National Conversion

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
-2 Corinthians 2:14

Our nation is in a state of apostasy. We stand under God’s wrath, and we are sure to experience further judgment if we do not repent. Our land will be given over to invaders and our women and children will be taken from us.

The appropriate response to our crisis is not to “just preach the Gospel,” nor is it to simply engage in political action, relying on the arm of the flesh to fight against the spiritual enemies of idolatry and unbelief. Neither pietistic personal religion nor secular politics is sufficient to bring about national conversion. We must do away with the false divide between personal religion and public affairs, for God clearly desires His Word to govern both areas.

The apostle Paul tells us that we are to make manifest the knowledge of God in every place, and we are to do this not only by reciting theological propositions, but by “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:10). Our whole life must be a sacrifice to God, an imitation of Christ in love and in knowledge of the Creator’s will for His creation. National conversion will be accomplished when the thoughts and actions of fathers, pastors and magistrates are all brought into obedience to Christ. All things in the life of a converted nation will become new, and the sweet savor of Christ will be known in our land.

I believe that our mission of national conversion can be divided into five main areas:
-personal holiness
-the mission to our families
-the mission to our neighbors
-the mission to magistrates
-the mission to pastors

Personal Holiness
We must approach our mission of national conversion with a clear conscience that is reconciled to God through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus. If we preach Biblical law and morality out of purely pragmatic motivations, we will never bear fruit that is pleasing to the Lord. In short, we must first be converted if we are to act as agents for national conversion, and this conversion must be more than a mere intellectual assent to the proposition that Christ died for our sins. We also must believe that Christ will keep us clean from the filth of this fallen world. We must believe that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23), and accordingly live by faith, walking in the Spirit of God that has been promised to us. While growing in personal holiness we must be ever vigilant against the sin of pride. Conversion starts with acknowledging our own sins and our own helplessness. Becoming a Christian means coming to believe that you are a sinner worthy of damnation, but that God has graciously chosen to make you a new creation by the sacrifice of His own son.  Growth in holiness is not a moving beyond this initial Christian conversion, but is rather a constant return to it. Growth in holiness is a deepening of the understanding of our own sinfulness and the power of God that works within us. While our understanding of the Gospel and Christian living deepens and matures, it does not become more complex. Throughout our pilgrimage on earth our life is to revolve around the same key spiritual weapons of the Gospel: faith in the atonement, remembrance of the covenant signed and sealed in baptism and in the Lord’s supper, confession of our sins to God (or a brother, if needed), fasting, prayer and works of love. Taken together, these aspects of Christian living put to death the old man and cast out the demons that seek to drive us back to those sins that we enjoyed when we were children of wrath. Through this life of perpetual faith and crucifixion of the flesh we are made free from the bondage of lust, gluttony, drunkenness, hatred, envy and pride, and by grace we live in peace, meekness, temperance and love (Galatians 5). If our Christian walk is not conspicuously marked by these virtues, then the old sinful nature still reigns within us and must be assaulted by the spiritual weapons mentioned above. Only after we have become experienced warriors in this spiritual struggle can we claim to have a solid foundation from which to carry out the mission of national conversion.

The Mission to our Families
Whether married or single, we all have a responsibility to preach the Gospel and confront evil within our own families. However, married men have a particular calling in this area, for husbands have a divine grant of authority over their wives and children. Husbands are called to be pastors of their own families, and following our Lord’s commandment to make disciples of all nations must start by making fiery disciples of our wives and children.

There are many practical steps that can be taken in order to accomplish this, but it all must begin with a turning of the father’s heart to his wife and children. Jesus tells us that, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Fathers must deny themselves whenever their own selfish desires, career ambitions or hobbies prevent them from spending more time and effort pastoring their families. Our Lord promises us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30), and this is never more true than when we deny ourselves out of love for our wives and children. Even the heathen have a natural desire to see their children thrive in worldly attainment, and these heathen parents will make great sacrifices to ensure the success of their children. We must outstrip the heathen in our devotion to our children, and do so with a heart that rejoices in personal sacrifice. The best practical instruction that I have seen on the topic of raising children is The Godly Home series preached by Denny Kenaston (available here). I cannot recommend this series highly enough.

The Christian home must be rich in prayer and Bible study. Devotions and catechesis must take place daily from the time when children first learn to talk. This instruction can be taken directly from reading through the Bible on one’s own, or through a scheduled lectionary. There are also several different Evangelical daily devotionals available online to assist in family worship (see here, here and here). For more formal, liturgical worship, one can use the daily office from the Book of Common Prayer. The father must make use of prayer in the morning and the evening, before meals, before travel, before starting school activities, and during sickness and adversity. Given that the government schools are ruled by the devil and his servants, the best way to raise Christian children is by educating them at home. The godly home is filled with the aroma of Christ. Pleasing, reasonable sacrifices to God are offered up in family devotions and joyful singing of hymns throughout the day. Children flourish when they are nourished on the living waters promised in Christ to those who abide in Him. Putting children in government schools is like putting a plant in a dark closet throughout the day. Without the sun of righteousness, they wither.

The Mission to our Neighbors
We have no direct legal or spiritual authority over our unconverted neighbors, and therefore we must attack their sinful lives with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). While it is good to inform our neighbors of the evils of the Jewish elites and their gentiles accomplices, our most pressing duty to our neighbors is to preach to them the salvation offered in Jesus. We must not rely too much on blaming secular society for the damnable sins of no-fault divorce, fornication, pornography, drugs, drunkenness, and unclean amusements. Jewish pharmaceutical companies may be taking advantage of our people, but they are only able to do so because our people are unconverted and therefore love sin more than righteousness. Their own grievous fault and need for redemption must be placed before their minds if they are ever to repent. Salvation does not come by removing the temptation to sin through legislation and state power, but by receiving a new heart from God. The Scriptural knowledge and Christian virtue that we cultivate through the pursuit of personal holiness and the mission to our families will serve as the foundation of the mission to our neighbors as well. It can also be quite useful to study apologetics in order to provide a Christian response the various worldly philosophies that one will encounter when publicly speaking God’s truth.

The Mission to Magistrates
The Bible tells us that we are to be subject to the civil authority (Romans 13), and therefore we are not permitted to break the law, except in cases where following human law would require us to violate God’s law (Acts 5:29). But that does not mean that we are to be passive in the realm of politics. God has clearly revealed His standard of morality in His Word, and all magistrates will be held accountable for any violation of God’s law. Thus our mission to magistrates must consist in making them aware of this responsibility. In the previous section I emphasized the fact that when converting sinners, we must lay before them their own grievous faults, rather than relying on legislation to take away the temptation to sin. While this is undoubtedly true, it does not in the least mean that we should not encourage our magistrates to enact laws to suppress evil. The Bible is perfectly clear on this point: individuals are commanded to repent of their own sins, and magistrates are commanded to punish evil acts. This is because God demands holiness in all areas of life, and a converted nation must have both individual repentance from personal sin and collective repentance from wicked laws and customs.

In addition to the simple act of voting for candidates who come the closest to upholding God’s moral teaching, we must reach out directly to our legislators with the message of godly governance or support those involved with this mission. Become familiar with the requirements of God’s law by studying the works of R.J. Rushdoony (see here and here), Greg Bahnsen, and Matt Trewhella. Even though Trewhella and the Bahnsen do not embrace the full Biblical teaching on race and nation, their promotion of the validity of God’s law is the first step to embracing this truth. Once magistrates have been brought to accept the Bible as the only infallible source of morality, we can move on to demonstrating how concepts like “racism” and “diversity” are completely humanistic and not based on God’s law.

The Mission to Pastors
While not necessarily last in priority, I place this mission last in order because in a way it is a recapitulation of everything that has gone before. Everything that is said in this article should be preached by America’s pastors, but tragically it rarely is. The biggest impediment to national conversion is the compromising nature of our nation’s clergy. The chief goal of this mission is to convict pastors of the failings of their own churches and their own ministry. After cultivating personal holiness, founding a godly home and becoming familiar with the requirements of God’s law, one will be in a good position to confront pastors with the hard truth. Why are the churches preaching humanism instead of God’s law? Why are the churches silent on the evils of the government schools? Why are Christian divorce rates so embarrassingly high? Why do so many children raised in the Church end up going astray? More than anything, point out that if the established churches were truly acting as salt and light, we would not be living in a modern day Sodom. As with magistrates, there is no need to begin the conversation by addressing the Jewish problem or the reality of race. Until a pastor accepts God’s law and develops a burden for the eternal fate of the children in his own congregation, he is unlikely to posses a godly love for his racial brethren.

 

Comments

  1. Don

    Apostasy in scripture is found to be judged of one nation and one nation only, and that is the nation of Israel for which she has fallen under judgement even today. No where do we find it referenced in scripture as the character of the gentile nations. As you call it “National Apostasy” I can not find in scripture. The concept applies to one nation only as I have mentioned. Apostasy speaks of a falling away from that which is true or the truth according to scripture. It speaks of being chosen of God and departing away from and not walking according to the calling and chosen circumstances. In the Old Testament that is Israel and only Israel. In the New Testament we have something new. Not of nations but of individual believers from among the nations who have been chosen. Therefore apostasy is referenced to the individual not to nations. Believers do not have an earthly calling. They make up the Assembly or Church of God . They have a heavenly calling with a heavenly citizenship and there hope is not found in this scene but to be with the bride groom, the head of the Church who is in the heavenly presently seated at the right hand of God . Therefore should the gaze of the believer be, looking heavenward unto Christ for her eternal promises and treasures rest there, not on earth.

    You claim that everything in this letter should be preached by pastors, and tragically it is not. I say it is tragic that you are terribly misguided in your effort to once again place men under a yoke or burned of a form of the law. You can not force the unregenerate among men to behave morally according to God’s standard. That is foolishness. Not even the Lord here in this scene attempted to do such a thing. This just dominionism of which you preach. These are the things which lead to apostasy.

    The “Great Commission” as it is called, was that the disciples were to go preach the gospel of the glad tidings of Jesus Christ crucified and raised again on the third day as the propitiation for sin. They were not commission to lay hold of the rule over the nations.

    Bear in mind the Lord himself told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. Rather we are told at present that it is under the heavy influence of Satan. The scriptures declare him to be the “Prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), and the “God of this world” (2Cor. 4:4).

    Since sin has entered this world through man, this world came into ruin and has been judged. Thus God’s principle has been for those who are chosen by him to “come out from the world and touch not the unclean thing, and He shall be there God and they will be his people.”

    You proposition of dominionism is in itself is promoting apostasy.

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