After the global-flood of Noah’s day God inaugurated the dispensation of human governance. Since that time humanity has contrived numerous systems whereby people would govern and be governed and mostly the effort has been one failure after another. Tyranny, fascism, and other forms of social oppression and exploitation quickly rise to the surface, with God-given liberty being the first casualty.
Skipping over the details, the bottom line is that humanity is totally incapable of a fail-safe, self-governance because even the best of men and the finest of civil systems inherit from one generation to the next, the defective spiritual chromosome called sin and sin touches and taints everything. Furthermore, the collective church fails at civil governance because though sin is atoned for by Jesus’ blood, the church consists of people with the sinful Adamic nature. It will take the Rapture of the church and the imposition of our glorified bodies for us to live without that dreadful nature. Going still further, God never has and does not today intend for the church to rule the world─Jesus will personally do that. And, it appears it won’t be very long until His coronation.
In the meantime what about our Republic, one of God’s great gifts to the entire world? Certainly we are (were?) different and far more accommodating to the human spirit of independence and self-sustainment than all others, but does this mean we can do what needs to be done in order to save the ship of state and at the same time make the world safer? What follows is why I believe we cannot, try as we might.
Interestingly, the Spanish Conquistadors went to South America to find gold, while the Pilgrims came to North America in search of religious liberty, specifically the practice of Christianity. The Mayflower Compact clearly reflected this intention and set the posture for what followed in our country’s history.
We have a document, the U.S. Constitution, that is the law of the land; a document so construed by our Founding Fathers as to support God-given liberty to its fullest degree. The Federal Government was cast into the form of a servant of the people; a servant that must be constantly held in check because our Founders clearly understood a federal government’s inherent inclination to subdue and dominate free people. Because they understood that humanity’s rights are unalienable and come from God and not any government, they formed a Constitutional Republic, not a pure democracy for they also clearly understood that democracies can very easily become tyrannical.
This great experiment in human liberty necessarily included the electorate’s endued right to choose its leadership and likewise its endued responsibility to throw them out when their agendas run contrary to the Constitution. Further, the right to make any final decision regarding any issue not directly addressed in the Constitution is retained by the people. Though not perfect, yet it was beyond good; it was the best in a very long line of humanly inspired governments.
But as is the case with every entity associated with human governance, it began to deteriorate. Not of its own determination, but due to its human administration. Because of sometimes felonious interpretations of the Constitution and the resulting immoral implementations we have arrived at the place where the Founders would scarcely recognize many aspects of what they created. The idea that our Constitution is a “living document” is anathema in the collective mind of a free people, for such an interpretation becomes the means by which despicable, liberty-destroying political worldviews become the law of the land. Thus, we are brought to our present circumstances.
Interestingly, when asked what kind of government had been created, Benjamin Franklin is reputed to have said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” A more realistic answer might have been, “A Republic, but it won’t last.”
Now, is that some sort of unpatriotic appraisal, unbecoming of any American whose idea of liberty and freedom from government intrusion is valuable enough to die for? No. It is the answer from an American, who like many others understands that the evil that lurks in the human heart undermines all mortal inspirations no matter how virtuous. As is the case with the human body or an artistic masterpiece, even the best of civil systems begins to degenerate soon after gaining life and is destined to be short-lived only to be replaced by something else. And regarding a Constitutional Republic, the only direction for it to go is down, humanly speaking, and the slope is slippery once the slide begins. And, it certainly has begun.
This has some major implications. For those who hate the historic American legacy it means the country is finally changing. The change-advocates believe America sticks out like a sore thumb in a world that must not only be globally connected, but globally assimilated. This is made easier because a number of American authorities no longer have nationalistic allegiances and have no reluctance at all about making our country “fit in.” An excellent illustration is the way some Supreme Court justices now insist upon having alien law and norms influence their interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
Among those who recoil at this development, there are two basic groups and they are distinguished by their religious worldviews, or lack of the same. The non-Christian secularists who believe in the American story are offended and angered by our country’s plummet into socialism. Their energy is spent upon stopping the slide. No stone is unturned and no opportunity is wasted in the fight. They see what is happening as an all-out war, the victor of which sets the agenda for an unlimited future. Since they have no hope beyond human initiative they fight as though this is all there is, and they struggle incessantly to preserve the best system of government ever conceived.
The other group is the Christians who also believe in the American story, who are also offended and angered, etc. But due to a knowledge of not only what is happening, but why it is happening and what is the end, we look for something far better than a Constitutional Republic. We look for Jesus to take us out…yes, we are escapists!
Further, we look for the coming theocracy. Seven years after the taking out the church when the Tribulation period ends, Jesus will take control of this world. King Jesus will rule with a rod of iron and will deliver on His promise for peace and liberty. The curse will be lifted, war will be no more, fear and danger of all types will be gone and we will be at His side enjoying this planet in the way it was intended. In short, we look for the Millennium (see Isaiah 11).
So, back to the present…Like our secular patriot friends, it is natural that Christians should want to do everything possible to stop the imposition of a godless, tyrannical template upon everyone and everything we do. The difference, though, is Christians do no see the struggle as an effort to preserve a humanly-inspired way of life, no matter how noble. They see the struggle as a delaying action; an effort to keep the dogs of tyranny at bay while using our God-given liberty to carry on our God-given mission of declaring the good news of salvation and the imminent return of Jesus to all who will listen. And, that is a very important distinction!
And what might we expect as the moment gets closer? A growing animosity toward those who see liberty as a gift from God, who believe in the Bible’s natural, clear and plainsense meaning, who believe God has not nor ever shall throw Israel under the bus, and who believe in the millennial theocracy. That belief system, that worldview─call it what you will, will continue to be painted as outmoded and irrelevant at best, and as a criminal and national threat at worst. Though unbelievable for many of us, that animosity is now coming from quarters many of us once thought of as the greatest guarantors of our freedom to practice our religion. Consider just one of many examples.
In 2008 U.S. Army Major Brian L. Stuckert wrote a thesis titled, “Strategic Implications of American Millennialism.” This paper was presented to the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies and the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Stuckert’s thesis monograph was approved by Col. Tim Challans, PhD, director. The CGSC is a military graduate school, and is the place where future general officers begin their serious grooming.
Briefly, Major Stuckert issued a warning regarding the terrible influence such Christians are having upon American foreign-policy, and basically recommended they not be allowed leadership positions in the military. Surprising to many, his opinions are shared by more in the government and in the military than most readers might realize.
There is one other thing about this growing malice toward “millennialists” that is disquieting. Not only are most Christians unaware of it, but at least some evangelical leaders are likewise ignorant. Recently, Major Stuckert’s thesis was brought to the attention of three evangelical leaders, all being doctors in their theological fields. One said he thought he had heard about it, and another stammered a bit, glanced at a copy and flippantly implied it was irrelevant. Only one admitted he was unaware of such an anti-God undercurrent in the U.S. military and said he wanted to read the paper.
What does all this really mean? Several things. It means some very bold changes are being made in the way America views her raison d’être, her reason for existence. Clearly, the dominant thinking of early America is being replaced by a godless, amoral and materialistic culture that is touching more and more areas of American life. It means many of us living in Mayberry have no idea of what is discreetly changing in the fabric of our Republic. And further, it is more evidence our great nation will be a non-player in endtime events, or at the very least an unimportant one. That means a comeuppance is heading our way; some kind of great tragedy is coming that will cut our legs out from under us.
Today if one wants to be accepted by the ranking political, military and religious aristocracy some rules must be followed: Just tow the line, simply forget the God-and-Israel thing, just do your religion for an hour on Sunday then forget about it for another week. Don’t take it seriously, and certainly don’t try to evangelize. Don’t bother people. Simply get on board with main-line, globally-correct religious thinking and you won’t have to worry about government harassment and estrangement from all the other religions. Things go more smoothly that way, you see.
This is hard to accept by many people because anti-Godism is just unprecedented in American history. Maybe like Pearl Harbor and the 911 Islamic attack were unprecedented. That same secular God-hating world sarcastically repudiates any mention of God’s judgment, for they believe such are the ravings of religious lunatics. Even some Christians refuse to see God’s hand in any of this. They refuse to believe that He will do very much at all regarding murder of the preborn, redefinement of marriage, the estrangement from Israel, obstruction of God-given liberty by bureaucratic fiat, etc. “Ain’t life wonderful and ain’t God good,” is their constant refrain as they blissfully ignore the gathering storm clouds!
We shall be forever grateful to God for the American Republic and her constitutional liberties, and we gladly pledge our secular allegiance to her. But this affinity must never be allowed to overshadow the fact that this planet is destined for Messiah’s rule. The world should learn to bow, for bow it will before Messiah Jesus─soon.