21 August, 2004
On 19 August, three more Saudi sodomites were relieved of their heads by rather unmodern means. The last time we heard of such a triple header was as recent as http://www.streetpreach.com/Bray/commentary03.htm 1 January, 2002. Same jurisdiction, crime, and punishment for three other nefarious natives of the Arabian Peninsula. I am wondering where Presidential candidate Michael Peroutka stands on the issue. We know he opposes baby killing and sodomy, but what sanctions does he propose against these crimes? Surely a statute must provide for punishment for violations of law. Not an “issue,” you say? And neither are the platforms set forth by Peroutka: U.S. membership in the U.N. and abolition of the IRS for examples, if the present parties set the agenda. (Who says what the issues are?)
My brethren – rabid anti-abortionists and -sodomites – wonder at my call for them to lift up their countenances and smile upon George Bush this November. A list of grievances lunges forth: taxes, deficit spending, lack of action re abortion, war in Iraq, and making nice with liberals and fags. Peroutka is offered as an alternative. Another political party is necessary since the standard two are too far gone. There is no distinguishing Bush from Kerry, they say; while there is a great difference between Bush and Peroutka.
Not necessarily. But there would also be a great chasm dividing a Jesus Administration and a Peroutka Administration (and this decadent electorate will elect neither). Imagine that ideal government: Jesus of Nazareth, President; Paul of Taursus, Vice President; Moses, son of Levi Attorney General; David, son of Jesse, Secretary of Defense, etc. And like a mother hen trying to gather her chicks to herself, so such a President would succor and woo the people to do right and come under his care and protection: O America, America, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! (cf. Luke 13:34-35).
Jesus, as Savior, came as the Lamb, swordless, to die; not to administer justice to the nations. But, now, as King of kings, this Lion of Judah is the Ruler of the nations (Ps. 2; Is. 9:7; Rev. 5:5, 12). And that rule, justice, is advanced by His Spirit through His Church as it propounds the Truth by word and deed.
That Truth is not just the Gospel, but the Law; i.e. justice. The church is to propound justice in the earth and it takes its understanding of justice from the Scriptures. All of this world’s magistrates are answerable to God as His servants (Rom. 13). And where are they to gain their understanding of justice but from the church, the “pillar of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15)?
We churchmen cannot expect magistrates (Christian or otherwise) to rule at a standard higher than that which the churches of God are willing to propound publicly.
Imagine churches speaking very specifically about matters of Law and Justice. Take sodomy and child slaughter, for example. What if two churches, not members speaking as Christian citizens, butchurches represented by pastors in every city, propounded this standard of justice: death penalty for murderers (including abortionists) and sodomites?
Now, this, of course, is way too radical a position – politically speaking – for Mr. Peroutka to embrace, but it is the Truth and Justice which is part of the church’s duty to proclaim. And were the churches to proclaim the standard, four results would follow: 1) shake up of the rest of the churches in town and the addition of new churches making the same truth claims; 2) an association of such churches would be formed to strengthen their proclamation; 3) statesmen could reference the churches’ declarations (even if only for private edification and confidence) as they advocate laws, albeit imperfect, more consistent with the Laws of God; i.e. the positions of politicians would be bump-shifted “to the right” so to speak; 4) energy and vision for the development of alternative political parties would be engendered; parties, such as the Constitution Party or the Creator’s Rights Party, would emerge and develop precincts in each state.
All things considered, George Bush is a great president, keeping the damage brought to Americans by the federal government to a minimum. He hasn’t called for the punishment of abortionists yet, but neither have churches excommunicated heretical and unrepentant “pro-choicers” from their memberships. Consider those kings of Judah whose administrations are praised. Take Asa as an example. He was rebuked by the prophet Hanani for initiating and trusting in an alliance with the pagan King of the Syrians and responded by jailing the prophet (2 Chron. 16:7,10). But the summary judgment of his rule is that it was a righteous one (1 Kings 15:11).
Similarly, the succeeding King Jehoshaphat is called righteous (2 Chron. 21:32) even though he, too, was rebuked by the prophets, Jehu and Eliezar, for allying himself with the apostate King Ahab and his successor, Ahaziah (2 Chron. 20:35). The sin of the nation did not reside in the king alone, but in the people he ruled. The Scriptures declare that the “high places,” where improper worship was conducted, were not removed by the king. But adjacent to this declaration, the Scriptures say, “the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers<.” Indeed, the Almightly does ordain governments among mankind; and with due justice, seems to give people the governors they deserve! The morality of rulers is not always too far from that of the population. Some rulers tend toward the wicked end (a la Clinton, an avid and unabashed promoter of childslaughter and sodomy); others tend toward the righteous end (a la Reagan and Bush, who made efforts to resist the slide into deeper national debauchery). George Washington deferred the slave question while fighting Revolutionary War; yet he was a great man; Robert E. Lee preferred to stand for the sovereignty of Virginia against the imposition of unconstitutional authority by the federal government, even though the Union was bringing justice for negroes; and he, too, was a great man. Lincoln freed the slaves, but violated the Constitutional rights of Southern American in waging war against his own countrymen; and he, too, was a great man. George Bush was barely elected over an abortophilic Al Gore. He has been mightily obstructed by Congress and Supreme Court and is opposed by a powerful news media, and he is a great man. Less excusable, perhaps, is the behavior of churches and their “people of light.” The popular Purpose Driven American Christian fancies himself to have more important tasks than to resist the holocaust in his neighborhood. Those higher priorities, like preaching and worshiping, have driven Christians to silence and impotence. We have preferred our hot, power-point-illustrated worship songs to cold prison floors. And God says, “I hate” such worship. “Learn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan” (Is. 1:14-17). American Christians function at a level of morality no greater than their President. We are not excused for tolerating child-slaughter in our neighborhoods as we complain that Bush hasn’t done enough. Let the churches repent, damn their tax-exemption status, and call for justice for the unborn. Justice is two-edged: protection for the innocent and punishment for the guilty. Let the Pillars of Truth, the churches of God, find their purpose in lighting the way for the magistrates. Once Churches speak a clear word to the President, then we can call him to account and proceed to either reform the GOP or abandon it for alternative parties.