Another King, one Jesus!

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples.

First published in Christian Voice October 2015

Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; 7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

There is an important theological link between the current migration crisis and the astonishing but mercifully brief imprisonment of Kim Davis in the United States.   The link lies in the theological integrity of a commonwealth, so if you will bear with me, I’ll explain what I mean, beginning with migration.

Refugees, Migrants, Muslim Activists arrive by sea ...

Refugees, Migrants, Muslim Activists arrive by sea …

At this time of writing, refugees, economic migrants, activists, sleeper terrorists,  – no-one really knows how many of which category of people there are, are being floated across the Mediterranean, or walking through Turkey, to land up on the shores of Italy and Greece and the eastern borders of the European Union.

(Also, at the time of posting, Chief of the UK Defence Staff Sir Stuart Peach said he was “worried” about the global reach of IS militants who destroy their identity documents to travel illegally into other countries.  IS militants were ‘hiding in plain sight’ he said.)

IMMIGRATION ‘GOOD FOR A NATION’

Some commentators contend that immigration is good for a nation.  They say that if we look at migrants as hands to work and brains to think, rather than as mouths to feed, then the more you have of them, the more prosperous a society will become.

… and by land into Europe.

… and by land into Europe.

It is an argument behind Germany’s expressed desire for many, or perhaps now not that many, migrants and it is based, or so it appears, on sound historical evidence.

The Roman Empire, for example, encouraged immigration.  Its administrators brought in people from all over the known world to beaver away in the capital.  They brought prosperity to the empire.

But here’s the rub, and it is never mentioned.  Those who came were expected, indeed required, to give allegiance to the Roman state and its religious world-view.

It is not so often understood today that politics and religion are closely intertwined.  The one depends firmly on the other.  In any ideologically-coherent society, the laws which are passed are informed by its moral code, and that rests on its religious world-view.

ROME’S RELIGIOUS WORLD-VIEW NOT OPEN TO CHALLENGE

The religious world-view of the Roman Empire was based on paganism.  There were gods behind every weather event and every human emotion.

Every endeavour had to be approved in advance by the gods.  The empire would adopt foreign gods with equanimity, but was not open to challenge on the actual pagan-god system.

Caesar operated within this system as a demi-god himself, advised by the Roman nobles, but ultimately autonomous, needing and acknowledging no higher authority than himself for his or the empire’s law-making.

The Roman Empire and the growing Christian Church were now on a collision course.  Not only were the early Christians not going to offer sacrifices to those they viewed as demonic entities.  The early Christian reading Paul’s Epistle to the Romans was also left in no doubt that every civil ruler was responsible to Almighty God:

Rom 13:4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

In this Judeo-Christian understanding, no king wielded absolute authority.  There was always ‘one higher than they’, as the writer of Ecclesiastes put it (Eccl. 5:8).  The Almighty is ’higher than the highest’ and he will and does call kings to account.

ANOTHER KING, ONE JESUS

The first apostles, with their theological hats on, were beginning to come to terms with the enormity of the ministry of Jesus the Messiah.  The conclusion they came to was that Christ was indeed God in the flesh.

That made him the source of all earthly authority.  It made him King of kings, not in any praise-song platitudinous way, but in temporal reality, here on earth.  Every earthly king was subject to the power and empire of Christ our Redeemer, as her Majesty the Queen was told at her coronation on 2nd June 1953.

That explains the dramatic charge laid against the apostles in Thessalonica by certain Jews who refused to believe in Jesus and who searched the city for Paul and Silas, who had been staying with a Thessalonican brother known as Jason:

Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; 7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

Paul and Silas might have protested that they were not saying that, but there is no record that they tried to gainsay the charge.  In fact, any way they tried to present a sophisticated doctrine of Christ as sovereign, and earthly kings deriving their considerable authority from him, would have done them no good.  They really did have another king, one Jesus.

SACRILEGE AND TREASON

Richard Burton as Marcellus and Victor Mature as his Christian slave Demetrius stylishly over-acting in Henry Koster’s perceptive 1953 film ‘The Robe’

Richard Burton as Marcellus and Victor Mature as his Christian slave Demetrius stylishly over-acting in Henry Koster’s perceptive 1953 film ‘The Robe’

You may have seen the film ‘The Robe’.  In it, Richard Burton plays the Roman centurion Marcellus who wins the robe worn by Christ in the famous casting of lots at our Lord’s crucifixion.  From a sceptical outlook, beginning as one at odds with the faith, he is converted to Christianity largely through the ministry of his slave Demetrius.  When news reaches his superiors, he is brought before Caesar.

Marcellus makes abundantly clear that he is totally loyal to Caesar and will carry out all of his duties under Caesar’s authority.  The only problem is that he now regards Caesar himself as under the authority of Christ.  For that alone, he must be put to death.

An article on the BBC website expresses it thus:  ‘Pagans were probably most suspicious of the Christian refusal to sacrifice to the Roman gods.  This was an insult to the gods and potentially endangered the empire which they deigned to protect.  Furthermore, the Christian refusal to offer sacrifices to the emperor, a semidivine monarch, had the whiff of both sacrilege and treason about it.’

Christians in Rome were seen as seditious.  They had a rival king, one Jesus.  To be completely anachronistic, we can be sure that anyone turning up in ancient Rome with a rival god, one Allah, would also have been given short shrift.

Rome, for all its positive attitude to immigration, would never have tolerated an influx of religiously-minded people vowing to work against its entire religious fabric.

ISRAEL’S ECONOMIC MIGRANTS

The same was true of other ancient societies.  When we look at the Old Testament, we see the commonwealth of Israel as tolerant and welcoming.  When they went out of Israel, a significant number of other ethnic peoples decided to ally themselves to this nation who had such a God to fight their cause as could bring ten plagues on Egypt:

Exod 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.

Evidently these people were not poverty-stricken.  They were wealthy.  But they had seen enough of Egypt and now wanted to follow a God of power and to become part of Israel.  That was fine,  said the Lord, so long as they would follow all the laws of Israel and demand no exceptions.  In the same chapter, a few verses on, a very clear principle was set out:

Exod 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

In return for his allegiance, the stranger was accorded legal privileges and freedoms.  Native-born Israelites were not allowed to vex or oppress him:

Exod 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Strangers were welcomed, but just like Rome, the kingdom of Israel took a very dim view of anyone who would not respect the fundamentals of their culture.  There was no room for questioning the basis of their national moral and religious framework, or introducing a bit of Sharia.  One God and one rule of law was foundational to the Ten Commandments:

Exodus 20:1  And God spake all these words, saying, 2  I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

This is not saying you can pursue the rest of life, passing any laws you want, so long as you pop along to the temple every Sabbath.  God was giving a complete rule-book to cover the whole of life.  The Ten Commandments are a powerful statement that a nation’s law comes from its morality and its morality from its religious world-view.

LOVE FOR GOD COMMANDED

For Israel, it started with a view of God as eternal Creator and law-giver, a being so wonderful, so powerful and so faithful that it was only right to give him all honour and all devotion.  This was in fact required of them, as stated in Deuteronomy:

Deut 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The people would not show their love for God by giving him a cuddle, they would demonstrate  their love for God by doing what he said:

Deut 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

This was the positive injunction, but the negative to it, supplanting God with another deity or false god, was a crime which demanded a penalty:

Deut 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Sedition, for that is once more what is being discussed, was punishable by death in Israel.  Fourteen hundred years later, Rome had not introduced anything new or unusual.  There was no place in either Rome or Ancient Israel for challenging the political-religious status quo.

DEATH PENALTY FOR TREASON

The prophets Azariah and Obed encouraged king Asa to renew Judah’s covenant with the Lord.  As a result, he removed all the idols from the land, rebuilt the altar of the Lord and rededicated it.  The people had been following other gods and the legal system built upon their worship.  Asa brought back Israel’s original devotion to the Lord.  To back this up, not acknowledging the Lord was regarded as treason and punishable by death:

2Chron 15:12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

King Josiah reads the rediscovered law of God to the people (Image from freebibleimages.org)

King Josiah reads the rediscovered law of God to the people (Image from freebibleimages.org)

Around three hundred years later, Josiah carried out similar reforms in Judah.  He became king when he was eight, turned to the Lord when he was sixteen and then, I surmise, he consolidated his position over the next four years until he could take on the rival pagan system that had become sadly established during the reign of his grandfather Manasseh.

There was, to be frank, a religious purge as comprehensive as anything the Romans dished out to the Christians, although if he was following the law of God executions will have been conducted more swiftly and mercifully than under the Romans:

2Kings 23:20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men’s bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.

Let us not shed too many tears for the priests.  They had presided over child sacrifice at the temple of Molech.  Their paganism had devalued human life in Judah.  This portion of history shows clearly the effect its religious world-view has upon a society’s morality.  Josiah also had to deal with abominations which had been brought right into the house of God:

2Kings 23:7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

Like Asa before him, and for the same reasons, Josiah made it obligatory to honour the Lord both in Judah and in the parts of post-deportation Israel that Judah controlled:

2Chr 34:33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.

FOREIGN GODS HARD TO DISLODGE

The people of Judah and the people of Israel had experienced the effects of outsiders coming in, and even of their own kings adopting foreign customs.  Both had changed their religio-moral system to one which chose death through its human sacrifices and cultic practices rather than life.

Revivals against paganism were rare.  The closest post-Solomon Israel came to it was Elijah’s attempted coup against Ahab and Jezebel in 1 Kings 18.  In Judah, apart from Asa and Josiah, only Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah followed the Lord.

The lesson of scripture is that foreign religious systems are tempting and that once such a system becomes established it is very hard to dislodge.  It needs a mighty move of the Holy Spirit in which the Lord raises up a perceptive spiritual tough guy as a leader.

Ivan Netik, of the Slovak Interior Ministry, understands the importance of his country’s Christian heritage.

Ivan Netik, of the Slovak Interior Ministry, understands the importance of his country’s Christian heritage.

It is easier – although still not that easy – not to allow the problem in the first place.  The Slovakians were perceptive when they said they would prefer Muslims not to come to Slovakia because there were no mosques there and they had no intention of allowing any to be built.  To the annoyance of EU politicians, they made it very clear that they preferred Christians and why:  “Slovakia as a Christian country can really help Christians from Syria to find a new home in Slovakia,” said Ivan Netik, the Interior Ministry spokesman.

The trouble is, in addition to Slovakia, it seems only Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Australia are adopting this politically-incorrect approach.  If the lessons of history are true, the other countries of Europe, Germany in particular, are welcoming in those bent on replacing their current belief system with another god, one Allah.

The United Kingdom has been allowing Muslims to immigrate for decades now.  Britain can hardly make the argument that there are no mosques here.  Local authorities have been approving them with abandon and the building of every Mosque encourages more Muslims to come to the UK and turn the area around each Mosque into an Islamic enclave.  The moment when through natural fecundity Muslims form thirty-per-cent of the population and begin to nurture desires for an Islamic state in these shores is not many decades away.

SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION

Economic benefits there may be from immigration, but without possessing either the spiritual resilience of ancient Judah under its reforming kings, or the religious self-confidence of Rome, Western Europe is sowing the seeds of its own destruction by admitting waves of Muslims.  Their religion is completely opposed to that of their host countries and they will inevitably demand concessions and eventually the establishment of Islam as the dominant religio-political system.  When that happens, today’s leaders will take no responsibility although they will have no excuse.  At least the Greeks in the Trojan Horse were hidden.  Islamic State today is openly boasting of how many agents – claimed to be in the thousands – it has placed in Europe.

The Trojans drew the Greek gift of a wooden horse into their city, but Greek soldiers were hidden inside. (From the film ‘Troy’)

The Trojans drew the Greek gift of a wooden horse into their city, but Greek soldiers were hidden inside. (From the film ‘Troy’)

I spoke of Germany’s ‘belief system’ above.  I did not mean, by that expression, a Christian belief system.  Yes, they had one, and their main two post-war political parties were called by the name of Christ.  I speak of the Christian Democrats and the Christian Socialists.  But Secularism has been gradually taking over during the last sixty years and now runs riot through Britain, most of Western Europe, North America and Scandinavia.  It is a pagan religious system.  Secularism worships the wisdom of mankind.  In abortion it too has its version of child sacrifice and it has its high priests of depraved sexuality.

Secularism will never resist Islam, for two reasons.  Firstly, Secularism has no spiritual core to give it any resilience.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and a spiritual one is not granted an exception.  As Christianity is pushed out from our law-making, Islam will flood in.

Secondly, Secularism is wedded to multi-culturalism, which was developed in the 1970s to destroy Christianity.  So secularist ideology demands a welcome for Muslims, and for that matter for Hindus, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Yazidis, if there are any left, Shintos and whatever other non-Christian religious group  you can think of.  Secularist ideology also allows no criticism of any of their various religions.  But Zoroastrians do not want to take over the world.  Muslims do.  So the Secularist refusal to admit there is anything even vaguely contentious with Islam is a political death-wish.  To remain ‘politically correct’, Islam has to be characterised by Secularists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, as a ‘religion of peace.’

Whenever we hear such an expression, from Tony Blair, from Sir Ian Blair (remember him?), from Boris Johnson or from David Cameron, we are hearing a secularist multicultural mantra.  Mr Cameron may have said in a speech in 2011 that ‘state multiculturalism has failed’ but it was only replaced, if at all, with ‘community cohesion’ which leads to the same denials of anything adverse about any non-Christian religion.  When the secularists realise their mistake about Islam it will be too late.

THE STATE AS ULTIMATE AUTHORITY

Nevertheless, secularist states have been starting to flex their muscles against certain other religious dissidents.  Just as they refused to do in ancient Rome, forthright Christians will not bow and worship the new Secularist gods of the West.  Now as then they are ready to give whole-hearted allegiance to the state, so long as it allows them to hold and express their beliefs, especially that Jesus Christ, Yeshua Hamashiach, is King of kings..

Pastor Åke Green

Pastor Åke Green

And just like the Caesar of old, the rulers of Western nations will not tolerate such sedition.  The State must be the ultimate authority.  There is no room for another king, one Jesus.

That explains why Christians have fallen foul of equality laws in Britain.  None has lost his life, but many have lost their livelihood.  It explains why Pastor Åke Green (pronounced ‘grey-urn’) was convicted of ‘disrespecting’ homosexuals, contrary to a law passed in 2002, in a sermon he preached in Sweden.  The country’s Supreme Court eventually quashed his conviction, saying it would not stand in the European Court of Human Rights, but the law itself has never been repealed.

The elevation of the State to divine status also explains why a draconian judge in Rowan County, Kentucky, USA, jailed Christian marriage certificate clerk Kim Davis for six days for refusing to sign off ‘gay-marriages.’

Secularist America, like Secularist Britain, has replaced its Christian theological integrity with that of Secularism.  That is why Christians are now coming under attack in previously and even, in Britain, in constitutionally Christian nations.

How ironic it is that the Secularist system, so tough on Christians, will be powerless to resist the religion of Islam.  Its ideology demands it welcomes in Islam’s practitioners.  And they are coming, across the sea and overland, in their hundreds of thousands.

 

Find out how to join Christian Voice and stand up for the King of kings (clicking on the link below does not commit you to join)

Please note that persons wishing to comment on this story must enter a valid email address. Comments from persons leaving fictitious email addresses will be trashed.

Share