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.

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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