Natural Law Theory & Christian Defeat

On The Christian Hatred of God’s Law-Word

Worse, those scholars who have accepted the intellectual burden of defending the Christian. faith have generally had an abiding hatred for God’s revealed law. “Hatred” is the proper word. “Indifference” misses the point. “Ignorance” would be misleadingly gentle. There can be no neutrality regarding God’s revealed law, any more than there can be neutrality regarding God’s revelation of Himself. You either accept His authority over you or you reject it. You either accept His law’s authority over you or you reject it.

God’s authority over mankind is manifested ethically by His law, and it is manifested judicially by His law’s sanctions. You either affirm God’s law in its specifics, especially its sanctions, or you deny it, especially its sanctions. You either accept the 119th psalm or you reject it. “I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word” (Ps. 119:16). There is no middle ground. ,Middle ground with respect to anything in the Bible is always deception: either self- deception or self-conscious deception of others.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

The solid majority of Christians — especially including the Religious Professionals — loathe and hate God’s law.

And then they stand, bewildered, as the entire Western World either pointedly ignores them, or openly mocks them.

It is blindingly obvious that the vast majority of Western Christians have come to comfortable terms with those who hate God, agreeing on all the critical points, and only some ceremonial or irrelevant dissent here and there.

(And even then, only for a few years. “For form’s sake. And to humour Grandma for a bit.”)

This hostility to Old Testament law is also why dispensationalism has always had an unstated working alliance with modern humanism: they both share an antinomian theology that seeks to “liberate” man and the State from the restraints of God’s revealed law and its sanctions. Their agreement has been simple: Christians should stay out of politics as Christians. This explicit antinomianism is also why dispensationalism has never developed an explicitly Christian social theory. If it could have, it would have, especially in the crucial years of protest, 1965-71. The silence of dispensational leaders and scholars in those years indicated that the movement was incapable of responding to real-world problems. In that era, dispensationalism committed intellectual suicide.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

“Christians should stay out of politics as Christians.”

If you want to find the monument to all those Billy Graham Crusades, the fruit of all that stern preaching and fainting in the crowds, look around you.

This has been the ethical argument of Christian commentators almost from the beginning. Without exception, such a dispensation- alist ethical argument rests either implicitly or explicitly on some version of natural law philosophy. If you abandon the continuing judicial authority of the Old Testament case laws and their sanctions, you must actively adopt or at least passively accept some other civil law structure to serve as the judicial basis of society. There are no judicial vacuums. Either God’s revealed law is sovereign in society or else autonomous man’s declared law is sovereign. There is no third choice. When a Christian denies the unbreakable connection between the case laws and the Ten Commandments, he must then seek to apply the “general moral principles” of the Decalogue to his own society in order to provide legitimacy to the “common legal order.” Yet he is then forced by his theory of natural law to defend the Decalogue’s highly general principles in terms of their common status among all “right thinking” people.

There is a major problem here: there has been many wrong-thinking tyrants and societies in history. Christians have suffered under many of them, usually in silence, for they have been taught that there are no specific legal standards of righteousness on which to base a legitimate appeal to God (for example, by corporately praying the imprecatory psalms, such as Psalm 83).

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

May God kick in the teeth of those priests and pastors that lie in His name, to please Wealthy and Powerful Men — the true Lords of these ‘religious professionals’ — and so deny the tools of dominion, of victory, that God has given to His people.

May God kick in the teeth of these pious enemies of Himself, His Son, and His Law. May God do so, good and hard, in time and on earth.

So we can all see and fear God. And despise those deeply pious enemies of His Law.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Nevertheless, Christians again and again have proclaimed their nearly unqualified allegiance to this or that humanist alternative to biblical social order. They base their allegiance on the supposed “natural conformity” to the Decalogue of their societies’ legal order. Natural law theory then becomes an all-purpose smoke screen for the Christian’s passive (or even active) acceptance of specific social evils.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

I weary of these disgusting traitors within the camp – especially the leadership, as they will be held to a harsher standard than the usual quietly rebellious slacker layman.

Two Examples of American Christian Failure, and Their Roots in Natural Law Theory

The acceptance of natural law philosophy inevitably leads to two possible and recurring evils. First, it paralyzes the Christians’ legitimate efforts to reform society, for it denies that there are specific biblical blueprints for social reform. This is the curse of the pietistic escape religion on Christianity. Second, it enables humanist reformers to enlist Christians in this or that reform effort tat is wrapped in the language of the Ten Commandments but which is in fact inspired by covenant-breakers and designed to further their aims. This is the curse of the power religion on Christianity.

In American history, no better example exists of both of these processes than the Unitarians’ successful enlisting of evangelical Christians in the State-centralizing abolitionist movement. The fact is, the Quakers had pioneered the theory of abolitionism in the 1755-75 period, decades before the Unitarian Church even existed. The unwillingness of trinitarian American Christians to obey the New Testament teachings with regard to the illegitimacy of lifetime chattel slavery allowed the Unitarians to capture the Quakers’ issue and fan the evangelicals’ moral fervor, 1820-65, which in turn allowed them to capture the whole country for the Unitarian worldview from the 1860’s onward. In short, American Christians ignored their social responsibilities by ignoring the Quakers’ moral challenge regarding chattel slavery (1760-1820), for they did not recognize or acknowledge the judicial authority of the New Testament on this question. As a result, they became institutionally and intellectually subordinate to those who hated Christianity (1820-1865).

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

Welcome to the Real World, where pointed contempt of God’s Law has consequences.

Those consequences are first placed on the Christian, until he and his society repents, or until it is destroyed.

And — looking at the demographics, Church growth (ha!), and political environment, it is obvious that White Christian American has decided to join White Christian Europe in its comfortable graves.

(With certain honourable exceptions.)

After the Christian repents – or is destroyed – then the pain comes to the pagans. Who are surprisingly comfortable with collapsing birth rates, collapsing freedoms, and More Free Stuff.

“God isn’t mocked? Who knew?”

Simultaneously, a parallel phenomenon took place with the rise of the state school systems, another Unitarian reform in the United States. Funded by Christian taxpayers, the schools have operated in terms of an alien worldview. The escape religion led to the triumph of the power religion. It always does.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

Surprise! SURPRISE!

Dominion religion invariably suffers. This defeat of dominion religion is the temporal goal of the power religionists and the escape religionists, of Pharaoh and the enslaved Israelites.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

It is easy to see the corruption of Pharaoh. But the quiet, bone-deep corruption of all those “sweet, gentle, passive” intensely anti-Christian Israelites is also noted by God.

They always want Moses to go away, and take his laws with him.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

So cries the traitors, the failures, and the worthless servants.

These two evil consequences of natural law theory — retreat from social concerns and the co-opting of Christians by non-Christian social reformers — have been the curse of natural law theory for almost two millennia. Darby could have protested until kingdom come — or until Sherman’s army came — against the anti-Constitutional agenda of the northern Abolitionists, but his own commitment to natural law philosophy undercut his theological defense. He did not understand that when a law-abiding Christian adopts a hostile attitude towards the case laws of the Old Testament, he necessarily also adopts an attitude favorable to natural theory: common-ground philosophy, common-ground ethics, and the autonomy of man.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

Note that “common ground morality” has shifted decisively in the West to child murder, the destruction of the family, the authority of the Democratic God-State over all we say and do (and think, as soon as that technology is available), and flat-out mandated lying and the denial of reality. “I’m a woman if I say I am!”

Christian preachers and priests continue to bleat uncontroversial soft nothings, as always. “But be sure to Obey the Government!” cries the power-worshipers, escapists, and out-and-out liars from the pulpit.

Without the spurious supporting doctrine of morally and intellectually neutral natural law, it would not be possible for the humanists to wrap these anti-Christian programs in the ragged swaddling clothes of common morality.

Gary North, Tools of Dominion

“Common morality.”

That is an empty phrase as of 2019 – except for the religious professionals, of course.

The people who actually fear God — as in “recognize the authority of God’s Law-word, and strive to keep His law” — need to get ready for the day God guts open His enemies: first, those on the pulpit, and then second, those standing on high places, showering contempt on His word and on His obedient servants.

For the record, I assume that this will be a financial gutting coupled with the destruction of political and moral legitimacy, much like the fall of the Soviet Union. A government without the power of the bribe is forced to use the far more costly measures of the gun and the prison cell: and the Western States is simply too fragile, too rigid and old and brittle, to hold together under an “all stick and no carrot” tyrant for long.

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