Monday, October 15, 2012
'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth'.
'Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven'.
For the past 150 years, give or take, our culture has been on a downward slide! Some may blame it on some outside 'force' ( many Christians will tell you that this world is 'Satan's ), and since we're only passing through, anyway, on our way to 'heaven', it seems most feel that to get involved in politics, if not an outright sin against God, does no more than to 'polish brass on a sinking ship'.
The separation of church and state, if not the most egregious crime committed in the past several centuries, has to be one of the most insidious and far-reaching ideas ever perpetrated. This country was founded upon biblical principles, and thus, for a while truly prospered. As the Church began to loose Her impact though, both in the pulpits and the streets, more and more immoral and irreligious behavior began to take place under her up-turned nose, and so much so that it has become, not just accepted, but in many ways and places, even encouraged or mandated!
One only need read a history, even up till a few centuries ago, to see what impact, though questionable, maybe, the Church has had on the Culture around Her. Up until a century ago or so, the Church still held this sway, but with the notion that the Church, even individual institutional churches, should not be involved with civil matters, or matters of state, Her influence has rapidly dwindled!
Society, as a whole, should be a reflection of the Church, but instead, we too often see it the other way around! Seeker-friendly churches are just one example; rather than leading the sinner to repentance, we have joined in his sin so that he will fill our coffins, I mean 'coffers'!
This missive is aimed, not only at the institutional church, where much of the problem most visibly lies, but at the very 'heart' of the Body of Christ Herself! This is not to say that every individual member of the Body of Christ should feel pangs of guilt for this ignominy, because there are many out there, within and without the institutional church who have taken very serious note of this problem, and have quietly, even subversively been working to correct the problem. As a whole though, we need to take far more seriously, and with greater fervor, the original ( creation ) mandate, to tend the Garden, and to have dominion over the entire creation, not just what lies within the four walls of our church buildings!
The political landscape of this country, sad to say, is directly proportional to the saving influence of the Church! Because of the aforementioned decision to separate Herself, for whatever reason, from matters of state, both Church & State have suffered, the difference being that the Church, because of her focus on 'heavenly' things, has reclined, while the State, because it has not the Church to show it a better Way, has declined: one could almost rightly say that the Church ( yes, the Body of Christ ) has declined as well!
Though this may be the case, and the Church, along with the State, may seem to be caught in an inescapable down spiral; all is not lost, we ARE the Body of Christ, and with the authority of Christ ( God ), Who IS the True Ruler of this world, we CAN once again exert the influence on the State that we once held, and should have!
Can this nation be turned back to the course which Her Creator set for Her in His Holy Word, and revealed though His Church? Can we, the Body of Christ, His Church, through the power and authority given to US, bring this nation back from the seeming brink of disaster?!
You bet we can, the question is, 'will we?'
With fear and trembling,
Charles Haddon Shank