|From the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
“Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? I will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and acts on them: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great! ” (Luke 6:46-49).
Throughout this series, we have discussed what I call the biblical doctrine of deposited authority. We have seen that the Bible ultimately defines obedience to civil rulers as a recognition of where God has deposited authority to govern among men. However, many modern Christians build their faith upon emotion and are not concerned with doctrine – especially doctrine providing guidance in “nonspiritual” activities. Unfortunately, this is one of the obstacles facing the Church. Many who profess the name of Jesus actually know very little about the Bible. Which brings us to the first specific action Christians can take in these chaotic times: educate. As the Scripture at the beginning of this article reminds us, Jesus does not say a build a solid foundation upon emotion, “spiritual highs” or even relationship. He says, those who hear his words and act on them will be like one whose house (life) is built upon a foundation of solid rock. In other words, we need to listen and obey if we want a solid foundation. Moreover, obedience to Christ encompasses every facet of life.
One needful area of education concerns the “boring” parts of the Bible. Many Christians are unfamiliar with the Old Testament – especially the “legalistic” books like Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Unbeknownst to some, Deuteronomy seemed to be Jesus’ favorite book of the Bible. He refers to it more than any other. While it is true Jesus distilled the law into two commandments, the whole of Scripture is required to define love to God and love to neighbor. The Pentateuch is a great place to start. With that in mind, I will be offering an online series on the book of Deuteronomy. You can find the video links at www.cottcommchurch.com.
Another area churches can take specific action is in providing education about the US Constitution, constitutional government and the context in which the Constitution was conceived. I would recommend a reading list that includes The Federalist Papers, The Antifederalist Papers, and Joseph Story’s A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, in addition to the constitution itself. To understand the context of the time, it is helpful to peruse the constitutions of the original thirteen states. You can find links to these at the bottom of the page located at, https://dewms.com/main/list.php. Weekly or biweekly meetings, using Joseph Story’s work as a primary text would be helpful.
Christians also need to be involved in the governing process, informed by the study of God’s Word and our national and state founding documents. Christian men and women should vote in a way that pleases Christ – and prayerfully consider running for local and state office. If your gifting does not embrace public service, you might find your niche in the local party apparatus. Additional material on godly government and Christian involvement in the civic process may be found at https://dewms.com/main/allarticles.php.
Followers of Jesus Christ have a responsibility to participate in the maintenance of the civil society. We can only do so if we understand what the Bible says about civil government. We must also understand our form of government and its foundational documents. I pray that Christians will rise up and shoulder the duty.