Politics and Religion are Intrinsically Linked

The separation of Church and State is a much-misunderstood concept. It is also a concept that is exploited to insist on removal of religious sentiment from the political arena.

The motivation for such ambition is clear. Political leaders down through history have wanted to displace God and act as the ultimate law, rather than as subjects of a Holy God to whom they must give account. The Pharaohs and Caesars are among the better known of the many human leaders who asserted their divinity.

Three thousand years ago the Psalmist taunted those political leaders who tied to conceive of a world where they were not accountable to God.

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD will have them in derision.” Psalm 2:1-4

“Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalm 2:10-12

Church & State Are Bound Together

Despite all the rhetoric and emotion that may be expressed against religious reality in state affairs it has always been understood that God is supreme over political process. “By me Kings reign” is the claim made by wisdom, which is God’s handmaiden.

By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” Proverbs 8:15,16

God is the Supreme King and Deity

A clear testimony to the intimate connection between Church and State, or Politics and Religion, is the example of God, Himself.

God is the Supreme King, sitting on a heavenly throne over all the Kingdoms of the world. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But God is also the God above all Gods. He is the ultimate deity. No idol, deity, spirit, icon, or religion can challenge His supremacy.

Church and State, Religion and Politics are intrinsically combined in one person. So how in the world can it be conceived that the two are not completely and intimately related to each other?

The Spiritual Reality Rules Politics

For all the protestations that human government must be free of religious connection the whole argument is based on nonsense. The world and everything in it is first and foremost a spiritual reality. A moral God created us all and is and will judge us all based on how we submit ourselves to Him. So the idea that human government is somehow independent of divine realities is simple self-delusion.

The Bible gives us several glimpses into the heavenly realm and there we see that a rebellious subordinate is seeking to displace and contend with God. That created angelic being which chose to betray God is no match for God’s ultimate and supreme authority as the creator of all, but he goes about as if he has authority and power, seducing people to join him in rebellion against God.

So human politics and society are constantly under the influence of these two spiritual entities. When people submit to God they enjoy God’s blessing. When they submit to the rebel spirit they come under God’s judgement and various slaveries and degradations.

The State Desperately Needs the Church

Any true statesman knows that his authority and effectiveness is totally dependent on God. He will recognise his desperate need for spiritual support and divine authority. True statesmen, then, will recognise that the state desperately needs the church.

God is currently calling a new generation of true statesmen to arise. They are from many nations and divergent backgrounds. They have distinctive callings on their life and they will each have different levels of influence and impact. But they are the new generation of servant of the Lord. God is calling forth men of character and divine authority who will redeem nations and rescue politics, science, religion and culture from the seductions and disembowelment which we have come to think of as normal.

I call you to be part of that new generation of heavenly statesman on the earth.

The Nature of God

Where did God come from? Your notion God and His origins is directly linked to whether you are a Natural Person or a Divine Person, which I discussed in a recent post. So, what is your idea of God’s origins?

Who Created Who?

God is either a real, divine being who created us, or a concept which was created by us. Either God is the creator of man or man is the creator of God. Which is it for you?

Evolutionary, naturalistically minded people have come up with the idea that God is merely a religious concept which evolved during the course of human society. This concept is a much celebrated idea and you can find discourses about the emergence of the god concept in various societies. Those who reject God’s reality love to mock Him by promoting the idea that He is not real. They make up nice scenarios about how mankind needed something to believe in and how man improved upon his ideas over time.

The Evolution of God

Some people suggest that the idea of God evolved over millennia, from primitive to more highly developed concepts. They suggest that early notions of the divine involved the worship of natural entities, such as the sun. This was the ascribing of divine worth to merely natural things.

The evolutionary story goes that over time people came up with a multiplicity of gods, in various hierarchies. Mythical stories were supposedly created to give mystery and divine qualities to these re-branded natural phenomena.

Then, as these ‘experts’ point out, the notion of a suite of gods, such as the Egyptians and Greeks embraced, was refined into the idea of one significant deity. Thus monotheism is purported to be an evolutionary outcome of earlier, polytheistic ideas.

The Delusion Collapses

The Bible stands in stark opposition to these empty evolutionary ideas. Despite many attempts to portray the Bible as a late work which fits the evolutionary theory, it persists in proving its antiquity and its authority as a divinely inspired writing, independent of the natural thinking of the cultures around it. The Bible declares God as a monotheist entity, right from the beginning, some 6,000 years ago. God was persistently worshipped as the ‘one true God’ throughout that entire span of history.

While the Egyptians and Greeks toyed with their own notions of polytheism, the people of God, who knew Him and His power, already possessed the revelation of God for what He is.

The Bible Testimony

Consider the very first few words of the Bible. “In the beginning God created”, Genesis 1:1.

From the very beginning there was a God who brought all else into being. God created. God was not created by man, but God created mankind and everything else. Man did not evolve, and neither did God. God created man, and man did not create God.

Natural or Divine

Natural man rejects the God of the Bible and mounts a passing parade or short-lived ideas to justify his rejection of the God he does not want to be accountable to. Thus we have the blasphemous idea that God is just a concept evolved in man’s consciousness.

Divine man accepts the revelation of God given in the Bible. He finds that revelation cogent, uplifting, life-transforming and exciting. It does not compromise what he knows or experiences. Rather it fulfils and answers questions that cannot be addressed from the shallow perspective of the natural mind.

I challenge you to stand before Almighty God, as His created being, and connect to your eternal reality. There is so much to be gained from that encounter and the journey which springs from it. There is so much to enjoy in the relationship which God gives you, through His Son Jesus Christ.

There is an awesome God who knows you and loves you profoundly. He is waiting to transform your natural existence, charging it with divine realities and experiences that will thrill your soul and resonate within you for eternity.

Discover the God who is. Discover your creator. Discover Him and you discover who and what you are for the very first time.

The Empty Natural Man

Where do you trace yourself back to? Your answer makes a Huge difference in defining who you are and what you are worth. It also defines the potential of your life. So, don’t just take this lightly. Where do You trace yourself back to?

Two Original Sources

People’s beliefs about where they come from fall into two main ideas. Some believe they came as a product of natural processes, such as evolution is believed to be. These people I shall call ‘naturalists’ – not because they study nature, but because they believe they are a product of ‘natural’ processes.

The rest most commonly believe they came from a creator. These people believe they come from Divine Will, rather than natural processes. The Bible reveals God as a creator and man as God’s principal and most cherished special creation.

For the purposes of this discussion I will label those who trace themselves back to nature as Natural Man and those who trace them selves back to divine creation as Divine Man. In both cases the word ‘man’ is meant to incorporate humanity, of both male and female varieties.

Who You Are

The Natural Man, originating from natural sources, is an equal to all other natural phenomena. Natural Man, by definition, has the same value as every other natural thing. A rock came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did the natural man. A pig came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did natural man. A lion came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did natural man. The same could be said for trees, bees and fleas, if you please.

The Divine Man, on the other hand, tracing himself back to God and accepting that he is a special creation at the hand of God, is not on an equal footing to other natural phenomena. Divine Man is in a class above all other natural entities. This superiority is not by virtue of strength or power over all those other things. Divine Man is weaker than many other created beings. Divine Man is vulnerable to many natural forces which frequently take his life. Floods, fire and lightning claim many human lives, and so too do snakes, spiders and wild animals.

Divine Man’s elevated position is not measured in natural terms, but on the basis of the divine will that created him. Divinity gives mankind the privileged position of having been made “in the image of God”, as explained in Genesis 1:26.

Your Worth

If you are a product of nature, with nothing more to commend you than your ability to survive in the natural world, then your value approximates that of a wild animal, a tree or a rock. You have no more right to breath than the donkey braying in the paddock or the dog chasing his tail. You have no more intrinsic value than the mosquito you squatted, the ant you squashed or the orange you squeezed. There is no reason we should seek to preserve your existence above any other creature. Nor should we lament your passing any more than we lament the death of a tree.

If you are, on the other hand, a divine creation, then your value is as high as that creator deems you to be. You have rights and authority over all other creatures, to the degree that your creator assigns it to you. You have worth on the earth from the day of your birth.

Your worth is radically different to others, depending on whether your origins are natural or divine. You will rise in the eyes of the creator divine or go thud in the mud of your natural line.

Your Potential

Where you can go is also dramatically altered if you are natural or divine. Your potential to amount to anything at all is governed by where you came from. If you are a product of natural processes then you have nowhere to go, but back to the dust from which you came. Your highest thoughts, greatest riches, most awesome achievement and your most powerful contribution will all amount to a hill or beans, a pile of rocks and a dead tree stump. They are intrinsically meaningless, except for the transient sense of momentary meaning you can derive during the process of going nowhere.

Those who recognise their divine origins and walk in relationship with their divine creator, have the potential to rise to the heights of God’s divinity. They can go as far as God empowers them to go. They can impact all of humanity and experience divinity. They can exist beyond this natural moment and enjoy new existence opened up by their divine creator. They can overcome natural processes, including death itself, because they are connected to divinity which is outside the finiteness of the natural world.

Natural Man is Empty

Why in the world would anyone want to be a natural man? Why would someone wish to be nothing? Why would anyone celebrate their futility, when they were created for divine destiny?

Natural man comes up empty on every count. There is no prize, no reward and no hope in being a product of natural process. And there is no need to ever restrict oneself into such a poverty-stricken place. God has revealed to us in the Bible that He does exist and is our creator. God has revealed that He is all powerful and that He created mankind to be in intimate relationship with Him. God promises to empower us to live beyond the limitations of natural life, both while alive and beyond the grave.

There is no reason to remain empty.

The Challenge

I challenge you to step aside from the lie of your meaninglessness. You are a created being. You have dignity and destiny which transcends anything ever conceivable within natural limits. You have offer of relationship which is beyond all that human experience can ever conceive. You have the open offer to become an intimate of the very divine entity who is all powerful, all loving, eternal, transcendent above all else and who created you specifically to welcome you into His family for eternity.

Don’t come up empty. Come to the Living Lord God Almighty, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Creator and the God of the Bible. Come and enter into the glories of divinity, for which you were created.

The God Who is Not!

What is God to you? How do you come to Him? It may be that you are worshipping a God who does not exist! You may be trying to deal with a God who is Not what you think He is.

I take my case from a favourite text which I have mentioned before, but which tossed to me a refreshing new point of reflection just a few days ago. My text is on the topic of “faith”, which you know is a current theme for me. The text is Hebrews 11:6

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

I have pointed out often enough before that there are two key elements in our approach to God. We must believe two vital things. We must believe that God “exists”, just as the Bible describes Him. This is what is meant by the words “believe that he is” – that He is Exists.

We must also believe that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. That is, that He will act on our behalf.

Putting those two thoughts together, we must believe that God CAN do things and that He WILL do things for us.

That much is part of my regular discussion about faith. Now for some fresh thoughts I only noted last weekend. We are to “come to Him”. Not everyone comes to God. So faith puts us in a place of coming to God. If we have no faith in God we will not “come” to Him.

When we come to Him we should have only two thoughts in mind. We should believe that God exists: that He IS who and what the Bible says about Him. And we should believe that He will reward us if we come to Him: that He WILL do things on our behalf.

OK, are you ready? Here’s my question. What is MISSING from that verse?

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Many people who think about “coming to God” hesitate because they don’t think He is a “rewarder”, but they think of Him as a judge, rebuker, annoyed parent or angry God. They think of Him being exasperated, reluctant or having to be cajoled or negotiated into some deal or other.

And so they DON’T have faith. Faith is significant because of what it DOESN’T include, just as much as for what it does include. People who don’t have faith don’t come to God, or don’t get any results from their attempts to come to God, because they are trying to approach a God who doesn’t exist.

They are trying to approach an angry potentate who despises them and is ready to knock their heads off. They think about approaching a God who must be bought with promises, negotiated into deals or fooled with flattery.

And so they never come to God! For those who come to God must believe that He is who the Bible says He is, and that He is a REWARDER! They are not to come to God as an angry God. If they do, then they are not coming in Faith! They are not to come to God as some exasperated, disinterested party, who must be conned into helping them. If they do, then they are not coming in Faith!

So, one of the most powerful ways to activate your faith is to come to an assurance that God loves you and plans to do you good. Even when He judges you for your sins, it is not because He despises you and is keen to throw you into hell. He rebukes and deals with you, only in order to see you blessed, because He loves you.

I exhort you to hurry into God’s presence. But be sure you are not approaching a God who is not! Come “boldly to the throne of grace” Hebrews 4:16, because you are confident that God is a Rewarder!

Introduced Seed – Mutiny on the Bounty

We know that various plants and animals have invaded new habitats when they have been introduced, either intentionally or accidentally. Plants often come into a new environment as ‘introduced seed’. The newly introduced species can often displace other varieties which cannot compete with the invader. At other times the newly introduced species can be a god-send.

There is a famous incident known as the Mutiny on the Bounty, popularised in books and academy award winning movies – with such famous actors as Errol Flynn (1933), Charles Laughton, Clark Gable (1935), Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris (1962), Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson (1984). The real event took place in the remote South Pacific seas back in 1789, just one year after Australia was colonised. A ship’s crew, led by Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, took over Captain Bligh’s British Royal Navy sailing ship named the Bounty, and sailed to Pitcairn Island where they settled.

When I read Captain Bligh’s ship’s log I discovered that the voyage was all about ‘introduced seed’. Inspired by botanist Sir Joseiph Banks, the British wanted to introduce a Tahitian plant known as breadfruit to a West Indies community which was deficient in food variety. The “bounty” was to be a shipload of seedlings. However the voyage was interrupted by the mutiny.

As an historical note, when the breadfruit was eventually delivered by Captain Bligh on a second voyage in 1792 the slaves in Jamaica refused to eat the fruit. But enough of the history lesson, let me get to my point.

Planet Earth has received an ‘introduced seed’. An extra-terrestrial seed has been brought here, which allows a totally new kind of fruit to be enjoyed by earth’s inhabitants. The ‘seed’ is the Word of God – and it is an indestructible, eternal seed. When planted in human hearts it spawns a new kind of life-form, divine and eternal, springing from the mortal soil. Mortal, human creatures, mired and enslaved by sin, are able to propagate, within their very being, an eternal and divine existence, connecting them to the God of all Eternity as one of His children. This is a most amazing seed and we are most wonderfully privileged to have it introduced to us.

However, not everyone likes the fruit. Just as the Jamaican slaves rejected fruit which nourished Tahitians, humans have been known to spurn the eternal seed which has the power to set them free from their mortality. People have ingested the seed, then spat it out. Some have found it hard to digest. Others have simply despised its relative tastelessness, compared to the commercialised products designed to tempt their senses. This seed is, after all, “angels’ food” (see Psalm 78:25). It does not pander to base human appetites (see Matthew 16:23 and 1Corinthians 2:14). It lies dormant in the soil of the human heart unless it is “mixed with faith” (see Hebrews 4:2).

Those who have no interest in this divine ‘introduced seed’ can live their whole lives without it. Those who have been born again by the germination of this seed cannot live without it. Those who live without it exist without any sense for what it is. Those who have eaten of its fruit have transcended their personal capacities and enjoyed realities that are of eternal consequence.

Praise God for introduced seed. I pray that you pick up the seed packet – the Bible – and determine to plant the seeds, watering them with faith, until your life has become a verdant garden of eternal frutfulness.