We live in a generation that is totalitarian in principle, having accepted all the basic totalitarian premises. Denying the Lordship of Jesus Christ drives you to those premises — for if Jesus is not Lord, then there is a vacancy that men will always want to fill. Without an exhaustive rule through the predestinating love of the Father, unbelieving men will always see a job opening. They will want to fill that gap. They mimic the Father’s omnipotence, which is where we get the totalitarian part. They also try to mimic His love, which is how we get the tolerance farce. And so it is that we find ourselves suffocating under this totalitolerance.
Examples pour in daily, but here is a fresh one. Gov. Brown of California has signed a bill requiring private pro-life counseling centers to distribute abortion information. Anyone who can look at the news without seeing how everything is coming to a grotesque and convulsive head is simply not paying attention.
Secularism is simply not capable of sustaining limited government. It cannot be done, and this is a problem. Because men are sinners, they require governance. Because men are sinners, they cannot be trusted with governance. Limited government is therefore the first and foundational problem to be solved in any exercise of practical theology. That said, it is a problem that cannot be solved apart from the widespread dissemination of the gospel among the people.
Incidentally, if you solve the problem of limited government by denying any real need for limited government, this is not an exercise in creative problem-solving, but rather an example of going over to the adversary. The Spirit of God is the spirit of liberty. The Holy Spirit is not the spirit of coercion. The impulse to control everything is the machinery of Isengard, and those who want to be a cog in that machinery have all their aspirations pointed in the wrong direction.
If the gospel runs freely, enough people are converted to enable them to understand the problem. If that happens, enough people are converted to enable them to begin to execute a biblical solution — a sample of which we can see in the form of government our nation had at the Founding (checks and balances, separation of powers, etc.). That form of government really was a glorious achievement, and it should be no surprise that it is routinely disparaged by our generation of soi disant political theorists, a.k.a, fiddlers and fussers. “You can’t put banana peels in that can! What are you, evil?”
The gospel, pure and unadulterated, is therefore the thing that Christians must emphasize, and which the adversary will always attack. The adversary will attack it from without by malevolent persecution and from within by disingenuous corruption. If we don’t understand the tactics behind the corruption, then when the time comes we will be mystified by the persecution. We will not understand what our persecutors are up to because we have not understood what our preachers were up to.
There is one truth, the Lord Jesus. There are a million ways to lie. The ways to corrupt the gospel are manifold, and I just want to speak to one of the central tactics here. This is not the only lie, but it is one of the big ones.
Contrary to what you have heard, truth is objective, fixed, everlasting, eternal, unchanging, timeless, and personal. It is not subjective, transitory, temporal, mutable, or impersonal.
One of the central designs of the enemies of our liberties is therefore to detach truth from all of reality, and to detach true statements from any objective correlation to their referent. The former allows for the privatization of “truth,” and the latter reinforces the same kind of privatization in another way, by another route.
By denying the exhaustive authority of natural revelation/natural law, room is created for someone over there to be occupying a realm where a “different truth” might govern. This is followed up by denying the exhaustive authority of Scripture, saying that it is simply the constitutional basis of “our faith community.” By denying natural law, and by denying the absolute nature of Scripture, when the Word of God is laid over the surface of the world, it turns out that a good portion of the world is left sticking out. There is quite a bit of remainder. Like a six foot man under a four foot blanket, the Word is not sufficient. This is what “retreat to commitment” means — foolish Christians trying to curl up under the blanket.
And by denying the correspondence view of truth, room is created for the establishment of a subjective view of truth, which is another way of reinforcing the need for a “retreat to commitment.” We retreat to the places where everyone who says “this is true for me” is affirming the same “truths.” For the present. There are soldiers gathering in the street outside, and they are interested in confiscating our privatized truth, which we weren’t using anyway.
Because of the theological and philosophical malpractice of our Christian leaders, we are now discovering, as the overt totalitarian play is coming together, that our leaders have been quietly emptying out the church’s arsenals and armories for the last half century. This is the trahison des clercs — the treachery and/or fecklessness of the ruling class. It has been very effective.
This is why and how we have gotten to the place where feelings trump everything — inside the church and out. This is why the government believes that it has the authority to regulate absolutely everything — inside the church and out. This is why those who explain what is actually happening are disparaged as being the source of the problem themselves. Everywhere Gandalf went, trouble followed. What is wrong with him?
We started by believing, as we ought to have done, that every man had a right to his own cabbages. We have ended by believing that every man has a right to his own truths. That ends with goons coming from the Department of Agriculture to seize the cabbages, and not one minister of the gospel in ten can explain how all such events are connected.