Ps 19:10 tells us of the law, testimony, precepts, commandments, rules, and fear of The Lord…”More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”
I am hearing frequently from bystanders of current events, culture, and politics, that Americans have never been more polarized in their opinions. This cliche is echoed on both sides of the so-called liberal/conservative divide. If the confessing church of Jesus Christ was applying the law of God to American life with anything close to the comprehension, sobriety, affection, confidence, and preeminence that David’s writings exemplify, I might be inclined to agree. As it stands, we fall short of encouraging the disciplines necessary for Biblical jurisprudence and sagacity, let alone consistently demonstrating superior wisdom. Thus most quibblings in the afore mentioned categories are merely over differences in degree, mode, timing, cost, and utility of implementation.
Rick Warren recently came under fire for ambiguous responses to questions about homosexuality and sin. Equally troubling to me (especially as it was not mentioned in the ensuing controversy) was the following quote: “…other people have other sources of authority–or different readings of the Bible…what we need are the kind of conversations you and I are having right now, noninflammatory, nonflamethrowing…not saying you must be a bad person because you disagree with me…” Warren later quipped that if you are not following him on twitter, “you’re going to hell.” Let a more comprehensive analysis of Warren’s media interaction determine whether he deserves some benefit of the doubt here, suffice it to say, these comments as they stand are worthy of careful scrutiny.
Worldviews, by definition, are mutually exclusive. If you imply the Word of God as an authority for you and not necessarily an authority over everyone, you betray your adherence to the prevailing worldview of our time- multicultural relativism, the ‘postmodern’ notion that there is no transcendent, (and therefore no absolute) truth. Fidelity to the Bible demands we affirm the “flamethrowing” notion that rebellious insubordination to the authority of almighty God can only be justly characterized as hell-deserving sin. God is not an affable life coach hoping you will follow Him on twitter. If Warren’s response is indicative of a predominant worldview among evangelicals, America is not deeply divided.
Conservative rhetoric is another litmus test revealing philosophical similitude with mainstream punditry. This is fundamentally evident when commentators try to make their points. “It’s just common sense…socialism has failed every time it’s tried…the free market system works…we just don’t have the money…he’s electable…where’s Ronald Reagan when you need him?” If we believe this kind of pragmatic rhetoric presents the most compelling case for any ideology, we have more in common with Vladimir Lenin than with King David. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” or “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience.” Which is it? Our social systems will not be presented with a substantive alternate worldview until principled opposition is inspired and catalyzed by declaring immutable justice.
Americans are not deeply divided as long as they see themselves as various special interest groups, democratically beseeching the same sovereign. When the church begins to assert the crown rights of King Jesus as his vicegerents, a true opposition movement will arise. In the meantime, while we retreat behind non-profit lobbies, declaration of sovereignty over the affairs of men by humanistic fiat will remain unchallenged by a confused, cowardly, compromising church.
What about abortion? Isn’t there a great divide in America over the definition and sanctity of human life? Differences are not so clear when the issue is coupled with its undergirding value structure. After all… raising a child is very costly these days, the rest of life can become complicated in a hurry with kids in the mix, and everyone would agree that children represent less freedom and more responsibility! I contend that these three statements are blatantly antithetical to scripture (Psalm 127, 128). As long as children are seen as a liability rather than an asset, an obstacle on the adult’s road to success, and an optional vision for marriage, Christians will continue to embrace contraceptives and self-inflicted barrenness for the same reasons our government sanctions abortion. We have rejected the clear teaching of scripture and have become a law unto ourselves.
How about the oxymoronic homosexual marriage movement? A closer analysis may prove more common ground than occurs to the casual observer. For example, a church rejecting the grounds of Biblical exhortation on role distinctions of the sexes has already conceded the principled high ground for marriage itself. If the created order was merely incidental and not revelatory, then Adam preceding the creation of Eve has nothing to do with a leadership calling. It would then only logically follow that the created order is not a sufficient authority for the terms of marriage in other areas. Again, as far as the violability of God’s law is concerned most Americans principally agree.
Will socialized medicine be the straw that breaks the union’s back? Considering we have been quite content with socialized education for generations, not to mention its premeditated campaign to systematically perform sociological (as well as spiritual) lobotomies on our progeny with the efficiency of industrial revolution era assembly line automation… it seems doubtful. Furthermore, show me anyone who honestly thinks the Republican Party is principally opposed to “Obamacare,” and I’ll show you a naif or a fool. When the “teaparty” darling of the campaign advertises his budget as the salvation of Medicare and the presidential nominee’s state healthcare plan is the prototypical blueprint of the latest bureaucratic atrocities, it’s pretty clear America is not deeply divided. To whom has God delegated stewardship of His earth and the fullness thereof? If we care about the answer to that question more than we believe the humanistic promises of livelihood, we would sacrifice to beg to differ.
What about the economy and national deficits? We of all American generations are virtually united in our economic idolatry. That is to say the law of God is alien to our constructs for prosperity. Proverbs 28:9: “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” As long as the church does not understand or care that the concept of a fractional reserve system is a violation of the first, eighth, ninth, and tenth commandments, all the calls for repentance and prayer are worse than futile! To say national contrition must precede our defiant resolve to reclaim that ziggurat to antinomianism: the “American Dream,” is idolatrously myopic. True repentance will only be demonstrated in this area by a complete reconstruction of economic policy according to just weight and measure and by recasting the so-called “American Dream” as faithful stewardship, nothing more, nothing less! As long as policies most recently advocated by the likes of Ron Paul are spun as the psychobabble of a “crazy uncle in the basement” (Limbaugh)… America remains deeply united in fiscal anarchistic foolishness.
What about foreign policy? Who is sovereign over nations? The right and left answer in unison, “man” and proceed once again to argue over degree, mode, timing, cost, and utility. One side exalts the United Nations as prince of peace, the other assigns sacrosanct status to our military as the prince of peace. Where are the Biblical law-abiding Christians shouting with their worldview: (Isaiah 9:6) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”?! Until the church preaches the theological, social, and political consequences of this declaration in every area of life…we will remain one nation under judgement and deception.