Many of you have heard about Arnold Abbott, a man who was arrested for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is not the first time something like this has happened in America. These sorts of things are fast becoming the norm in our nation, not the exception. Laws that criminalize good conduct seem to be the specialty of American jurisprudence these days.
Let me give you another example, a bit closer to home. In our state of Delaware, a woman can legally murder her child (if the conditions are right—namely, the child is inside the mother’s womb). At the same time, it is virtually illegal for a midwife to help women give birth to children. I was in attendance at the Health Committee meetings at Legislative Hall this past summer—I learned that our legislators are good at one thing: decreeing wicked decrees. Sadly, the people love to have it so. They keep reelecting these men and women who hate God and His Law.
But God’s Word is not silent on this issue.
Woe unto them that decree wicked decrees, and write grievous things, to keep back the poor from judgment, and to take away the judgment of the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may spoil the fatherless. (Isaiah 10:1-2)
In the book of Micah, God denounces the people for keeping the statues of a pagan ruler (statutes based on pagan thought):
For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the manner of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels, that I should make thee waste, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people. (Micah 6:16)
It should be obvious: if a society is to honor Christ, they must follow His Law. The Church in America has largely abandoned the relevance and validity of God’s Law-Word for the civil government. We and our fathers have sown the seeds of humanistic, enlightenment thinking (baptized in the name of Christianity)—and now, my friends, we are reaping the whirlwind.
When will this nation wake up and say, “Hey, natural law isn’t working out so well for us in this nation”? Maybe it will be when we start getting arrested for helping the poor. Maybe it will be when we start getting arrested for preaching the gospel. Maybe then we will realize we are to bring all things under the Crown Rights of the King.
The Church has been lulled into complacency. We can think, “We have such ‘great blessings’ here. We have ‘religious freedom’—let’s not cause too much trouble, lest we lose the freedoms we have.” What? Bow the knee to Caesar in the name of our little pocket of obedience to Christ! What? Hunker down in our little Christian ghettos in order to retain a semblance of “freedom” while our nation is being destroyed! We can think, “Let’s not rock the boat too much. We should be thankful for what we have—we can worship freely at least.” The Church doesn’t need careful men. The Church needs faithful men. As Doug Wilson said, “The careful men come later and write biographies about the faithful men, lauding them for their courage.”
Rock the boat? I don’t want to rock the boat of the Church’s complacence. I want to sink that ugly ship. By the grace of God, may the Church wake up to her duty to transform the culture for Christ, calling all men everywhere to repent and follow Christ. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: that means the civil magistrates as well.
I am preaching this message first to myself. I need to be stirred up from my complacency and my lazy desire to fight against the idea that the culture is the report card of the Church.
God is not in exile (despite what one of my favorite Bible teachers has said). Our system of humanistic government will not last. God is judging and will judge a nation such as this (cf. Jeremiah 5:29). What will our nation do when the day of our punishment comes due to our sin of rejecting Christ and His Law for our nation?
What will ye do now in the day of visitation, and of destruction, which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help and where will ye leave your glory? Without me everyone shall fall among them that are bound, and they shall fall down among the slain: yet for all this his wrath is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. (Isaiah 10:3-4)
The question for the Church is this: What will we do when this system crumbles? To whom will we flee for help? Will we try to implement another humanistic, anti-Christ system of “natural law”? Or will we finally see the goodness and beauty and justice of God’s Law? Oh, may we see that only the latter will honor Christ!
When God indicted the nation of Judah, He gave them a laundry list of reasons why His judgment was coming. One prominent theme was the nation’s proclivity to national injustice and violence. “But thine eyes and thine heart are but only for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for destruction, even to do this.” (Jeremiah 22:17). My friends, that is a painfully accurate description of America.
When the leading cause of death in a nation is legalized murder, that nation is ripe for destruction from the Almighty. (In case you’re not aware, I am talking about abortion, and yes, I am talking about America.)
Even when God judged Judah, He also judged the pagan nations. God did not simply judge “His people” in the Old Testament, He judged all nations. And He continues to do so today. The following verse is frightening. This is what God said to the nations around Judah, lest they would think that God only brings judgment on a nation “in covenant” with Him:
For lo, I begin to plague the city, where my Name is called upon, and should you go free? Ye shall not go acquited: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. (Jeremiah 25:29)
The same is true today. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven, where Jesus is sitting on His throne as King (cf. Romans 1:18; Matthew 28:18). Woe to those in America who are decreeing iniquitous decrees. Kiss the Son, America, lest you perish in the way. Kiss the Son, and then He will bring forth our righteousness as the light, and our justice as the noonday (Psalm 37:6).
There is no King but Christ. Let’s act like it.