Archive for the ‘American History’ Category

A recent article in GodFather Politics bemoans President Obama’s Islamic sympathies and recent actions in an article entitled, “State Dept. Recruits Jihadists to Join Foreign Service.”

In what can only be described as a mind-boggling policy move, the State Department recruited Muslim participants at a conference sponsored by groups with ties to radical Islamists to become members of its foreign service.

This Administration’s blind trust of radical Islamists has led to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere … Much has been written, outside the mainstream media, about the infiltration of the Obama Administration by the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly at the State Department, where Clinton’s top aide had undisputed family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  With the White House delivering F-16s to the radicals in charge of Egypt even as it tries to disarm Americans, it’s clear the wolves are in charge of the hen house.

BLOG comments call on Congress to “do something,” evidence of a prevailing Christian conservative MYTH:  that government is able to police and somehow purge Islamic influences because America “was founded as a Christian nation.”

MythBusters conclusion:  Congress can do nothing.  This report is very disturbing, but it should be no surprise and is the inevitable outcome of the Constitution’s pluralistic First Amendment.  Congress hands are tied because the First Amendment forbids it from interfering with the “free exercise” of religion.” Islam, Taoism, witchcraft and virtually any other religion are all perfectly acceptable under our godless Constitution.

The First Amendment is a direct violation of the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  The United States Constitution directly contradicts Biblical law on this and at least 75 other points and is thus in direct competition with the God of the Bible.

If we were functioning as a Christian nation the right to hold public office would be contingent on an oath-bound covenant to govern by the law of God.  God’s perfect “law of liberty”  (James 1:25; 2:12) is the only source of true justice.  All competing law codes, including Sharia, Talmudic and atheistic humanism, are tyrannical and would be banned.

But again Article VI (par. 3) of the U.S. Constitution forbids any such religious test oath in direct contradiction to the Bible:  “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The Bible is full of such religious test oaths.  One good example is Ex. 24:3 where “Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!’”

Many of the anti-Federalists understood this from the beginning, but most American Christians still don’t have a clue.   “An anti-Federalist in North Carolina wrote:  ‘The exclusion of religious tests is by many thought dangerous and impolitic….Pagans, Deists and Mahometans might obtain office among us.’ For another North Carolinian, David Caldwell, the prohibition of religious tests ‘constituted an invitation for Jews and Pagans of every kind to come among us’” (Isaac Kramnick, The New York Times, 1994).

All proposed laws would be tied directly to the Bible in a Christian nation.  The Massachusetts Body of Liberties did exactly that.  Numerous death penalty provisions of its penal code quote chapter and verse from the Pentateuch for their authority.

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But God’s law is considered too harsh for the ears of modern Christians, let alone modern humanists.  So they invent theologies to dismiss its abiding validity.  In the New Testament we are supposedly no longer under the law.  True for justification, but absolutely false for sanctification, both individual and political.

God’s law is and always has been the standard for righteousness and that fact should delight the heart of every Christian (see Ps 19 & Ps 119).  If God’s law encoded in Exodus 20-23 does not delight your heart, then its time for a theology-check.

At least some of the anti-Federalists understood this. They were the true American patriots for resisting the godless U.S. Constitution.  The Federalists were false patriots.  Our founding Federalists sowed the wind of Biblical antinomianism and now we their posterity are reaping the whirlwind.

The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are like Jeroboam’s two golden calves, set up to replace the worship of Jehovah and substitute a man-made law.  Why didn’t God’s people recognize and repudiate those golden idols?  For the same reason Christians today don’t recognize and repudiate the Constitution and Declaration for the idols they are?

We must recognize them for what they are and repent to God by formally renouncing the godless U.S Constitution as individuals and churches.  It is our only hope.  Calling for a return to these documents is like a dog returning to its vomit.

Case Closed:  If we refuse to judge these idols, God will continue to judge us by means of them.  God will inexorably break the back of any nation that formally rejects His law in a document such as the U.S. Constitution.

Obama and Islam are the modern day Babylonians, God has sent this foreign invader to judge His lawless people.  Like Israel of old Christian conservatives insist on railing against and resisting God’s rod of discipline without first returning to His law.  They demand their supposed inalienable rights at the same time rejecting His law and their responsibility thereto.

The only relief will come with formal repentance from our covenant-breaking founding documents.  America was founded as an allegedly neutral, and thus anti-Christian nation in 1787.  Jesus said he who is not for me is against me.  Christians need to repent of that rebellious act immediately in formal ceremonies of repudiation, repentance and return to the law of God.

A good first step would be to sign the “Confession of Guilt and Petition for Forgiveness in the Matter of Our Forefathers’ Ratification of the United States Constitution”.  Study the material on that site and our HistoryMythBusters main site.

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It is unfortunate, but true that the failures of Christians are sometimes used as an excuse to reject Christianity.  Paul wrote, “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,….” (Rmn. 2:24).

Related to this are those who point to the Puritans’ aborted attempt at applying the law of God to their culture in order to condemn those advocating for the law of God today.

A fairly recent example is “Notes on Christian Reconstructionism – Roots of a New ‘Christian’ Inquisition?” by Biblical Discernment Ministries.  This essay used the Puritan massacre of the Pequot tribe in the Connecticut River valley to condemn modern efforts to apply the law of God in American culture.  The following excerpt is typical:

“…. the Puritans were the direct forerunners of today’s Kingdom/Dominion/ Reconstructionist heresy. The Puritans believed that they were carrying to America true Christianity as decreed by God, especially as written in the Old Testament. They believed too that they were on a divine mission to America, a place specially appointed by God to be the “New Israel,” a theocratic “city upon a hill.” The Puritans viewed themselves as God’s special people, replacing national Israel, and that the American Indians were the “new Canaanites.” The fruit of the Puritan’s theology was brutal. They saw their mission as convert these “Canaanites” to Christianity, or slaughter them in the name of Christ. For example, the Puritan massacres of the Pequot Indian tribe on May 26, 1637, and again on July 14, 1637, were deemed by the Puritans to be directed by God — Captain John Mason declared, “God laughed his enemies and the enemies of his people to scorn, making them as a fiery oven … Thus did the Lord judge among the heathen, filling the place with dead bodies” (Segal and Stinenback, Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny, pp. 111-112, 134-135). “Converting the pagans for God was acceptable to the Puritans, but killing the pagans for the Lord was also acceptable!”

Myth:  Puritan abortive attempts to apply the now defunct law of God illustrate why it is so dangerous to attempt any application of the law of God to modern governments.

When MythBusters first accepted this case we didn’t know what to expect.  We had heard rumors of Puritan alleged atrocities toward the Indians, but didn’t have any details.

We noted initially that the excerpt above ignores the possibility that the Puritans may have been engaged in a “just war” prosecuted to avenge repeated Pequot atrocities.  Many if not most historical critiques downplay this possibility, but there is one at least by historian Clayton Cramer which suggests otherwise.

Puritan Failures to Conform

to Biblical Law In Civil Government

 Nonetheless, however just the war may have been, the Puritan prosecution of it appears to have ignored the restraints on “total warfare” imposed by passages such as Deuteronomy 20:10-16.  This passage forbids slaughter of women and children and wanton destruction of property except in the special case of those in the land of Canaan at the time of the original Israelite invasion.  This could have contributed to the Puritan Declension.

This is not the only instance of the Puritans’ falling short of the Law of God to which their government was formally committed.  For example, the MythBusters investigation found these unbiblical provisions in the Abstract of the Laws of New England, penned by John Cotton in 1641:

  • A tax on property in Chapter III, paragraph 3, which is a denial of private ownership.  Part of this went to the salary of the local pastor, who typically was headmaster of the local public schoolhouse:  “By the yearly payment, first, of one penny, or half a penny an acre of land….”
  •  Wage and price controls in Chapter V, paragraph 3, which is a denial of the free market and restraint of trade:  “…to set reasonable rates upon all commodities, and proportionably to limit the wages of workmen and labourers….”
  • A system of jurors untrained in Biblical law in Chapter IX, paragraph 3, which cannot be found in the Bible:  “The jurors are not to be chosen by any magistrates, or officers, but by the free burgesses of each town….”

It is unfortunate that an otherwise excellent effort to apply the Law of Moses to a modern legal system, contains these fundamental assaults on human liberty, also contributing to the Declension.  This code became the model for many of the other colonies.  These seemingly harmless compromises at the very foundation of the nation have devolved incrementally to the grossest perversion in the modern public school system.

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MythBusters also identified some other examples of unbiblical government policy on the part of the Puritans:

  • Restrictions on immigration, contrary to Biblical law concerning “strangers” (Puritan Economic Experiments, p.10).
  • Implementing a state welfare system, contrary to the Bible’s system of “poor laws” (Ibid., p10).
  • Laws requiring church attendance and payment of a tax to support ministers, contrary to the Biblical separation of church and state (The Guise of Every Graceless Heart, p.76).
  • A tariff levied on prosperous peddlers in response to the complaint of larger merchants (From Puritan to Yankee, P.113).

 Puritan Declension Confirms the Law of God

All of these problems with Puritan government no doubt contributed to the declension of the Puritan’s Holy Commonwealth during the 17th Century.  But does this prove the danger of any attempt to base a system of civil government on the law of God, as asserted in the opening excerpt from the article by Biblical Discernment Ministries?

On the contrary, the Puritan Declension serves as a verification of Biblical Law found in Deuteronomy 28 and elsewhere.  This passage confirms the judgment of God on nations in history for their submission to His law, or lack thereof:

“Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth…But it shall come about, if you will not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you” (Dt. 28: 1,15).

Case Closed:   The puritans did many things right in conforming their government to the Law of God.  They modeled most of their Law code on the law of God and required their elected officials to swear allegiance to God in enforcement of His perfect law of liberty.

Unfortunately, they also failed to apply, or misapplied the Law of God in many instances, which no doubt led to the gradual declension of the Biblical Commonwealth.   Rather than disproving the abiding validity of the Law of God for government, The Declension confirms the authority of His law in the providential judgments associated with disobedience.   MythBusters Rating:  Red Flag to Biblical Discernment Ministries for failing to discern the permanent authority of God’s law.

With the best of intentions our Puritan forefathers set foot on the shores of New England determined to become a Shining City On a Hill – an example to the world.  Yet before the 17th Century had run its course the Holy Commonwealth was as good as dead.

Although the Puritans did many things right, they did enough fundamental things wrong to exclude the blessing of God on their enterprise.  But what?  What did they do or fail to do?  It is incumbent on us to learn from their errors in order that we might “get it right” the next time God provides an opportunity to build from the ground up.

This is the first in a 3-part MythBusters series exploring the fatal errors of the Puritans:  1) covenant errors, 2) economic errors, 3) political errors.  The Puritan’s most fundamental error is found in a place you might least expect it.  It is found with the Puritan children.

Myth:  Children of believers should be excluded from the Lord’s Table until they have matured to the point of being able to examine themselves.

MythBusters noted first that Abraham is the father of our faith.  God’s covenant with Abraham included His children.  “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant to be God to you” (Gen. 17:7).

The Testimony of Scripture

This being the case, we surmised that God’s covenant with Abraham would demonstrate how He expects believers to treat the children that are providentially born into their families.  Circumcision, the sign of covenant initiation was given to Abraham (Gen. 17:10) and Passover, the sign of covenant continuation was given to Moses.  Children participated in both.  MythBusters looked carefully at the Old Testament and arrived at the following summary points:

1) Infants were circumcised without any knowledge or faith. They were thus branded by the Father as included in the covenant He made with Abraham (Gen 12). This was the ordinance of covenant initiation, signifying God’s choice, rather than man’s.

2) The youngest children — boys and girls — shared in the Passover meal without any knowledge or conversion experience. Exodus 12:24 clearly states that, “you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.”  God used the Passover as a teaching aid to nurture their knowledge and faith, when He instructed the youngest son to ask his father what this rite meant to him (Ex. 12:26). Growing up children were treated as believers and assumed to be believers until or unless they apostasized. Their faith was grounded in God’s promise to Abraham, whether or not they experienced a religious conversion.

3) Adult converts to the faith were circumcised as adults (e.g. Shechemites of Gen. 34). Thus, the Old Testament gives us both “infant circumcision” and “believer’s circumcision.”  This carries over in the New Testament as “infant baptism” and “believer’s baptism.” Both are Biblical depending on the situation.

Why would God change in the New Testament, we asked?  Did God suddenly realize that He had been doing it all wrong in the Old Testament?  The answer seemed obvious, but we decided to dig deeper into history.

The Testimony of History

A survey of church history revealed that many churches practiced paedo-communion until the appearance of the Romish doctrine of transubstantiation prior to the Reformation.  At that point laymen started to shy away from handling “the very body and blood of Christ.”

Tommy Lee in “The History of Paedocommunion:  From the Early Church Until 1500″ quotes one scholar who summarized the evidence at hand by saying that “it is now well established that in the early days of Christianity it was not uncommon for infants to receive Communion immediately after they were baptized.”  Even John Calvin, who was adamantly opposed to paedocommunion had to admit that “this permission was indeed commonly given in the ancient church.”

MythBusters concluded that the Puritans were obedient to step 1) above in that they baptized their infant children, baptism being equivalent to circumcision (Col. 2:11,12).  However, they departed from the Biblical pattern, point 2), by refusing to let their children participate in the communion meal, formerly called Passover.  This was the halfway covenant.

This communicated to the boys and girls that they were not part of the kingdom of God until they had an experience that would satisfy their parents. This practice directly contradicted Jesus’ command to “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mk. 10:14).

Cultural Implications of the Halfway Covenant

By this hindrance the Puritans drove many of their children out of the covenant and into an unbiblical “halfway covenant” in which they were baptized, but not permitted to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Instead of Salvation being God’s choice and baptism being His brand on His children, the emphasis in the halfway covenant shifted to man’s ability to describe how he chose God and what that experience felt like.

The Puritans paid a steep price for failing to do it God’s way, as Jesus warned.  “And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea” (Mk. 9:42).

Not allowed to simply rest by faith in the promise God gave to their fathers via Abraham, many of the children in the halfway covenant never experienced an emotional “conversion” that would pass muster with their parents or the congregation.

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Under the halfway covenant the entire congregation had to vote their approval of every conversion experience, the vote often preceded by a questioning period.  This democratic procedure is the hallmark of the Congregational denomination.  Rather than run this spiritual gauntlet, many young people gradually drifted out of the church and out of the Holy Commonwealth.

Thomas Lechford in his “Plain Dealing; or News from New England, stated that, “…some are so bashful, as that they choose rather to go without the communion, than undergo such public confessions and trials, but that is held their fault.”  [Quoted by Terrill Elniff on page 63 of “The Guise of Every Graceless Heart.”]

The Halfway Covenant was formalized when the children of the second generation were born. The question arose: should these third generation children be baptized?  It was formalized by a synod of 17 ministers in 1657 and then…..

“The general court of Massachusetts eventually intervened in 1662, summoning a synod of churches to decide the issue once and for all. After a long debate, the Halfway Covenant was established. A person could be a voting member of the church and community simply by being baptized. One no longer had to exhibit proof of Christian conversion. And as long as a person’s children were baptized and of legal age, they could vote, too.” 

By refusing them the Lord’s Supper in the halfway covenant, the church alienated its own children and drove them away from its nurturing arms.  It led to gradual separation of people from the authority of God in the church.  As instructed implicitly by the church, they regarded themselves as autonomous individuals fully capable of choosing how they would approach God and everything else in life.  As they were weaned away from the church by the halfway covenant, they looked to other institutions to fill the vacuum, civil government in particular and democratic participation in its process.

Conversionism is preoccupied with discerning the work of God in children.  It places the hope of salvation in experience rather than the Word of God.  This effects us in every way possible because the covenant is all encompassing.   Conversionism grounds salvation on individual human experience.  Consequently, an individualistic, sociological outlook on life takes hold by which the young person interprets reality and evaluates political claims.  Rights rather than responsibilities move to the forefront; what God demands, rather than rights is central to the covenantal approach..

This explains why so many Christian young people today are falling away from the faith. Surveys indicate that as many as half leave the church after graduation from high school.

In the formative years they were “hindered” by their parents from inclusion in the kingdom of God, contrary to the promise of God and the command of Jesus. In many cases they are denied both baptism and the Lord’s Supper, even worse than the halfway covenant.  Is it any wonder that so many fall away.  God told the Philippian jailor to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house” (Acts 16:31).

Case Closed:  MythBusters concluded that the practice of excluding children of believers from the Lord’s Table until they are able to examine themselves is based on a dangerous myth.  The implications of this myth extend far beyond the four walls of the church into every nook and cranny of the culture.  Because of this practice many Christian children are driven out of the church never to return.  God’s requirements for adult converts cannot be applied to the children of believers.

Christian conservatives are fond of telling us that America’s federal form of government means that power was originally decentralized under the Constitution.

Or at least it was divided more or less equally between the three levels of government – Federal, state and local.   According to Christian conservatives, somehow today power has accumulated in the Federal government and we need to get back to the founders original intent of state’s rights.  For example, a recent article on Political Outcast asks the rhetorical question, “Since When Are We the United State of America?”

“The original plan for this country was a federal, not Federalist plan.  It emphasized local government as the most important government for the individual.  That plan took a slight detour with the Declaration and the Constitution, both of which included populist language ( as if the national government could or should interface directly with ‘the  people’), but, in effect, civil government even then was generally decentralized – local.”

Myth:  the federal government established by the founding fathers in 1788 was designed to reserve most of the power for state and local levels of government.

The first sentence in the quote above is a bit enigmatic since the plan was in fact written and approved by what soon became known as the Federalist  Party.  But the key issue in our MythBusters investigation appears in the last sentence, “…in effect, civil government even then was generally decentralized – local.”

Most Christian conservatives at the time of ratification didn’t see it that way.  Patrick Henry estimated that nine tenths among the Virginia “yeomanry” were against the proposed Constitution.    Among the leadership, the anti-Federalist Party quickly arose to challenge the assertion that power was decentralized under the new government.

Patrick Henry emerged as a key anti-Federalist leader.  MythBusters examined the 24 speeches that he delivered at the Virginia Ratifying Convention in opposition to the proposed United States Constitution.  Henry presented many cogent arguments to support the thesis that the states were delivering unprecedented power to the national government.

In response to the question, “Since When Are We the United State of America,” Patrick Henry would emphatically tell you, “Since ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788!”

National, Not Federal Form of Government

Michael Minkoff states that “now we live under a national government that dictates to the local governments what they will and will not do and even taxes individuals directly….”  Notice it is stated as if this were some startling new development.

All of the evils that Mr. Minkoff complains of in the Political Outcast article were predicted by the anti-Federalists during the ratification debates.   Nationalism is inherent in the “we the people” formula of the Preamble.

Patrick Henry argued that “the people” were not the fit instruments for creating a government, this is the province of states.   But since “the people” as a mass were invoked, the government they created is of necessity a consolidated, national government.   The state legislatures were illegally bypassed, above the indignant, even anguished  protests of the elected state representatives.

The people have no right to enter into leagues, alliances, or confederations,” said Henry, “they are not the proper agents for this purpose.  States and foreign powers are the only proper agents for this kind of government (June 5, 1788).

Patrick Henry recognized the national character of the U S Constitution from the beginning, unlike today’s Christian conservatives.  “But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire.”

Contrived Crisis Creates Change

 Henry complained that an imaginary crisis had been contrived to transfer all of the substantial powers of government to the national level.  In particular, the power of the purse and the power of the sword.  He drew a contrast with England where “the sword and purse are not united…in the same hands as in this system.” (June 14).   The surrender of the militia to an all-powerful central government left the states defenseless.

Unlike today’s Christian conservatives, Patrick Henry expressed a literal hatred for the proposed constitution and every one of his dire predictions if it were ratified has come to pass, including two levels of oppressive taxation, an imperial supreme court, a bloody civil war within 100 years and an incredibly dangerous treaty clause.   The elastic clause and the general welfare clause give the feds everything else.

That’s not to mention the spiritual problems with the document. “We the people” replace God as the ordaining authority in the preamble. The stipulation that the Constitution itself and all subsequent human laws shall be the supreme law of the land, not the law of God. The rejection of any spiritual qualifications for holding public office. Tyranny is by definition rule apart from the law of God — the “perfect law of liberty” (james 1:25).

Case Closed:   The mere presence of the federal structure (multi-tier) does not guarantee freedom at the local level.  The structure of a federal form of government may be in place and all the power still be concentrated at the national level.  That is precisely what happened to America with adoption of the Constitution of 1788.

The Christian conservatives assertion that any substantial power was retained at the local level is a myth.  It is a bromide held out to the masses to create in them the illusion of liberty.

It was the esteemed George Washington who cautioned against entangling alliances in his Farewell Address to the nation in 1796.

It is therefore ironic to see 21st Century conservatives, those who claim greatest kinship with Washington, typically voicing the strongest approval of America’s unending overseas military exploits.  The father of our country is often quoted, but seldom emulated when it comes to a position of neutrality in foreign affairs.

This issue surfaced recently in Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate on the Republican ticket.  This was presumably to energize his campaign by appealing to TeaParty conservatives.  What exactly was it in Paul Ryan’s record that would presumably appeal to Christian conservatives?

Joel McDurmon laid it out clearly in a recent article about Paul Ryan on the American Vision News site.  Ryan is all for preserving and expanding the American empire and will make the office of Vice President once again “a nest of neocons.”

MYTH:  America has a long record of going to war only when necessary to preserve freedom for herself or an ally.

Curiously it is Christians who are  particularly vulnerable to this myth.  The tide of patriotism runs high in many Christian homes.  Christian families have no qualms about their sons serving in the U. S. Marine Corp in particular, indeed are usually bursting with pride to tell of it.

Occasionally the term “just war” is thrown out as a standard, against which to evaluate a military operation.  What is a just war?  If we knew the answer to that question, we would be in better position to evaluate America’s foreign policy.   Such a war is fought according to Biblical principles of warfare.

1)      First and foremost a just war is defensive in nature.  Multiplying horses (offensive weapons) was among the three things that God forbade the Israelite kings to do (Dt. 17:16).  A MythBuster’s investigation concluded that America’s track record is less than exemplary.  For example…..

  • Civil War:  Lincoln refused to meet with a southern peace delegation and goaded the south into firing the first shot at  Fort Sumter which gave him a pretext to invade the South.  Lincoln was frustrated by the South constantly complaining about import taxes, ironically collected at Ft. Sumter.
  • Spanish American War:  A mysterious bomb explosion in the battleship Maine was all the pretext Teddy Roosevelt needed to liberate the Cubans from the barbaric Spaniards.  Barbaric at least by Hearst yellow-journalism standards.  Meantime, Admiral Dewey “liberated” Philippines from the Spanish in the Battle of Manila Bay.  U.S. ground forces subsequently made them an American protectorate, in spite of Filipino preference for not being  protected.
  • WWI:  In spite of German warnings, American shipping plies waters in sub-infested war zone.  Sinking of Luisitania gives Wilson all the pretext he needs to enter the war and lead the drive for one-world government during peace negotiations afterward
  • WWII:  FDR goads Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor giving him all the pretext he needs to enter the war and lead the drive for one-world government during the peace negotiations afterward.
  • 9-11:  Twin Towers of World Trade Center in NYC are brought down allegedly by two jetliners.  The government’s official version of events has so many holes it would sink in a bathtub.  Subsequent security measures prep American population for police state tactics at airports, etc.

2)      A just war is non-interventionist.  Josiah was one of Israel’s best kings, but his life was sadly cut short by an act of foreign military adventurism.  Josiah intervened in a quarrel that was not his own and paid with his life (II Chr 35:20-25).   Thus, the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Force does not pass Biblical muster.

3)      A just war could involve temporary alliances even with non-Christian nations to counter an act of aggression.  Abraham teamed up temporarily with pagan kings to rescue his people, but refused a permanent alliance (Gen. 14).

4)      A just war is not waged against civilian non-combatants (Dt. 20:14).  Sherman’s march of pillage from Atlanta to the sea under the direction of Abraham Lincoln was an easily avoided atrocity.  His objective was to destroy southern culture.

5)      A just war does not involve wanton destruction of life and property.  Allied bombing of civilians at Dresden and Hiroshima/Nagasaki during WWII were barbaric and unnecessary.  God commanded his people not to cut down the  fruit  trees when they laid siege to a city (Dt. 20:19,20).

6)      A just war is prefaced by an offer of peace (Dt. 20-10-15).  When Judah laid siege to a city they were to offer terms of peace.  Lincoln spurned such an offer and baited the South to fire the first shot at Ft Sumter.

7)      A just war is not fought to control by force a geographical/cultural entity that desires independence.  Lincoln’s waging war against the South, who had peacefully seceded was unbiblical.  When Israel seceded from Judah, God told Rehoboam to let them go (I Kg. 12:24).

8)      A just war against a tyrant must be led by a duly ordained lesser magistrate, not a revolutionary mob.  We see many examples of this in the book of Judges.

Case Closed:   MythBusters concludes that the majority of America’s foreign wars – past and present — are in violation of most of these principles.  A large offensive  force of almost 1,000 military bases is currently maintained overseas and U.S. forces are frequently employed to enforce globalist objectives on subject nations.  “American leadership” is a euphemism for domination.

Christians should refrain from voluntary participation lest they be found guilty of partaking in the sins of the nation.  They should appeal to local magistrates for relief as outlined in the Apolitical Pastor series in the July Archives.

The church of the Puritans was a dynamic force in society.  Men and the rulers of men looked to the church of our forefathers for guidance in the conduct of public affairs, indeed in every arena of life.

In those days the Kingdom of God was a culture-wide phenomenon known as Christendom.  The Puritans held that Church and state were independent institutions, but both were subject to God.  The church taught the magistrate the requirements of God’s holy law, but did not dominate.

But something happened in the Great Awakening of the 1740’s that changed all of that.  Unlike the Puritans the itinerant preachers typically set up their pulpit outside town in the open countryside, symbolically declaring that the Kingdom was beyond the concerns of organized society.  Little effort was made to team up with the established church in the community.

Moreover, the message was limited to a personal call for individual conversion with no challenge to the convert’s devotion to the idols in the culture.  Thus, it was possible for a person to have a personal salvation experience without embracing the implications of Christ’s kingly reign in the wider social context.  People could be born into the kingdom without growing up to become productive citizens within the kingdom (Christendom) like the Puritans.

Instead of using the law to convict the sinner of his wretched standing before God, more often than not the message was along the lines of “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”  A psychology of persuasion was employed, which drowned out the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in the soul.

These problems were especially acute in the Second Great Awakening just after the turn of the Century.  Unfortunately, they have persisted to the present day and have been perfected in the methods of the great crusade evangelists.

MYTH:  A renewed crusade in personal evangelism and proclamation of the “simple” gospel is the only thing that will save America at this desperate hour.

That is the message being promoted online by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) at the present time.  Here is the message in its entirety:

“IN [JESUS’S] NAME THE NATIONS

WILL PUT THEIR HOPE” (Mt 12:21NIV)

            If you live in the typical American community–with 100 average neighbors–here’s   the reality: 7 of your neighbors struggle with depression, even contemplating        suicide; 7 abuse or are addicted to drugs or alcohol; 8 are struggling with      unemployment; and 60 don’t profess to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.

            The picture is bleak, but there is hope. Jesus Christ can transform lives that are       burdened with fear, insecurity, uncertainty, and pain and offer joy and peace, now          and for all eternity. By signing this declaration, you stand with Billy Graham in          proclaiming that our nation needs this Good News.

            In November 2013, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Christians across the U.S. and Canada will host My Hope with Billy Graham, a            massive media and friendship outreach, to proclaim the Gospel. Submit the form          on the right, and we’ll send you updates on this outreach and other ways we are             sharing the lifesaving message of Jesus Christ.  I will join you in declaring, “I          have hope for America because of Jesus Christ.”

We’ve been here before.  In the 1970s a nationwide “I found It!” crusade was launched with similar goals.  Results were anemic.  With all due respect, we would point out that the above is an appeal to personal peace and prosperity.  As such, it is a man-centered appeal.  It says nothing of the broken law, the offended Deity, the neglect of Biblical justice that has provoked the judgment of God on America.  These themes were characteristic of the Puritans and the prophets (Micah 3:1,5,9,11).

The verse Dr. Graham quotes is addressed to the nations, but his appeal is the same exclusively personal, pietistic approach that we have heard for years.  It completely neglects the Kingship of Christ over the nation and the broader realm of Christendom.  Moreover it does not address the sins of the nation or its leaders, as did the Puritans.  Our MythBusters’ investigation found that the Bible presents a more comprehensive message in both Old and New Testaments.

The Old Testament Gospel Was Not Strictly Personal

The preaching of the Old Testament prophets was not strictly personal.  Men of God throughout the Bible addressed their message to the sins of the nation and its leaders, not just the individual.  For example, the Prophet Micah called the rulers in Israel to repentance with these words, “Hear, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel!  Is it not for you to know justice?  You who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people….” (Mic. 3:1,2).

The Melchizedekan ministry of Christ is pictured in both Old and New Testaments as priestly and kingly.  In Genesis 14:18 we are told that Melchizedek was both “priest of God Most High” and “king of Salem.”  In Hebrews 7:2 we learn that the name Melchizedek translated means both “king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace.”

Christ is both Priest and King.  Thus, any presentation of the gospel that fails to set forth the cultural peace flowing from the kingly ministry of Christ is a truncated gospel.  Unlike the so-called “social gospel,” the work of Christ on the cross is central to the comprehensive gospel preached by the Puritans.

The New Testament Gospel Is Not Strictly Personal

Mary’s magnificat announcing the birth of the Messiah in the New Testament was not strictly personal.   Mary began with a declaration of the “good news” that “His mercy is upon generation after generation.”  (Lk 1:50), but the thrust of her message was the social-political impact of the kingly reign of her Son.  Already with His advent, He has “scattered the proud,” “brought down rulers,” and “sent away the rich empty-handed.”

A gospel message that does not include the kingly ministry of Christ over men and nations is incomplete.  A strictly personal gospel message is a truncated gospel message.  A truncated gospel message is an inaccurate gospel message.  An inaccurate gospel message is but one variety of “another gospel” that Paul denounced in Galatians.  Men will respond to a comprehensive gospel, whereas crusade evangelism has contributed to the feminization of the church.

Martin Luther, a forerunner of the Puritans, left us these words, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.  Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle field besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Case Closed:  The ineffectiveness of crusade evangelism is remarkable, although not generally known.  Studies have shown that only a tiny percentage continue on with the Lord (cf. Ray Comfort).  Dr. Graham has no qualms about sending those who do respond back into the liberal churches from whence they come to be devoured by spiritual wolves among the leadership.  MythBuster Rating:  For this reason the BGEA is assigned the MythBusters’ red flag warning.

More of the same is not what America needs at this critical hour of national judgment.  Needed is a comprehensive gospel like that of the Puritans that sets forth the claims of Christ in all of life and culture, not just the life of the individual soul.

The crusade evangelism model focused exclusively on the individual cannot be found in Scripture.  It is a huge diversion of time and resources.  Our resources would be better expended on the “Adopt A Politician” program described in the “Apolitical Pastor” series elsewhere on this BLOG.

If every evangelical pastor were to adopt one politician in their town or city and share the whole counsel of God, the battle would be won.  That is the Biblical model pioneered by John the Baptist in the New Testament.