Mr. Bret: One thing I forgot to ask? Do you really think preaching against ideology is more important that preaching forgiveness of sins?
I think when forgiveness of sins is preached it should also be preached that people must repent, (it’s been my experience that those two always go together) and always what they must repent from is their sinful wrong thinking about God (their ideology if you please) that drives their aberrant behavior. Preaching the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus is preaching that God will forgive man for being ideologically opposed to God and His Christ in all of his thinking. Now, certainly some people are more epistemologically self conscious about their god hating ideology and hence it is far more formalized, but in the end all men who desire the forgiveness of sins must repent of an ideology that has them seeking to de-god God, in the interest of investing themselves with godhood.
So, Mr. Darryl, in the end I don’t draw a dichotomy between preaching against ideology and preaching forgiveness of sins. I figure that people need to be aware that their sinful thinking is standing between themselves and God’s abundant and gracious forgiveness.
So, could you lend some insights in how it is you preach forgiveness sins apart from repenting for hostile thinking against God?
Mr. Darryl wrote,
In your search for an oppositional church, I guess you’d also pass by the churches established by Christ and the apostles. There was, as you well know, lots of bad theology informing the civil order of first-century Palestine. For some reason, Christ and the apostles decided not to oppose Rome’s civil religion but instead taught submission to the powers that be. Of course, the one power to which they took exception was the theocracy of Israel, which also separated powers among the priests, the elders and the king, but did not separate the kingdom of grace from the kingdom of justice.”
Mr. Bret responds,
I could only hope I would be brave enough to be a member of those early Churches where many were martyred for treason and sedition. You do recall those early Martyrs right? Those early martyrs understood all the bad theology informing their civil order of the first century and they went to the nub of it by refusing to burn a pinch of incense to the Emperor and saying “Caesar is Lord.” You see Mr. Darryl they were being ideologically driven by their commitment to Jesus as Lord, and they understood that Lordship to have implications in your “common realm.”
St. Paul understood well the necessity of not allowing the bad theology informing the civil order to infect the Church. This is why he could write, “Be not conformed to this World,” and also, “We take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.”
As only God is absolute, only our submission to God is absolute. Nowhere in Scripture is absolute submission taught to be extended to anybody but God in heaven above. Our general principle is to honor those in authority but the submission that comes with that is not absolute.
Finally, as I’ve said now countless times, I’m all for distinguishing the Kingdom of Grace from the Kingdom of justice. I’m just not for divorcing and compartmentalizing them. That’s far to radical and its not Biblical.
Thanks for the follow up question Mr. Darryl.