In considering the notion that Old Testament law was only intended for the Ancient Jews, we need to examine biblically how the commandments revealed to Moses, affected other nations and peoples as well. Some have said that God’s Law and commands applied only to Israel; and, have further stated, “nowhere in the Bible are Gentiles (or nonbelievers) ever condemned for not keeping the law of Moses.” In other words, the Mosaic Law and God’s government was meant for Israel alone. Further extended, the implication is that modern governments have no accountability to God’s divine laws today.
It should first be noted that even prior to the Law being revealed to Moses, the conduct of the “ungodly,” was condemned by God according to the standards of the law that He later revealed through Moses. The most glaring example of this is the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and their surrounding cities. This dramatic and momentous event was a judgment upon Gentiles who engaged in unrighteous wicked conduct, which was a daily torment (2 Ptr. 2: 7) to Abraham’s nephew, Lot. In the New Testament [the Apostle] Peter described the wicked behavior of the Sodomites as “lawless works” and described the men’s behavior as, “the lawlessness of the city.” God charged that their sexual immorality was an abomination and the entire region was ultimately condemned and judged for behaving contrary to God’s divine law.
St. Jude adds that God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah also serves as an example to all. As the Apostle Paul reiterated, even the Gentiles “know the ordinance of God that those who practice such things are worthy of death” (Romans 1:32).
Our society has quite explicitly chosen death. Christians are not to die with this society, but instead decide to obey God rather than Men, and choose life over death. After ‘the end of the world’ – the World of the Current Establishment, that is – we are to rebuild and reconstruct the culture and society that pleases God, and thus a society that will endure.
Instead of a society that devours poison and filth, declare it good and tasty, and then die in poverty and disgrace.
From The Lost Reformation
Allow me to list some of the most influential Puritan writers of their time along with their impactful writings (see how many you have even heard of):
- Thomas Becon, “The news from heaven” (1541), “A pleasant new nosegay” (1542), “The fortresse of the faithful” (1550), and hundreds of sermons.
- William Conway, An exortation to charitie (1550)
- Thomas Lupset, A treatise on charitie (1533)
- Thomas Starkley, (1533–36)
- Henry Brinkelow, The lamentation of a Christian against the citie of London (1542), The complaint of Roderyck Mors (1550)
- Thomas Lever, A fruitful sermon… in Poules churche (1550), and other sermons
- Thomas Drant, A fruitfull and necessary sermon (1572), and many other sermons
- Thomas White, preacher and founder of Sion College (1570s–90s)
- Richard Turnbull, An exposition upon… St. James (1591)
- Samuel Bird, Lectures (1598)
- William Harrison, Deaths advantage (1602)
- Henry Smith, Sermons (1599)
- Richard Curteys, The care of the conscience (1600)
- Robert Allen, The oderifferous garden of charitie (1603)
- William Fulbecke, A book of Christian ethics (1587)
- Thomas Twyne, The garland of godly flowers (1574)
- George Whetstone, A mirour for magestrates of cities (1584)
- Andreas Gerardus, The regiment of the pouertie (1572)
- Henry Tripp, preacher of Gerardus’ ideas
Never heard of a single one of these men or their works? I had not either, at least not until I read the magnificent work by W. K. Jordan, Philanthropy in England, 1480–1660. Jordan shows how the Protestant Reformation, through preaching and social application of the Gospel, led to an unprecedented outpouring of private charitable giving in society. From fortunes amassed through international trade and businesses fueled by technological advance, Puritans turned to improve society through founding schools, training workers, relieving and training the poor, and through improvements in public works.
The wealthy businessmen in many cases did not merely create these ideas on their own: preachers beginning as early as the reign of Edward VI preached on social improvement from the pulpit.
Several years ago, many in the evangelical and Reformed community made a push to dig up the works of the Puritans.
As I grew further in the faith and had more questions, however, I ran across a very sad phenomenon: our treasure hunters have only given us a fraction of the works of the Puritans, and worse, the fraction they have given only deals with a fraction of that for which these great Reformers believed and worked. As a result, our understanding of the Puritans (and thus of the breadth of the Reformation as a whole) has suffered from a certain myopia. We have come to see those great Reformers as churchmen concerned mainly with doctrine, personal conscience, and piety. In short, we have been presented with a pietistic Puritanism. A pietistic market has cherry-picked the Puritans, and stripped them of half their contribution, and perhaps the most important half at that.
I don’t know of any seminary, Christian college, or publishing house (aside from American Vision, anyway) that very much acknowledges, let alone emphasizes, the great social work of our Reformation heritage. There are of course the liberals such as Jim Wallis and Ron Sider who would acknowledge it, but only leverage it to lean toward their leftist solutions. Since, to most Christians, social action in general smacks of “Social Gospel”—generally perceived as denuded Gospel and liberal utopianism—conservatives face enormous opposition to returning to this aspect of our own heritage. To bring it up is to risk being tarred-and-feathered with “Social Gospel” or “worldliness” of some sort. So, evangelicals and most modern Reformed believers retreat inwardly to “personal Jesus” pietism and “don’t-rock-the-boat” church life. Our seminaries and colleges train pastors and believers to preach and teach to this market. With the exception of Leland Ryken’s book Worldly Saints: The Puritans as They Really Were, I don’t know of many conservative Christian books that remind us of this forgotten part of the Reformation.
I’m not sure if any of the above listed works, or others, appear on the web—I have not had time to check. If you have time, search for a couple. If you find something, email me a link. We can begin unearthing the rest of the Puritan treasure together. Finding something and circulating it may inspire a church or two to begin local social efforts of their own.
A pietistic gospel is a repulsive gospel. Much like the insipid (when not frankly Satanic) Two Kingdom theology, it implies that God is to be solely tied to ethereal issues, high in the sky – and is completely silent in the work of Man, in history and on earth.
The God of the Bible is a God of Law, and a God of Commandments: laws and commandments that do not change. God demands justice, on earth and in time: and Christians are to promote cultures and discipline nations that stand with God on this matter – and thus, flourish in freedom, wealth, population, and a superior level of culture, all rooted in a godly and high righteousness.
Anything else is merely erecting idols, created in the image of Man, doomed to destruction.