The Changing of the Guard (21)

II.Reconstruction

A.What the Church Should Do:

2.Prophesying

 The Church must never be silent. Whenever and wherever sin exists, there the Church must be: exposing, rebuking, prophesying, teaching, and correcting.

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph.5:6-11).

If we refuse the prophetic mantle of  John the Baptist (Mat.14:3-12), of Elijah (I Kings 21:1-25), and of Nathan (II Sam.12:1-13), in exposing the evil deeds of darkness in our day, the innocent and the helpless are sure to perish, and God’s vast army will slumber through one Megiddo after another.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18, KJV). “For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? (I Cor. 14:8).” From its pulpits, in the media, through newsletters and pamphlets, with books and tracts, along the hedgeways, and over the grapevine the Church must arise and sound the prophetic alarm.

3.Judging

God established the Church as a court. He made it a government. Its jurisdictions, functions,  and sanctions are different from the other governments God established, but they are no less real.

God invested the government of the family with the disciplinary power of the rod (Prov. 13:24). If the family fails to exercise its government and its disciplinary power in a righteous manner, the whole society suffers (Prov.23:13-14). God invested the government of the state with the disciplinary power of the sword (Ro. 13:4). If the state fails to exercise its government and its disciplinary power in a righteous manner, the whole society suffers (Prov. 31:1-9). Likewise God has invested the Church with the disciplinary power of the table (I Cor. 11:17-34).

Up until the twentieth century, the Church’s courts operated settling disputes between believers (I Cor. 6:1-11), meting out discipline on unrepentant members (I Cor. 5:1-13), and binding and loosing judgments against flagrant public sin (Mat.18:15-20). At various times in history, Church courts so outshone civil courts in integrity that they came very nearly to the point of supplanting them.

“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (I Cor. 2:15, KJV). “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov.14:34). “A man will die for the lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly” (Prov.5:23). “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” (I Cor. 6:3).

4.Equipping

God has not only given the Church teaching, worshipping, serving, prophesying, and judging roles, He has given it an equipping role as well.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13).

The Church is to train God’s people for the work of the ministry. If our nation is to have thoroughly equipped pastors, then the Church must train young men for the ministry of the Gospel (Ro.10:14-15). 

If our nation is to have thoroughly equipped teachers, then the Church must train young mothers and fathers for the ministry of education (Tit. 2:1-15).

If our nation is to have thoroughly equipped  craftsmen,  artists,  musicians, philosophers, doctors, laborers, lawyers, scientists, and merchants, then the Church must train them for the ministry of acculturation (II Tim.3:16-17).

And of course, if our nation is to have thoroughly equipped magistrates, then the Church must train them for the ministry of political action. That does not mean that the Church must be the central depository for every discipline and specialty on the face of the earth –a true university. But it does mean that the Church must apply the Bible to every discipline and specialty on the face of the earth, training believers to exercise their various callings to the glory of God.

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (I Cor.12:4-7, 12).

The Church should train young men and women for political action through information: distributing facts and figures on the central issues and candidates of the day, issuing educational literature, holding seminars, rallies, and workshops, etc. The Church should train young men and women for political action through activism: picketing the death clinics of  abortion, and many other activities.

If the Church doesn’t train the next generation of magistrates, who will? The humanist establishment in the state schools? The humanist establishment in the major political parties? The humanist establishment in the media? The humanist establishment in the social service agencies?

The Church must do the job of Eli and train up young Samuels (I Sam. 2:11-3:21). The church must do the job of Elijah and train up young Elishas (I Kings 19:19-21). The Church must reassert its equipping  role.

Action Agenda: What should the Church do?

How should the Church apply the ten basic principles in the Biblical blueprint for political action?

First and foremost the Church must reassert its teaching, worshiping,  serving, prophesying, judging, and equipping roles. The Church must be all that it was meantto be.

What this means in practical terms is that the Church must really go to work. In teaching The Church should utilize the many resources God has given us to educate the people of God. The Church should teach classes on the Biblical principles of political action. The pulpit should become relevant to the issues.  Pamphleteering should begin again in earnest.

Candidate score cards should be distributed. Sunday schools, Bible studies, fellowship groups, missions organisations, and every other arm of the Church should be harnessed to inform and alert believers to the urgent crises of our day and their Biblical solutions. In worshiping The Church should return to formal, organized, liturgically focused worship with specified  prayer, sacramental integrity, cultural relevance, and spiritual efficacy.

The Churches of our land should tap the enormous power of approbative and  imprecato~ psalmody. They should ring out with benedictory and valedictory fervor. They should address the issues, dilemmas, and crises the way the Church throughout the ages always has: in prayer, through worship.

 In serving: The Church should initiate programs of compassion and care. Biblical charity is  cheaper than state welfare. Thus, it confronts the tyranny of overbearing taxes.  Biblical charity is moreefficient than state welfare. Thus, it confronts the tyranny of overarching bureaucracy.

Biblical charity is private.  Thus, it confronts the tyranny of power centralization. Biblical charity is family centered.  Thus, it confronts the tyranny of unaccountability. Biblical charity is local. Thus, it confronts the tyranny of statistical arbitrariness.

Biblical charity is temporary.  Thus, it confronts the tyranny of need -reinforcement and subsidization. When we care for the aged, the unborn, the neglected, and the poor we not only reclaim from the liberal humanists the moral high ground, we also reclaim from them the leverage of benevolence.

In prophesying: The Church should speak out. The Church should call sin “sin.” The Church should take a bold, uncompromising stand on the moral issues, identifying the enemies of the family, the enemies of life, the enemies of truth, the enemies of liberty, exposing them for what they are. We desperately need a Church that will willingly jeopardize its “reputation” in order to be counted with Noah, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Amos, Ezekiel, and John the Baptist.

In judging: The Church should once again hold court. The Church should take seriously its mandate from God to be a real government by binding and loosing, judging and discerning. The Church should begin to exercise discipline once again. It should reclaim its lost legacy of purity and integrity. It should reassert its role as the ‘Keeper of the Keys” (Mat.16:19). It should balance the governments of state and family by being all it was meant to be.

In equipping: The Church should take seriously its duty to train the next generation. It should take seriously its duty to be a light in the darkness, a well in the wilderness. The Church should make opportunities for its people to be involved in hands-on training in political action. It should identify the issues, pinpoint the principles, and mobilize the troops.

In all these areas: The Church must go to work. The Church must reassert its roles. The Church must do everything within its power and jurisdiction to return this nation to a decentralized, confederated, and theocratic social structure. And it must do it now. Only then will we see a changing of the guard.

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