Are Many American Christians Handicapped by Statism?

christianity, statism, statist, christian flag, federal flagThe Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.'” – Isaiah 29:13

As the Christian Church in America (and throughout the West) struggles to boldly stand for the wisdom of God’s law and the transforming power of Christ to change lives, the picture above seeks to illustrate what might be one of the primary problems with Christianity in America today. We honor our Lord with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. And our worship is only made up of rules taught by men.

Because in case you didn’t notice in the picture above, the flag representing the Kingdom of God is actually placed in a place of submission to a flag representing a human kingdom…almost as if to suggest that the kingdom of man is given greater honor over the Kingdom of God. While we’re sure this was merely an effort to comply with flag codes on the part of church leadership, the significance of displaying a flag representing God’s Kingdom in this way, and the message it inadvertently sends, must have been missed by the people who raised it. But the proper respect and honor for our Lord in our lives is something we can’t afford to overlook. We’re all guilty of it. Whether it be an obvious outward sign, or a more hidden inner rejection of the Lord that only we know about – standing for the Lord’s Truth (the Kingdom of God) isn’t always easy, or convenient in the kingdoms of man.

It’s ironic that while many human kingdoms are working to remove God from just about everything, many Christians seem to be inviting more and more of man’s systems into their own lives. Instead of standing as beacons of truth and living with a consistent Biblical worldview, they’re participating in all manner of state-run programs while angrily defending the “right” to send their children to be educated in government schools. All while our churches are too busy worrying about losing their tax exempt status to inform us how the Bible should be applied to all areas of our lives. This results in ineffective Christians that are conformed to the culture instead of working to reform the culture.

Christian, cartoon, Romans 13, Ephesians 6, full armor of God, illustration, God and Government, Politics, Religious Right, Christian Reconstructionism, Theonomy, DominionismWhat is important to recognize is that rights and law aren’t simply pulled out of thin air. They are rooted in the existence of a Supreme Law-Giver, as Sir William Blackstone noted (read more from this Axiom resource on William Blackstone). And in keeping with Blackstone’s teachings about law, many early American leaders knew it was foolish to suggest that a government could properly govern without being informed by Christianity. This of course isn’t advocating a Church State, but merely an acknowledgement that no human system will survive very long without a moral, self-governing people. This need for moral people in our communities is why early American leaders emphasized the importance of the Christian Church as an institution in society – one that should not be handicapped by the State.

Larry Beane in On Flags in the Sanctuary writes that, “In a sense, the church is like a ship or an embassy that flies under its own flag. Churches, though located in the U.S. or Canada or Russia or Ethiopia – are actually missions or consulates or embassies of heaven. The sovereign of the Church is not the king or the queen or the president – but the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, He who said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ He who rebuffed Satan’s temptations to give Him all of the kingdoms of the world.”

And in Should Churches Display the American Flag?, Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho states, “The New Testament is all about this principle. Where customs interfere with transnational fellowship, those customs must give way (Acts 15:29). Placing a flag in a sanctuary has many possible implications. It could convey the idea that we claim some sort of ‘favored nation’ status. It could imply we believe that the claims of Caesar extend into every space, including sacred spaces. It could imply that our version of Christianity is similar to some kind of syncretistic ‘God and country’ religion, where patriotism and religion are one and the same.”

Thoughts on american christians and statism, flag displays in the church, or how Christians might better serve the Lord and their communities? Let us know by leaving us a comment!

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The Reason Why People LEAVE Christianity

So, why do people leave Christianity? With it nearing upon back-to-school season, hopeful young people all across America are readying a return to their secularist education in the hopes of one day successfully climbing that corporate ladder, and becoming the consumer statistic they’ve always wanted to be. Right? And in light of the prospect of finally entering into our “equality” based, homogenized society where the role models are Dr. Seuss and Miley Cyrus, we have to wonder. Is there more to life than this? Even if we encourage our young people to go out and leave the world a better place – ultimately, what’s the point? Leave behind wealth, sure…but to whose benefit? And be a good person of course…but by what standard and why?

Christianity, cartoon, comic strip, Psalm 14:1, atheist, God

Christianity once provided Western Civilization with foundational truth towards family, government, law, scientific progress, art and more – but over the years leftist/progressives and even some on the right have sought to remake society into one where the only belief is the belief in yourself or some ambiguous greater good. And for the most part, it’s working. Because as many of the nation’s young people will affirm, since there’s nothing particularly important about Christianity, why get worked into a lather about it? Isn’t it okay if everyone has a different view of the truth?

As Californian Richard Wade of the Friendly Atheist website’s motto says, “Agreement is not important – only understanding is.”

This is why the “Church” of Unitarian Universalists holds such great appeal to the growing number of folks who abhor fundamentalist thinking. Here, where greater emphasis is placed on a dogma-free environment, rather than a possibly messy truth, people can feel like they’re asking questions without imposing answers, and explore ideas on social justice and community. And for Ross Harvey, an atheist of North Vancouver (British Columbia), the Unitarians were exactly the “social glue” he’d been looking for. Says Psychology Today, “Just three years earlier he had confided to his wife that he wished there were a ‘church you could go to where you sang and heard inspirational talks and you didn’t have to get into all that other nonsense'”. Nonsense which, ironically enough, has instilled millions of people throughout the history of the world with a very solid foundation for social justice and community service. It’s just not what people like Mr. Harvey want to hear.

Christian, Reconstruction, Christ, illustration, cartoon, Christ and His Kingdom, God's Law, Western Christianity

But it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that under the watch-care of the Department of Education and Institutions of so-called “higher” learning, that the western individual has increasingly grown mistrustful of the more traditional teachings of Christian doctrine. Where we once had the Ten Commandments, we now have the doctrines of statism and a secularist facade of equality. Where once we kneeled to say our bedtime prayers, we now “pray” to the god of government to create a more perfect society. And where we once understood God as the Supreme Lawgiver and Savior of Humanity, we now consider the great spirit of options and open-minded investigation. Especially when it comes to teaching the next generation.

Wendy Thomas Russell, author of Relax It’s Just God, believes that a lot of adults struggle with being honest with their children, while striving to avoid religious “indoctrination” and scary beliefs or putting them into a position to be made fun of or hurt. She recommends that we teach our kids “the difference between fact and faith, between dogma and freethinking” – but then let them take it from there. However, while this may seem like an enlightened approach, parents certainly wouldn’t allow a child to climb into a cage full of tigers simply to affirm that child’s decision and drive to explore. So in light of this, why wouldn’t a parent guide their children into successful adulthood by providing them with the wisdom and truth they learned from their parents? Is it because society relegates anything perceived as “old” as full of musty ideals that can’t hold a candle to our deep knowledge of celebrity gossip and an unsurpassed knowledge of television trivia?

Ultimately however, is it really about truth? Or is it simply about doing what we want – and the consequences be damned? Never mind that the answer to “how could a loving God condemn people to Hell” lies in our own rebellious nature, or that horrors like the Holocaust happened not because of God – but because of each individuals’ own willingness to call evil good in order to fulfill their selfish desires. In the meantime, because it’s more fun to pursue sex and buy toys, the answer to these important questions and more will likely never be discovered as long as people willingly, or out of ignorance, stick Truth into their own little musty closet of Relativism. However, let’s face it. Truth exists whether we choose to believe in it or not. And sort of like Captain Picard on Star Trek, it doesn’t require our belief to make it so.

Article quotes from Psychology Today, June 2012, The Atheist at the Breakfast Table, By Bruce Grierson

 

Onward Christian Jellyfish?

Christian, cartoon, Romans 13, Ephesians 6, full armor of God, illustration, God and Government, Politics, Religious Right, Christian Reconstructionism, Theonomy, DominionismRemember the rousing hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers? We used to sing it a lot in church growing up. But these days in Western culture especially, it seems like the song has been replaced with something that resembles the onward march of the Christian jellyfish…

Possibly noting of the concerning consequences resulting from a spineless Christianity, Chuck Baldwin – a man famously known for his uncompromising stance as a pastor who works to advance truth not only in our communities – but through the world as well – wrote in This Pastor Proves My Point (11/21/13) that if you attend a church and you haven’t heard your pastor oppose attacks by the government on our God-given rights then you need to get out of that church. “By refusing to resist evil, your pastor has become an enemy of liberty,” Baldwin notes. “Wittingly or not, he is helping to put the chains of slavery around the necks of your children and grandchildren. Why would you stay and support such a pastor and church?”

In a follow up article entitled Get Off the Sinking Ship (12/5/13), Pastor Baldwin notes with surprise the outrage and venom from hundreds of pastors and Christians that his statements generated. “I have long maintained that the vast majority of today’s pastors and church members are smugly content in abject apathy and indifference. However, after the vehement reaction to the above-mentioned column, I can now state dogmatically that the problem is actually much, much worse than I realized. Today’s churchmen are not merely content to not being involved; they are absolutely committed to not being involved. It goes much deeper than apathy; it is apostasy.” Pastor Baldwin explains. “The lack of instruction and understanding of the Biblical principles of Natural Law have created a generation of churchmen who are more than willing to submit to the unnatural laws of tyranny and oppression.”

Whether or not you agree with everything that Pastor Baldwin has said in the past regarding this or that topic, the point that he shares here is one that is worth considering. Are we so concerned with what other people might think about us – that we aren’t really standing up for the Truth as effectively as we could be? Look around you. What would be considered genocide by some is right now being waged against the unborn. The family is under attack, our children are taught secularism/progressivism in government schools…the list could go on and on – all while the large majority of Christians are unwilling to peacefully say or do anything about it. If God’s people won’t speak up, when we are called to be Salt and Light, then who will? Why would God want to stand for us, if we won’t stand for Him?

Don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out my Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, illustrations and resources are available), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Until next time, have a great day!

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Vote CLUMP or We’re all DOOMED!

Fall. Autumn. Harvest. It’s one of my favorite times of year. That’s why I’m just thrilled to pieces over all this Election Hooptie-Doo, and that segment of Western humanity wasting away billions of dollars and billions of hours on the election of another new politician who – surprise, surprise – once again promises to solve all our ills. Wow! Meanwhile, the King of all Creation orchestrates the beautiful sunsets and the awesome tapestry of colorful trees that this season brings, all while holding the entire World and each living soul in the palm of His mighty hand. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

But yeah, I get it. I’m not new to this whole predictable mess of media hysterics and silly political theater. I mean, you’ve probably heard that saying of “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”? Well, it’s the same with the election business. I’ve been fooled once (or even twice) into thinking that somehow the election of certain key figures would save the world and avert some horrific catastrophe. But as a Christian, I’ve slowly come to see it all in a different light. One which places far greater emphasis on Christ and His Kingdom, and one which places far less – so very much less – on Humanist Institutions and their laughable attempts to rule in place of God.

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Do I believe that if a certain political figure isn’t elected, we’ll end up doomed? Ha! Not at all. Sure, at one time I used to wake up on the morning after the election and sometimes get all depressed when this or that person or this or that issue was voted on in a way that I thought was unfavorable. It was kind of pathetic to be honest – but worse, it was a little self-serving. Because if I was entirely honest with myself back in those days, I just didn’t want a change that might require more work from me as a Christian. You know, because sometimes it just isn’t easy (or popular) to take a stand for the Lord’s Truth, and a lot of Christians (myself included) would rather have it easy. But does this make us better? Does it make the cause of Christ flourish? Hard to say. Although, I will say this: after years of having it pretty easy, it seems like the condition of Western Christians in today’s world isn’t so great – what with quite a large degree of apathy and ineptitude. But am I worried? Nope. God knows how to wake His people up. That’s why in the end, I’m confident that whoever supposedly “wins”, or whatever happens, God is King. He has a plan. Sure, it might not always be easy. But who knows…maybe He just wants to teach us to rely more on Him, and less on humanism. Whatever the case, I’m pretty excited for the future. Not a future of frail human ideas leading to a road of ruin – but a future based on the fantastic creativity and unmatched wisdom of God!

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about disengaging from society. Vote, or don’t vote in the election. But I think where it really counts is to be involved in your community. Be a great ambassador for Christ and His Kingdom to all those you know – like friends and family. Stand up for His Truth on a local level, where it really matters. If we all do this in our various communities, who knows what kind of BIG difference this could make! Far more so I think, than putting all your eggs in one basket over an election.

mark rushdoony, amazing future, future city, futuristic world, God's law, negative law, Statist law, liberty, progress, innovation, meme, Christian Reconstructionism

Note: CRUMP is the combination of the two big politicians involved in the 2016 American election. Of course the establishment would like you to believe they are as different as night and day. But are they really? And we do recognize there are other politicians involved too, like Gary Johnson (yawn), Darrell Castle (probably the most libertarian) and Tom Hoefling (who seems to advocate government force a tad too much). Have any other comments on the Christian vote, voting, elections, Christianity and politics or any other issue? Let us know!

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Artwork: Choose This Day…

christian, luke 23, Jesus, Salvation, folk art, art, illustration, My Soul Among Lions, Psalm 1, John 14:6

The above artwork I illustrated about five or six years ago, and is based around Luke 23:38-43, John 14:6 and Psalm 1. It’s designed to have more of a folk art appearance, and incorporates a number of themes from the scripture it’s based around. It portrays Christ on the Cross (Luke 23:38-43), but the Cross is also stylistically part of a tree (as referenced in Psalm 1), and is the source of light and life (as referenced in John 14:6). Of course, each side has those of humanity who have chosen how to respond to the message of salvation, with those on one side having chosen a path that leads to destruction (also referenced in Psalm 1) or those who have chosen to follow Christ, and have become a part of His Kingdom (Psalm 1, John 14:6 and Luke 23:38-43). It prominently asks the viewer to “Choose This Day”, as life is fleeting and there’s no time like the present to decide how you personally would respond to the salvation, hope, peace and purpose in life (and in the life to come) that only Christ offers! (Check out Axiom’s Peace in our Lifetime Flyer or What in the World Brochure!)

I’ve also really been encouraged over the last couple of months by the music of My Soul Among Lions (which I wrote about recently at Modern Christian Music: Advancing God’s Kingdom). They have such a fantastic bluegrass/folk music sound, with inspiring lyrics from Psalm 1-10, that I thought this artwork would be something they might appreciate. As a result, “Choose This Day” is dedicated in thanks to this talented group, and their future work in helping many others stand for Him!

Thoughts? Let me know in the comments section! Also be sure to subscribe to this blog (so you don’t miss any future posts) and check out my Artwork tab for great christian cartoons, illustrations and resources available to help share His Truth!

Christianity When Held at Gun-Point

christian, artwork, optimism, optimism for the future, pessimism, pessimisticNote: I received the following write-up from someone in regards to a discussion on how we might work more effectively in sharing the Light of Christ to a broken world. It’s a very heartfelt letter on what our response should be in the face of difficult or tragic circumstances, which I now share with their permission. I hope you find it a blessing as much as I do!

I was wanting to write a few thoughts regarding a difficult incident I experienced one night a number of years ago. It was then that I was robbed at gunpoint with my young son nearby. After being held captive by this individual for several minutes, I was able to grab my boy and run across a four lane highway to safety – all while wondering if we’d be chased down as we ran. Thankfully, during the encounter, I was clear-headed enough to understand that the wisest course of action for this particular incident (out of concern for my son) would be to offer no resistance to the attacker.

During the time I had a gun in my back, I really did think about the possibility of being shot in the next few moments, and what this would be like for my son to witness. I prayed to the Lord, knowing that it – as all things in life are – was ultimately in His hands. Since then, I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy whenever I recall those feelings or the face of the attacker. But it did gradually get better, which I owe to the many prayers of my friends and family, and to the watch-care of our Father.

A couple of verses I have found encouraging are Proverbs 18:10 (which was sent to me by a friend) and reads, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” I also found Genesis 3:4 to be of interest, and how the serpent said to Eve that if she ate of the fruit, she would know good and evil. As I look at the devastation and chaos of sin all around us – “knowing” evil has indeed wrought an unimaginably horrific toll upon this world. Sometimes it seems like it can be pretty easy to become calloused or dismissive of evil when there is so much in the news and in the newspaper. But then, like what happened when we were robbed, it became very personal for us. Thinking of the person who threatened me and my son – while I hope for justice, and safety for others who might encounter this dangerous individual and his cohorts – I also pray that he will come to know the Lord some day. Because let’s be honest. Reforming bad behavior starts with the heart. And the only way to truly change the heart is through Christ.

Hope for the future, hopeful, peace on earth, goodwill toward men, christian, christianity, Christian ReconstructionismFurthermore, as that evening clearly demonstrated to me, there are no shades of gray – despite what a world apart from Christ might say. There’s right, and there’s wrong. As such, that night a couple years ago has served to powerfully reinforce that as a Christian, this life is no game. There are eternal stakes here. I’m as guilty as anyone about sometimes not taking on the responsibilities I should as a Christian – looking at a world gone mad on the television or in the papers – and shaking my head wondering why the Lord doesn’t intervene. But then, He already has. He’s intervened in my life, and in the lives of millions of others, through the power of His Spirit. Hope? Change? Purpose? Our world doesn’t know the true meaning. But as Christians, WE DO! May we all endeavor to work for Him in ALL spheres of life, and be ever more effective in sharing His Truth a world so desperately in need of the brighter tomorrow that only He can bring!

Don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out Axiom’s Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, illustrations and resources are available), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Until next time, have a great day!

3 Reasons Western Christianity is in Trouble – and How to Fix It!

Christian, Reconstruction, Christ, illustration, cartoon, Christ and His Kingdom, God's Law, Western ChristianityI get it. As a Christian, it can sometimes be easy to look at our local community and our country, and wonder what in the world is going on. I was once there, having grown up with a pessimistic view of Christianity in retreat in this world. Later, as a young adult, I’d often find myself falling into a destructive and entirely unhealthy mind-set of hopelessness and fear. But while that may be a view that some Christians have been taught in more recent times, Dr. Jason Garwood on the August 7, 2016 edition of Reconstructionist Radio (Social Issues are Spiritual Issues) takes a different view. Following are three reasons why Western Christianity is in trouble – and what can be done to fix it!

1. The Establishment Church has truncated the gospel message. If the gospel for you only applies to your heart and spiritual matters, so that you can go to heaven and get off planet earth some day – you have an incomplete gospel! Part of the gospel announcement is the arrival of God’s Kingdom, in time, on earth, and in history. Another part of the gospel is the actual rescue of both sinners and creation (Romans 8 comes to mind). The gospel of the pietistic Christian is merely a private, spiritual affair. The gospel for the Biblical Christian who loves the Kingdom of God, and seeks to APPLY the Kingdom of God touches ALL of life – taxation, politics, private property, education, sound money and so on.

2. The Establishment Church has given up on the world around her. Because of number 1, number 2 is the result. When we don’t see how the word of God can apply to ALL of life, we end up forsaking our duties here in search of the higher life. So the church retreats with their tail between their legs, unsure if all that Kingdom talk is truth or fantasy or just mere conjecture. There was a time when the pulpits across this nation prophetically proclaimed a robust gospel for ALL of life, including social and political realms. Instead of giving up on the world, we must confront the world. The world belongs to those who bow before Jesus, and we will not go away!

3. The Establishment Church has forgotten that it is Hell who has gates. Consider this reality. Hell is the one in Scripture who is on the defense…Jesus has legislative authority in Heaven and on earth. Christ’s Kingdom advances in time and space in history (Daniel 2, Matthew 13). The Church will advance because the battle has been won! Christ was given dominion and a Kingdom that would not end when he ascended to the throne in fulfillment of Daniel 7. After His death and resurrection, Satan was dethroned and is on the run. The world is NOT a sinking ship. Sure, it was cursed by God because of sin. But God is in the process of restoring all things under the feet of King Jesus. The gospel is truly that big! The World isn’t sinking. Evil is sinking!

As always, don’t forget to follow this blog or share with a friend! Also be sure to check out my Artwork tab (where a lot of awesome christian cartoons, christian comics, illustrations and resources are available for sharing His Truth via social media and more), as well as the Artist Page (where you can find interviews with great Christian artists)! And don’t forget to check out our books and resources tab, as we’ve got some really great ebooks, pdf resources and outreach materials available for you to use for FREE! Have fun!