Thursday, June 23, 2011

When voting in the next election, What’s the Big Deal about God’s Word being True?: Part 2

by Buddy Hanson

posts in this series (part 1, part 2
part 3part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7)

How can we be “salt and light” to our neighbors if Jesus is culturally irrelevant? 

Is Jesus really clueless about how to deal with those things that happen in “real life?”  Is His revealed counsel on the pages of the Bible culturally irrelevant? This sounds like a terrible thing to say, but judging by the way many Church members (including civil rulers) act when they step outside their homes and Churches, it must be what they believe. But, if “God’s Word is true,“ as we say it is, and if “The Bible has the answers,” as we all agree, then why do we go to sources who aren’t Christians to find “false answers” to culture’s problems?

The following chart shows the sharp contrast between a Christian and a non-Christian worldview. The left side shows how non-Christians look at events pragmatically according to whatever religion they might imagine. The right side shows how Christians should look at events through God’s eyes, theologically. The chart can be helpful in detecting non-Christian elements that have crept into our worldview. Since our Christian walk is marked by continual repentance as the Holy Spirit convicts us to be more consistently conformed to Christ’s image, it is important that we repent of any non-Christian elements and move on for a closer walk with our Lord, Savior and King.

As you work through the chart notice that the ultimate question is whether the world will live according to man’s will or according to God’s will. Scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that it will be according to God’s will. [1] The only question is whom God will bless as they live out their faith in humble obedience to His Word. America has a front seat to this. May we capitalize on our opportunity before it is taken away from our grasp.

Is God Culturally Irrelevant?

PRAGMATICALLY                                     THEOLOGICALLY

Conforming to Man’s will                                Conforming to God’s will    

* Relative truth, common                                   * Absolute truth.
   ground, bridge building,
   acceptable compromises.

* MAN is the voice of reason.                              * Triune GOD is the voice of reason.

* The imagined pluralistic “god”                           * The State submits to the one true
   submits to the State by keeping                            triune God as we fulfill our calling
   in his/her/its proper place (inside                          by taking dominion. (Matthew 16.18)
   the home/church).

* The State “predestines” all services                   * God “predestines” all things.
   from womb-to-tomb.”                                          (Ephesians 1)

* The State is “secular” (neutral)                          * All things are “religious.”
   while the Church is religious.

* Tolerance.                                                        * Truth.

* Revolution (missiles).                                        * Regeneration (missionaries).
                                                                                 A “life system,” not a “lifeboat”

The Great Deceiver has been successful in convincing many of our brothers and sisters that we don’t need God’s advice concerning the nitty-gritty details of everyday life. It’s as if he says, “Go to Him for the really big things, but for your day-to-day routine, you’re smart enough to call your own plays.” We can tell when someone has been sucked into this trap when they say: “I have nothing against Christians. I’m a Christian myself, but we don’t need to ‘hit people over the head’ with the Bible.” It is understandable that non-Christians would make a statement like this, because they haven’t had a supernatural heart-transplant. Non-Christians see all gods as equally irrelevant to “real life.” Since they believe this, their legislative programs are designed to bring glory and honor to man, and Satan, not to Jesus.

However, Christians, who have had a supernatural heart transplant, have no excuse for making such an unbiblical statement. We know full well that, “Every intent of our heart is only evil continually,” [2] and that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” [3] The only acceptable response we can have for God is to follow the admonition He gave to Joshua: 
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Joshua 1.8 
Another tactic Satan uses in hopes of paralyzing our effectiveness is to misrepresent the teaching of Jesus regarding “rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is His.” [4] This is often interpreted as meaning Christ and Caesar are on the same level, and that each have equal jurisdiction as far as what is “owed” to them. The truth is that neither the civil government sphere (nor the Individual, Family or Church spheres) are on the same level with Christ. To the contrary each is directly accountable to Him for their actions. This is why it is permissible to resist civil rulers when they make decrees that are in direct opposition to God’s will when none of our other actions have made them change their ways. God does not submit to the State, the State submits to God.

As Christians we are slaves to God, and should praise Him for that, because the only alternative is to be a slave of Satan! As God’s slaves we are to strictly follow His words. After all, He gave them to us so that we would know how to live. Moses instructs: 
And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6.6-7 
We have the assurance from Scripture that as we live-out our faith non-Christians will see our successful lifestyles and be attracted to Christianity. [5] The problem with our current culture is we have failed to present a Godly alternative. Non-Christians know their life isn’t what it should be. They are looking for answers and are finding them in all the wrong places thanks to our silence. 

In Part Three we’ll discuss the question: “Why do we say we are a Christian, but live as though we are a Practical Atheist?”

     [1] Matthew 6.10     
     [2] Genesis 6.5
     [3] Jeremiah 17.9
     [4] Matthew 22.21
     [5] Isaiah 2.1-5
(Some Scripture quotes are paraphrases)

No comments: