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.

Of Fathers and Sons

We live in a Fatherless World, as I explained in a recent post. So, how do fathers and sons work together to create this fatherless situation? That’s the question I want to explain in this update posting.

Fatherless-ness Defined

Fatherless-ness is the condition of being without the true fathering which God intended. Fathering is a divine calling and privilege. Yet in today’s world men think they can make of it what they want. So they become the kind of fathers that they choose to become, without regard for their divine calling. Most people today have lost sight of the foundations for their lives, so they follow the crowd. If other fathers do things a certain way then that social norm becomes the reference point for most fathers. Then, in the absence of truth to guide fathers to their real calling, they function as something less than a father. That creates a situation of fatherless-ness.

When a child is raised without the high level of spiritual responsibility and guidance that a real father is meant to bring to the child, then the child is fatherless, even if that child has a very present, very pleasant dad in their life.

Dad doesn’t create fathering. God created fathering and calls men to fulfil that mandate. Sadly, most men are either ignorant or irresponsible. They go about providing what they choose to provide in their role as dads. So their children are fatherless.

How Dads Create Fatherless-ness

When a dad is absent the child clearly is fatherless. With immorality rampant many children are born without fathers and not able to determine who their real father is. I spoke recently with a woman who was told by her mum that her dad would have been one of two men who the mum was not married to. Without DNA testing the daughter cannot be certain which of the men is her real dad. But she is at least lucky enough to narrow it down to two.

So the absentee father is one cause of fatherless-ness, but it is not the greatest cause of this problem from the dad’s side of the equation.

The more insidious fatherless-ness occurs when there is the appearance of a father, but the absence or true fathering, as I described earlier. When ever a man fails to be the man that God has called him to be or the father that God has called him to be, then he creates fatherless-ness.

I once worked with a family where the father had virtually no manhood. He acted much like his own children, but he had less intelligence than they did. He held down a menial job and left the running of the home to his wife and her father, who provided the mature male role in the home. The man’s children mocked him openly. He was a joke to them, and yet he thought such a situation was normal and reasonable. Such a man creates fatherless-ness, because he is not functioning as a father in that home.

When a dad lives for himself and raises his children as it suits him, he makes his children fatherless. When a dad ignores God’s authority over him and through him to his children, he makes his children fatherless. When a man abdicates from his manhood and leaves the home to his wife to run, he makes his children fatherless.

Dads create fatherless culture by their failure to be the fathers God created them to be in their child’s life.

How Children Create Fatherless-ness

Children also create fatherless-ness. They do it by rejecting their fathers. When children rebel against the instructions of their father, they make themselves ‘fatherless’. Just as refusing to drive a car, even when you have one in the garage, makes you effectively ‘car-less’, so refusing to honour your father, even though you have one in your home, makes you effectively ‘father-less’.

Children choose to become fatherless when they find that their dad frustrates their will. When the child decides to go against the father’s instructions or pull against his limitations, the child removes their self from being ‘fathered’. So the child becomes fatherless.

When children spend much of their life under the influence of their peers (as is the almost universal experience of western children) it is to be expected that the children will value the peer culture above their parent’s values. The child will be sorely tempted to side with the peers rather than the parents when these cultures conflict. When the child chooses to side with the peers that child replaces the father with the peer culture. The child is then fatherless.

Since the child will likely be determining his or her values from social norms, rather than from Biblical truth or some other external and unchanging reference point, the child will be encouraged to think that their fight for independence from parental control is normal and reasonable. They will have no idea that they have permanently damaged themselves and contributed to the fatherless world in which they live.

God the Father

Among the various responses that can be suggested in this fatherless world, the most powerful one is to firmly set God as Father in our lives. God is a father, as Jesus pointed out when He taught us to pray, “Our Father in Heaven…” That truth was already given in the Old Testament Scriptures.

“But now, O LORD, You are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

“For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

“Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13

God is not only a father, He is the most perfect and complete, fully functioning father that could ever be imagined. Having God as our father brings into our lives all that our natural fathers were incapable of binging to us. So it is more than a nice idea to have God as our Father. It is an extremely powerful reality that will impact who we are more than just about anything else we could do.

I encourage you to overturn fatherless-ness in your life, but entering into intimate relationship with God as your Heavenly Father.

Regaining Domestic Authority

How does a hen-pecked husband regain his rightful authority? If he is under his wife’s demands and rebuke, how does he restore his rightful place of headship in the home?

This a pretty challenging issue for many husbands, especially those who do not have their wife’s permission to be the head of the home.

The Wife’s Permission

Some Christian ministries handle this by suggesting that the wife’s ‘submission’ is a precursor to the husband’s headship. I object to such nonsense. They arrive at this case by noting that in Ephesians 5, where the Apostle Paul tells husbands and wives about their respective roles, the wife is advised about ‘submission’ before the husband is addressed about his need to love the wife.

The suggestion that a person can only have authority once their subordinate gives it to them is ludicrous on several accounts. Real authority comes from being under authority, so how can one who is a subordinate assign authority to their leader. The leader gets his or her authority from someone with more authority than them, not someone with less!

There is no place in society where true authority is determined by the response of those under authority. What happens in reality is that those who don’t wish to be under proper authority face consequences for that stance. They do not gain power over the authority but are dealt with by the authority.

Husbands are not dependent on their wife’s permission to hold their position of headship over the wife.

God’s Assignment

Husbands have headship over their wife. They have that headship whether they want it or not. They have it whether they use it well or not. They have it for as long as they have a wife. They have it whether they are smarter or stronger than their wife, or whether she outperforms them in every way. They have it because it is God’s assignment to them.

God assigns authority, as the principal authority figure in the universe. No-one has more authority than
God. No-one has the power to revoke God’s authority. No-one has a voice that has the right to speak against or challenge the authority of God. And that God, the Almighty God, our Creator and the sustainer of all things is the one who gives husbands headship in their home.

The attitude, opinion and actions of the wife are inconsequential to the fact. The man carries the responsibility of headship whether his wife likes it or not. He carries it whether his wife approves or not. He even carries it while his wife is vigorously rebelling against it. She has zero power over the man’s authority and headship.

The Wife’s Part

The wife is responsible for herself and her attitudes and actions. She will give account for her words, actions and attitudes to God. She has no authority over the husband’s role. She cannot veto it, negate it, overturn it, modify it or otherwise subvert it in any way. It is outside her power.

The wife did not assign the husband’s role, God did. The wife did not make the husband her head, God did. The wife did not elevate the man by her approval of him, but God placed a mantle of responsibility on him whether the man and woman knew about it or not.

Oh, and it doesn’t matter whether either of them or Christians or not. This is not the Christian order for marriage; it is God’s order for marriage. It applies across all cultures, all ages, all socio-economic situations, and all parts of the globe.

Restoring Order

The first step in restoring the godly order for the marriage is to know the order and how serious it is. It is not something the couple need to agree on in order for it to become real.

Once a husband realises that he stands accountable before God for the place of responsibility which God has given him he can then take the matter to God for divine wisdom about restoring that order in his home.

There are several practical insights that will apply in that process, but I’ll leave the subject for now, so you can absorb and mull over the implications of what I have outlined here. And my prayer in that God give you wisdom and grace to empower you to stand before Him, fully accountable for your actions and completely ready to honour Him ahead of all else.

Profit as an Idol

“All is fair in love, war and enterprise!” That seems to be the motto of western culture. And the heartbeat of enterprise is “Profit”! The Almighty Dollar reigns supreme in a materialistic culture and any course of action which turns a profit causes the enterprising to salivate.

So, for all intents and purposes, the materialistic western culture has raised an idol called ‘profit’. That is why the advice for all buyers in America is “Buyer Beware”. It seems that everyone accepts the right of the seller to rip-off the buyer. And why not, if profit is the universal morality?

I once purchased a $10 phone card in California, only to find that it had only $5 credit. When I contacted the company to rectify the fault I discovered it was not a ‘fault’ at all. The card was manufactured with only $5 phone credit. So I asked why they printed it with $10 on the card. The answer is that it is up to the retailer to advise me that the card only has $5 credit. Now, that’s deceptive, playing on the buyer’s acceptance of the clear impression given on the card that it is a $10 card and should provide $10 worth of credit.

When I shared this with others they smiled. They reminded me that in America the rule is “Buyer Beware!” If I was stupid enough to trust people then I deserved to be taken advantage of.

Profit Motive Overturns Morality

If ‘profit’ is the treasured moral value, then rip-off is the name of the game. Anything and everything that turns a profit is kosher. This then becomes the reality for everyone, from street peddler to global corporation. The Enron shenanigans reflect what must be reality for many corporations. Monopolies gain control of markets, not to benefit the consumer, but to optimise their profits. Facts are denied, as we saw in the tobacco industry and many drug and contamination cases. Responsibility is wrongly assigned, and so on.

Moral Foundations

Now, to be fair, no-one goes into business to lose money. But society is founded on moral principles. The most effective set of moral principles ever inculcated anywhere and at any time through human history is what we refer to as the Judeo-Christian values given to us in the Bible. When a culture moderates all of its practices by the standards expressed in the Mosaic law of the Old Testament and the teachings of Christ in the Gospels then it is able to dethrone the evil idols which would otherwise take over the society.

Sadly, the west has fled from Biblical standards and actively destroyed its Judeo-Christian foundations. Consequently we have evil idols rising from the sea of humanity. These are ugly beasts with fierce countenance and shameless blood-lust. They devour people’s houses, incomes, health, families, social assets, potential, reputation, and more, until they have wrung every drop out of the helpless.

One of these beasts is simply called ‘Profit’. Unrestrained, it is a leviathan. Caged by godly morality, it oils the wheels of enterprise.

The Challenge

I challenge you not to buy into the seduction of this evil spirit. When you find yourself gloating over someone taking advantage of another, stop to hear the sinister evil coming from your own chest. Don’t applaud those who defraud. Don’t envy those who perpetrate evil. Don’t justify the means by the end result of profit.

Beware the moral compromise which you set up inside yourself when you worship God on Sunday and then worship profit on Monday.

There’s profit in human embryos, abortion, drug dealing, deception, prostitution, tyranny, theft, extortion, blackmail, exploitation and a host of other things. If profit was prince then nothing else would be sacred. When you allow greed for profit to entwine your heart you are already being drawn to all kinds of evil.

How to Destroy this Idol

You need to revoke your worship of Profit. You need to commit yourself to God, trusting Him for the provision of all that you need. Then commit your business and your dealings to God, asking for His blessing on your enterprise. Commit at least a tenth of all you make to God. And ask God to keep your heart clean from greed, moral compromise, idolatry and evil.

Helped but Not Helpless

Aussie males have a problem getting the help they need. This is probably true in other cultures as well. It’s the problem of ego and ignorance making people think that to need help makes one ‘helpless’. That thought is not true, and it’s a mental stronghold that needs to be pulled down. So, I’m starting up my bulldozer and pushing straight toward that stupid idea.

Here’s an analogy to help you see what I’m on about. Imagine you like driving your off-road vehicle through the bush (that’s the Aussie word for the scrub, off-road, off-the-beaten-track, wilderness, or whatever you call it). Let’s assume that you drive happily and successfully for several miles until you come to a place where your forward passage is blocked by a fallen tree. At this point you need some help.

Fortunately for you another person comes along and sees your predicament. They help you cut up the fallen tree and pull it out of the way. You thank them and drive on happily for another few miles.

As you enjoy your ‘bush-bashing’ journey you come to a swollen creek and are unsure whether it is safe to cross. You have been warned that there are some deep holes in the creek, but you cannot see where the warning markers are, since the creek is now flooded. After a few minutes of waiting, another vehicle comes along on the other side of the creek. They too are nervous about the depth of the water, but eventually they drive into the creek and manage to get across without incident. You note the place where they crossed and make your crossing there too. Without them realising it, they helped you find a good place to cross.

Yet further down the track you discover that your fuel gauge is broken and you have very little fuel left. You now have too little fuel to get back to the road. Thankfully another vehicle approaches and the driver sells you his spare drum of fuel which enables you to get back home.

Now, in that adventure you required help three separate times. So, does that make you ‘helpless’?

Of course not! Getting help doesn’t make you helpless. You were perfectly capable of making good progress most of the time. You are a competent driver and a good navigator. You struck some hitches along the way and you managed to solve them, with the assistance of others.

And that’s how most of us live our lives. We make good progress most of the time and we get helped out when we get stuck. We call a mechanic when our car needs fixing and we call a plumber when our pipes need fixing. We go to a dentist when our teeth need fixing and we go to an accountant when the books need ‘fixing’ (that’s a joke!). It’s completely normal to need assistance at many points along the way.

Even the awesome professionals need help all the time. Professional tennis stars rely heavily on their coaches, who can’t even play as well as the pro’s do! Most businesses rely on consultants, while medical and legal experts rely on second opinions. The reason we have expensive reference resources in many professions is because people need help from resources outside themselves.

Do you get the picture?

So, why is it that many people cringe at the idea of telling someone they have a problem? Why is it that people think it shameful to admit that they need something explained or that they even need someone to point the way out of their situation?

The blockage is pride. Male ego is another term for it in men. Counsellors recognise that women are far more likely to seek help and be open about their problems than men are. But there’s no real reason to be coy about getting the help we need. Help is not only needed by everyone, the most successful people build a team of helpers around them, to cover for all the possible contingencies.

Take a look at a top formula one racing team and look at the amount of ‘help’ that goes into enabling the top drivers to get into the points. Engineering, design, pit crew, race strategists, sports psychologists, tyre technologists, analysts and so on, are all built into a winning team. That’s an abundance of ‘help’, but that doesn’t make us jeer at the Hamiltons, Schumachers, Senna’s or Alonzo’s.

Guys, it’s time to get real and to pull down the idea that getting help makes you helpless. Getting help makes you successful and proves how smart you are. Pretending you are a self-made man and can do everything without help is lunacy. It relegates you to the underperformer paddock, where all the also-rans are sent. Real professionals have no qualms about saying, “I want to be the best and I’ll get whatever help I can get to make sure I get to the top!”

It’s time to stop being helpless and to start getting help. Once you cross this swollen creek, or get that obstacle out of your path you will be able to make good progress again and get to the places you always dreamed of reaching.