A fellow pastor wrote a Facebook response to my column last week, which was entitled, “Our Friends Are Killing Us.” In the column I wrote, “By the same token, how long are Christians today who say they believe in the Second Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) going to keep sending their tithes and offerings to these churches where the pastors refuse to publicly resist these draconian gun control bills such as were recently introduced by Obama and Feinstein? How long are they going to keep filling the pews of these do-nothing churches? As long as these say-nothing pastors see their pews and offering plates full, don’t expect anything to change.
“I will say it plainly: if you attend a church and didn’t hear your pastor oppose the Obama/Feinstein gun control bills from the pulpit earlier this year, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THAT CHURCH. The only thing holding this republic together is the people’s right to keep and bear arms--especially semi-automatic rifles with large-capacity magazines. By refusing to resist evil, your pastor has become an enemy of liberty. 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?”
See the column here:
Our Friends Are Killing Us
In response to my column, the pastor posted these remarks on a friend’s Facebook page: “A pastor's call from God has nothing to do with fighting for any liberty guaranteed by any human government or document. I will fight and die for our Constitution, but that has nothing to do with my call as a pastor, that is my responsibility as an American, not a pastor. Nor is it the responsibility of any pastor in that calling. We are called to only one form of liberty, and it is not so frail as that offered by any human government. The liberty we are called to proclaim is the liberty that was purchased by the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, at Calvary, the only liberty which can never be taken nor infringed. While I support the author's passion and personally speak out defending the second amendment, he is absolutely wrong to accuse men of God of being enemies of liberty simply because they do not engage publicly in the fight for the second amendment. He clearly does not understand the spiritual calling responsibility of a pastor.”
Readers should readily recognize that this pastor demonstrates he is totally ignorant of Natural Law or he could not have said what he did. Unfortunately, it has been the better part of a century since seminaries, Christian colleges or universities (not to mention State schools and colleges) have taught the principles of Natural Law. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of today’s pastors share the sentiments of the pastor above.
The pastor suggests that, except for the soul’s spiritual freedom at salvation, all liberty is something given by government. He is wrong. Liberty (including the Natural right of self-defense) is given by God.
While most of America’s founders were Christians, not all were; but to a man, they understood the basic God-ordained principles of Natural Law. According to University of Houston political science professor, researcher, and historian, Don Lutz, the four most quoted sources of the Founding Fathers were (in order):
1. The Bible
3. Sir William Blackstone
4. John Locke
Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England were, without a doubt, among the most influential writings upon America’s founders. In his commentaries (second section), Blackstone said, “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as the rule of his conduct: not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. This principle therefore has more or less extent and effect, in proportion as the superiority of the one and the dependence of the other is greater or less, absolute or limited. And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker's will.
“This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”
In that same second section of his commentaries, Blackstone further said, “This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other--It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”
One can easily discern the influence of men such as Blackstone upon the men who penned our Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson (the principal author), Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. Listen to the Declaration:
“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
See how Jefferson founded the Declaration of Independence upon “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” Furthermore, America’s Bill of Rights is simply a foundational treatise respecting the Natural liberties that God breathed into man at Creation. Virtually every amendment in the Bill of Rights has its root in Holy Scripture--and that includes the Second Amendment.
Please understand that every “right” granted by God also entails a sacred duty. If God has granted men the right to life and liberty, He has also demanded of them a duty to protect life and liberty. From the earliest examples of Holy Scripture we see these fundamental tenets of Natural Law.
Before human government existed, God cursed the world’s first murderer. God then commanded the progenitor of the human race following the Flood (Noah) to protect human life by the pronouncement, “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6) Then again, hundreds of years before Moses, the man Abram rallied to the defense of his family in Genesis 14 by taking up arms against the “kings of the nations,” after which he brought the tithes of the spoils of war to the High Priest Melchizedek, who in turn blessed Abram for what he had done. And the Book of Hebrews tells us that Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ. If one were to remove from the Scriptures the examples of men and women of faith who fought for the Natural right of life and liberty--and who resisted those that tried to deny it--I dare say he or she would delete at least half of the entire Bible.
I must assume that this pastor has never read Blackstone or Locke or Hugo Grotius, et al. Listen to Grotius, “[Natural Law] may be called Divine also. And here may take Place that which Anaxarchus said, as Plutarch relates in the Life of Alexander, (but too generally) that GOD does not will a Thing because it is just; but it is just, that is, it lays on under an indispensable Obligation, because GOD wills it. And this Law was given wither to all Mankind, or to one People only: We find that GOD gave it to all Mankind at three different Times. First, Immediately after the Creation of Man, Secondly, Upon the Restoration of Mankind after the Flood, And thirdly, Under the Gospel, in that more perfect re-establishment by Christ. These three Laws do certainly oblige all Mankind, as soon as they are sufficiently made known to them.” (Grotius, Hugo, The Rights of War and Peace, Book One, Print, Liberty Fund, Pages 164-166)
The pastor said he was willing to “fight and die for our Constitution,” but he is unwilling to preach the divine Natural Law principles upon which our Constitution (including the Second Amendment) are based? Such is the height of ignorance and inconsistency.
Furthermore, whether he realizes it or not, the pastor’s stated philosophy is identical to that of the doctrine of “two spheres,” which was commonly taught in Germany’s churches under the Nazi regime. Hitler’s government instructed Germany’s pastors and churches to teach Romans 13 as requiring Christians to always submit to civil authority. It was taught that Christ has sovereignty over men’s hearts in the spiritual realm, but civil government has authority over everything else. This is exactly what the pastor is saying when he says, “We are called to only one form of liberty, and it is not so frail as that offered by any human government. The liberty we are called to proclaim is the liberty that was purchased by the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus, at Calvary, the only liberty which can never be taken nor infringed.”
To say that we are only called to “one form of liberty,” meaning the spiritual liberty of the heart produced by a soul’s spiritual redemption, the pastor is relegating all other forms of liberty to the dominion of civil government. Whether he realizes it or not, the pastor is preaching the Hitlerian doctrine of “two spheres.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the doctrine of “two spheres” is blasphemous and heretical. "All authority is given unto me," Jesus said. That means all human authority is subservient to His authority. When men (even pastors) cede to human government the sovereign authority of Jesus Christ, they have become idolaters--whether they realize it or not.
God’s men throughout history (Biblical and Ecclesiastical) have been the most outspoken opponents of the evils of civil government at every level. One cannot read virtually any book of the Old Testament without reading the stories of courageous champions of God who defied and resisted civil authority when that authority became oppressive and illegitimate. And, remember, the New Testament says that the Old Testament was written for our “learning.” (Romans 15:4) Are we New Testament believers to learn nothing from over 4,000 years of Biblical Natural Law teaching in the Old Testament? Do you mean to say that today’s passive and compliant pastors are more spiritual than the prophets Micaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel? Are they more spiritual than Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? More spiritual than Gideon, Barak, and Jephthah? Are today’s pastors who refuse to say anything controversial in the pulpit, who delight in offending no one, who have, for the most part, become the pathetic pawns of government more spiritual than Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, John Robinson, John Peter Muhlenberg, James Caldwell, or Jonas Clark?
And I also must assume that the pastor doesn’t take Jesus literally when he COMMANDED His disciples to buy a sword even if it meant selling one’s clothes in order to afford it. (Luke 22:36) If that doesn’t make the right and duty to keep and bear arms a divine mandate, I don’t know what does.
And remember, too, that the sword Jesus told His disciples to buy was the same sword that the Apostle Paul said that civil government bore in Romans 13. Jesus was not talking about a pocketknife, folks. He was talking about the most sophisticated, efficient self-defense tool known to man at the time: the Roman sword. For us in modern times that would be the equivalent of an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the gift of liberty (in all of its forms) is as spiritual and godly as the gift of physical life or the gift of spiritual salvation.
Besides, does not the New Testament teach that everything a Christian does is spiritual in nature? Is a Christian not performing a spiritual work when he or she gets a job to provide for his or her family? Is he or she not performing a spiritual work when they sit around a table and partake of the provision and fellowship of the home? Is a Christian not performing a spiritual work when he or she protects their little ones by locking the doors at night or installing an alarm system or arming themselves against an intruder? Are we only spiritual when we are at church or when we are reading the Bible? Is not everything a Christian does thought to be spiritual? How then can pastors omit the Natural Law duties and responsibilities that God intends to govern our entire lives from their preaching and teaching? Does not the Scripture say, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel”? (I Timothy 5:8 KJV) The Apostle was speaking specifically about children providing for a widowed mother, but does not providing in the general sense include protection as much as it does provision? Therefore, can we not say that being capable and willing to protect our families against harm and danger is just as spiritual as putting food on the table or clothes on their backs? Regarding this verse, the famed Bible scholar, Albert Barnes, said, “According to our measure, we are to anticipate what will be the probable needs of our families, and to make arrangements to meet them.” Certainly, the “probable needs of our families” includes physical protection. You mean to tell me that this pastor is not going to preach this truth of the Gospel from his pulpit? How dare he not? Pastors MUST preach the Natural Law principles of liberty in order to fulfill their divine calling.
In my column last week I said, “If you attend a church and didn’t hear your pastor oppose the Obama/Feinstein gun control bills from the pulpit earlier this year, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THAT CHURCH. The only thing holding this republic together is the people’s right to keep and bear arms--especially semi-automatic rifles with large-capacity magazines. By refusing to resist evil, your pastor has become an enemy of liberty. Wittingly or not, he is helping to put the chains of slavery around the necks of your children and grandchildren.” I think this pastor proves my point.
(c) Chuck Baldwin
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