Letter to Grace To You, Pastor John MacArthur following the Sermon I heard on the radio this morning titled “The Christian and Government”.
So I heard on GTY this morning on KKLA, that John MacArthur believes we Christians should “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” That’s very biblical. But what does that mean? If you know history, then you know that for the Pilgrims who embarked on the Mayflower, it meant they left England (because they were being persecuted) for a new land called America where they established the first English colony that survived and formed the basis of our new country. If you know the French history (my personal family), then you know that the Huguenots left France in the 1600’s (my family around 1650) and came here to escape being killed for their protestant faith.
If you know the history of America, you know that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States contains what many believe to be the most important right: The freedom to worship as we please, often paraphrased as “Freedom of Religion”. So, again, I ask: What does Pastor MacArthur mean by that? Sargent Alvin York, a young man from the backwoods of Tennessee, received the Medal of Honor for killing Germans and saving his comrades in a battle during WWI, because he interpreted this particular phrase which Jesus spoke as meaning that he should fight and kill others in war time, even though the Bible (at that time) in other places said: “Thou shalt not kill”.
We now know that the biblical translation of the Sixth Commandment was incorrect in saying that we should not kill, rather we should not murder is more accurate (spill innocent blood). But Pastor MacArthur’s encouragement this morning to blindly follow allegiance to a corrupt government led men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer to conclude that the church, the conventional thinking in the church, was wrong. Chuck Colson agrees. In his writings he says we are to be “Culture Creators” and that we should be heavily involved in the public square, as both salt and light.
What we know from what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount is that we, Christians, are the only reason evil has not completely taken over this world. And it’s not just because we sit around and pray and get killed for our faith! It’s because millions of Christians over these past 2000 years have sought to advance the gospel ever more into the forefront of people’s minds and consciences and finally came to the conclusion that a government, of the people, by the people and for the people, based on the principles of the trinity would do that best. That is the United States folks, and do not ever try to argue with me that we Christians should simply kowtow to dictators who try and usurp powers they should not have to institute changes that should not be in order to serve dark forces that would seek to undermine the inherent balance in our form of government!
By the way, I thought the work up on all of the “Social issues” in the message fell flat, and far short of where it needed to be. Many, including those in the church, have sought to place things such as abortion and so-called gay marriage in those lists of “Social issues” to which I completely object and remind them that those are moral issues. We are in fact at the worst time and place in history now because of our approval of these demonic practices, and are suffering the consequences for our actions (or our lack of action) in our country, many of us believe. More than 1.7 BILLION babies have been killed in the womb, world-wide since around 1973, and that makes us the worst mass murderers in all of history. And I believe the responsibility for that rests on all of us, especially the church, because the church has been silent on this issue too much, similar to how the church was mostly silent on Civil Rights and Slavery and so on. By the way, those are not “Social issues” either, and the white-wash Pastor MacArthur spread on those is downright disgusting.
Thanks for listening. I normally have great respect for Pastor MacArthur, as do many of my friends at Hope Chapel, but today, I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth. When a Pastor tells you that your best response is to hole up, get into your Christian conclaves, suffer and allow yourselves to be persecuted, along the lines of businesses like Hobby Lobby having to shut down because they cannot afford to pay the $1.3M fines every day for refusing to pay for abortifacient drugs, then Pastor MacArthur needs to take another long look at what Christianity is all about. Apparently, he doesn’t believe we are supposed to be different as our founding fathers in this country did.