TOO MUCH WASTED TIME
I have had a long acquaintance with the American Christian Church. God picked me from the gutter of society 54 years ago. I was converted to Christ and languished for a couple of decades in a theological heresy that passes for Christianity in our deluded churches. It is a truncated religion that is preached and promoted by a host of sincere Christian leaders.
In 1963 the Charismatic revival was in its early stages. There was lots of excitement over new conversions and over the anticipated actions of the Holy Spirit. New songs were written and sung with reverence. Pentecostal and Charismatic ministers led praise that created an excitement that anticipated and often produced miracles, tongues and interpretations. It seemed as if God was in the process of repossessing His creation. The sweet aroma of the Savior filled the air.
Most of our friends were Charismatics but ironically the minister that was involved in my conversion was an Evangelical, who avoided Charismatics.
Soon after my conversion, Charismania struck a church pastored by a Presbyterian minister and located in one of the affluent suburbs. The Holy Spirit and tongues became badges of spiritual maturity and sometimes a competitive spirit drove wedges of envy between new Christians. It became popular for neophyte Christians to claim God had given them a ministry and some began to teach and preach.
A Methodist minister with a degree in theology from Princeton University grew impatient with the growth of his church and began attending Charismatic meetings at the home of a local donut vendor. He claimed to have received the Holy Spirit and his church, a white early New England style clapboard building with doors on the pews, began to grow very rapidly. Soon the pews were full and a second service was begun. He and his wife were accomplished musicians and used their talents in the service creating soft, sweetly ethereal music that lured people to the Holy Spirit.
We were introduced to wives from two different families who lived on Cape Cod and claimed to have a ministry together. They counseled new Christians and became known for their pointed solutions to personal and interpersonal problems. They started a sisterhood and a brotherhood, got involved in a Christian school and lured several couples from their homes in suburbia to build homes into the community. The couples that succumbed to the lure were people seeking a deeper Christianity. It was and still is a cult but new Christians did not recognize it as such.
It was an enchanted time when visions of a loving, warless, converted world seemed real.
As new Christians we attended the Presbyterian Church and watched it grow into a large congregation. The minister seemed awed by the sudden growth. He was a conservative German and was not sure it was the kind of growth he wanted. To make matters worse there were other strong leaders in the congregation who pulled the Church in different directions. To his chagrin some pressed the ministry of the two women from the cult. They were invited to minister in the church and to invite its members to Cape Cod for further ministry and counseling.
My first wife and I were divorced during this period and I went through a difficult time. I was single for several years. When I finally remarried and settled down we were living in a house I purchased in Middletown, Ct. We decided to sell that house and move to Thomaston Ct. in Litchfield County. After the move we began attending the Methodist Church in Bakerville, Ct. We arrived there at the beginning of an extensive growth and continued to attend for about a decade.
During this period we enjoyed the church services which were intimate and peaceful. The preaching was good though it failed to give specific instructions on what was expected of God’s people. Church shopping was popular and I had some concern about people who came and went without any real contact with church members. There was always an unhealthy independence among Christians which I thought was detrimental to their effectiveness. We overlooked these problems for several years but finally I became concerned because wide spread conversions to Christ were failing to produce the fruit of societal change; as the number of Christians increased so did social evils.
I wrote a detailed letter to one of the Charismatic leaders who had been a mentor to us. He did not answer the letter. As we continued to search for answers we were directed to the ministry of Chalcedon and instructed to ask about their monthly publication. We did that and began to receive copies of the Chalcedon Report each month.
- J. Rushdoony was still alive at this point and we began to read his articles and those of other Reformed Christians who subscribed to the Christian Reconstruction doctrine and wrote for the magazine.
At first the emphasis on the law was difficult since for years we had been taught that the law was for ancient Israel and was no longer valid for Christians. It took several months to get over that hurdle so we could begin to understand what Doctor Rushdoony was proposing. When we finally understood it was like a second epiphany that changed our entire concept of Christianity filling a void in its theological base that was intrinsic to its effectiveness. We were ecstatic.
Many contemporary Protestant denominations believe God’s Law is no longer valid. Much of this has come from the Dispensational Heresy and been incorporated into the preaching of our churches. Christianity without God’s law is a heretical religion. The law expresses God’s rules for conduct. God gave it to ancient Israel before they embarked on their journey to the Promised Land; it is His Word. It has never been rescinded and is just as valid for governing behavior today as it was when it was given to Moses.
Obedience completes the Christian religion and provides Christians with the goal of obeying God themselves and working to bring His entire creation back into His Kingdom through obedience. This is the greatest commission and following conversion it is the primary task God has provided for His people.
We need tender hearted, mature Christian men who can bring Christian principles back into our culture. This means working against the Ambassadors of Satan who are attempting to bring redemption through humanism, defeating them with the sword of the Spirit (obedience to the law) and bringing Christian principles back without coercion. It is a tall order; an order that seems almost impossible. But we worship a miracle working God that will fight on the side of His people.
The first fight is to convince people that there can be no freedom without a return to the God of the Bible. Church people are some of the important ones that need convincing. Our power must come from people who love the Lord Jesus and who believe in their hearts that His reign will be accompanied by obedience to His Commandments. This is intrinsic to sound doctrine and those who do not believe it is valid today cannot help in redeeming society.
God places the heaviest responsibility on the shoulders of Christian men who are to be priests and leaders in their own families, in the church, and in the culture. In the First Volume of his Position Papers (“An Informed Faith”) R. J. Rushdoony writes, “In our time, the crisis is past deferment. The time has come for men to ground themselves in the whole counsel of God, to be responsible, mature, and venturesome. There can be no resolution of our world crisis without a resolution in male responsibility. To blame conspiracies (however real they may be), special problems, the past, and more are all evasions if men do not assume their responsibilities today as a privilege and duty under God.
Men must cease from participating in original sin by reserving the right to decide for themselves what is good and what is evil. Differing opinions separate the Christian Body and make concerted resistance impossible. Men must accept the fact that the primary theme of the entire Bible is obedience! God seeks an obedient people who will stand for Him by being obedient to His law. When this miracle occurs we can begin to again have hope for the future.