By Jay Rogers
Published May 1, 2008
If you are a true Christian who loves God with your whole heart and hates sin with your whole heart, then you are increasingly dismayed at the increasing godlessness in American society. Many Christians in recent years have realized that America’s early history was steeped in a high form of biblical Christianity. Godliness among our leaders continued until the beginning of this century.
In the 20th century, we have become, as Dr. Francis Schaeffer put it, “a post-Christian nation,” not because of the superiority of the enemy, but because of the default of the church. Some Christians have adopted a fatalistic view of the future. Their view seems to be: “We are predestined to fail; society is predestined to get worse and worse.” The only strategy for resistance to increasing godlessness then becomes to “run up our bills for the Antichrist.”
Since the 1970s, however, many Christians have realized that the reformation of society is necessary. These people have been comprised of mainly two groups: liberals and conservatives. These two groups are distinguished by their political affiliations and their view of the infallibility of the Word of God. Evangelicals who want to change America include the conservative Pat Robertson (representing the Religious Right) and the liberal Jesse Jackson (representing the Religious Left).
But there is a third group: those Christians who believe it is their responsibility to challenge the anti-Christian character of society and culture, not with a political agenda, but with the law of God. This smaller, yet fast emerging group sees it as an obligation to seek to change society in ways that will bring it into conformity with the moral law of God.
If we want to build a society without abortion, without homosexuality, with family values, and with godly schools, then we are wasting our time if we adopt any other strategy besides the standard of God’s holy Word. The plan for rebuilding a society includes the following priorities:
1. bringing a significant portion of the population to personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ,
2. the advancement of the kingdom of God through the preaching of the Gospel and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and
3. the application of biblical law as a standard to all areas of life.
The failure among liberal and conservative Christians to change America has been due to a popular, yet false, idea which views the moral law of God as primitive, sub-Christian, anti-Christian, and irrelevant to contemporary Christian ethics.
This false ideology has come in the form of the separation in our minds of “sacred vs. secular” and suspicion directed at Christians involved in social and political activism. These prejudices have led many Christians to abandon any attempt to influence government and society. This continues to be the norm today, with the notable exception of so-called “family values” issues like abortion, school prayer, home schooling, and homosexuality, but even then rarely is a Christian voice heard except in protest.
If we want to rid our nation of abortion, and other ungodly evils, then our agenda must be larger than that. Our goal must be nothing less than a Christian nation ruled by God’s moral law.
We can begin by laying emphasis on the church’s “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-14) functions in society, and calling the church to repentance for her neglect of these God-given duties. We must challenge our fellow Christians to reengage the society daily.
We must fight against the tendency to (totally) privatize our Christian faith. There is, of course, a vital private side to the Christian faith, as all Christians would agree. The Puritans, for instance, would have called this “experimental religion” while Roman Catholics call it “spiritual formation.” This is an essential element to vital Christianity. If it is not there, then faith is dead. Yet when Christianity is reduced to purely individual, personal spirituality, an important aspect of Christianity is lost. There are also the outward demands of true Christian piety—the obedience to the law of God.
We must seek to utterly destroy the anti-law spirit which pervades churches where the teaching of “cheap-grace” is the norm. In many churches, even the suggestion that Christians have an obligation to keep the moral law is considered an attack on the teaching on grace. In our day, the church must return to teachings on
1. the grace within God’s law,
2. the role of God’s law as the standard in the Christian life, and
3. the relevance of biblical law to society.
In this call for Christian political and social action, however, we need to keep the emphasis squarely on the Word of God and not the agenda of any political group! Therefore, we must advocate the implementation of biblical law in modern society and the law’s prescribed sanctions.
What would such a “Christian America” look like? The following are some elements of a biblical law approach to civil law and order:
1. It obligates government to maintain just monetary policies, thus prohibiting fiat money, fractional reserve banking, and deficit spending.
2. It provides a moral basis and standard for elective government officials.
3. It forbids undue, abusive taxation.
4. It calls for the reduction of the prison system into a system of just restitution for victims of crimes.
5. It forbids the release, pardoning, and paroling of murderers by requiring their execution.
6. It forbids industrial pollution that may harm people or destroy the value of other people’s property.
7. It punishes malicious, frivolous malpractice suits.
8. It forbids abortion rights. Abortion is not only a sin, but a crime, and, indeed, a capital crime.
9. It commands the nation to welcome foreigners and legal immigrants.
The believer’s calling to be a transformer of society has always been standard in historic Christianity. Every believer has been given the charge to be salt and light in society. We must take those salt and light functions seriously. The Christian’s ethical responsibility to the law of God extends beyond the simple personal observation of those laws. More than just obeying God’s commandments personally, the Christian is expected to promote the keeping of God’s law in society.
More than just being involved in a few “hot-button” issues, biblical Christians must develop a comprehensive biblical worldview which can explain exactly how God’s Word can be applied to changing society on all levels.
Bibliography: Kenneth L. Gentry, God’s Law in the Modern World, Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1993.
Jay Rogers is the director of The Forerunner International, and the editor of The Forerunner. He can be reached at The Forerunner, P.O. Box 138030, Clermont, FL 34713, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your comments are welcome!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
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