Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reformation Action

“Reformation ends not in contemplation but in action.” George Gillespie (1613-1648)                                              
No cultural solution of value is achieved merely from ambition or a sense of duty. Solutions arise as a result of their need coupled with the driving passion to effectuate it. A problem has to be enough of a problem before its solution is seriously addressed. Then, and only then, can the solution be properly developed. This however, is not the end goal. Simply because a problem begs a solution, is taken seriously, and then developed, it must be executed. Execution is the goal.

Identifying and developing societal solutions within the framework of Biblical Law does not translate into actually getting anything done. Without the execution of cultural reformation, the problems remain. Position papers and debate, no matter how accurate, is entirely ineffective until action is taken. Whenever something is identified as a “problem", yet remains unresolved for years without the execution of a solution one can only conclude that it was not considered as a serious problem.

Becoming Serious about Cultural Change 

Only when a problem becomes compelling is it taken seriously. That results in that problem getting solved. Taking things seriously is a gift of God especially when it concerns advancing God’s Kingdom. Once problems become compelling, solutions are developed and then put into action within the real world.Action is the proof that a problem has been taken seriously. Talking about problems in conjunction with debating theological solutions cannot take the place of actually getting something done to alleviate the problem. Talk is cheap. It is usually a time waster especially when talking about a problem or a solution actually becomes the goal of its solution. Solutions to cultural situations require well planned actionable strategies and tactics.

Actionable Issues


The only way to solve cultural problems is to develop a Biblical strategy and then implement those tactics that will effectuate the desired change. The key to this is focus. Choose an issue and focus on it. Simplify the problem so that the solution itself becomes simple. Stay with it until it until the plan is developed and then executed. Albert Eisenstein once quipped, “Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.”

Difficult and complicated problem require perseverance. This can be discouraging especially when dealing with the modern status quo of anti-Biblical ideas. In order to stay motivated and focused reduce a big problem into one that you can solve. Scale your problem down into something manageable. Reduce the issue onto a practical first step. Then go to the second and then the third. Control the problem. It is the same way a man eats an entire elephant, one bite at a time. This will keep you encouraged and motivated as you seek progress along the way.

Write it Down – Get it Done

Problems which are articulated in writing focuses the mind. Problems cannot be solved without a clear view of what they are. Write out exactly what the problem is and then what the end goal might look like when that problem is solved.Between the declaration of the problem and the desired end requires strategic planning. A strategy must be developed with actionable items prescribed along the way.

Example: Private Real Estate Property Taxation.

As with all other legislation taxation is a moral issue. While some taxation is

Biblically sanctioned, there are those that are not. Property taxation is one of them. It is also a local issue regulated by either the county, city, or town. Local magistrates have a direct say in how much taxation is placed on personal real estate. As a local issue, you have more power in addressing it and dealing with it since generally these local officials are more accessible being a part of the community.

The Problem Stated: Personal real estate property taxation is not Biblical and must be abolished.

The Goal Desired: The abolition of real estate property taxes.


Strategy A: Get enough people to understand that they do not own their land and that at any time it can be confiscated as a result of defaulting on the taxation annexed to their property.

Tactic A: Build a team of like-minded people willing to take action.
Have them write letters to the editor, circulate Petitions, Flyers, attend Town Hall meetings, go door to door encouraging face to face discussions with literature backup, Get on the radio or local cable TV, schedule newspaper interviews, Lobby the clergy by showing them how unbiblical taxation is oppressing their congregation, Give a public address before the local county, city or town council members, use social media for the purpose of educating the people and calling them to take action, encourage brainstorming by starting a Facebook group or Blog.

Strategy B: Encourage those of like minds to run for local office.

Tactic B: Find people in your church or in your community who are on board with your theology concerning real estate taxation.

Offer to support them with manpower, and organization, if not money. Run for a
local office yourself. Get on a government committee or encourage others to do so. Publicly lobby against any candidate or local official that seeks to raise property taxes. You can get a lot of response from both the carrot and the stick but mostly from the stick. Carrots and sticks must however be compelling otherwise they cannot motivate to a resolution of the problem.

Strategy C: Develop a Biblical solution to replace real estate property taxation.


Since property taxation is the lion’s share of local government revenue a Biblical alternative must be suggested.

Tactic C: Calculate the head tax revenue if the county, city or town adopted the Biblical model. This is no small feat. Nevertheless, a needful one. It is very likely that the head tax levied on heads of households will surpass the revenue amount raised from property taxation. This would include all those living in apartment buildings.

You may want to suggest a caveat where this real estate exemption would only be applied to noncommercial property and limited to one family dwelling.

The point is there must be a starting point to every problem. If no action is taken, no solutions will be forthcoming. Get people to start thinking outside of what they have been accustomed to. This will create a rippling effect for change. Small changes can lead to big effects.

“Some problems suffer more from lack of effort than from a lack of solution” Scott Thorpe, "How to Think Like Eisenstein".

Where to Go from Here?

Accomplish something. Anything. Start somewhere. Do something. Anything. Fail fast then begin again. Never give up. Ben Franklin once stated that after he had failed over and over trying to solve a certain problem, he at least knew what didn’t work which, in his mind, brought him closer to the solution that would work.Get started!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reformation: Then and Now

The stability of today’s Reformed Christianity, especially those of the Theonomic, Christian Reconstruction adherents, is in danger. As with most movements the destruction rarely comes from without but rather from within. This seems to be the case today. As we celebrate the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s bold rebuke of the Roman church, it’s tyranny and apostasy, we too seek for a Reformation in our own time and  history. Yet, reformation cannot be successful without a unified front.

The European Reformation along with its Puritanism, both in England and then in the American colonies, had to tackle some critical issues, many of which we seem to be revisiting today. Obviously, we’ve learned little from history.

The Giving of Gifts

In Ephesians 4:8-13 the Apostle draws almost verbatim from Psalm 68:18 with
one exception. In Psalm 68 the Psalmist refers to the victorious Messiah that will receive gifts for men. In other words, one of the benefits the Lord Christ gains by His victory over sin, death and the grave, are these gifts. Paul, siting Psalm 68 in Ephesians 4, explains that after Christ atoned by descending into the lower parts of the earth He then ascended leading captivity captive, i.e. leading the elect to salvation and gospel service. The result is the giving of gifts to men, as opposed to for men.


Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith, ‘When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.’

Paul goes on to explain what exactly those gifts are and what their purpose is.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Faithful pastors are God’s gift to the Church eternal and the church institutional. To deny this is to deny the clear teaching of Scripture.

Revolution and Order

As with any revolution, the Reformation exploded without order or organization. Instead of Christian Liberty being understood as the Freedom to Follow God’s Law, Liberty in Christ was perversely translated by some as to mean every man could do whatever he saw fit. Many were promiscuously proclaiming themselves as a prophet, pastor and priest without a valid calling. This sent the Reformation into a tailspin. Seeing the chaos, both in the streets and within the walls of the Reformed churches, Luther realized the need for greater order.

David Hall explains Luther’s response to the chaos,

“By 1530 he [Luther] was describing the ministry in more formal terms as an
institution established on the express commands of Christ. Originating with Christ, the office drew directly on Him for authority. Ministers belonged to a separate order, and only ministers in office could admit new members to it. Though Luther still argued [as did Calvin] that the power of the keys belonged to all believers, he confined its use to church officers. IN the long run Luther made it unmistakably clear his preference for a limited sacerdotalism; not a sacrificing priesthood but a ministry of the word that ranked as a special order.” The Faithful Shepherd p8


During this time the Anabaptists took an even more anarchistic approach. They denied any distinction between the visible church and the invisible Church and insisted upon defining the church subjectively in terms of the faith of its members. 
The moderates on the other hand, men like Martin Bucer and John Calvin,
emerged as leaders by 1530. It was while living in Strasbourg that Bucer and Calvin jointly developed a Reformed ecclesiology which was in opposition to both the left and the right. 


Hall again observes

“Contrary to the Anabaptists, Bucer and Clavin always insisted on the distinction between the common priesthood (of all believers) and the ministerial vocation. They argued, “If priesthood is common to all Christians, so is not the ministry.” ibid

No Special Privilege

Men who unilaterally seek theological or prophetic pre-eminence without actually receiving a call to the office of minister often undermine the office. In an effort to place themselves on par with those men who have rightly been called by a congregation they foolishly set themselves up as prophets in their own right.

Ministerial Hierarchy

Christ has organized His local church as a visible witness of the Eternal Church. It is organized according to a hierarchical order which gives spiritual oversight obligations to the ministers. This oversight is not a controlling or tyrannical position. Rather it provides order and accountability to both the congregation as well as to the ministers. Without such an order the assembly fails to reflect the Biblical model.

Within the walls of the local church are both the redeemed and reprobate. All however have a verbal, even a behavioral profession of faith. This visible profession makes it almost impossible for ministers to distinguish between the two. The wheat and tares always grow together. Both groups are to be ministered to by the session of ministers regardless of this fact. When there is open un-repented sin, the ministers are to address it according to the dictates of the Word. 

The New Reformation’s Anarchy

The direction of today’s Reformation movement is troublesome. In an effort to set things right within the apostate church, this new mindset is actually undermining some of the basic Biblical truths concerning the order of worship and the role of the ministers of the Word. This misguided approach to Reformation has resulted in individuals and para-church ministries to commandeer what is not rightfully theirs according to Scripture, creating a cultic following from those who are usually young and often theologically immature. What is far more troubling is that in an effort to be viewed as “Top Dog” with some new revelation or slant on Christianity, these self-proclaimed prophets and organizations have launched vicious attacks against local Reformed churches via social media without considering the unintended consequences of their actions. The new mantra is “If you don’t agree with everything I believe, or apply Scripture the way I say, or focus upon the social evil that I focus on, then you are an apostate and a heretic.”

Accountability to God and to One Another

Accountability before God and one another is a Biblical requirement.  Rogue theologians refuse to be accountable to anyone but themselves. This situates them as “God” Who is accountable to no one but Himself. And so, once again, we are faced with the very same sin that Adam had to deal with when he decided that he would be as God.

The Cure


If there is to be a Blessed Reformation that will last throughout many generations Christians must first humble themselves before God and learn to respect one another and work together for the health and prosperity of both the eternal Church and the local institutional church. If this cannot be accomplished God will not bless the effort. God’s blessing will be reserved for another generation that knows and fears God, and who understands what it is to love the brethren. Only in that way will they be seen as true disciples. Only then will God prosper the work of their hands for a New and Glorious Reformation.