A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Chaff to the Wheat

"The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" --Jeremiah 23:28,29

The prevailing dream of the ancient pagan cultures was that the world developed by itself out of original chaos. Even the gods shared in this evolution. The highest order was created by man, in connection with the gods, organizing themselves into the state. In Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome the supreme rulers were semi-divinized charismatic figures. Great monuments were built to them after their deaths and they were counted among the gods.

By the power of the state, all evils would be solved eventually, and the curse upon the nations that God spoke to those at Babel would b enullified. [Genesis 11]. In fact, the book of Genesis is myth, there is no curse, just original, impersonal chaos. The evils of famine, disease, war, revolution, death, etc., have nothing to do with God The only real enemies of mankind are those who resist the power of the state to cure everything. Thus those who resist, for instance, stem cell research because of a higher principle of the image of God are the enemies of the collective scientific research that will cure the world of birth defects, crippling accidents, etc. Nothing can be permitted to resist the power of the savior state. Those who do so are traitors and sacreligious.

This empty and vain dream received a critical blow at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and His ascension into heaven. His kingdom is not of this world, nor does His kingdom have a single ruler upon the earth or in any nation. The churches are ruled by Christ Himself through by his word taught by Spirit-filled ministers, elders, and deacons. These officers are equal to each other and lordship is forbidden to them by the Lord Jesus, whose rule by His Word and Spirit cannot be successful challenged. The energy that rules the church is not of the world and certainly not immanent in the forces of the world which the dreamers think run the evolutionary processes.

Sadly, for many years the true government of the church was subverted by pagan ideas of evolution and was only recovered in the revival known as the Protestant Reformation. Luther's proclamation of justification by faith freed the church from the bondage of the idea that the Holy Spirit could be equated with power immanent in the universe and restored the biblical doctrine of the transcendence of God over the affairs of men.

The same thing had happened to Israel. Under the influence of Babylonian and pagan philosophies and idolatry Israel had tried to find the power of God immanent in the world. Jeremiah spoke against this idolatry that always leads to the growth of state power and the destruction of the liberty of the church and the people of God. Jeremiah cried in the word of the Lord: "Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." Jer. 23:23-24

Without the doctrine of God's transcendence, there can be no true doctrine of God's immanence that does not reduce His immanence to pantheism and materialism, and the resultant growth of totalitarianism in both state and church--in fact, the nanny state and the nanny church will aid and abet each other in the paternalism that downgrades humanity and exalts the elite that subjects that people. But because there is no peace to the wicked, the elite will continue to war with each other, breaking into innumerable factions to contend with each other as to who is privileged to wield the power of God.

Because the fundamental belief is that order came out of original chaos, which had no beginning in any order, and certainly not in the order of the Word of the Creator described in Genesis 1 and John 1, chaos lies at the center of any theory of government.

Continual change and disruption are necessary for the better order to arise, according to this thought. Because the original force of the world is chaos, chaos must reign. The old must always be replaced. The true designers of the future are those who run through the streets crying "Burn, baby, burn," until the messiantic figure arises who will bring the new order which will grind the faces of the people of God until the drill repeats itself again.

But this is the lot of those who reject the Word of the Lord and deny that Jesus Christ rules by His word and Spirit from heaven. Almost any tyranny will be accepted rather than the rule that He has established.

But His rule is the only reality. This reality was to be affirmed over and over by the people of God, according to the words of Jeremiah.

"The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" --Jeremiah 23:28,29

Jesus and His apostles put the same message another way:

Lu 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."

2Thess 1:7-10 "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."

Preach the word, is the instruction to the true prophets of God. This is the wave of the future, the only reality that is. All else are dreams and fantasies, worse than those which come from an opium pipe, because the dope-head knows where his dreams come from. The modern dreamer does not know where his dreams originate, nor does he care.

The combined power of the hordes, thousands upon thousands, of those who preached the vain dreams of idolatry cannot stand before the simplicity and power of the word of God, if preached only by one or two. The chaff cannot stand before the fire. The rock cannot withstand the blows of the hammer.

"One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God." Joshua 23: 9, 10.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It is God Who Rules in the Nations of the World.

[T]here are some who deny that a commonwealth is duly framed which neglects the political system of Moses, and is ruled by the common laws of nations. Let other men consider how perilous and seditious this notion is; it will be enough for me to have proved it false and foolish.
--John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Faith, IV:20:14 [Battle]

Thus Calvin, more than five hundred years ago, lays in the dust the modern foundation principles of theonomy, reconstructionism, Federal Vision theology, and all the step-children derived from the rejection of natural law and common grace.

Self-conscious Christianity must include a deep humility based upon the understanding of the deceitfulness of each Christian's own heart which precludes the idea that individualistic self-conscious understanding of the Scripture may not tainted with sin and error. There is a doctrinal perfectionism that is as pernicious as any volitional perfectionism taught by Finney or others like him.

Of course, I cannot take a neutral position with respect to the Lord Jesus [Luke 11:23], but I can certainly and must be neutral about many other people [Mark 9:40] This requires a certain humility of mind and soul. Just because a man is not in my box, doesn't mean he is not doing the will of God.

Those who will take care to read all of Calvin's Institutes and especially Chapter 20 of Book Four [about Civil Government] will see how different it is from the spirit of the MIddle Ages and the modern movements listed above.

The Apostle Paul did not have enough political influence to stay out of jail, nor did the Lord Jesus avoid crucifixion, but they had a bit of influence on the world, wouldn't you say? How did they manage that? I don't think they even had campaign managers, unless the Holy Spirit and God's eternal decree count.

Although Calvin was backward looking in some things, the general tenor of his theology looked forward to the liberating spirit of the Reformation and newness in Christ. Hence, he was able to maintian friendships even with those who abandoned the Reformation and returned to Rome, or with those who did not break completely with Rome. Calvin did not live in a box.

For a modern critique of Theonomy and Reconstructionism, read J. Ligon Duncan's essay at the following link. Click here

A great many things that have afflicted the peace and usefulness of the modern reformed churches come of this stew. There are many articles that have been linked HERE.

I would also strongly recommend Guy Prentiss Waters The Federal Vision and Covenant Theology. You can get it at Amazon

Pray for President-Elect Obama, as the Scripture commands.


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