En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Christianity or Pluralism by Doug Phillips!

Posted by Scott on October 17, 2007

You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)
By Me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. (Proverbs 8:15)

The Church is at a crossroads philosophically. To be determined is whether we believe that the Lordship of Christ is comprehensive, extending to all spheres and jurisdictions of life, or whether Jesus is Lord over our private lives but does not even want His people to declare His Lordship over this nation. We must determine whether it is our goal to acknowledge the God of the Bible, or just to join hands with the many gods of the world in common cause against “secular liberalism.”

We must determine whether He wants Christians to shelve the Bible in their public discourse and argue for general principles based on the consensus morality of the many gods of the world’s religions, be they satanic or occult, or whether we may boldly mention the name of Jesus Christ in the public square and proclaim the God of Christianity as the only true foundation of our laws and the only true God to be honored in our national landmarks.

We must decide if Messiah is THE King upon whose shoulders the government will be established, or if we are resigned to the ancient Roman notion that all gods are acceptable as long as none demand exclusivity.

One well-known writer has recently suggested that America has no claim to a distinctively Christian law system. In his view, we are a land of many gods. From his perspective, God actually wants there to be many gods running this country. He has even suggested that pluralism is “providential.”

As to the issue of what God has allowed, there is a sense in which this man is absolutely right. God has providentially allowed different influences to arise in our nation. This is providence. Providence refers to the Lord Jesus’ sovereign direction and control over His creation and man. God providentially directs all events. He is Lord over every detail of time, space, matter, and reality. He literally upholds the universe by the power of His word.

In another sense, this brother has made several key mistakes: First, he has wrongly concluded that, because God has providentially allowed evil to prosper, that therefore we are to work to maintain the status quo. Second, he has confused the claims of the many gods with the rights of Jesus Christ over our land. If every man in America was a raging Zoroastrian, Christians would still have to declare that our government is required by the higher law, as revealed in Scripture, to “kiss the son.” Furthermore, the fact that fewer Americans are Christian in the twenty-first century than in the nineteenth century does not mean that our distinctively Christian charters, common law, law systems, and covenants are null, void, or unenforceable.

Providence — there is a great mystery here that we may never fully understand. Though God is not the author of sin, yet he allows for sin and directs every sin and act of evil for His own glory. He is sovereign! So when somebody says that pluralism is providential, we may respond: “In one sense, yes. But only in the sense that the rise of the Nazi Third Reich, the death of Able, the boils of Job, the presidency of Bill Clinton, and the horror of 9/11 were also providential events.”

The fact that God allows and providentially directs even Satan himself does not mean that He approves of or will tolerate the behavior of Satan. Similarly, the fact that, providentially, many gods have emerged as “pretenders” seeking to displace the One True God from His throne as Lord over this nation certainly does not mean that we should declare the defeat of Christianity in America, and theologically, philosophically, and practically cop-out, capitulating to the claims of these false gods. Truth is not determined by majorities. Covenants, charters, and law systems are not rendered invalid by the fiat claim of the invading worshippers of false gods.

God has providentially allowed America to suffer for our sins. An evidence of this providential judgment is the surrender by Evangelical leaders of the rights of Messiah the King, in favor of their desire to sit at the table with the petty potentates who think they are running the show, and to give obeisance to the many gods of popular culture. These Evangelical pluralists claim that they can privately worship Jesus Christ, but that it would be wrong to mention His name in the public square or declare His exclusive Lordship over the nation, unless such references are merely historical that in no way, shape, or form are meant to imply exclusivity.

We must pray that God will providentially wake up our brothers in the Church so that they will no longer be ashamed of the Gospel when it comes to the history, leadership, and the laws of this land. We must pray that, instead of sounding retreat or making common cause with philosophies utterly foreign to Christianity, these men will once again earnestly call for our nation to acknowledge the God of our charters and our covenants and honor the faith of our fathers.

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place.’ (Isaiah 44:6,7)


5 Responses to “Christianity or Pluralism by Doug Phillips!”

  1. hkevinderr said

    An interesting post, and I will by no means suggest that Christians should ever endorse or embrace other gods. I will ask if we do think that God intends for the United States to be a Theocracy?
    I am firmly committed to the idea that the Church needs to be free of control of the state, and that the church is not to control the state. That does not mean that we as believers should not be engaged in the public square, but I ask if full participation in the governmental system does not conflict with professed faith. If we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven first and foremost, how can we in good conscience participate in secular government? Can we pledge ourselves fully to two bodies and never have conflict?

  2. qbaileys said

    I thought it was a very thought provoking post by Doug Phillips. You raise some great questions here as well. I have asked the same questions myself and go back and forth as to whether we should just let the politicos do their thing and we as authentic Christians work on the Kingdom of God…I believe we are first and foremost to obey God’s word…as long as our government is not against the word of God we should not have a problem with that, but we can listen and read each day that our government and many of the politicians today are moving far away from biblical truth. This is increasingly coming in conflict with my spiritual beliefs. This will most likely be the case from here on out until the end of time as we know it. So, to be fully pledged to two bodies I am not sure is possible. I do think further study is needed on this and look into how Christ acted while on earth. Thanks for you comments and questions.

  3. hkevinderr said

    Hi Scott,
    On this issue, I often come back to the example of Jesus. He did not try to reform the Roman empire, nor did he try to reform the Sanhedrin. I am becoming increasingly convinced that they way to transform a culture is not to deal with the present structures of power, but rather to do so by transforming people who live in a culture. To this end the church must take spiritual formation seriously and do it very well. But, for me then I’ve got to ask what about the present structures of power, can they be reformed, and are we to reform them? If I take the example of Jesus, I’m inclined to say no. But, as many have said to me, Jesus couldn’t vote, but I do ask, if he could have, would he have voted?


  4. qbaileys said

    I could not agree more. If you want to change the direction a government it is going be accomplished by educating people, transforming lives, and working through the church (authentic Christianity) to turn the hearts of the people back to God. A sincere devotion and love for God is what it takes. As people really have a devotion for Christ and the difference that makes in their lives it will change their attitude towards how they live, how they vote, who they vote for and eventually the makeup of the government will reflect that over time. I am not sure we will see a return to a more Christian oriented government as the end of time nears, but the very thought of changing a government from within the citizens of that country is the only way to accomplish the task with a solid foundation. This is where the church has failed over the years by not preaching the entire word of God and allowing God’s word to transform their lives rather than trying to force it into their lives. Over the past 50 years the church has not shown much love for the people, but a zeal for political power which may be further evidence that the church cannot change the political makeup of this country like that and sustain it…it has to be changed with the people. Right now I would venture to say that we have a godless government…some of the people in Washington are devoted, but a very small minority with little power. Concerning the failure of the church is an entirely different rant, but you get the picture.

    If Jesus could vote….I am really not sure if He would or not. I would tend to say “no” just because Jesus’ purpose here was not political…He was here to turn hearts towards God and what the government was doing really was of no interest to Him. He was far more interested in what the church was doing. I do think if He was walking the earth today as He was 2000 years ago He would be cleaning some temples out.

    Great comments Kevin….keep reading and walking the talk, thanks!

  5. Discourse requires subjectivity acknowledging itself as such, rather than as something more.

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