Evangelism, Law, Wrath, and a Scholar Alert

I am currently working on a transcription of Gary North’s Victim’s Rights: and one of the passages that’s worth noting is:

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Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who bath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that bath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deut. 4:5-8).

What this passage reveals is that God’s Bible-revealed law is a tool of international evangelism. This fact has been forgotten or ignored by Christians for well over three centuries. The “city on a hill” concept has been redefined by Christians to apply only to personal ethics, family ethics, and church order. It is not supposed to have anything to do with social order. The modem church self-consciously denies what the Bible makes plain, namely, that biblical law is the only God-sanctioned means of bringing permanent social order (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). The Bible teaches this clearly, but modem man sticks his fingers in his ears. He refuses to listen. To admit this would be to admit that the works of his own hands cannot save his soul, heal his institutions, or bring lasting social peace.

This deafness is a sign of God’s wrath: He has made modem man judicially blind and deaf just as He did with the Jews of Jesus’ day: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). This was Isaiah’s warning, too (Isa. 6:9-10). Jesus then told His disciples that they were not numbered among those who were judicially blind: “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Matt. 13:16).

In our day, however, this blessing has been withdrawn, at least with respect to the church’s understanding of (and respect for) God’s revealed law. God has given the church over to its sins. The vast majority of God’s people today have self-consciously adopted the same view of biblical law that is held by the covenant- breakers. They have abandoned the heritage of the Calvinist Protestant Reformers and the Puritans, who held the civil laws of the Old Testament in high regard – a fact that has been written out of the history books, including most of the specialized monographs written by church historians.

(A notable exception is the remarkable, massively documented book by Henning Graf Reventlow, The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modem World (Philadelphia: Fortress Press; London: SCM Press, [1980] 1984). )

Ideas have consequences. The American church has been swept by a series of front-page scandals – the mere tip of the iceberg. The pagan world howls with delight. By honoring God’s law, Christians evangelize; by self-consciously disobeying it, they “de-evangelize.” As Nathan reminded David: “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die” (II Sam. 12: 14). There are negative sanctions built into God’s covenant order if men will not enforce them, God will. This is how God evangelizes. To which the evangelical church responds: “Mean God, harsh God, naughty, naughty! Go to your room!”

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Divine Law and Divine Justice is to be manifested in Christian societies, so the whole world can see that there is justice and freedom and prosperity where Christ’s Law-Word is respected… as opposed to the slavery, oppression, and poverty of Islamic or Marxist or otherwise Secularist cultures.

“But secularist cultures aren’t poor!”

“As Christianity fades, poverty comes in. Observe the eagerness that the current media pushes the narrative of ‘necessary sacrifices of freedom and prosperity’ for any old reason: be it a disease or some freshly created human right, or any other goal, created for any reason or none at all, that Our Betters have taken a fancy to.”

“You just don’t like being told what to do.”

“The call of ‘Liberty‘ and ‘Freedom of conscience‘ and ‘Don’t legislate morality‘ was something all secularists loudly proclaimed when they lacked the power they desire… but the media has mysteriously fallen silent about this today, when those freethinkers finally gained the power they always hungered for.”

“Times change.”

“Indeed, they do… and they change for the worse when Christians crawl and hide in their ghettos and prayer closets. Once upon a time, there was always a modifier when there was a seizure of power: ‘temporary sacrifices’ and ‘the provisional state of emergency’. Our Masters don’t bother with those qualifiers now.”

Scholar Alert

The Authority of the Bible and the Rise of the Modem World is currently available at Amazon.com, with the new price of $84.99, and nine used copies as low as $42.31.

Not a bad buy!

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