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Christian Reconstruction: A Call for Reformation and Revival

By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008

By Robert Parsons

Christian Reconstruction is a call to the Church to awaken to its biblical responsibility to revival and the reformation of society. While holding to the priority of individual salvation, Christian Reconstruction also holds that cultural renewal is to be the necessary and expected outworking of the gospel as it progressively finds success in the lives and hearts of men. Christian Reconstruction therefore looks for and works for the rebuilding of the institutions of society according to a biblical blueprint.

Christian Reconstruction is also an attempt to answer the unprecedented threat facing the Church of Jesus Christ in the 20th century resurgence of secular humanism and parallel rise of statism. The state threatens to swallow the Church by such actions such as property taxation, zoning laws, and direct court action, all directly contrary to the Word of God. In one case, a church was taken to court for dismissing a practicing homosexual from its staff. In another, the church was padlocked by police for operating a Christian school without a licensed teacher. This is only the tip of the iceberg; there were several thousand civil cases pending against churches in 1985.

There are two fatal errors facing the Church as it is being called upon to respond to this threat.

Fatal Error #1: Retreat

Retreat is failing to apply the Word of God to society and culture. It seems as though many Christians are guided more by Plato in some aspects of their thinking than by Christ. They tend to deny the application of scripture to the secular. They fail to recognize that every sphere is spiritual and subject to the Word of God.

This shows up in a studied indifference to biblical teaching on civil law, economics, government and other cultural applications. It is pietism as opposed to true piety. There was, for example, little response to the abortion holocaust from the evangelical Church for over 10 years after the 1973 Supreme Court ruling.

Fatal Error #2: Accommodation

Accommodation is misapplying the Word of God in society and culture. This is by far the more subtle error. One glaring example would be “Christian socialism” like that espoused by Ron Sider in Rich Christians In An Age of Hunger. This perspective down plays biblical charity and poor laws (such as gleaning) in favor of the anti-biblical “solution” of government taxation and redistribution of wealth.

By way of contrast, the truly biblical welfare is local, personal, voluntary and usually requires the poor to work (2 Thes. 3:10).

The Christian Reconstruction movement has been raised up by God to awaken the Church to the reality of these two fatal errors.

Christian Reconstruction is a call to return to the vision of the Reformation, where men sought to restructure every sphere of life according to the Word of God. This is true biblical revival. Every example of revival in Scripture extended beyond individual repentance to impact every facet of culture. For example, rediscovery of the Law by King Josiah (2 Kings 22,23) produced a reformation (but not a revival) leading to reconstruction of the entire Hebrew culture. In the New Testament, proclamation of the crown rights of King Jesus resulted in changes to all life, it being said that the world had been turned upside down (Acts 17).

The Foundation: Sovereignty of God

Christian Reconstruction rests on one solid foundation stone: the sovereignty of God. Sovereignty refers to God’s supreme power and rule. His reign and control extends into every sphere of life, here and now, not just in eternity. To defer His Kingship is to deny His Kingship. The Bible contains the directives of the King of kings for every area of human activity, including civil government, economics, art, science, family, church, and more. Activity in each sphere is to be governed by the Law of God, with minimal interference from civil government. There are no neutral zones.

God exercises His sovereignty through many secondary agencies. For example, civil government is responsible to God to bear the sword, executing God’s wrath against violators of His Law. The Church, as the depository of the Law of God, is to provide Biblical instruction for every sphere, including civil government. She is not to control civil government, but rather to provide expert legal counsel (Deut.17:8-13). Many of her sons are expected to assume the mantle of civil leadership.

Resting on the foundation of God’s sovereignty, four vital pillars support the Christian Reconstruction movement:

Pillar #1: Redemption

This is the sovereignty of God in salvation. All men are disobedient and worthy of eternal separation from God in Hell. But Jesus Christ, the perfect man, died as a substitute for sinners. Because Christ shed His blood in their stead, God justly pardons everyone who believes the Gospel, granting them eternal life. This is called justification (Rom. 6:23).

Justification is accomplished entirely by the grace and mercy of God. Sinful man, being totally depraved, is utterly dependent on the provision of God for salvation, including the ears to hear and even the faith to believe the Gospel. Salvation does not rest primarily on the “decision” of a particular man for God, but rather on God’s decision to save that particular man. Jesus said: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you …” (John 15:16).

Pillar #2: Law of God

Christian Reconstruction upholds the authority of the Law of God in every sphere of society. This is the sovereignty of God in ethics. 1 Tim. 1:8 implies a lawful and an unlawful use of the Law of God. It is unlawful to seek acceptance with God by trying to obey the Law of God, the ceremonial law, or any manmade additions to the Law. We are justified by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8). On the other hand, man must look to the Law of God as his guide for holy living and civil statutes. The perfect standard of the Law shows us how we are to live, how far short we fall and how much we need a Savior.

“We know that the law is good if anyone uses it lawfully” (1 Tim. 1:8).

Unlawful Uses of the Law

1. Salvation by Works
2. Sacrificial Observances (Gal. 3:24)
3. Man made Traditions Added to the Law (Mk. 7:7ff.)

Lawful Uses of the Law

1. Guide for Life
2. Convict of Sin (Rom. 3:20)
3. Civil Use (1 Timothy 1:8,9)

Therefore, “not under the law” means that we are no longer condemned by the Law of God since we are justified by faith. It does NOT mean we are no longer ethically and morally bound to obey Old Testament law. Legalism results from a misapplication of God’s moral Law or from traditions added to the Law. Simple childlike obedience to the Law of God does NOT equal legalism.

The faulty interpretive principle of Old Testament law is to assume the the Old Testament in invalid unless confirmed by the New Testament.

The faithful interpretive principle is to assume that the Old Testament is valid and still in effect unless specifically changed by the New Testament.

Covenantal shifts have occurred in areas such as sacrificial laws, ceremonial laws, Sabbath laws, dietary laws and agricultural laws. 1 Timothy 1:9 goes on to list a category of civil crimes that the Law of God is to restrain under the New Covenant: murder, kidnapping, adultery, perjury, etc. Therefore, one useful use of the Law of God is to restrain evil doers in society.

The theological name for this approach is “theonomy,” from the Greek words “theos” meaning God and “nomos” meaning law. When men reject the Law of God as a standard, they are left with autonomy (self-law). This takes many forms, including common sense, pluralism, natural law, democracy (law of the people), and statutory law. The result of rejecting God’s absolutes is always chaos.

When the Church rejects God’s Law, it usually adopts what it calls the “law of love” in its place as the guide to action. Often this is a love devoid of content, that exalts unity over truth to avoid confrontation. But true biblical love goes hand in hand with the Law. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15,21). By rejecting the standard of God’s Law, the Church has nothing of substance to offer the world and becomes irrelevant.

Pillar #3: Presuppositionalism

Presuppositionalism is the self-sufficiency of an authoritative Bible. This is the sovereignty of God in revelation. Pesuppositionalism defines our approach to the sovereign Word of God. Too often Christians try to “prove” the Bible to the natural man by presenting evidences from creation or logic. They assume the problem is merely intellectual and that belief will flow naturally from an airtight presentation of the facts.

But the Bible says that natural man willfully suppresses the truth (Rom. 2:15). The problem is not, therefore, a lack of evidence, but the basic tendency to set oneself up as the ultimate judge of truth. The heart of Eve’s sin lay in exalting herself as the judge of what God had said. (Gen. 3:5,6).

These presuppositions radically alter our approach to the non-believer. If our defense of the faith consists solely of presenting evidences to his supposed independent reason, we are simply encouraging his independence. Instead of a focus on persuasion with facts and logic, Christian Reconstruction challenges the natural man, who presumes himself to be the ultimate judge of truth. The sword of the Spirit does not need to be proved, it needs to be used. We presuppose that the sword of the Spirit will penetrate the hearts of natural men knowing that the Law of God in their hearts confirms its truth.

Pillar #4: Assurance of Earthly Victory

This is the sovereignty of God in history. The Bible insists that God’s Law is to hold full sway in every sphere of earthly activity, in history as well as eternity (Mat. 6:10). God’s sovereignty ensures it will hold sway. He has commanded His Church to carry His gospel (“teaching them to observe all things” – Matt. 28:20 includes God’s Law) to the nations. He has given us power for this task. The only hindrance is a faithless Church that can only see giants in the promised land of earthly victory.

Some Christians say God has turned world rulership over to Satan until the second coming of Christ. But this denies God’s explicit claim to ownership (Ps. 24:1) and the decisive work of Christ in destroying the power of the devil (Col. 2:15, 1 Jn. 3:8).

This view overlooks the various meanings of the word “world” (Compare John 3:16 with 1 John 2:15). Satan may be the god of the world system that opposes God, but to grant him a sovereignty that belongs to God alone borders on blasphemy.

In The American Covenant, Marshall Foster observes that the implications of which view you hold are profound.

If you see God as ruling the earth

1. Your commission is to subdue the earth and build Christian nations through evangelizing and discipleship.

2. You see Christian culture to be the only acceptable culture and you see all others as aberrations.

3. All of God’s world is holy and every activity in life is a religious activity to be seen as a spiritual work for God.

4. Reformation is expected.

If you see Satan as ruling the earth

1. You must just concentrate on saving souls from this evil world.

2. You see Christian culture as a counter-culture, a persecuted minority in an evil world.

3. Church activity is primary and spiritual, while worldly pursuits are secular and to be dealt with only as a necessity.

4. Reformation is impossible and suspect, since things must get worse before Christ returns.

The above dichotomy illustrates the importance of ideas in determining consequences, because to the degree Christians have abdicated their leadership role and denied the “crown rights of Jesus Christ,” to that degree the humanists have filled the void.

In summation, Christian Reconstruction is the only view that biblically answers the question of how Christians should relate to their culture.

Not RETREAT, that fails to apply the Bible to the problems of society (Fatal Error #1).

Not ACCOMMODATION, that misapplies the Bible to endorse various forms of humanism (Fatal Error #2).

But RECONSTRUCTION according to the Law of God.

Individual salvation is the necessary priority, but Christian Reconstruction teaches that cultural renewal is an expected outworking of the Gospel. When Jesus said “make disciples of all nations,” He meant it literally. The very cultural/governmental fabric of the nations is to be transformed by the preservative effect of their Christian citizens. This is the vision of the Reformers, the Puritans and the Pilgrims. This is the vision that we must rekindle anew today.

» » Reconstruction

Your comments are welcome!


Posted by brenda kay kaiser on 10/21/2008 10:13 PM #

Please explain when this happened: “Covenantal shifts have occurred in areas such as . . . dietary laws and agricultural laws.”

Posted by Robert McCurry on 12/20/2008 10:34 AM #

I am very much impressed and benefited with the article.

Posted by Rev. vumthang Sitlhou on 02/25/2009 10:56 AM #

Iam in the process of being raised up in these last days with a garment of Boldness.We as leaders must stand up and speak Gods word fearlessly.As the hate crimes bill approaches, if I’m put in jail, so be it.Iam waiting for the lord to place me.I do know i’ll be a part of the final reformation of the church..Keep up the good fight and race.

Posted by Rev. Lorrie L. Timbs on 03/22/2010 05:03 PM #

Praise the Sovereign Lord in His victorious Amazing Grace that will allow His to persevere to the end. So that He will be Glorified and enjoyed forever! Lord thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

A Psalme of Dauid of prayse. O my God and King, I will extoll thee, and will blesse thy Name for euer and euer. I will blesse thee dayly, and prayse thy Name for euer and euer. Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praysed, and his greatnes is incomprehensible. Generation shal praise thy works vnto generation, and declare thy power. I wil meditate of the beautie of thy glorious maiestie, and thy wonderfull workes, And they shall speake of the power of thy fearefull actes, and I will declare thy greatnes. They shall breake out into the mention of thy great goodnes, and shall sing aloude of thy righteousnesse. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great mercie. The Lord is good to all, and his mercies are ouer all his workes. All thy workes prayse thee, O Lord, and thy Saints blesse thee. They shewe the glory of thy kingdome, and speake of thy power, To cause his power to be knowen to the sonnes of men, and the glorious renoume of his kingdome. Thy kingdome is an euerlasting kingdome, and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages. The Lord vpholdeth all that fall, and lifteth vp all that are ready to fall. The eyes of all waite vpon thee, and thou giuest them their meate in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and fillest all things liuing of thy good pleasure. The Lord is righteous in all his wayes, and holy in all his workes. The Lord is neere vnto all that call vpon him: yea, to all that call vpon him in trueth. He wil fulfill the desire of them that feare him: he also wil heare their cry, and wil saue them. The Lorde preserueth all them that loue him: but he will destroy all the wicked. My mouth shall speake the prayse of the Lorde, and all flesh shall blesse his holy Name for euer and euer.
(Psalms 145:1-21 Geneva)

Posted by j. Clinton McMillan on 09/13/2011 11:59 AM #

I would really love to get more involved in changing the world, and the Christian Church to become Kingdom minded and effectively influence the nations. This was a very helpful article. This message should go out on television

Posted by Johan on 10/12/2011 08:49 AM #

Textile help

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The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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