Friday, January 29, 2016

The one who rules over all

God's people in our day have no revealed mandate to swing the actual word sword of God's justice at contemporary pagans. But the principle remains - we must retain a distinct separation from our culture while mounting an active opposition to it, else we will blend with it. We are still called to this separation from and combat with our own godless culture.

Time was when we used to smile a bit at the fundies who denounced television and the cinema (I mention these because they are very 'Canaanite' in their sexual preoccupation), but the more recent pornographic explosion has sobered us. Celluloid is a powerful cultural medium, fully as dangerous to the Christian mind for what it suggests as for what it preaches, as perilous in what it finds laughable as in what it seriously propounds. But that is simply one aspect of our secularized culture. [The explosion of pornography on the Internet since these lines were written only confirms what he says.]

The church needs not only saints who live godly lives but also saints who develop godly minds and thereby critique and expose the whole gamut of the godless culture in which we live, minds that can not only recognized false doctrine (whether it comes via advertising, education, or government pronouncements) but also unmask the assumptions behind Antichrist's propaganda. Is this not our mandate? 'Instead of being moulded to this world, have your mind renewed, and so be transformed in nature, able to make out what the will of God is, namely, what is good and acceptable to him and perfect." (Romans 12:2 Moffatt)

One word more. If the church is going to do this we must cease thinking that God calls only missionaries and pastors. We must ask God to call believers to be artists, journalists, politicians and historians. That is, if we are to produce an effective counterculture we must begin by holding that all of life belongs to Yahweh (Baal has no royal rights at all in any compartment of Yahweh's universe). Our congregation has produced a brochure which we give to people we visit, part of which summarizes our beliefs. Among our essential convictions we include that 'God rules over all of life: nothing is outside his dominion - whether business and politics, economics and education, science and sex, history and harvests, art and affliction, music and marriage. All of life is holy and must be submitted to his reign.' That will not solve our cultural problem. But if we make any progress it must begin with that conviction. If we assume Baal has a corner of farming and sex, then we have already given the crown rights of Jesus to Antichrist.

From Such a Great Salvation - Expositions of the Book of Judges, by Dale Ralph Davis. pages 34/5

At this point in the book, Davis is discussing how Baal was worshipped for his supposed control over harvests (hence the reference to farming), and within the worship was temple prostitution, which the Israelites got themselves involved in, to their peril. 

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