November 18, 2017

Passing the Torch

by James C. Stephens


 

11.18.2016

reformation-wall-photo-by-paul-landowski

As one briefly considers the Hand of providence in the outcome of the recent US Presidential election, there is little doubt that we have been given a reprieve by Abba, a little extra time. It is the covenant community’s moment to carefully consider the road ahead. It is not a time to let our guard down and return to business as usual, for we live in precarious times.

We’ve seen the enemy.  An adversary in retreat is far more dangerous as they regroup and re-consolidate their forces.  It became obvious in the last eight years, that the mainstream media had become a fifth column for the progressive agenda. During the election, it became clear that we can no longer trust the major channels of information, Silicon Valley, the entrenched two party system with all its fat cat lobbyists and corporate deals, nor the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal judicial system and its renegade justices, nor the Executive branch wielding authority and surveillance powers that it was never intended to exercise.  The failure of millions of Evangelicals to be involved in the political process relinquishing power to progressive coalitions of various stripes pushing a false and divisive narrative is a sign of the Church’s general neglect of taking the lead in issues of the day while holding fast to the true Gospel. The salt has lost its influence in society.

Once again, the Covenant Community should repent, turn back and remember the cry of the Reformation 500 years ago, “Post tenebras lux” (After Darkness, Light).  There was a reason the Reformation occurred when it did. The same vile corruption that was pervasive in the Roman Catholic system has now invaded the very Churches that held fast to the Reformation’s call of Sola Scriptura (“by Scripture alone”); Sola Fide (‘by faith alone”); Sola Gratia(“only grace”); Solus Christus (“Christ alone”); Soli Deo Gloria (“glory to God alone”).

There is massive work to be done and like Nehemiah who surveyed Jerusalem’s broken down walls, we as the covenant community must carefully look at where we’ve gone astray, where we’ve compromised, and where we’ve dropped the standard of our faith. We must re-engage in the work of our generation with more wisdom and tenacity than ever before.

The time is very short.  His coming is immanent. We have been called to seek the welfare of the community we have been called into exile to and in its welfare we shall also have welfare. During the election campaign there was talk of reforming the 501 ©3 system. However, there is more than a need to reform, there is a need to separate from a system based upon the Erastian heresy of the Divine Right of Kings. The probability of the total repeal of this law is quite unlikely, but the Church’s responsibility to leave that system and to return to the Free Church will be the true litmus test of a Church’s belief in the Reformation.  We are not to be unequally yoked to a system which has shown itself to be in direct opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His government.  If a Church is legally bound to the State it is required by Scripture to obey its laws as a fictional entity. The Body of Christ is living and bound only to one King, Yeshua Ha’Moshiach, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  His Laws are above the laws of the land.

When our KING returns, will He find a faithful remnant holding fast to the cries of the Reformers? Or will He find a lukewarm gathering of those who profess membership in some vestige of Christianity? A faith community that comfortably mingles with other religious practices and rallies around the flagpole of nationalism and pluralism attending the National Day of Prayer co-mingling with a thousand different faiths?

So where from here?