OUR FOREFATHERS’ COVENANTS
January 31, 2020
There is a lot of ground to cover today, so let’s get right to it.
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,
Luke 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."
As I have noted before, there is no real freedom outside of a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I also stated in Wednesday's discussion that the Maryland Act somewhat went overboard in its efforts to enforce morality AND spirituality. While we certainly have the right and power to enforce a moral code in our laws -- and any set of laws that does not enforce a moral code is essentially worthless -- one cannot force people to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
By the same measure, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He does not compel anyone to respond to the Lord Jesus Christ; He simply draws people in love -- agape love. Laws which try to force people to respond to the Lord simply do not work, and anyone who responds because they are compelled by force are simply doing so to put on a show of compliance -- NOT because there is anything real in their response.
That said, when a nation and states are founded (as John Winthrop put it) "for the directing, ruling, and disposing of all other Matters and Things, whereby our said People, Inhabitants there, may be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderly Conversation, may win and incite the Natives of Country, to the Knowledge and Obedience of the only true God and Savior of Mankind, and the Christian Faith, which is our Royal Intention, and the Adventurers free Profession, is the principal End of this Plantation" an environment is created so that people are drawn by example.
In his diary, Winthrop wrote (and I quoted this a couple weeks ago), "We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to give up our superfluities to supply others' necessities...We must delight in each other; make others' conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together... So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and...make us a praise and a glory, that men shall say of later plantations, "May the Lord make it like that of New England."
The Maryland Act, despite its rather strong language and penalties, sought the same end. There was no intention of creating a state-sponsored religion: rather their purpose was to create an environment in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ would go forth freely without the strictures placed upon it that existed in England and European countries.
One person who read some of what I’d written and called it "a theocracy" is inaccurate. Israel's entire existence came into being by the Word and mandate of God, and so long as that nation accepted its leadership through God's appointed and ordained leaders, it could legitimately be referred to as a theocracy.
This nation began to come together by people who desired and acknowledged that all good government exists when people yield to the will and heart's desire of the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is a far cry from a theocracy. America was founded under republican principles as a Republic. Our founding fathers recognized that human beings self-destruct under a truly democratic regime -- that democracy always results in corruption.
They sought to prevent America from becoming a pure democracy by instituting republican principles, principles which -- when applied -- permitted the voice of the people to provide democratic input and have representation in their government, but applied that input with certain restrictions.
Note: When I use the terms "republican" and "democratic," I am most assuredly NOT referring to the current prevailing political parties in America. Rather I am referring to the principles that underlie those terms. True republican government has some real constraints in place and is extremely limited in its involvement in public life. True democratic principles -- when allowed to become the rule of the day -- corrupt the entire concept of limited government.)
Democracy sounds like a good thing and -- compared to dictatorial and/or despotic government -- is certainly more desirable to the natural mind. Unfortunately, democracy and democratic rule has NEVER been the will of God. As I noted in my earlier discussions on The Government of God, you have all of the foundations of republican government in the formation of Israel as a God-governed state and nation once the people had crossed over the Red Sea and awaited God's commands at the base of Mount Sinai.
The body of Christ attempted a kind of democracy in the choice of Matthias to replace the dead and departed Judas (see Acts 1:23-26). That God was not in it is clearly evidenced in the fact that you never hear of Matthias again in Scripture; and he disappears from the pages of history never to be heard from again -- something NOT true of the rest of the apostles.
So-called "congregational" government is nothing more than democracy in the body of Christ. It comes out of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (as does also hierarchical church government) of which the Lord Jesus Christ refers to with the epithet, "which thing I hate." (see Revelation 2:15)
OK. I'm getting a bit off-track here with today's discussion. Didn't mean to spend that much time dealing with terminology.
America was not founded as a theocracy, but something modeled on the republican principles seen in Moses' delegation of responsibility for, and input from, the various tribes through their family leaders. America's foundations were predicated on the fact that this was going to be a nation where Jesus Christ was Lord, where God was honored at every level of public life, yet where doctrines and religions were prevented from being enforced by government fiat.
So, what's the difference? It's quite simple, really. As our founding fathers knew well, there is a distinct difference between Christianity and the religions of the world.
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 76502
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