty in our world. (See Galatians 5:1.) No, in these cases of laughable political hubris, the problem is theological, and the population damaged by that bad theology (love and grace replaced law) was finally given over to a depraved mind of secular humanist lunacy.
Fear of allowing government to do its Biblical job “because it might abuse its power someday” is the intellectually flawed line of thinking that leads to pure anarchy. Anarchy is neither Biblical nor “Christian”, so to those self-described Christians making this argument, I adjure you to stop borrowing your worldview from pagans and usurping Biblical authority.
When one says, “Get the state out of marriage,” they are on solid ground if, by saying so, they mean the government has no right to redefine an institution created by God. However, they are in rebellion against God if, by saying it, they mean government should completely retreat from defending the Divine natural law aback true marriage. This abandonment leaves a vacuum for an ongoing perverted sexual laissez faire and will continue by harming impressionable children, ruining our late great civilization.
[i] Barna Research Source: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12- faithspirituality/325-barna-studies-the-research-offers-a-year-in-review-perspective
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