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April 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-6

   

A Commentary on the Bill of Rights

   

Part 6

   

 

So far, we have been talking about individual adherents of three distinct philosophies.  In the real world, it is not always so cut and dried.  Most people who practice these philosophies would not consider themselves an adherent of any of them, and technically they would be correct.  Many are undoubtedly practitioners of what we would probably agree is a mainline religion.  But with continual exposure to these philosophies, they have accepted a piece here and adopted a piece there and commingled these philosophies with the established religion into their own personal belief system.  You can detect these pieces, which have subtly and inexorably edged their way in among the formerly established religious beliefs, if you are discerning.

 

One would expect the churches to fight this soiling of their creed like a she-bear protecting her young; but at least as far as the mainline denominations are concerned, one would be disappointed.  In fact, these alien beliefs are also taking root among our clergy.  Yes, there are those among the clergy who are fighting this tide heroically; but they appear to be a dwindling breed.  The seeds of these philosophies appear to be taking root in our mainline denominations, and there are seemingly few of our clergy who are willing to face the onslaught of political correctness and government itself in an effort to prune them:

 

A shocking, horrible thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests teach as they wish; Yet my people will have it so; what will you do when the end comes.  (Jeremiah, 5:30-31).

 

What makes us believe modern man has changed so much from times past?  A good source for comparison is Jeremiah, especially Chapter Seven.  There appear to be at least three causes for this phenomenon, one internal and two external.  Internally, the source of the problem is the belief of large numbers of the clergy themselves.  The motives are pure enough.  We have been exhorted by our Creator to be generous and compassionate to our less-fortunate brothers.  It’s the right thing to do.  In an apparent effort to “out-holy” God Himself in compassion, it has become acceptable to allow our brothers to become dependent upon government (man), in lieu of God, for even their daily bread.  But in doing so, we ignore His further exhortation that, “You shall earn your keep by the sweat of your brow.”  We squander our status as the sovereign independent beings He created us and instead promote the philosophies of liberalism and socialism.  With dependence on government comes subservience to government; and consequently, government replaces God as savior:

 

When you proclaim all these words to this people and they ask you: “Why has the Lord pronounced all these great evils against us?  What is our crime?  What sin have we committed against the Lord, our God?” — you shall answer them:  It is because your fathers have forsaken me, says the Lord, and followed strange gods, which they served and worshipped; but me they have forsaken, and my law they have not observed.  (Jeremiah, 16:10-11)

 

Our mainline churches tend to accept this, which brings us to the first external threat.  The churches themselves go so far as procuring government revenue to finance their good works and charities.  They abdicate a very important portion of their God-given obligation to the state, that of procuring revenue.  They do the satisfying part, doling out the largesse, but the dirty work they leave to the state.  Their own source of funds is allowed to atrophy and, thus, they too become dependent on government.

 

There is another reason the churches’ acceptance of governmental financial support is questionable.  It is the method government uses to raise the revenue.  For the most part, the revenue is expropriated from involuntary donors.  If it were legal, it is still extremely doubtful that the churches themselves would use threat, duress, and coercion, in a word “force,” to raise their revenue.  It would violate the commandment: “Thou shalt not steal.”  If it is morally wrong for a church or a private individual to use these methods, how can it be morally correct to elect a government official to use them and then receive the stolen property to apply to good works?  In these actions, they sanction the misguided notion that the state has first claim on the fruit of our labor and, in doing so, grant at least tacit approval of this strange god.  I sincerely doubt this is their intent; but it is what transpires.  The intent may be noble, but the de facto result is ignoble.

 

If you ask, “But how can we provide for all that needs to be done without the help of government?”, it only serves to verify that you place more trust in man than in your Creator: 

 

Thus says the Lord:  Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord. . . Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.”  (Jeremiah, 17: 5, 7).

 

The Lord Himself taught us how to pray.  He gave us the Lord’s Prayer:  “Our Father who art in heaven . . . give us this day our daily bread.”  Though I may be wrong, it would appear He desires us to trust in Him for our security, even for our daily needs.  To abet and promote reliance on man, in the form of government, cannot be pleasing.  It has been stated many times that reliance on government inexorably becomes subservience to government; but this is the least of the problem.  The greater problem is that it promotes an alienation from our Maker. 

 

In the minds of too many, there is no real need for religion or churches, or even for a Creator Himself.  Government is tangible and is seen to provide our daily bread, with seemingly little cost to the recipient.  Our Creator is not so readily apparent.  Many, if not most, choose the bird in the hand.  This attitude will eventually destroy our churches.  This diminution of spiritual authority is a huge stepping stone on the road to tyranny.  It is employed to inculcate total allegiance to the government.  (This is a necessary precursor for the adoption of socialism/communism.)  Even the secular state understands we cannot successfully serve two masters.

 

The second external cause serves not only to exacerbate the first, but also is a threat in its own right.  It is the specter of active government coercion.  It was stated that there were some who believed we no longer have a separation of church and state in this nation today.  I must confess to being one who believes this to be the case.  I am joined in this belief by a multitude of others.  However, while the majority of this group perceives this to be a problem of churches imposing their religious beliefs on the state, it is my contention that a far greater danger exists in the realm of the state imposing its will upon the churches.  If you deem this a baseless fear, consider the following.  In Common Law, there is a maxim that states, “The created cannot be greater than the creator.”  The word “greater” is used in the sense “of significance, of more consequence, or of having more authority.”Man creates artificial entities known, among other things, as “corporations.”  At this early stage, it is not difficult to comprehend that the artificial entity created is not greater than the flesh and blood of the men who created it.  Some of the entities that are created are between private parties and are private in nature.  We generally do not think much about them or necessarily know of them.  Others are established by all men in general.  They are public in nature, and we call these entities “government.”

 

   

 

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