“Without the Biblical doctrine of God, a valid interpretation of the realm of history is impossible. It is the sovereign God who created the world, and by His creation brought history into being. In creation God gave meaning and purpose to the world. It is ONLY in this setting that man can meaningful interpret and understand history. In his understanding of the Trinity, Augustine furnished the Christian study of history with an insight lacking to classical students. The Trinitarian God in Augustine solved the problem of the one and the many in ancient philosophy and made history possible to a Supreme Being rather than to fate or chance. It is this Supreme Trinitarian Being who created man in his image, and thus conferred meaning and purpose upon human existence. History is not subject to the dictates of fate, which is neither the beginning nor end of the historical process, and which cannot give to it any purpose. In these doctrines, Augustine rescued historiography from the grip of the classical concept of determinism which could only render history meaningless and irrational.”
C. Gregg Singer
Christian Approaches; Philosophy / History – p. 28-29
Without a Sovereign God determining history and meaning, all man is left is history by impersonal fate or impersonal chance. Interestingly enough, when God is eliminated from Historiography then fate and chance together work as limiting concepts that provide the framework in which history is penned. So, despite the idea that fate and chance are opposites, fate and chance work together as two wash-women taking in each others wash off the line. Pure chance will finally slip into fate and pure fate will finally slip into chance.
All of this means that we must read history through a definitively Christian theological gird which means that we will come to different conclusions from historians who are not epistemologically self-consciously Christian. Historical events then will be for the Christian historian interpreted diametrically differently then for the non-Christian.
“You can never Christianize society. It is folly to attempt to do so. I would even suggest that it is heresy to do so. Man must be born again.
How can they live the Christian life if they have not become Christians? Good fruit can only come from a good tree, a good root; and the idea that you can impose a Christian life or culture upon non-Christian people is a contradiction of Christian teaching.”
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
1.) Of course this presupposes a pessimillennial eschatology. No one who was post-millennial would ever say such a thing. Pessimistic millennial views routinely pooh pooh the idea that Christ can be victorious in space and time history to the point that whole cultures and societies are so leavened with Christianity that they can genuinely be referred to as “Christian societies.” A Christian society does not mean, that every single person alive in that society is Christian but it does mean that Christianity has so leavened a society that the standards in that society (the expectations if you please) are informed by Biblical Christian categories.
2.) If one could never Christianize society, per Martyn Lloyd Jones (MLJ) then why preach the Gospel? It is simply the case that the successful preaching of the Gospel (as granted by God) will always lead to the Christianizing of society. How could the multiplication of countless conversions among one people group not lead to the Christianization of a society?
3.) The irony of a man who grew up during the last breaths of Christendom saying this is rich. The irony is furthered by the fact that he grew up in the British Isles… one of the places where God was pleased to breathe out Christian society.
4.) You see, this statement assumes that the preaching of the Gospel will always result in such a meager response that Christianity will never create a legitimately Christian society. It assumes that Christianity will always be a “back of the bus” religion as it pertains to its impact on social orders. It assumes that societies will always and forever be pagan societies. (What else can they be if they are not Christian?)
5.) Heresy to aim at Christian civilization? The Doctor at this point desperately needs a house call. Was Augustine heretical when he wrote “City of God,” which did more to Christianize Europe than anything ever written? Were Ulfilas and Patrick, and Boniface heretical in their work in Christianizing the Goths, Ireland, and the Germanic tribes? Were Clovis, Charlemagne, and Alfred the Great heretical for being instrumental in creating, politically, Christian lands and peoples? The Doctor’s statement is breathtaking in its denial of the history of Christianity. MLJ is suggesting that some of the grandest Christians ever were heretics.
6.) Of course individuals cannot live the Christian life if they have not become Christians. Did MLJ really believe that in order for a society to be Christian every single person without exception in that society had to be Christian? However, one can still have a Christianized society even if not all are converted. One can easily envision Christians capturing the levers of a social order and then moving that society towards a Christian ethos. As just one example, if Christians were able to leverage their influence in the law realm, they could bring to bear the the politicus usus of the law to the end that a society could run along a Christian world and life matrix when it comes to its criminal and statutory code. This would have the effect of Christianizing the society in an objective sense even if subjectively many in that society remained unconverted.
7.) The imposition of a religion upon a culture happens routinely in most societies. For example, the West was once overwhelmingly a Christian civilization but a handful of humanists were able to impose the religion of humanism on Western civilization. The same is true of Russia. Russia was once an Eastern Orthodox civilization and it had imposed upon it by a very small percentage of its Jewish population Bolshevism. MLJ is just in error here when he says, “the idea that you can impose a Christian life or culture upon non-Christian people is a contradiction of Christian teaching.”
The problem is that modern Christians, since the Enlightenment have lost their nerve. Having so redefined Christianity to be about the inward look that seeks to only slay individual peccadilloes it has lost the outward look to seek dominion in all areas of life in keeping with God’s standards. Christianity has largely become an effeminate religion and the Doctor’s quote reinforces that effeminate stance by wrapping it up in words like heresy and contradiction. There was a time when Christianity was masculine, outward looking, and dominion oriented. Men like Charles Martel, and John Sobieski, and Jean “Parisot” de la Valette had no problem defending Christianity as a civilization. Now Christianity doesn’t even want to speak in terms of Christian society or Christian civilization.
I love Lloyd-Jones. I have been significantly influenced by the man. I’ve read a large number of volumes written by him. I expect to shake his hand when I become part of the Church at rest. I am satisfied that he now knows how errant this statement was.
You think Rom 13 is the most abused passage of scripture these days, but I think the “Golden Rule” is a close second. Even worse, what happens when morons conflate the two like pastors arguing for masks. Why can’t this same argument be applied in favor of forced vaccinations and enforce quarantine? What is best way to rebut people who use “love thy neighbor” as passive-aggressive means for compliance on the matter of wearing masks?
Robert in Houston
I am going to answer your question by disemboweling this article below with its ridiculous assertion that if Christians really love their neighbor they will wear masks because that’s what Jesus would do. The guy who wrote the article is both a Pastor and an Ph.D. which explains his absolutely horrid reasoning skills.
By way of introduction, I am persuaded that we need to make the case that what they are calling love is hate and that our actions are indeed what is love. Those who are invoking the golden rule as the reason to wear masks need to have the same argument politely shoved down their pietistic throats. And that is not that difficult to do.
The “golden rule requires us to wear masks” crowd are the haters of their neighbors since masks don’t stop the virus. There are multiple studies out there that can be easily tracked down as done by professionals in their Medical fields that demonstrate that masks, as worn in a public setting, do not work. So, how can I be loving my neighbor when I am wearing a face covering that doesn’t protect them?
Rev. Doofus in the article linked above argues that even if masks are likely to be a means by which we re-infect ourselves we should still wear masks since we are to prioritize the health of others over our own health. But if the masks don’t work that makes this line of reasoning specious.
If masks really worked and were demonstrated to genuinely reduce the spread of the plannedemic I would support wearing masks. What Christian wouldn’t? But the fact is that
1.) This whole Wuhan virus narrative is skubala
2.) Masks don’t work.
Also, we must ask Rev. Doofus how far his argument goes in terms of doing things out of love for neighbor? Does love for neighbor mean that we are disobeying Jesus if we refuse to receive vaccines for our neighbors sake… for refusing the “necessity to contact and trace” thus surrendering our own privacy and the privacy of our neighbors … for refusing to go to FEMA camps built to house Wuhan infected … for refusing to let the authorities take our children out of our homes to keep them safe from Wuhan? How far does “love for our neighbors” take us in allowing the State to play the tyrant? Wouldn’t it be love for neighbor to say “NO” to all of this since a Tyrant out of control Government will end up hating on our neighbor more than we could ever imagine?
Has Rev. Doofus ever imagined that the State is taking advantage of his incredible naivete? What if the mask wearing was to induce our acceptance of future invasions? Is it love for neighbor to allow a series of invasions that incrementally grow the size of the State so that our neighbor’s liberty and well-being is threatened?
Contrary to Rev. Doofus I believe it is the very essence of love, in this situation to not wear a mask. Further, I believe that it is Rev. Doofus is the one that is being hateful towards his neighbor. By wearing the mask Rev. Doofus is reinforcing the panic and fear theme of the false Wuhan virus narrative. It is hateful to inclucate fear and panic in our neighbors. By wearing a mask Rev. Doofus is being hateful to his neighbor because by accepting the false Wuhan narrative virus he is by extension supporting the shut down of the economy. It is hateful to reinforce a narrative that shuts down his neighbors economy since by doing so Rev. Doofus is being spiteful to his neighbors who are being made jobless and potentially penniless from the the economic shut down. Has Rev. Doofus never read anything about the Great Depression? By wearing that mask Rev. Doofus is supporting a return to the Great Depression. Is that love of neighbor?
So, I can take all the Scripture that Rev. Doofus set forth in that link above and turn those passages on him to demonstrate that he is being anti-Christ like by hating his neighbor.
That article linked above is mortifying in terms of its embarrassment level. I can’t believe a Pastor could write such drivel never mind someone with a Ph.D.
Now some will complain of my “lack of respect” for calling this man “Rev. Doofus.” I do lack respect of a man who seeks to use God’s word so as to shame other Christians who don’t strap on masks. The man seeks to laden people with false guilt who have the ability to see through the fog of disinformation that he’s unable to see through. Why aren’t people accusing this chap of a lack of respect… for God no less?
The man needs to repent by writing another article apologizing for his previous density.
The origins of Memorial day lie in the North’s War Against the Constitution (1861-1865) as the first Memorial Day was organized by women of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga. These Southern ladies, in their call for a regional Memorial day on 26 April 1866, was not intended as a call for a nation wide Memoriam. Those women of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga. had no intention to remember the Union dead who had so ravaged their Southern land and who had raped and murdered across their nation. The call of the women of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga. was for a special day for “paying honor to those who died in defending the life, honor, and happiness of the Southern women.”
The choosing of that first Memorial Day (April 26) was chosen because on that day in 1865 Gen. Joseph Eggelston Johnston surrendered his Eastern theater troops following the example of Gen. Robert E. Lee doing the same in the Western theater on 09 April a few weeks earlier. The women of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga. chose the latter date as their first Memorial day since they did not want to choose a day that would be characterized by the inevitable gloating celebrations occurring in the Yankee nation North of them. Since the Southern ladies could not have 09 April as a reverential Memorial day date they chose to pause and remember their honored dead on 26 April.
The North’s reaction to this natural impulse to desire to honor their fallen slain was predictable given the consistent small-mindedness and behavior without honor which had been so consistently displayed towards the South for decades. Despite the fact that the casualty totals for the South were overwhelmingly disproportionate considered per capita vis-a-vis Yankee causalities the North had to go on record as being disgusted by memoriam being pursued by the South. Yankee General John A. Logan went on record, barely two months after the women of the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Ga. began their push for Southern remembrance of those men missing from Southern homes fumed at the audacity of “traitors in the South [who] have their gatherings… to strew garlands of flowers upon the graves of Rebel soldiers.”
Two years after Logan had the above described snit (another example of a Yankee with no honor) Gen. Logan as Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, the primary Union veterans organization, pouched the Southern ladies idea and issued a directive, that May 30 should henceforth be set aside for the laying of wreaths and flowers on the graves of the demonic Union dead. For decades the two nations would celebrate their own Memorial Days assiduously ignoring each other as their respective days rolled by. It was only after WW I, over 50 years later, that the South began to celebrate a shared Memorial day with the North all the while, still (to this day) several of the Southern states continue to officially commemorate Confederate Memorial Day.
That was Memorial day then. What of Memorial day now?
Being a student of history I can only bring myself to lament the necessity of such a day. I can only point out what the so called honored slain accomplished as being the muscle for Governmental humanist policy and what it effected. Because of that I can only with dignity remember the fallen Confederate dead from long ago. All other soldiers slain in America’s wars died serving the devil’s cause.
I know that sounds harsh. It’s meant to sound harsh with hopes that it will capture people’s “what the hell” response and press them to continue to read.
I’ve spent years reading around America’s 20th century wars and the conclusion is that they were each and all evil and advanced as seen through the eyes of a Biblical Christian the cause of Marxism at each turn.
In undergrad we were taught that 200 years from now, as the history books are written for schools, WW I and WW II will get one paragraph each. What will be remembered about the US role in WW I is that by our entry we destroyed Christendom in Europe and insured that the Communists would seize power in a nation state (Russia). What will be remembered about the US role in WW II is that by our entry we insured that Communism would take over half the globe and that tens of millions of people would be slaughtered by those communist Governments.
Come with me to Dresden the morning after the fire-bombing and tell me why I should recognize Memorial day. Learn your history on Operate Keel-haul and tell me again about honoring America’s fallen soldiers. See the emaciated and dying German “unarmed combatants” (previously known as POW but relabeled so we could more easily get around the Geneva Conventions requirements for the treatment of POW’s) put in Eisenhower’s death camps where upwards to One million of them died in those death camps. Come with me and view the morning after Hiroshima and Nagasaki… both nuked 6 months after they made surrender offers that ended up being the very same terms upon which surrender was finally accepted. Sit with me in the conferences at Teheran and Yalta and watch FDR turn over millions of people to suffer and die under Communist control. I’m sorry, this kind of criminal and demonic behavior by American politicians and soldiers leaves me cold and indifferent to recognizing Memorial day.
Can the work of America’s fallen sons in WW I and WW II be considered worthy of remembering on a Memorial day? Why should I not, instead, remember the honored dead that American soldier deaths made possible? What of the tens of millions killed by Lenin because of our entry into WW I? Who is remembering them? What of the tens of millions killed by Stalin because of our entry into WW II? Who is remembering them? These were unjust and evil wars that we had no business being involved in. American’s sons died for the advancement of wickedness of the highest order.
To be sure, America’s war dead were pawns in a larger game that they didn’t know was being played. To be sure, the wicked politicians of the respective eras will be held by a just God to be even more responsible for these wars than the Dough-boys and GI’s but America’s soldiers who died on the battle field will also be held responsible for their role in advancing Marxist wickedness across the globe and that even if that wasn’t their intent. To be sure America’s sons served with valor and bravery but it was valor and bravery for the wrong cause.
I cannot bring myself to remember the honored dead because I do not think they honored themselves in those wars. I cannot give any credence to Memorial Day because to do so — to get all weepy eyed and sentimental about America’s losses on the battlefield is to implicitly sanction the continuance of the a Political-Military complex that has been wicked for a very very long time. I do not want America’s sons (and now daughters) enlisting into the military in order to be the canon fodder that advances new American political-military wickedness.
And so I will continue to recognize Confederate Memorial Day. Those are men I can honor without having to bear dishonor for honoring them. They were fighting for the Constitution as originally written. They were fighting for their home and families. They were fighting for the last explicitly Christian social order — a social order we have not seen since Appomattox. I will not recognize a Memorial Day that recognizes American fallen sons as they sought to expand the designs of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.
Happy Confederate Memorial Day.
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be [a]done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been [b]freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, [c]reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Too often this passage is approached to on a subjective, experiential manner and so is appealed to as an existential event in the life of the individual believer. It goes something like, “I gave my life to Jesus and when I did that I was united together with him in the likeness of His death, with the promise that I shall one day be resurrected with Him and so I count myself dead to sin but alive in Christ. This is my testimony.” While such a reading is not completely errant there is another way to read the passage that perhaps is more accurate. What if the Apostle is teaching here in Romans 6 that it is the corporate body (the Church) as the body that was crucified and resurrected with Christ? What if St. Paul is speaking here of eschatological realities and what he is saying, as inspired by the Spirit, is that the Church as the Church, because of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ (see Ephesians 2:6) is now living in the eschatological “age to come.” Because we are living in the eschatological age to come (with a fuller fulfillment yet ahead) we are a people (as the Church) who can live increasingly as dead to sin as a controlling agent in our lives (as we did when we were united to Adam covenantally) but alive to God in Christ.
This reading of this portion of Romans is a covenantal reading that requires us to understand that the Church as the body of Christ is in the New Creation (II Cor. 5:17) right now because of the Redemptive work of Jesus Christ. This reading has a much more objective status then the reading that concentrates on the individual believer. There are certain realities in the Church that are objectively true because of the finished work of Jesus Christ and the Church’s union with Him in that work. Because of the Church’s union with Christ in His finished work we have been translated from the Kingdom of darkness (our former eschatological status) and have been translated into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son whom He loves. The Church as the body of Christ was united to Christ so that in his crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and session the Church itself currently experiences the eschatological realities which are true of Christ in such a way that while “not yet” having all that is to come we genuinely have a foretaste of what is not yet in the fullness of the “now” that we have been given as united to Christ. The Church has what the Old Testament saints could only long for and that is the “nowness” of eschatological Kingdom life. The Church lives in the eschatological inauguration of the Kingdom.
Too often the contemporary Reformed church because of its refusal of the eschatology that teaches this (Vosian amillennialism which finally found a way to be consistent and so become postmillennialism) to often lives like it remains in a Old Covenant position of the saints waiting for the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. Too often the modern Reformed Church lives as if they remain in the epoch of the “not yet,” forgetting that with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ the “now” of the Kingdom has dawned upon us and that the Church, living in the inaugurated now, is God’s new humanity living in God’s new creation, enjoying the fruits of His triumph. Right now, as the Church, we are living in the New Jerusalem commissioned to expand the borders of that age to come community so that the present Kingdom of God covers the earth as the waters cover the sea. And all this because in being united to Christ and His work of Redemption we are His conquering agents of redemption.
We often claim Romans 6 as true for us individually (and it is) but we don’t reckon ourselves alive to God in our Lord Jesus Christ as those who are prophets, priests, and kings under sovereign God together as the Church come of age. Instead we reckon ourselves to be like the OT saints who were still waiting for the fullness of all those realities that Christ ushered in by bringing in the Kingdom. Alternately, if we do reckon ourselves alive to God in our Lord Jesus Christ we sterilize the meaning of that phrase by saying that such reckoning is “spiritual,” or only “personal” and so gnosticize the text.
If we have been already now raised with Christ (Eph. 2:6) then we as Christians should expect to rule now with Christ over the nations. Our ambitions should be global to the end of embracing Warfield’s post-millennial universalism – the expectation that all men will bow to Christ with the current nations being delivered as nations to become outposts of the Kingdom of God.
Anything less is dereliction of duty.