Remember those failed televangelists from the 1980s?
If they kept on building their ministry, kept their focus on the Lord – instead of their wallets and strange women – they could have had some real pull by the 2000s, instead of being a laughingstock of the late 1980s.
“It’s later than you think” and “Work, for the night is coming” are good watchwords for Christians to keep in mind.
It has happened before, with Franco in Spain (and several dictatorships in Latin America). As Marinov wrote:
Few Americans know about General Francisco Franco and his fascist regime in Spain. Even fewer know that its ideology came from the Falange, a political-ideological organization of well-meaning conservative lawyers and professors in Spain who wanted a conservative corporate state along the lines of Mussolini’s Italy – but still committed to the Catholic Church and the Christian faith – to fight socialism, communism, and the decay of morals. Franco took their ideology and created one of the most oppressive regimes in Europe at the time, destroying in the process not only communists and socialists, but also all regional autonomy, all private initiative, all political initiative, all individual liberty. A good psychologist, Franco played on the religious feelings of the Spanish people, declaring his oppressive regime to be simply a protector of good morals, of the church, and of the traditional family. In the end, the regime controlled how many hours a woman can work outside home, what clothes men and women should wear, whether a woman can drive a car or not, what the parents could teach their children, etc., etc. Franco took Primo de Rivera’s (the founder of the Falange) dream of a “collective, integral, national” faith and applied it in practice. Or, rather, imposed it in practice, by force.
And we all know what came out of this, in Spain and Argentina, and elsewhere.
Here’s the thing: God punishes His people when they violate His rules, faster and harder than He punishes the heathens and the heretics. He simply expects more from those who carry His name:
The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. – Luke 12:46-48
God permits tribes to exists: even into the New Creation, as He marks the gates by the name of Israel’s tribes, and the Tree of Life will produce leaves that heal the nations (and so proving that nations will exist into eternity).
But tribal allegiance is subordinate to righteousness and justice: no matter how long your family or nation has served the Lord, no matter how much of Abraham’s blood flows through your veins, no matter even if you are a believer or not, you will be punished for your sins, individually and corporately.
And if you are a believer, you will be punished harsher than if you are not.
Why does God strike His people more strongly than His enemies?
It is because we are a Royal Priesthood, that carries His name.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. – I Peter 2:9-10
And God is very jealous of His name, with the third commandment laying down the law here:
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. – Exodus 20:7
There is no escape for the Christian, from the responsibility to be holy. A refusal to link “theology, ethics, and politics” – to put what we believe into the real world – merely opens the door for collectivist oppressors to do so. (See
“The Church’s Response to the Future” for details at http://www.chalcedon.edu for more) Retreating into enclaves, waiting for a Rapture, being privately religious… all that’s just a gateway to isolation, powerless, and eventual extermination – by immediate violence, or by eventual irrelevance.
Christians are going to have to fight, if they want to win. And they can’t win before regaining their confidence of God’s victory over the lunacy and cruelty of the world, and regaining a standing of holiness before God. This holiness must be ever more deeper and more perfect, with no secret sin or corruption tolerated. Finally, a major factor of holiness is righteousness, which must include obedience and love of God’s Law-Word: and not fleeing from it.