…it is imperative for Christians to revive the Biblical doctrines of grace and heirship. In a world of grace, we are all heirs: we have received unearned wealth without any work or works on our part. Heirship imposes upon us a major task of stewardship. The whole of the law gives us the pattern of stewardship for the heirs of grace. Our Lord sums it all up in six words: “freely you have received, freely give” (Mat.10:8).
As heirs of the Lord, Christians have a huge responsibility in the earth, one of these being to perpetuate the Biblical ideology of freedom. The West’s freedom for three hundred years has really been Christian freedom: “…if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn.8:36). Take the Bible out of any society and over time, it will collapse. Think of the Soviet Union.
But for many generations, perpetuating the Biblical ideology of freedom has been a task we have been progressively failing in. Because the Bible and the Christian faith has been increasingly interpreted in personal and pietistic terms, and not applied beyond the walls of home and Church, this has left the door open for others to apply their evil ideologies to society, and the results have been devastating, and led us into bondage.
This fact could hardly be clearer than what happened with governments in the twentieth century. Scripture shows how Ahab and Jezebel departed from the Ten Commandments through their idolatry, covetousness, use of false witnesses, murdering and stealing from Naboth (I Kings 21). Well, governments of our era all over the world have made Ahab and Jezebel (in their abuse of one innocent man and his family) look like under-achievers.
Twentieth century governments murdered some 130 million people, more than in all of history put together, and we would be deceiving ourselves if we believed this evil was limited to the totalitarian regimes. Socialist policies of Western governments (under the nose of the Church, and often with its tacit approval) have been vehicles for the perpetuation of great evil.
This means we Christians have a lot of work to do; the Bible must be applied everywhere. If God would send a prophet in the person of Elijah to confront Ahab and Jezebel for their disobedience to the Ten Commandments (promising them judgment), and if He sent John to confront Herod for his adultery with Herodias (Mat.14:1-12), would He not want to send His ambassadors, to confront evil governments today?
The Ten Commandments must be urgently applied to every aspect of society, just as God commanded Elijah to apply them to Ahab: “Have you murdered and taken possession?” (I Kings 21:19) For instance, are governments stealing from individuals (a violation of the Eighth Commandment) in their confiscatory tax policies, and labelling this “social justice?”
In my view, unquestioningly they are. Therefore, it’s time to stop the rot. But it has to start with us in the Church, for judgment must begin with the household of God (I Pet.4:17).
We must begin to search the scriptures, saying “Who does God make responsible for Education, Health and Welfare? And what is the role of the individual, the family, the Church and government, according to the Bible? How must we re-apply the law of God to society?” These are big questions, but they are not difficult ones, and we have been negligent in failing to seek answers to them, and the world at large has suffered immeasurably.
The Bible teaches us that “…each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Ro.14:12), and on that day, God doesn’t want to hear our excuses for disobedience. The Church has been called to be leaders of action in the world, just as Adam and Eve were called to rule (Gen.1:26-28) through their work in the Garden of Eden.
For too long, we’ve been inclined to say, “all that work beyond the family and the Church is way too hard,” and through our negligence the serpent has had his way in our societies. It’s time we grew up, repented of our disobedience, took up our responsibilities and assumed our places as God’s rightful heirs in the world.
And that will mean lots of faithful, diligent work in making the proper applications of God’s Word and His law to society. That work has been done for us by others (like Rousas Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen and Gary North) already, but it must be embraced and acted upon by the Church.
If all is of grace, there is no place for envy. We are heirs by the adoption of grace in order that we might give of that which we have received in order to be faithful citizens and members of the Kingdom of God.