The Chief Attribute of God

Quoting from North & DeMar’s Christian Reconstruction:

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Reconstructionists believe that Christians should follow the examples of biblical characters such as Joseph, Daniel, and Jesus Christ Himself. Joseph and Daniel both exercised enormous influence within the world’s greatest empires. But they attained their positions by hard work, perseverance in persecution and suffering, and faithful obedience. Jesus Christ attained to His throne only by enduring the suffering of the cross. Christians are no different. We are not to attain positions of leadership by revolution or rebellion. Instead, we are to work at our callings, and wait on the Lord to place us in positions of influence, in His time.[1]

Gary North has called those who wish to advance the kingdom by revolution “romantic revolutionaries.”[2] This is not a recent emphasis in North’s writings. His first major book was Marx’s Religion of Revolution, in which he insisted that “faithful men will remain orderly in all the aspects of their lives; they are not to create chaos in order to escape from law (Rom. 13; I Cor. 14:40). It is reserved for God alone to bring his total judgment to the world.” In the biblical worldview, “it is God, and only God, who initiates the change.”[3] North has pointed out repeatedly that the kingdom of God advances ethically as the people of God work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Revolutionaries are lawless. Their time frame is short. In fact, one of Dr. North’s books, Moses and Pharaoh, is subtitled Dominion Religion versus Power Religion. Power Religion, he writes,

is a religious viewpoint which affirms that the most important goal for a man, group, or species, is the capture and maintenance of power. Power is seen as the chief attribute of God, or if the religion is officially atheistic, then the chief attribute of man. This perspective is a satanic perversion of God’s command to man to exercise dominion over all the creation (Gen. 1:26-28). It is the attempt to exercise dominion apart from covenantal subordination to the true Creator God.

What distinguishes biblical dominion religion from satanic power religion is ethics.[4]

Still, the Bible teaches that we are at war, and that we must prepare for it. The apostle Paul tells Christians to “put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6: 11). At first, even Pilate considered Jesus’ kingdom to be militaristic and political (John 18:28- 40). In Acts, the Christians were described as a sect preaching “another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7). These were the forerunners of The People for the American Way. They said of the first-century Christians, “These men who have upset the world have come here also; and Jason has welcomed them, and they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (vv. 6-7). There was another king, but those outside of Christ put a political and revolutionary slant on Christ’s kingship.

[1] See David Chilton, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987), pp. 511-12; James B. Jordan, “Rebellion, Tyranny, and Dominion in the Book of Genesis,” in Gary North, ed., Tactics of Christian Resistance, Christianity and Civilization No.3 (Tyler, TX: Geneva Ministries, 1983), pp. 38-80.

[2] Gary North, “Editor’s Introduction,” Christianity and Civilization, Number 3 (Summer 1983), pp. xxxii-xxxvii.

[3] North, Marx’s Religion of Revolution (Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, 1968), p. 99. This same quotation appears in the revised second edition (1989) on page 86.

[4] (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1985), p. 2. Dr. North distinguishes among “Power Religion,” “Escapist Religion,” and “Dominion Religion” (pp. 2-5). He makes it very clear that “Power Religion” is a militant religion that is unlawful and counterproductive.

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When walking on earth, Jesus Christ was still God, even though He had no armies and no throne, and had to pay taxes to a foreign pagan dictatorship that worshiped the Emperor and various deities of the Roman State.

What Jesus insisted on was not money and power, but flawless ethics: complete sinlessness before the perfect Law of God.

Naturally, he has power, ownership of the entire Creation, and a throne set at the right hand of the Father now. But not while he walked the earth, 2000 years ago, and not before His crucifixion, naked before the Roman State and the mocking Priesthood.

First full and satisfactory obedience to God, then the great reward from the Father’s Hand.

Where Jesus Christ leads, we must follow.

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