Let Them Make Soap.

Spiffy new anti-Christian attack ad by Tide here.

Place to make your feelings known, here.

How to make your own laundry soap, here(and probably about a million other places on the internet too).

Free Expression

Stevenson Quote

[Note–please be sure to read this article from The Federalist!]
I linked this post to a Facebook group that is for Christian Church/church of Christ ministers only. It was deleted within an hour. Ironically, this is a post about the denial of free expression and sharing it is also denied.

This is because there are, within conservative, evangelical Christianity, at least two camps of opinion about how cultural matters ought to be decided. At this time, in North America, by far the largest is the camp that believes the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is about saving souls, and making good ethical disciples, who express their Christianity as much as they can in their businesses, places of work, schools, neighbourhoods, etc. These, however, are heavily influenced by the Adventism of the mid-nineteenth century, which taught that the end of the world was immanent, and the focus should be on individual salvation while the rest of the world, its governments, institutions, its culture is abandoned to Satan. Those who hold to this view make up the vast majority of Christians today, and it is the “received view” of most megachurches.

These are the ones who will not sympathize much with business people who, out of a commitment to Christ, refuse to celebrate same-sex marriages. They would argue that their work is secular, and that they must therefore submit to the laws of the land (Romans 13:1ff). This view is often inconsistent, as it generally accepts the sacred/secular distinction as it applies to Christians in the marketplace, but protests loudly (and rightly) at the abortion holocaust.

The other camp believes that the Dominion Mandate (a.k.a. the “Cultural Mandate.” There are some great resources here) of Genesis 1:28 has not been rescinded, and that the glory of the Lord is literally to spread “throughout the earth” (Habakkuk 2:14). The belief here is that God has sovereign rights over all His Creation, and those rights are not diminished by human reason or law. This view holds that the moral law is demanded of all humans everywhere, and that civil law ought to reflect that. It does not understand Biblical Law as salvific, that is, it does not teach that salvation comes through the Law, but rather that the implications of Christian discipleship range through all of life. In other words, it is wholistic: Christianity is not only about one’s personal ethics or inner life, or family, but demands obedience in all places, and God’s Law is to be obeyed by all. When a nation perverts this Law, Christians are obligated to prophesy against them, and to use means to bring these nations back under the Law of God.

It does not mean that a nation will become Christian, in that all, or even a vast majority of its inhabitants will be Christians, but when man’s law is in disobedience to God’s Law, the Christian is obliged to speak and to act.

As to work, this view understands that all of work is a part of God’s Dominion Mandate, and thus is holy, sacred. There is no secular world.

As Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!'”

Follow-up to Previous Post: "Stay Out of the Ghetto."

pew-and-pulpit

Earlier this month I posted an article warning against the ghettoisation of Christianity. This post illustrates well the challenges that are met by those who must work and live outside the ghetto:

Article here from the Gospel Coalition.

Love Your Neighbour as Yourself

Union Jack

Christians do not seek human law to establish their faith–they establish better laws by their faith. Governments can make many things legal, but what is legal may be abhorrent in God’s eyes. We may know this by looking into His moral law. Bad legislation is a curse, and must be rallied against. It is an argument of straw to suggest that Christians are seeking to force unbelievers into faith, or Christian behaviour. We are simply doing what God requires when we expose falsehood and lies.

When Wilberforce (1759-1833) chipped away at the British slave trade for 20 years, before it was outlawed in 1807. He then set out to abolish slavery in the entire British Empire, and did so successfully 1833. He learned of his success 3 days before his death. He was not seeking to pass laws to make men Christian. He did not wish to force people to pray, take communion, or read their Bibles; but he was seeking to save the slaves from their misery. Unless we think sodomy is not such a bad thing, is it not an enslavement to the lowest form of debasement known to man? Can we not see the horror of the abortion from the fleeting sense of the baby? Can we, who supposedly have the light, let people sit in darkness when it is in our power to agitate otherwise?Wilberforce

The command that we “love our neighbour as we love ourselves” encapsulates the idea that we must seek to repeal bad law, and enact good law. The laws that permit same-sex marriage, to teach sodomy to children, to abort children for any reason, to allow euthanasia, and to generally permit and encourage promiscuity, are bad laws. They are demonstrably evil, and letting them stand unchallenged, is a form of hatred against our neighbours, not love. To sit by and say, “we can’t expect unbelievers to act like Christians” is a moot point. Out of simple love of neighbour these new cultural norms must be exposed as the lies they are.

Wilberforce became a Christian in 1785, and from that point on he championed the abolition of slavery. Being a disciple of Christ meant that and it means this: that we are Christians in every facet of our lives. Jesus said to “make disciples of all nations.” Discipleship means much more than personal piety, devotions, church attendance, evangelism, and benevolence (although it includes all this). It means that we are called to follow Jesus, and we cannot, must not, leave Him at the door of the office, shop, academy, or legislature. If He is not Lord in these places, is He Lord anywhere, besides our hearts?

Too much of current Christian thought seeks to reel in believers to an enclave of faith and devotion, and to, in practise, ignore the wider Kingdom of God. I am totally embarrassed for what some preachers have said recently, “Bake the cake! Bake the gayest cake you can!” As though this is an act of love! Really? Are we showing love when we affirm the proof of a man or woman’s depravity? Can we not show love without participation in their sin?

I think of the poor businessmen and businesswomen who are abandoned by the ministers of the Gospel at this time; it is a blight upon the church of Christ. They are told to do as they are told, as if God blessed their businesses so that they can be good apostates. Wisely, most are refusing, despite the crowing of the crowd. It truly hurts, though, when the scorn is cast from those who preach the Gospel. They are as called do business in God’s Kingdom as the preacher is, and it is a perfect hypocrisy to expect them to live by a lower standard. That is a truncated Gospel.

I have heard it said, that “if a person wants to do business in the world, he must do it by the world’s rules.” So I ask, when the world determines that it owns the children of the church, do we hand them over? Worldly psychology has claimed ownership of the soul, so we must stop trying to convert (and therefore, change) those trapped in sin? Sociology exerts ownership of the family through children’s aid societies, so families too are out of the scope of the Gospel? What of discipleship is left? What part of life falls under the Lordship of Christ? If Christian businessmen and businesswomen must submit to the state against their faith and consciences, then when the state demands that preaching the Gospel conform to state standards (they say you’re one of the “helping professions”), these preachers will have to comply, since that is what they are teaching now.

In the first generations of Christianity, the culture was ignored and violated when Christians had the audacity to gather up the abandoned infants and elderly. In later generations, Christians violated cultural norms at every turn, and saved souls and sanctified culture.

In modern times, I think of the Ten Boom family (and many others), who violated both culture and law, and hid Jews from the Nazis (the holocaust was legal, after all). Why did they do this? Because the Jews were in need, they were their neighbour, and the Ten Booms obeyed God rather than man. In all areas of life, there are many such examples. The price paid for non-compliance was often very high. But is this not what Jesus said would happen (Matthew 10:34-39; 16:24-26)?

God is Lord over this world and everything in it, including governments and institutions. This is true whether it is acknowledged or not. Christians cannot pretend otherwise.