Before we Re-enter the Fray (I)

If the Church languishes, the State cannot be in health. And if the State rebels against its lord and King, the Church cannot enjoy His favour.[1]

From top to bottom, the nation of Australia is going to the dogs. Why? Because the church has gone to the dogs.

When did this happen? Over a century, when the church quietly accommodated a whole lot of things that were evil and detrimental to it, and to society.

The church must re-enter the fray. But this would be counter-productive, until such time as the church engages in a deep and fundamental re-evaluation of what it understands as its purpose in the community. This will take time-probably years. This will require lots of prayer and serious heart –searching amongst individuals. It will also require serious debate and consideration of major theological and contemporary issues, something we’ve swept aside for decades-perhaps generations, in the church’s desire for modernity.

“The path of least resistance makes men and rivers crooked,” and believe me, things have got crooked.

True national reformation has to begin at the house of God. What do we believe, and why do we believe it? These are important things to consider and debate. In fact, they need to be thrashed out thoroughly.

I think we will need to go on a crash diet to get fit for the action that God always intended the Church to embark on. We need to drop off a whole truckload of false ideas that we’ve been carting around, as part of the church’s furniture. That means “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.” It means “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor.10:5).

In another place, Paul warned us, saying “see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according  to Christ” (Col.2:8).

You don’t know what some of these ideas might be? Let me give you just one.

80% of Christian ministers are Marxist philosophically. Glenn Martin

Socialism is a very cheap imitation of Christianity, invented by atheists and popularised world-wide in the twentieth century. It is based on the monstrous lie, that “the government can look after you.” It requires the monumental confiscation of monies in taxation, followed by the government’s redistribution of that wealth throughout the community on its pet projects.

Public education (presently costing the Australian taxpayer $13,500 per child per year) is but one manifestation of socialism. It is tragic indeed that we have socialism in Australia. It is even more tragic that 95% of the church accepts its legitimacy, and has done so for generations.

The Bible says a lot about education. It teaches that it’s a parental responsibility, not a government one. The Bible says a lot about welfare, that it is firstly an individual, then a family, and lastly a church responsibility, to be financed partially by the tithe. It is not a government one. Similarly with health.

But the church’s unwillingness to deal properly and scripturally with these fundamental social issues, has led to tax rates being as high in Australia as 47%, as governments try to extract such huge amounts from the community to pay for all their promises.

Do tax rates matter to God? Of course. God warned Israel that the king of their choice (Saul, see I Samuel 8), would take a tenth in taxation, and this would be an indication that Israel was apostate, and under God’s judgment. Could we be apostate too?

 …In those seasons of history, like our own, when the people refuse to tithe, and the Church is not faithfully proclaiming and educating in the Word of God, then the State will grow to massive size, and will exact a terrible tribute. The reformation of the state, then, begins with the reformation of the Church and the proper use of the tithe.[2]

We don’t need cheap imitations of Christianity; no society does. When Eve believed the tempter’s lie in the Garden, it led to all manner of drama and pain for her and her foolish husband.

And it’s no different for us. Without that fundamental re-evaluation in the church of what we are doing and why, we will keep playing the same old records, with the same old results: continued government theft and waste in the name of the poor, the abuse of people, injustice and social tyranny, that inevitably follows when people don’t follow the scriptures.

It’s time for change, before we re-enter the fray. Not in politics primarily, but in the church, the institution God has called to be the most influential in society, “…the pillar and support of the truth” (I Tim.3:15). And if the church can get back on the path of truth, society will benefit immeasurably.

(To be continued)

[1] A. A. Hodge, “Evangelical Theology,” p.246-248, circa 1880.

[2] James Jordan, ‘The Mosaic Head Tax and State Financing,’ “Biblical Economics Today,” Vol. IV, No. 3, 1981.