Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Render Unto Caesar Only What Is His

OK, having drove around the country side, I was thinking about something Al Mohler said in his Blog Post, Why I Signed The Manhattan Declaration.
But when Catholic Charities in Massachusetts chose to end its historic ministry of placing orphaned children in good homes because the State of Massachusetts required it to place children with same-sex couples, this is not just a Catholic issue. The orphanage could have easily been Baptist. When Belmont Abbey college in North Carolina is told by federal authorities that it must offer abortion services in its insurance plans for employees, this is no longer just a Catholic issue. The next institution to be under attack might well be Presbyterian. We are in this together, and we had better be thankful that, in this case, we are not alone.

Finally, I signed The Manhattan Declaration because I want to put my name on its final pledge -- that we will not bend the knee to Caesar. We will not participate in any subversion of life. We will not be forced to accept any other relationship as equal in status or rights to heterosexual marriage. We will not refrain from proclaiming the truth -- and we will order our churches and institutions and ministries by Christian conviction.

Although I have trouble with just defending a Roman Catholic group and not anyone else outside the document's Orthodox, Catholic and evangelicals, Mohler makes an interesting statement. He states in the second paragraph above,
we will not bend the knee to Caesar. We will not participate in any subversion of life.
The more I think about it, the more I like it. Now will he be consistent with this thinking and the Christian Two-Kingdom model? If he is, then here is what ought to happen. He ought to step out of the pulpit and as a citizen of the United States he ought to lead a movement in Massachusetts that does exactly what the Roman Catholic church did prior to their giving up the adoption service in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

In other words, reinstate the adoption agency, ignore the Court's rulings, and force the State to come in to your offices and remove members of the organization by force. Make certain this is being video taped for all to see that the removal of freedom and religious liberty has officially been enacted upon by force.

If we really want to see the institutions of our society protected from a Left-wing Radical state, then we must be willing to politically team up with any and all who stand for liberty. We must not be tied down to a Christian document that only Christians may sign. We must ever keep the Kingdom of God separate from this kind of action (Jesus' Kingdom is not of this world) while at the same time arguing for religious freedom and being informed by the wisdom of God's Word.

The Christian is to love his neighbor. Jesus taught us as much. As a Christian, I am to proclaim the Good News of Christ to my neighbors. As a citizen of the city of man, I am also to love my neighbor (Whoever he is) in every day living. How might I do this? When I served in the military, I may have had to lay down my life for my country. As a fireman, I may have to lay down my life to save my neighbor's family. As an EMT, I may have to lay down my life in a situation that places me in danger. As a citizen of the city of man, I may do these things right along side of non-Christians. Nevertheless, I will be doing these things as a Christian and informed by the wisdom of my God revealed in the Scriptures.

Mohler states,
Though Christians struggle to understand the extent to which our convictions should be incorporated in the law, we must now recognize that the very respect for these convictions -- and the freedom to follow and obey these convictions in our own lives, families, and ministries is now at stake.
Some questions. How do we keep the idea of standing for freedom from being confused with the power of the Gospel? How do we as Christians make certain that the preaching in the pulpits of our churches do not become another political platform, thereby losing the power of the Gospel? Is this method relying upon the powers of men and not looking to Christ to deliver our society's ills?

At some point the Christian citizen along with his liberty loving non-Christian neighbor will be forced to engage. Are we to go silently or do we defend ourselves? Is this to look similar to the Civil Rights movement by using non-violent protests? How far do we go, and when do we start?

In conclusion, the idea of a merely political Christian declaration confuses these categories. Perhaps what needs to happen is something very similar to the forming of the Republican Party. Perhaps a new political movement under a new political party. Perhaps a party called the Constitution Party? Oh, wait, one already exists.


RichardS said...

"We will not participate in any subversion of life" (Al Mohler).

Perhaps he will not participate in any subversion of physical life, but one wonders if by joining hands with ecumenical forces there has been subverion of the Gospel of life.

Howard Fisher said...

Exactly! You have caught on to my point. This post had a mixture of patriotism that I personally have for this country, some hypocrisy and some theological contradictions.

His post can say that he will not compromise the Gospel all he wants, but changing definitions should not be the method of how he accomplishes what he is attempting to do.

His entire post contradicts what he has said at Together 4 the Gospel Conferences.

I think in the end, he is like the rest of us Americans. He loves his country. He loves religious liberty. He loves what God has done for us here. However, he contradicts his own articles on abortion in going the direction he is going here.