The Road Before Us
The Foundations of Christian Culture
When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.
As one endeavor to live out a consistent biblical worldview there comes a point when a clash with the culture becomes inevitable. It is much easier to separate ourselves from the world, encasing ourselves in our own pious bubble with the church and Bible studies and friendships with like-minded people. But we were made to be a people set apart, a peculiar people in the service of King Jesus, and that service will take us into the trenches of a dark and costly war.
It is dark, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) and costly, in that Christ requires our hearts, our minds, our souls, our everything. A lukewarm commitment to Christ is no commitment at all. Jesus has said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” (Matthew 12:30)
Therefore it is imperative we ground ourselves in sound doctrine, immerse ourselves in prayer, and boldly enter the streets of a depraved and dying culture, proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ all the while “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The skirmishes of culture today are legion but all condense into the war over ultimate authority. This is the antithesis and it must be vigorously pushed. There are only two options available to us: Theonomy or autonomy, God or man, life or death. Theonomy simply means “God’s law” as opposed to autonomy, “self-law.” Adam and Eve, in the garden, chose autonomy over God’s law, determining good and evil for themselves. This is foundational humanism, a morally relativistic course of reality. All the worldviews and philosophies of the world are basely divided into one of two camps. That of the Sovereign Creator God of the Universe in whom all moral law is based, applicable to all men at all times and in all places, and man whose moral standards are highly subjective, varying in time and across cultures, and only enforced by the tyrannical whims of those in power. True justice is a characteristic found only in the holy and perfect God as revealed to us in Scripture. It cannot exist outside of Him.
R.J. Rushdoony, in his Institutes of Biblical Law, stated, “Law is in every culture religious in origin. Because law governs man and society, because it establishes and declares the meaning of justice and righteousness, law is inescapably religious, in that it establishes in practical fashion the ultimate concerns of a culture.” He goes on to say, “It must be recognized that in any culture the source of law is the god of that society.” All law is an imposition of morality. The question that needs to be asked, especially while engaging unbelievers, is whose morality is being imposed? Rushdoony goes on to make several points: “in any society, any change of law is an explicit or implicit change of religion…no disestablishment of religion as such is possible in any society…and there can be no tolerance in a law-system for another religion.”
The legal foundation in the United States shifted from that of Biblical law to humanism. Simply put, one religion was exchanged for another. There was absolutely no disestablishment of religion, the religious foundation of law merely changed from one to another. Hence we have now the great dichotomy. Christian theism vs. humanism. Biblical law vs. human autonomy. Now that the foundations of religious humanism have been deeply rooted into our law-system, it has no tolerance for another religion.
The civil government, the educational system, the media, the arts and sciences, and all other aspects of culture have all been permeated by religious humanism. Such a system does not fear the “cultural Christian” or the “pious Christian.” They serve no threat to its foundation. But the Christian whose heart’s desire is to serve Christ faithfully by applying the faith to all of life is an enemy to be dealt with. In this culture, their weapons of warfare are ridicule and derision and legal harassment. Both serve to cajole the Christian into apathy and silence. But we are called to boldness, to proclaim Christ against all odds! For Christ goes before us. In the Scriptures and by His Spirit, He has thoroughly equipped us with everything we need to stand for Him, to stand for truth, to cast out the darkness and expose the evil deeds of those who hate Him.
Truth is true regardless of whether one believes it or not. There is no “personal” truth. Truth is foundational, absolute, unwavering. Autonomy seeks to determine good and evil for one’s own self. Yet in this many “call evil good, and good evil; put darkness for light, and light for darkness; put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) Unbelievers make a mockery of truth. Do not for one moment concede to their vain line of reasoning. It is folly!
Today I was called a Christian sharia freak. Such words might have wounded me years ago but no longer. I would find it rather comical if not for the realization that but for the grace of God, go I. Ignorance and hatred is to be expected from those at enmity with God. Sharia is a top-down system and implemented by force. Theonomy is a foundational system, built on the self-government of Christians who seek to apply faith to all of life, engaging culture first by their own families, churches, and local communities. A man whose heart, mind and soul have been gripped by the grace of God will inevitably change culture, one brick at a time. A Christian civilization is built from the ground up as the foundation is laid and is built up brick by brick. Like a wounded animal backed into a corner, religious humanism strikes at any consideration or hint of a change in any element of its foundation. There is toleration for any belief except that which challenges its system. This is the reason for the pushback in many of the skirmishes over sexual immorality and abortion. No opposition is permitted. Its order must be maintained at all costs!
But we are called to take up the cause of Christ. Apathy is the dressing of the dead and dying. It is time to take a good, long hard look at ourselves. Do we fear man rather than God? God forbid! We know that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Why do we take up the wrong side or worse, sit on the sidelines as God’s name is being blasphemed? Rise up with courage! Speak truth and life. Carry the banner of Christ with you wherever you go. In word and deed, may we seek to glorify God.
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