We have a friend at church who always goes about wearing a shirt–golf, button-down, you name it–silk-screened with the Ten Commandments on the back. (We really think he needs to embroider his better shirts.) He isn’t a marginal type of fellow, really; he is a successful businessman and his family is very prominent and successful in our church. But his idea is that, until America “comes back to God,” he will wear the Ten Commandments. (He’s also trying to sell the shirts as well.)
One of the things that liberals used to teach in schools is to think rationally. Part of rational thinking is in defining terms properly. What do we mean when we post the Ten Commandments in public places, let alone on the backs of our shirts? What is our real objective? How we respond to such things depends on the real answer to such questions.
We have our own idea as to why it’s good to post the Ten Commandments. For everybody else, the answer depends on how you look at it.
For the Freemason, the Ten Commandments, like any other religious artifact, is strictly symbolic of some higher truth. That’s one reason why our country has taken such a casual attitude towards the display of religious items in a secular state. Many in leadership in the U.S. have traditionally been Masons, and in the Lodge the Bible, along with the Qu’ran or whatever other holy book or artifact they might like to put there, are pure symbols of the “religion beyond religions” that Masonry claims (and then obscures its claim) they have, a religion which in itself may be purely symbolic. So setting up the Ten Commandments on public property isn’t a big deal.
For the liberal, the Ten Commandments represent a patriarchic, homophobic and theistic way that they are trying to rid the country of. Moreover like the Islamicist, liberals see setting up such things as a power challenge to them, to be eradicated at the earliest possible opportunity. One evening I expressed a similar opinion to a Christian, a Ten Commandments activist, and his reply was, “It’s (control) the issue for them.” But it’s ultimately the control issue for everybody, at least in a secular sense.
For the Christian, things have been a little more fuzzy.
Most Christians say that they want to see the U.S. come back to God, but most are not adept enough (a good Masonic term) at politics to understand the road one must take to get at that conclusion. They feel that things have been better for Christians in the past, that the society in general more perfectly reflected their values, and they long for a return to such a state. At one time Christians were content with the force of shared values in a country without an established church, but the growth of government and the agressive attack of the liberals have dislodged a great deal of that content, and we have seen a decidedly theonomic bent in Christian thinking coming to the surface in this decade.
So what does the Bible say about this? Last year we wrote a piece entitled If You’re Going to Take the Land Take It, where we contrasted the decidedly mild idea of “taking the land” current amongst Christians and modern Israelis with the brutal, complete destruction of the enemy that that ancient Israelis were commanded to do and that modern jihadis are attempting today. Although the Ten Commandments are an important document for our conduct–if nothing else, even Karl Marx admits that capitalism started with “Thou shalt not steal”–the fact is that the Commandments are simply the cornerstone of the entire Jewish law enumerated in the rest of Exodus, continued in Leviticus, completed in Numbers, and reiterated in Deuteronomy. Once this law giving was complete, the command was given to take the land, and that conquest was a military one.
This leads us to but one conclusion: if you want to impose the law of Moses, you’ll need the army of Joshua, and that army isn’t a spiritual one either.
Liberals will immediately jump on this and say that Christians are a threat to the state. (Caught in Dzerzhinskii’s Dilemma, their response may not be as definite as their rhetoric.) But before we let liberals jump off the cliff on this one (maybe we should let them jump off the cliff!) we need to make two statements on why a violent solution to this problem is unacceptable.
The first is that our Founder, Jesus Christ, made it unacceptable to take this course of action. This is what separates Christianity from Islam and, in reality, Judaism as well. Jesus Christ came to change the human heart at a time when Judaism was looking for a political solution to their problem. This is why most Christians’ thinking is “fuzzy” on this issue. Christianity–and evangelical Christianity in particular–has not gone far enough down the road of becoming a form of Monarchic Judaism to shake the memory of a Founder who forstalled his disciples’ questions about the re-establishment of the Jewish state and ultimately allowed himself to be nailed to a cross by the collusion of the secular and religious authorities of the day. Perhaps, in this regard, the thinking of American Christians is more Biblical than some of its leadership.
The second is that revolutions in the modern world inevitably start out to free people and end up enslaving them. The dreary succession of Marxist revolutions tops the list, but in every case revolutions turn tyrannical because their tightly organised vanguards become dictactorial. This is a central fact that the milita movement never got a hold of; it is why we cannot support it.
So where does this leave us? It depends which side of the issue you’re on.
Liberals need to realise that they’re dependent upon Christians and other conservatives to keep them out of the clutches of the jihadis. Liberals have a great deal more to lose than Christians with the triumph of radial Islam. As we noted before, people won’t die for the right to party, and that’s just about all that liberalism has to die for. Demoralising large portions of the population can also lead to the same result that the Roman Empire experienced when Islam made its early meteoric rise, i.e., the sour mood of the people as a result of the endless demands of Late Roman bureaucracy led to the welcoming of the Muslim conquerors. And the first ones were, in many ways, more enlightened than the group we’ve got today. (Roman Britain went through the same kind of “throw the bums out” mood, ultimately with disastrous results.)
Christians, more than anything else, need to grasp the simple fact that their exaltation of the state as an instrument of righteousness (which the New Testament doesn’t really support) only throws the focus of the church into an arena it was not created to operate in. Moreover doing this only legitimises the coercive activity of the state, which plays straight into the hands of liberals. Christians need to understand that, while we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the number one objective of the church is to make disciples. Any political activity needs to be geared to preserving the freedom of the church to do just that. Recent events have shown that the church’s mission has social value; if Christian people are properly oriented to live as Jesus Christ intends for them to, both the social and eternal missions of the church will be fulfilled and the world will know that God has sent us.
And, as Bossuet used to say, if the world knows that God has sent us, the world will be converted, which is the liberals’ worst nightmare.
We have reached the point where both sides have some hard choices to make. To be frank, knowing that triumphalistic Boomers dominate the leadership of both sides in the U.S., I am not optimistic that there will be a happy result for either side. But since this is a Christian blog, my message to my fellow believers is clear: Christians are going to have to decide that they are either real Christians or just latter day members of the tribe of Judah with an inside track to eternity. If they choose the latter, it would be a tragedy, because they will figure out sooner or later that the only road to theonomy is trod by the army of Joshua.