OUR FOREFATHERS’ COVENANT
January 24, 2020
We wrapped up last week quoting from the apostle Paul where he instructs prayers and intercession on behalf of our leaders and representatives in government. Let’s pick up where we left off. We are taking a short break in our narrative on the founding documents for the colonies.
out very clearly what kind of government God purposes for a praying people. The
verse I just quoted is a small portion of what Paul had to say on the topic.
I Timothy 2:1-4 reads: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Let’s take a second look at what he writes. What is the purpose of good government – government ordered and anointed by God for those people who fulfill their first responsibility to pray for their leadership?
“….that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
The first and most important purpose for all government is that it provides the environment in which folks can lead a quiet and peaceable life. But it doesn’t stop there. That quiet and peaceable life comes in all godliness and honesty. And that is exactly what those colonists and settlers gave their lives for -- a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Brother, has our government ever gotten off course! There isn’t anything honest about it. Godliness? In your dreams, maybe!
Ever thought about why this is so?
To be honest, it has nothing to do with whether Democrats or Republicans are in control. I guess there was a day when Republicans were actually the party of small, limited government with minimum intrusion into the lives of people. Doesn’t really look that way anymore, does it?
Political parties have lots of rhetoric, and politicians promise the moon in order to be elected, but once they are in office, it seems that there promises aren’t worth the air they breathed when they verbalized them. We used to have two fundamental philosophies that governed our political parties: conservatism and liberalism. Now, it’s kind of hard to tell who is what and where folks really stand.
Conservatism is supposed to be pragmatic. It is supposed to represent fiscal and social discipline.
Liberalism used to stand for ensuring that government looked out for folks so that government didn’t become so tight-fisted and regulatory that people couldn’t breathe. Anymore, “liberalism” gets labeled as “progressive,” when in fact it is regressive.
Lordy! Now we’ve got conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans: DINO’s and RINO’s.
What’s happened is that socialism and humanism have taken over. Socialism is supposed to be now what the Democrats stand for. We’ll talk about that in a minute.
The liberalism of today in no way represents the liberalism of 50 years ago. The conservatism of today in no way represents the conservatism of 50 years ago. Or maybe I should re-phrase that.
Calling one’s self a Republican today is no sign they are actually conservative. Calling one’s self a Democrat today is almost the same as taking a badge that says you hate America and everything it used to stand for. Or so more than 60 percent of Americans seem to believe.
Let’s see if we can get down to some real understanding of what’s behind all of this.
The liberal, socialist agenda of today is driven by a mindset, a spirit, if you will, of hatred for God -- and specifically, hatred of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever promotes a relationship with the Lord, whatever encourages righteousness, wholesomeness, clean living, honesty and integrity, is opposed tooth and nail. Anything that is representative of Jesus Christ is hated with a vicious, purple passion.
Think about socialism for a moment. What is the fundamental purpose of socialism? To make "government" the arbiter of all things. If government is in control of our lives, we then become subject to humanistic endeavors and objectives.
Secular humanism is at the core of today’s socialism. Secular humanism, by the way is a religion. Secular humanism basically says, "Man is the final arbiter of himself." "Man is god." Secular humanism denies (or attempts to deny) God's existence, His purpose for the human race, and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Secular humanism is rooted in the three principal families of fear: (1) The Fear of Evil; (2) The Fear of Man; and (3) The Fear of Death.
Humanism plays upon people's fears. It gets its governance in society by creating a multitude of "what if?" scenarios. People react to those scenarios in fear, and Humanism has accomplished its ends. Socialism steps into that reactive place and says, "I have the answer for you. Let me create a government program to solve it."
The end of this cycle is that government becomes bigger and bigger, and our freedoms become fewer and fewer as they are continually eroded. Naturally, with secular humanism at the core of socialism, it encourages mankind to satiate its own lusts on itself.
"Political correctness," therefore, is a sanitized way of saying, "every man to himself. Whatever you want to do is fine. If it feels good, do it! You have the 'right' to whatever you want or need."
Political correctness is the enemy of Truth. Truth becomes the prisoner of every individual, splinter group or "minority" seeking to assert its "rights."
Because Jesus made claims that no other individual in history has ever been able to duplicate, He has become the target of every fanatical religion and religious leader since. (By the way, you’ve heard me say this before, but true Christianity is NOT a religion. There is nothing about Christianity that is religious. True Christianity is nothing more and nothing less than having a genuine, personal, one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.)
Religion – all religion(s) – can be quantified as: man’s efforts to please (a) God (god). Man’s efforts to please God are all predicated on what he thinks he can do to make God happy.
Christianity, on the other hand, is Jesus Christ reaching out to you, and extending himself to redeem you from the snare of Satan. Christianity is living and walking with Jesus Christ on a day-by-day basis, following His leading, listening to His Spirit, allowing Him to make the changes in you that He desires. As previously noted, Jesus made some incredible claims. (1) “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (2) “No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”
Jesus’ statements fly in the face of every religion. It is the reason why the current myth of “separation of church and state” has become the overriding agenda of the socialist left. One cannot be a Christian having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and be a socialist. I’ll come back to this in a second.
No religion makes a claim like Jesus made. Religions – all of them – suggest that there are many ways to God, and many ways to please Him. Jesus refutes that with His claim, and it is a claim that is either true or not. If it is true (and IT IS), then all religions are false because they contrive a multitude of ideas and ways to please God (gods) and establish rules that are essentially impossible to live up to. If Jesus’ claims are not true, then everything He said is a lie, and is predicated on a lie. There is no middle ground.
So-called “Christian” religions add men’s ideas, rules and regulations to the Gospel, and well-meaning people get sucked into a performance-based life. There is nothing about our relationship with Jesus Christ that is performance-based. It is, and always has been, designed to be love-based.
Christianity differs from religion because change is not imposed by external rules and regulations. Change comes from within. Change comes because of the working of the Holy Spirit within the person.
Certainly, one must be obedient to the will and heart’s desire of God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, but that obedience is not imposed by a law: it is given willingly because of love.
Socialism seeks to equalize society by force. It has a “Robin Hood” mentality. Take from those who have prospered and done well – by force, of course – and give what you take to those who do not fare well. We have a nice, sanitary term by which we refer to this process. We call it “taxes.” Others more accurately refer to it as “wealth redistribution.”
Either way, the plan and methodologies are farcical. Jesus was not a socialist. He NEVER sought to take from one class of people by force and redistribute to another class.
When Jesus began His ministry, He laid it out as clearly and distinctly as anyone could want. Here’s what He said:
4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon
me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent
me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and
recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To
preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Break that statement down into its component parts.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel (euangelion – good news) to the poor….”
Tell me something. What is “good news” to the poor? If your answer is, ‘to free them from poverty,’ you’ve got it! There’s a catch here, though. The “good news” was not some social program; it was an anointing for prosperity.
Now, I know that the church world has gotten really hung up on the idea that it is blessed and righteous to live in poverty, but that’s a lie from the pit! The Lord outlined a specific plan for people to live prosperously, but most folks – at least if you listen to today’s socialists and humanists – prefer their poverty mindset so they can get free handouts.
People who are in love with a religion instead of the Lord Jesus Christ (and particularly, people who are in love with the ideas of humanism) can easily get sucked in by the “feel good” doctrines of the Left.
Humanism is a “feel good” religion. People can do good deeds, they can get involved in social programs, and they can be easily convinced of the need to spend on “the poor,” the downtrodden, the homeless, the underprivileged, etc., etc., etc. Doing these things makes them feel good. They become justified in their self-righteousness.
Don’t get me wrong! There isn’t anything wrong with doing these things. The problem comes with the deception that this is the responsibility of government. This is where Socialism marries Secular Humanism. The two of them become “one flesh” in the worst sense of the word.
Because Secular Humanism is a religion, and religions impose laws, duties and performance requirements on people, Socialism likewise imposes – or attempts to impose – its performance requirements on all of the people all of the time! Socialism is nothing but Secular Humanism run amuck. By this means, therefore, government becomes the tool of a religion: Secular Humanism.
Let me explain. Jesus provided an anointing from the Holy Spirit for folks to be free from the curse of poverty – and let there be no misunderstanding of what I’m saying: poverty is a curse!
I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Government has no anointing to solve poverty. The clear evidence of that is that the more money government throws at the problem, the worse it gets. Poverty isn’t solved by throwing money at people and problems: it is solved by providing people with the means – and the spiritual laws – by which they can live in the abundance that God makes available.
Government – when it becomes the tool of socialists, secular humanists, and liberal socialism – only serves to extend the curse of poverty and subjugate people under an iron fist that seeks to control their thoughts, their actions, their behavior, their every waking moment with some kind of rule, some kind of legislation or some kind of law.
Government should do nothing but provide a fundamental framework that encourages business, promotes opportunities for people without being the actual provider, develops an infrastructure that enables people to grow, to develop, to mature and to live peaceable lives.
This is what our forefathers envisioned when they drew up a Constitution for these United States. The "great" socialism experiment of Karl Marx and Nicolai Lenin failed dismally. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Patrick Henry -- and every other person you can name in our nation's early history who put all they had and all that they were on the line to bring about a Constitutional Republic -- were about as far removed from every concept of socialism you can think of.
In the weeks to come, I intend to demonstrate to you just exactly how they sought to create a nation in which Godliness and Honesty were the prevailing modus operandi -- a nation in which "all men [could] be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth."
See you then.
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video using ZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-only call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
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