The Gathering Storm: Church Control and Capitulation!
September 23, 2013
Winston Churchill wrote in The Gathering Storm, the first of his six volume set dealing with World War II, of the dark, foreboding storm clouds that began gathering over Europe following the end of World War I and the Versailles Treaty that was supposed to protect Europe against Germany’s future rearming to again threaten Europe. The free world’s failure to oppose Hitler and hold him to the treaty resulted in the world’s biggest bloodbath with the killing of about 80 million people!
Because of the failure of America’s Christians to impact the culture and impress upon the Supreme Court a sense of decency and law, we are about to see the equivalent of a world war: the clash between the nation and the churches. When the nation and faith have been in conflict, American Christians have often modified their faith rather than confront the authorities. This is not the time to modify anything. It is a time for courage, commitment, and confrontation.
Recently the U.S. Supreme Court declared, contrary to thousands of years of almost unanimous belief, that same-sex “marriage” was constitutional. Well, ifeveryone agrees that it is constitutional, it is a convoluted, controversial confrontation with a holy God who spoke authoritatively long ago. Moreover, all dedicated Christians who are more concerned about offending a sovereign God than offending pathetic pompous politicians and judges will disobey that illogical, illegitimate, and illegal ruling.
Here is one citizen who, on the first day it becomes illegal to preach that homosexuality is an abomination or that Islam is a politically protected religion, will preach on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court (or declare on a national television talk show) that the U.S. has overstepped its bounds and is a rogue government. Resistance may mean persecution, prosecution, and prison so I’ll have my toothbrush with me since I may be dragged off to jail. Maybe Christians should “fill the jails” in civil disobedience as they are obedient to the Bible.
Preachers and church leaders have been bowing before the golden calf of tax deduction for many years and the idolatry must stop. While no church should ever pay a tax to a government (since a sovereign never pays taxes to another sovereign), the personal tax deduction is not a biblical principle. Some churches have already repudiated their 501 (c) (3) status and are continuing without problems. Many nations don’t permit citizens to deduct gifts to their churches when figuring taxes and that policy hasn’t harmed churches. In fact, it liberates church leaders from bowing before the golden calf. Let’s stop all, and I mean all, tax deductions for all charitable (religious and secular) giving! No Christian should give because of a tax advantage anyway.
The Chinese philosopher Confucius (551-479 B.C.) and some of his disciples were expelled from one state and traveled to another, and came upon a woman weeping beside a newly dug grave. Confucius asked her why she wept, and she told him that a tiger had killed her husband, father-in-law, and now her only son. Confucius asked why she lived in such a dangerous place, and she replied, “Because there is no oppressive government here.” Walking away, Confucius told his disciples, “My children, remember that oppressive government is worse than a tiger.” That is one time that what “Confucius say” iswhat I say. Governments in Canada and the U.S. are getting more and more oppressive.
I’m not surprised at the arrogance of Canadian and American politicians and judges, but I am surprised at their lack of shame. Proponents of such laws strut through government buildings wearing jackboots and Canada and America are only a goose step away from the formation of miniature Mussolinis who will try to control all churches. Even those who reject 501(c) (3) will not be safe for long.
An old dog may not learn new tricks but a dedicated Christian can and should learn to do right rather than wrong. It’s a matter of the will not the mind. Maybe our failure is a result of a faulty mind and a feeble will.
No, church leaders must not always obey intrusive laws and it is time to fill the jails in peaceful protest. Like the Disciples in Acts, we must obey God rather than man.