From Gary North’s Millennialism and Social Theory. Pages 287-292.
Footnote numbers deleted.
The Three Questions
When anyone wants to make a major change in his goals, he needs to ask himself three questions:
What do I want to achieve?
How soon do I want to achieve it?
How much am I willing to pay?
The faster you want to achieve it, the more you will have to pay. It is like building a retirement portfolio: the longer you have until retirement, the less capital you need (given a fixed rate of compound growth) to begin with. Alternatively, the higher the rate of compound growth, the later you can wait before beginning. But there are always trade-offs among time remaining, the size of the capital base, and the rate of growth.
North does likes his economics. And I have to admit, the Bible talks more about money, than about heaven or hell.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? — Luke 14:27-29
To continue with North:
The modern Church believes that it has very little time remaining. It also knows that it is being swamped by its rivals: secular humanism, occultism, Islam, cults, and all the rest.
Well, not so much: the New Age long ago went senile and sterile: the only thing left is New Age music (a 1980s-90s relic that I happen to enjoy, by the way – thanks Narada and Windham Hill for the memories!)
Occultism faded along with Dungeons and Dragons: its day has come and gone. Same deal with the cults.
Islam is serious, but it is locked into a decaying and frozen past that simply isn’t going to survive, no matter how many people the Jihadi kill. It’s the past, not the future: only the intense and ongoing hatred that the West has against God, permits the Muslims any prospect of victory: and even that is likely to be lost, in a series of savage Sunni/Shiite wars (and ongoing economic collapse… and the end of the Age of Oil).
That leaves secular humanism. That would have died a few decades ago, if American Christians had insisted on taking their children out of the profoundly anti-Christian schools. Fortunately, finally, a substantial number of believers have decided to stop tithing their children to Satan.
The remaining Christians will
- do the traditional sacrifices of their children’s souls (“But government schools are FREE!”);
- their children will grow to despise God and adore the State (“Surprise! Surprise!”);
- and the (pathetically few) descendants of that generation will be unable to continue the God-State project of Progressiveism.
With no transfer of Godly capital to Satan, there is no money-earning potential, no drive to work, no hope for the future, and no children. Just bleating about how much a victim they are, with longing eyes turned to a (by the 2030s) bankrupt and discredited Washington to save them.
The ongoing technologically-driven collapse of the gatekeepers and government power simply pushes things along in God’s direction… and further and further away from the New World Order.
But back to the defeatist, rebellious, sin-loving, lazy and law-detesting Church:
It has a small visible capital base, in every sense: buildings, influence, money, dedicated personnel, training materials, etc. What does the modern Church conclude? “Not very much can be accomplished!” It has no vision of either compound growth or a long period of growth. Its leaders say to the members, “What we see today is all the Church will ever get in history.”
“That’s because Satan rules the world! But never fear: we in our huddled ghettos are safe in our willful powerlessness!”
Obviously, someone has no interest in history, or they would discover what happened o despised minorities in ghettos…
In contrast, the postmillennialist sets his sights very high: the conquest (transformation) of the world, spiritually and therefore institutionally. He can take two approaches: (1) continuity with lots of time; (2) discontinuity soon, followed by lots of time.
This could be rewritten, “In contrast, the postmillennialist, who is actually interested in obeying Christ who has crushed all His enemies under His heel, sets his sights very high…”
Continuity. He can think, “slow growth, but very long term”: little by little. If so, he must hypothesize that at some point in the future, all covenantal rivals stop growing or shrink. They die off. Christianity then wins by slow attrition. But what about the six billion people already alive today?
The little-by-little strategy will actually work: all covenantal rivals hate God, and so love death. Their power and their numbers will have dribbled away to nothing in a millennium, and their evil successors will be nothing but whining, stunted dwarfs.
But North is correct: the little-by-little strategy will take a few centuries to fully blossom over the world, and in the meantime a good 20, 50 billion or so would have died and gone to hell. “Christ planted the seed, but Satan reaped the harvest,” sadly – thanks specifically to the unbelief and the short-sighted Rapture focus of the Church, and it’s fatuous claim that Satan (rather than Christ) is the master and victorious rules of the world.
Today’s Church holds the keys of heaven and hell… and has effectively chose hell for most of humanity, so far as my generation is concerned. This is within its power: but I do not care to imagine what today’s insipid, quick-to-compromise, kingdom-shrinking church leadership will say to God at the White Throne Judgement.
This is because I want to sleep peacefully tonight, without nightmares.
Fortunately, I have faith that God is raising up a better, Holy Spirit-fuelled generation to lead His people to victory, in time and on earth, as well as eternally.
As for that 5.5 billion souls (probably a lot more, over the next century or two) due to be dumped into hell, specifically because of the craven decisions of today’s Christian Church leadership… there are no apologies sufficient, and it’s far too late for tears.
Only a mighty, absolutely unpredictable work of the Holy Spirit can save them.
So… pray and work for the future, yes: God rightfully demands this! Lay the foundations, build up the families, fight the good fight, gain ground for Christ in all things.
But to bring salvation to the majority of the world today, and save that 5.5 billion today, there is only fervent prayer. A miracle of God can save their eternity, nothing else.
(Perhaps a miracle assisted by the Internet, and instant translation programs. “The End of Babel, the Rise of the Kingdom of God” has a nice ring to it, especially after the Great Default and the end of the God-hating Establishment!)
All the other millennial viewpoints dismiss them. It’s “Sorry, Charlie,” to about 5.5 billion of them (more, if the Second Coming is delayed). This is at the very least cold-blooded, if not actually callous.
“It’s almost as if the leadership of the Church doesn’t really believe that God is Watching.”
“Sure, we all are surprised by European clergy that actually believes in the Bible and in the power of God. But, are you sure that American preachers are any different?”
“Well, you know what they say: the proof is in the pudding. Let’s examine the results of their work, the fruits of their activity and their labour…”
But the pure little-by-little postmillennialist has the same problem. He thinks that there is a lot of time before Jesus Christ comes again. What will happen in the centuries ahead to all of these people and tens of billions more of their biological heirs? Is the compounding process working today to fill up hell? If things do not change, and change soon, yes: for a long, long time. He, too, must write off today’s billions.
A grim and bitter thing. A failure that is directly traceable to the complete collapse of faith in Christ within the church leadership, and also in the pews.
Discontinuity. The postmillennialist therefore prefers a massive historical discontinuity, but not one outside of the familiar historical processes of evangelism and church-planting. He wants God’s positive historical sanction of personal regeneration on a scale not seen before in human history. Yet he knows that in all previous cases, such positive, discontinuous, historical sanctions have come only during or shortly after extensive corporate negative sanctions.
I personally believe that it will be much the same in this century.
The bankruptcy of the welfare state is a certainty (if widely disbelieved), just as the destruction of the socialist commonwealth was correctly predicted by Mises (even if he was widely ignored).
We are all aware that some kind of plague or superbug is likely as the years and decades roll by: we have already reached the point of certain disease strains being resistant to ALL antibiotics.
And the invasion of Europe has already begun. it simply will not stop now, but will only grow as the failures of the Arab world calls forth massive migration flows. Egypt’s Nile River is increasingly salty, destroying the ability of millions to grow food, and Saudi oil has a finite limit. All Islam is ruled by incompetent, military or clan-based rigid dictatorships…
(with the exception of the Arab nations of Tunisia and Lebanon, the Black nations of Senegal and Sierra Leone, and the Asian nations of Malaysia, Bangladesh and Indonesia… and NOT excepting Turkey),
…which only grows more fragile over time.
Wycliffe began the Lollard movement only one generation after the bubonic plague had disrupted the West as nothing ever had before (1348-50), and two generations after Europe’s three years of famine (1315-17). Luther was successful because of the culture-disrupting syphilis that had been brought back by Columbus’ crew and the other world sailors (a negative sanction), the invention of the printing press (a positive sanction), and the threat of the Turks (a negative sanction). Also, the Reformation was cut short by wars, the Counter-Reformation, and the rise of Renaissance rationalism and magic (both at the same time, and sometimes in the same men).
Each of the great wars has secularized society, from the crusades to the present.
Yes, the Crusades worked to secularize society. War is the health of the State, but it is also the enemy of liberty… and of the Church, far more often than not.
Remember: George W. Bush could have either fought homosexual marriage, or fight a war in the Middle East (while build a security state and reducing freedom at home, via the Patriot Act and numerous other tools)… and his choice was strongly backed by the vast majority of Conservative American Christians.
When you make your bed, Christian, be prepared to lie on it.
Wars are bad times for morality in general. There may be no atheists in foxholes, but there are few Christians on shore leave.
So, what should we consciously expect? Pessimillennialism says “the same as ever”: muddling through, with billions lost eternally. But what should we work toward? A massive covenantal revival. How can we do this? By prayer, fasting, hard work, tithes and offerings, charitable works, Christian education, and pulling the TV plug to give ourselves back 20-40 hours a week for more productive uses. Yes, a few tracts would be useful. Maybe some pamphlets, too.
This book was published in 1990, five years before the Internet started kicking in doors.
Nowadays, YouTube Videos are the best way to spread the word, but WordPress websites and bogs have their place. Done right, earning a proper leadership, you can get a lot more done than in the old days of tracts ad pamphlets and street preaching.
But be sure they have tear-out mail-in sheets and order blanks, please. Never violate North’s Prime Directive: “Every piece of paper should sell another piece of paper.”
There is a place for paper, even today.
But for most things, you want “Act Now” buttons on your websites and YouTube videos, to get people on mailing lists. Specific Answers is quite useful when it comes to combining advertising, the Internet and outreach/church planting work.
There is continuity in history. There is also discontinuity. The Holy Spirit provides both.
The work of God gets done, but with different tools… and, God willing, better men.
Strategies: “Russian” vs. “Guerilla”
Russia has fought its wars the hard way in the twentieth century: by massing huge armies of underequipped men, and then throwing these men against the enemy’s front lines. Wave upon wave of them die. Eventually, the enemy army suffers a break in the lines, and the Russian general is supposed to order his troops into the breach, to cut the enemy’s army in half. In contrast, the guerilla has limited resources. He has to wage a war of attrition against invaders. His tools are the tools of low-intensity warfare: sniper rifles, land mines, spies, propaganda materials, confidence in his cause, and an extremely long-range time perspective. He needs to proclaim the moral high ground.
The problem for the Church today is that it needs a full-scale frontal assault against all its enemies, but it does not have the troops or the equipment.
If only because the Church leadership willfully threw them all away, all in the name of Supporting Authority and Respecting Modernity and Public Education and the Compassionate Welfare State and Free Stuff.
The fundamentalists never did consider a frontal assault against humanism as possible or even desirable.
Born to lose.
Fortunately, God has other plans for the future. But I wonder what His plans are for fundamentalists.
Most likely, He will leave them in the powerless and shrinking ghettos they have chosen for themselves. Still yapping about the Rapture, as more and more of his children go liberal, after 30-40 hours of atheistic indoctrination every week at school(seasoned with 30-60 minutes of Sunday School, every week), with an extra hard four or five+ years of pounding contempt for Christ in university, in and outside of class.
Perhaps the fundamentalist thinks that his actions will impress God, and gain His favour.
I am sure that he will find out about that, one way or another.
But if I were him, I’d start begging for forgiveness while he’s still alive… forgiveness, followed by repentance and a different way of life.
They did not think they would be around even this long. But they are still here. So are their enemies, but many times more numerous, and now financed by tax money. The public schools have done their secularizing work exactly as designed in the 1830’s.
And the fundamentalist, mighty supporters of the public school system, widens his eyes in surprise. “But.. but.. the schools are FREE!”
We are forced to adopt guerilla strategies in most areas, especially anything to do with thought and culture. We publish books (small runs), newsletters, pamphlets, and inexpensive cassette tapes. We conduct home Bible studies. We imitate the early Church, not David’s Jerusalem. We conserve our financial resources, since we do not have many. A Russian strategy is appropriate only for those with lots of resources, either numerically or through the media.
Naturally, we will have to create our own media. The tools are there, praise God, but where is the will?
Consider the electronic media. The electronic media have important uses, but for the most part, they are overrated by Christians. The average viewer of the typical TV evangelist is female, over 65 years old, on a pension, and supports several programs.
The average viewer on YouTube is a lot younger. Just so you know.
Radio has been used successfully only by a handful of specialists, notably James Dobson, who is not a pastor, but who meets the daily family needs of mothers. This kind of ministry is crucial in building a “home base” for long-term dominion, but it is not sufficient to launch a frontal assault against sophisticated, well-entrenched, tax-financed enemies.
Tax-financed thanks to both Republican and Democratic support, by the way. George W. Bush did quite a bit of work, centralizing education under Washington’s authority.
Yet Christians seem to think there is something nearly magical about the electronic media. “If I could only get a Christian talk show,” the more naive Christian leaders say to themselves. Well, what if they could? Would their ratings be higher than the prime-time schlock that now dominates? Not very likely.
North is extremely kind and gentle here.
Negative Sanctions and the Samaritan Strategy
This leaves cultural crises.
AKA, “What cannot go on forever eventually… stops.”
AKA “The Law of Consequences.”
AKA, the negative sanctions of God, for the pointed and repulsive and continual violation of His statues and His laws.
What this world needs today is a really big plague, if such a plague would bring men face to face with mankind’s impotence in the face of God’s judgments in history. An economic collapse would not be a bad thing, either, if men learned to rely on the providence of God to sustain them. A little covenantal terror and consternation in history never does any lasting harm to people who are headed for eternal terror and consternation.
A society facing death in the face may decide to repent…. with the stress on the word, may.
But terror is not enough. India has had its fair share of famines and floods over the centuries, but there has been no Christian revival and no change of heart. Terror is not enough; there must also be a major positive move by the Holy Spirit. Even those who knew exactly who God is did not repent in the face of God’s unprecedented negative sanctions against them in A.D. 70:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:12-17).
They preferred burial by rocks to repentance.
I am confident that this is true in Europe, especially Western Europe.
But is it true in America?
There is space for hope, but this space must be maximized by those who love God, if hope is to become reality.
Men did not covenant with the Lamb except when moved to do so by the Holy Spirit’s irresistible grace.
North knows: we need the Holy Spirit to triumph and rule in our nations as well as in our hears. In the law courts and the legislatures, as well as the churches and the business boardrooms and the family homes and the teaching halls and the classrooms.
It is no different today. Such events, though never again on the same order of covenantal magnitude, can happen to any nation, just as they happened to Old Covenant national Israel: “The whole land has rejected Christ, and the whole land is being excommunicated.” This was the final fulfillment of Hosea’s prophecy against Israel the harlot. “The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come upon their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us” (Hos. 10:8).
Societies choose death, as well as wicked men.
Godly men must bring their society to obedience, if they wish their children and their grandchildren to have a better future.