Brothers are supposed to be allies; they are supposed to be friends. This is true for spiritual brothers as well as physical brothers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, brothers become enemies.
Think about it: in our War for Independence, brother fought against brother. How many Christians sided with the British Crown and raised voice and bayonet against their brothers in Christ who stood for American liberty and independence? More than we can possibly count. How many Christians were among the British troops that participated in the Boston Massacre? How many Christians were among the British troops that participated in the raid on Lexington and Concord? How many Christians were among the British troops that participated in the assault against the colonists (many of whom were Christians) on Bunker Hill?
The same thing happened in the War for Southern Independence. How many Christian men in the North took up arms against their spiritual brethren in the South for basically the same reason that Christian Tories took up arms against colonial patriots years before: to forbid them from declaring independence. Too many to count. How many Christians were among the troops that invaded Virginia and assaulted the citizens of that State (a sizeable percentage of whom were believers) in the First Battle of Manassas? Again, too many to count.
As an aside, I find it more than interesting that great spiritual revivals broke out among the Confederate Army throughout the War for Southern Independence in much the same way that they had erupted among the Colonial Army during our Revolutionary War. One could make the argument (and I do) that it is the thirst and fight for liberty and independence that almost always coincides with great spiritual awakenings. Therefore, I am absolutely convinced that there will be no more spiritual awakenings in this country without a subsequent thirst and fight for liberty and independence, because “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Cor. 3:17) Turn that verse around and it says, “Where liberty is, there is the Spirit of the Lord.” The antithesis of the verse would read, “Where there is no liberty, there is no Spirit of the Lord.”
Think about what happened in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. The vast majority of Christian pastors and churchmen turned against their freedom-loving brethren in the Confessing Church and helped Hitler’s henchmen and stormtroopers to persecute, imprison, and even murder fellow followers of Christ. The historical record indicates that 95% of the pastors and churches of Germany supported Hitler and openly opposed Christian freedomists such as Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Niemoller and hundreds of others wound up fleeing Germany, while Bonhoeffer and hundreds of others were executed by the Reich.
How is it that so many professing Christians can be so blind to the divine principles of liberty? How is it that they can be so quick to turn against their brethren who choose to stand and fight for those divine principles of liberty? I believe the answer is because, 1) they are truly ignorant of the divine principles of liberty, and/or, 2) they are statists at heart.
1) They are ignorant of the divine principles of liberty
Without courageous preachers and teachers expounding, explaining, exegeting, extrapolating, and elucidating the Biblical Natural Law principles of liberty, Christians (as with anyone else) become quickly dulled and unschooled in liberty principles. The great examples of Abram, Gideon, Samson, David, Daniel, the three Hebrew children, John the Baptist, Simon Peter, etc., are spiritualized away without the principles behind those acts of faith and resistance being the least bit taught, and without any practical application to the modern day. This kind of preaching leaves men totally ignorant and unprepared to understand and deal with modern acts of tyranny when they occur. And this is exactly what is happening in the pulpits and churches of modern America. But it gets even worse than that.
Not only are Christian ministers deliberately not teaching the divine principles of liberty, they are aggressively misinforming their congregations with erroneous teachings of Scripture relative to freedom principles. And nowhere is this more evident than in the way the vast majority of ministers are teaching Romans 13. This brings me to the second point.
2) They are statists at heart
Let’s face it: the fallacious “obey-the-government-no-matter-what” interpretation of Romans 13 is one of the biggest allies any would-be tyrant has. This was perhaps Adolf Hitler’s favorite passage of Scripture. He instructed his propaganda ministry to prepare sermons and Bible lessons for Germany’s churches emphasizing this misinterpretation of Romans 13. Accordingly, the vast majority of Germany’s Christians compliantly submitted to Hitler’s authority, specifically because they had been taught in church that Romans 13 instructed them to do so. They literally believed that by obeying Hitler, they were obeying God. They truly believed that Hitler (the state) stood in the place of God per Romans 13. All over America today, pastors and churches share this identical belief.
Readers should know that I recently co-authored a book (with my son) to show the true teaching of Romans 13--and all Scripture--regarding submission to government. It is called, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission.” For more information, or to order, go here:
Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission
In reality, the vast majority of America’s pastors, TV preachers, radio preachers, ministers, evangelists, etc., are promoting the Hitlerian philosophy that the state stands in the place of God and must be obeyed without question or hesitation. They believe that anyone (Christian or otherwise) who dares to resist the state is doing a disservice to God and should be punished. And with the clever enticement of the 501c3 non-profit corporation status that most churches submit to today, they have become, either wittingly or unwittingly, the sheepish slaves of the state.
Look at how many Christians believe that whistleblower Eric Snowden is a traitor and enemy of America. Instead of realizing that what our own federal government is doing by creating this Orwellian surveillance society is blatantly and overtly unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral--and that every church in America should be sounding the clarion call repudiating this unlawful activity--instead, America’s churches are blaring the call of compliance and non-resistance to unlawful government, even to the point of calling for the death of the man who simply tried to warn the American citizenry to the evil machinations of their own federal government. I am convinced that many of these Christian statists would applaud the imprisonment and execution of the likes of the great Christian theologian and freedomist Dietrich Bonhoeffer all over again.
Ladies and gentlemen, the chasm between freedomists and statists is widening. It is pitting brother against brother; husband against wife; father against son; mother against daughter; friend against friend; and Christian against Christian. In much the same way that the great struggles for liberty have divided brethren in the past, so, too, it is happening today. And the chasm is only going to widen further in the months and years to come.
And mark this down: as the chasm widens, there will be no room for neutrality. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will have to pick a side. We either believe and understand the divine principles of liberty and are ready and willing to fight and defend those principles, or we support the tyrant’s position that the state stands in the place of God and must be obeyed at all costs.
This is why it is so important for Christians to leave these churches that promote the damnable doctrine of unlimited submission to the state; and I mean right now. Pastors who continue to preach this fallacious doctrine of unlimited submission to the state are facilitating the destruction of liberty in America. They are helping to put shackles around the necks of our children and grandchildren.
I realize that there are many sincere Christians out there who believe that all their pastor and church must do is preach the Gospel, win souls, etc., and America will be healed. They are sincerely mistaken.
Over the last 60 years in America, we have seen an explosion of Christian witness--an explosion unparalleled in church history. There are over 300,000 churches in this country. For the most part, Baptists faithfully preach Baptist doctrine; Methodists faithfully preach Methodist doctrine; Lutherans faithfully preach Lutheran doctrine; Presbyterians faithfully preach Presbyterian doctrine, etc. Yes, I realize there are schisms and disagreements internally among Christian denominations. And, yes, I realize that some Christians reading this will retort that if everybody else’s church was as “true” as is their church, America’s problems would be solved. Again, they are wrong.
Over these past 60 years, we have seen more Gospel preaching, more Gospel literature, more Christian colleges, universities and seminaries, more Christian TV and radio ministries, more youth retreats, couples retreats, marriage retreats, Sunday Schools, missions organizations, evangelism programs, ad infinitum, than at any time in church history. And, while many of these institutions and organizations will differ on the nuances of secondary doctrine, for the most part, they have shown fidelity to the Great Commission. With all of this Christian witness, one would think that we would be in the Millennium by now (and, yes, I realize that some Christians think we are). So, why is America teetering on the brink of despotism?
During this same period of time, America has plummeted morally, socially, culturally, politically, and, yes, spiritually. Why? The “salt” has lost its savour and is being cast out, and trodden under foot of men. (Matt. 5:13) Christian pastors and churches are no longer fighting against the decay and decomposition of our country--including against that political and spiritual bacteria that are eating away at the fundamental principles of liberty upon which America was built. As a result, our nation’s freedoms are being systematically and rapidly expunged.
For all intents and purposes, freedom and liberty are entering a modern-day Dark Ages. And just as in the ancient days of Middle Eastern and European persecutions and inquisitions, those Christians who stand for liberty today are being ostracized, marginalized, and demonized--by their own brethren. More and more, the same man who is my brother is also my enemy.
(c) Chuck Baldwin
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