Here we have Part 3 in “The Grand Conspiracy”. These are the two previous posts:
So what is this post about?
Divide And Conquer: What Do We Call Home?
What do we call home?
Think about that for minute? Is home a house? Is home your family? Is home a place? Is your country your home? Are your neighbors what makes a place home? Is your “home” your job, your place of work? What makes you feel comfortable, that you belong, that you are at home?
Many of us move frequently. Those in our military, for example, must move often. Because my father was in the military, I learned early in my life that home was not just a house. Home was the house where my family lived. I also learned to associate the American flag with “home”. When in another land, I learned that our flag says here are people I can speak to and trust. When I was old enough to work, I eventually understood that where I worked had to become “home” too. If I did not like or trust the people I worked with, no matter how much I earned the ache in my heart for “home” would not be worth the pay.
What is odd about all this? I grew up never thinking of the churches I attended as home. That was not good. My parents took my brothers and sisters and I to church for church services and some religious training, but we grew up and most of us wandered from Christianity. I never established a relationship with Jesus, never made my home with Him. Because I did not acquire a heart for Jesus, I did not grow up thinking of any of the churches I attended as home. Churches were just places where people adopted these odd, bothersome, and superstitious notions.
Should our church become our home? Consider the ending of Psalm 23.
Psalm 23:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
What does that mean? Here is what one commentator observed.
This text simply means, “I will have a home in the house of the Lord forever.” Whatever temple or church or chapel stands to us for a centre or rallying place of our religions belief and life, we should cherish it as a sort of other home. Churches stand for the common brotherhood of all, and for kindness and helpfulness to all. What should be our relation to these Churches? A home that all value. We know what that means. We don’t sit there all our time, but from thence we go forth to toil and struggle in the world. Then we return for life’s innermost peace and friendliness, reposefulness, and renewal. (from here (biblehub.com))
We think of home as the place of our family. Even though family is an overused, cheapened word these days, it is difficult to find a better word to express our desire to love and be loved. So consider how Don Merritt describes how we should live when he comments on Ephesians 3:14-21 in The Power of Prayer.
Think of how God intended for us to live, go all the way back to Genesis, to the garden: We were created to live in harmony and fellowship together with God the Father. In a sense, we were to be bound with Him through genetics, for did He not breathe of Himself, His life, into the man when the man was first created, and then from the man, God created the woman? This illustration of familial unity is continued as couples produce offspring and build family units to this day, units bound up in love, and in the nature of their very beings. (from here (lifereference.wordpress.com))
What happens when Christians come together to form a church? Before church members can become an extended family, they must join together in a community. What makes a community? Members of a community share:
- Unity of purpose. When Jesus created the His church, He unified His church with the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:14-18).
- Fellowship. Those who love Jesus Christ want to talk about Him and learn about Him from each other. Each Christian wants to share with others the love God has given us.
- Doctrine: For Christians, our doctrine is the teachings — the beliefs — of the Christian church, the teachings of the Bible. The Bible contains the Gospel, and the Christian church exists to help its members share the Gospel.
- Values and customs. What we share in common helps us to resolve our differences. A common point of view helps us to achieve a common understanding. How church members perform the simple acts of baptism and communion, for example, is a reflection of a church’s shared values and customs.
- Agape love. A Christian church is a special type of community. Here is where we learn about a special kind of love. This is the kind of love God has for us. This love is what keeps a church together in spite of whatever differences its members may have.
If we want to accomplish the Great Commission, as Christians we must make the same effort families make to keep together. We must both love and care for each other. We cannot give over our responsibilities to someone else. We must protect our community.
- Agape love. What holds a church together is an act of will. Agape love is a deliberate choice, not an instinctive form of love. Christians don’t just feel love for others; they choose and plan to love others, especially each other.
- Values and customs. As odd as it may seem we must build fences around our churches. Before we can allow someone to join our church, we must be certain they understand and will abide by the ways of our family. New church members must be willing to become one of us. Christians who share similar interpretations of scripture can come together. Those who don’t often break apart.
- Doctrine: If someone does not accept the Bible as the Word of God, then they will not fully accept the Great Commission.
- Fellowship. Fellowship is not just an emotional experience. It is more than just a worship service. We engage in fellowship when we instruct our children and each other. We engage fellowship when we work together in obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ. A common language and heritage facilitates fellowship.
- Unity of purpose. If a church does not understand and execute the Great Commission, it is a community without a purpose, with no reason to exist.
The Political Implications
The Christian church exists within a world context. Either a church struggles to change the world, or the world changes the church. Sometimes a Christian church serves its purpose and fades away. Consider the history of Roberts Chapel (Atlanta, Indiana), pictured above.
Roberts Chapel originated as a Methodist congregation named Mount Pleasant, which was established in 1838 at Roberts Settlement in rural northwestern Jackson Township, Hamilton County, Indiana. The rural farming community was named in reference to the large contingent of residents who had the surname of Roberts. (continued here)
Since few now live where Roberts Chapel is located, it no longer serves a church community. People moved away, and there is nothing that can be done about that. What happened to Roberts Chapel, however, does not explain the increasing disintegration of many Christian churches in today’s America. These churches are surrounded by people, but fewer participate in the life of a Christian community. Why?
Nations are composed of communities. Communities are composed of families. Families do not have to join together and form Christian churches. We can join together in a large variety of different types of communities (see Category:Types of communities). That is, we can be diverted from joining a Christian community and spend our lives in other types of communities. When Christian churches offer the path to salvation, why would we choose to do that?
We live in an increasingly secularized society. Many people spurn Christianity and actually advocate Secularism to the point of forcibly secularizing society. Why? Well, the issue involves a struggle over power. True freedom of religion allows us to voluntarily form small communities that educate children and administer charity. Therefore, those who want centralized government control over such matters insist upon secularized health, education, and welfare programs. Thus, many politicians, especially Liberal Democrats, actively undermine freedom of religion.
Consider again what is required to make a Christian Community. Then consider that Liberal Democrats:
- Have a unity of purpose. Liberal Democrats promote Socialism with fervor. Because Socialism is in conflict with freedom of religion, many Liberal Democrats actively seek to bury any evidence of the positive involvement of Christianity in our nation’s heritage.
- Condemn fellowship based upon religious belief. Under the guise of Multiculturalism, Liberal Democrats ridicule Christian fellowship, especial in public, as intolerant. In order to make the public expression of Christian fellowship even more difficult, Liberal Democrats have open our nation’s borders. They would bury our Christian heritage under a multitude of foreign cultures.
- Preach their own mishmash of doctrines. In addition to Socialism, Secularism, and Multiculturalism, Liberal Democrats preach ideological beliefs such as Environmentalism and radical Individualism. Secularism, however, is the central problem. Why? The Law is a moral construct. Our government is just an organizing force. Government can only embody and enforce whatever ideals hold a nation, state, or local community together. If our schools fail to instruct our people in the foundational document of Western Civilization, the Bible, Liberal Democrats must find something replace it. Otherwise, Liberal Democrats have no way of defining the difference between good and evil. They can only borrow from the Bible. Since the Bible is obviously not secular, that poses a problem for them.
- Don’t respect our nation’s shared values and customs. In addition to the law, we use our shared values and customs to enforce behavioral standards, and many of our shared values and customs stem from our Christian heritage. Secularists abhor the display of Christian values and customs. Multiculturalists will not defend the English language. Radical Individualists promote deviance from traditional moral norms, what we now refer to as LGBTQ “rights”. “Tolerance” is the great value of Secularists.
- Would replace agape love with something more Paganistic.
So what can Christians do? We can stop selling politicians our votes. We can vote for limited government. Then we can organize privately to support the education of children and to provide charity for the needy.