It's time to name, and identify, and derive from Scripture and teach our children the biblical foundations of human society.
Of these foundational truths, the one ring to rule them all, so to speak, is this:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
The beginning of all thought about anything is this: the insistence that there is a transcendent truth that is prior to and independent of human opinion.
This truth comes from the character and mind of God.
In God, we have truth that is absolute.
In God, we have truth that stays true.
Postmodernism has done everything it can to hammer absolute truth out of existence. This is because Satan hates God, hates humans, and he can't handle the truth. We'll come back to this.
Once we can settle on the idea that God's truth is the source of all truth, then we can move on to human beings. God has revealed our origins, and our creation, and he tells us humans alone were made in his image... which makes human life sacred in ways that no other life is sacred.
It also tells us that God gave us dominion. That means the right to rule our own lives. Freedom. Liberty. Individuality.
What's your favorite color?
What's your favorite dessert? Your favorite meal?
What foods do you love? What foods do you hate?
How would you describe your clothing style? Your home decorating style?
Who's your favorite band right now?
Where do you want to live?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
God is not after a bland uniformity among humans. We are not designed to be wearing the same uniform, thinking the same thoughts, and marching lockstep.
God wants all the colors of the spectrum in all of life.
You be you. I'll be me. Choose your adventure. Choose your life. Be free.
Freedom. That's the ideal.
This is what we call our first divine institution.
The second is marriage, and the third is family.
Marriage and family are instituted by God to protect freedom. They are the building blocks of society. Because nobody wants what's best for a man more than his wife, or what's best for a woman more than her husband, or what's best for children more than their parents. Mama bear and papa bear will fight fiercely for their children, even to death. The state won't do that. It takes a marriage, and it takes a family, and that is God's ideal for society.
So divine institution two: marriage protects dominion and the individuated free will self.
And divine institution three: Family protects dominion and the individuated free will self.
The fourth divine institution is the Nation-State (Nations). Like all divine institutions, the Nation is designed to protect human liberty (dominion).
Nations protect family, which protects marriage, which protects dominion and the individuated free will self. Nations are designed by God to serve the HOME, not to wreck it.
I am writing these articles because I believe our country, and the church today, has lost sight of its Biblical foundations. We have all but forgotten the institutions that gave us our blessings. We're turning out back on freedom, on marriage, on family, and on nationalism... patriotism, actually... and our kids will pay a horrible price.
It is absolutely essential to reconstruct these truths. We have to start from zero, and show that these are biblical. That's why this series.
Because the world is in trouble. We are losing our nations. We are losing our families. We are losing the sacredness of marriage. And we are, therefore, losing our liberty.
There is a reason why it's hard tofind the United States in Bible prophecy. It is because nations rise and fall.
But ours doesn't have to fall on our watch.
So, why nations? And why is healthy patriotism a good thing?
The Barbecue Place
Not too long ago, Pastor Tim and I were in Nashville with a couple thousand other pastors in our denomination.
Tim and I and three other pastors went for lunch at a nearby barbecue joint. Great restaurant, packed, great food. Line out the door. Noisy. Alive. Awesome.
So the five us are eating ribs and pulled pork and all that, when a voice comes over the loudspeaker.
Ladies and gentlemen, will you please join us as we do every day here at noon, by rising and singing the national anthem.
The music started. Everybody stood. And we sang the national anthem at full voice.
I had tears streaming down my face. There were veterans holding their caps over their hearts with tears running down their face.
It was a really beautiful moment. We're really messed up, but I love our country. I love our flag. Yes, we have a long way to go to realize our ideals, but our ideals are unparalleled.
So we sing the anthem. We all sit down. The noise comes back.
And one of the pastors—a younger one—looks across the table at me, and chides me. "How is that not Christian nationalism?"
I'm wiping tears from my eyes, and I just look at him and say "It's patriotism."
But this is the problem we face. We have a generation raised without a love of country.
I am a Christian first, and above all. And I am an American second. And I consider myself thankful and blessed to be both. Not superior. Not arrogant about it. And not making an idol of my country. Christ first and above all.
But thank God for America, where at least I know I'm free... for now.
So where does the Bible establish nations, and why does God organize society that way?
We'll start with the tabernacle.
THE PRIESTLY NATION: The tabernacle defined Israel as one nation, under God, separate from all other nations around them.
This tabernacle was the heart of the nation. When they travelled, the tabernacle took the lead. When they made camp, the tabernacle was in the middle.
They weren't just a tribe, they were a nation, with a government, and laws, and a national identity.
'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." (Exodus 19:6)
This was God's message and God's plan.
Humans naturally organize themselves by families, tribes, and nations.
God called out a special nation from among them, and constituted the Jews.
This was God's plan. And it was very important that they not simply to melt into the other nations around them.
"For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth." (Exodus 33:16)
And even though the nation was imperfect, God still loved Israel.
C.S. Lewis talks about patriotism, and he points out that Jesus Himself wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34, in The Four Loves).
Lewis said that Healthy patriotism makes it harder for rulers to do evil. Demonic patriotism makes it easier for rulers to do evil.
And what makes the difference is uncritical support of unbiblical dictates of human government.
Moses was saying that the thing that made Israel distinctive was the presence of God.
I am not suggesting that America can say that today. Far from it.
I am suggesting that God himself in the Bible established Israel as a nation.
And not just Israel, but he established MANY NATIONS.
Even in earth's earliest history, the Bible gives a roster of nations in Genesis 10 and 11.
When God created Adam and Eve, he told them to "fill the earth." The idea is that humans would spread out rather than clump together (Gen 1:28).
This instruction was repeated after the Great Flood and humans came off of Noah's ark and God instructed them to "Fill the earth." (Gen 9:1)
The roster of nations indicates that this is exactly what earth's population did. They spread out in different nations and filled the earth.
From these the coastland peoples of the Gentiles were separated into their lands, everyone according to his language, according to their families, into their nations. (Genesis 10:5)
This account goes on to delineate all the nations of the prehistoric world. Nations are God's plan. The fourth divine institution.
God recognized these nations. God's goal is to create maximum protection for dominion, marriage, and family through nations and their laws.
THE ENEMY OF NATIONS
Satan hates you and wants to devour your freedom and make you captive to his diabolical will.
The Dark Lord Satan hates God's goal. He hates you being saved. He hates you going to heaven. He hates the gospel. He hates the truth. He hates free will. He hates marriage. He hates family. He hates nations.
The devil is on the attack, because he wants to be your Dark Lord.
He attacks marriage and family and patriotism SO THAT he can attack human dominion and freedom.
But he is sneaky, and he is subtle, and he appears as an angel of light.
The devil works through a satanic philosophy, and through powerful world rulers who have bought into his philosophy.
Satan stole dominion from Adam and Eve.
And he wants to steal yours.
Satan desires dominion over all this world, even to the end of the age.
His unwitting minions are making it happen. They teaching his message, and preach his message, and enforce his message with violence.
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19)
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)
Our culture is being groomed.
We're being brainwashed, and don't know it's happening.
We're locked in a matrix of satanic lies and doctrines of demons.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8, NAS95)
Now, how does the devil wage his infernal war against the nation state?
He does it through Globalism.
THE ENFORCER OF NATIONS: When the nations of earth decided to merge into one at the Tower of Babel, God came down and split them up.
This was the whole world (Gen 11:1). At this time they all spoke the same language (Gen 11:1). They came together in one place, in Babylon (Gen 11:2). And they made a plan against God's plan.
God told them to scatter.
And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city-[state], and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4)
Total defiance of God. Total, in your face, defiance of God's will for the world.
God wanted nations, plural. They wanted one world government, singular.
The spirit of Babylon is the spirit of anti-Christ.
They built a city which was basically a giant snub against God. Their culture, their values, their beliefs, their achievements, were all pointed away from God.
They build a civilization based on the false premise that humankind can achieve its potential by declaring independence from God.
So, they built a city.
And they also built a tower... the kind of tower used for astrology and the worship of false gods, called a ziggurat.
The tower of Babel is the birth of humanism and humanism is the birth of globalism.
We will not fill the earth.
We will not separate into nations.
We will all gather together under one world government.
We will all gather together under one world religion.
So God came down and split them up.
"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. (Genesis 11:7, 8)
A remarkable moment in earth's history.
Why? Why would God do this? Isn't unity a good thing?
No. And here's why.
THE DANGER OF GLOBALISM: A united humanity makes us all vulnerable to Satan's relentless takeover plot.
A powerful group of internationalists is bent on bringing every aspect of our world society under a one world government.
Some know it, some do not, but they are playing into the devil's endgame.
There is a war on Christians, because Christians make God, not the State, absolute. When Christians are gone, the state can be all in all.
There is a war on family, because family will fight for the best for their children... and Satan wants your kids.
There is a war on marriage, because when marriage is good, the family is strong, and the nation stands up for what is right.
And there is a war against national sovereignty, because Satan still longs to play God, and to be like him, and to displace him.
A one world government is the shortest step to bring the whole world under dominion of Satan, through the Antichrist, and that is the end of free will human dominion forever.
The trick is He doesn't present himself as a false god. He presents himself as a beautiful philosophy.
Because he wants to be like, not unlike God.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' (Isaiah 14:14)
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
It seems so good. Everybody together. Everybody united. All are one. It's a trap. (Col 2:8). It's a deadly trap.
It's absolutely dangerous. It is the recipe for tyranny, and the recipe for the destruction of all that is sacred inside the human heart.
So God comes down and breaks up the new world order party. And this is an act of love and grace.
The best comparison I have is a submarine. A sub is divided into compartments. These compartments have water-tight doors — bulkheads. If one compartment floods, the whole ship doesn't go down.
That's why God split up humans. Nations, tribes, language groups. If one nation goes down, the whole ship doesn't have to go down.
Without nations, sin has no limits.
Without nations, evil bumps into no serious boundaries.
Without nations, Satan has nothing to stop him.
Because when that ship of humankind goes down, it will fall headlong into the twisted, neurotic, and horrific embrace of the cruelest possible Master, the Dark Lord Satan.
Globalism is one of the most appealing and alluring doctrines of demons ever spewed across our land.
So God made nations:
When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel. (Deuteronomy 32:8)
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, (Acts 17:26)
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1, 2)
The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. (Psalms 113:4)
Patriotism is one of the last bulwarks against a globalism that will assimilate us all into the hive mind of an anti-God collective.
God bless America.
God have mercy on us.
THE EXCEPTIONALISM OF AMERICA: There are two distinctives that make America exceptional and unique on the world stage... and therefore worth fighting for in the world today.
1. America as a gospel preaching, missionary sending nation.
According to a report, for the last 200 years, most Christian missionaries com from America.
"At a church on the New England coast 200 years ago, five young men became ordained as Congregational missionaries and set off on cargo ships to India as the first organized group of American missionaries to travel overseas.
"Their departure signaled the start of the U.S. missionary movement, and today the United States sends more Christian missionaries abroad than any other country, experts say.
"The United States sent out 127,000 of the world's estimated 400,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, according to Todd Johnson, director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.
"In distant second place is Brazil, which sent 34,000 missionaries abroad in 2010, he said." (Report from US News).
As long as we have freedom to preach the gospel, to proclaim an old rugged Cross as the world's only Savior from sin, we will be a missionary nation at home, in our own neighborhoods, and abroad to the world.
We are by an order of magnitude the most generous and the most missionary nation the world has ever seen.
Is this a cause for superiority or smugness? No. It is a cause for gratitude. For humility. For thankfulness to generations before us who have paid the price for liberty so the gospel can freely flow.
This missionary impulse is one distinctive that makes American worth fighting for, and it is why I am an unapologetic, patriotic American.
2. America as a nation founded on the ideals of liberty and God-given unalienable rights.
Search the world over, and you will never find a nation founded on these ideals.
To their extraordinary credit, the Founders looked into human nature, and into Scripture, and developed a vision of how humans should relate to each other. They came up with a plan for government that would limit government, and maximize individual liberty and dominion.
The founders of our nation believed in freedom and God-given unalienable rights from the Bible. The enshrined these as the law of the land, and most of them paid with their lives—as imperfect as they might have been, they chose liberty over tyranny.
That is a truth worth reconstructing.
They insisted God gave us our rights. They insisted Government cannot take them away. They insisted God through Scripture and natural revelation is over government.
No one else has this. No the nation has ideals such as these.
Have we always lived up to our ideals?
No. Of course not. No nation does, and no person does either.
Have all Americans equally experienced these ideals?
No. But that doesn't mean we jettison them... instead we work to make all freedom and opportunity the experience of all...
Do we worship our country or government? No. America is not an idol, and we have no king but Jesus.
When I stood in that restaurant and sang Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light...
I realized again how blessed I am to live in this land, and to be able to say, God, bless America, and to be able to stand here and pray, America, bless God.