The Case for Christian Nationalism

Were the American founders wrong for not building in safe guards against secularism? Is there a way to have freedom of religion and at the same time guard against secularism? I believe the answer to both these questions is YES.

Nations from the dawn of human civilization have been built on three pillars much like the three legged stool I have pictured at the top of this article.  These three pillars are a common religion, a common ethnicity and a common language.  The more diversity you have in any of these three areas the weaker the unity of your nation becomes eventually leading to its collapse.

In my previous article “Is Ethno-Nationalism a Sin against God or by His design?” I gave this quote by Victor Davis Hanson from his article in National Review entitled “America: History’s Exception”:

 “The history of nations is mostly characterized by ethnic and racial uniformity, not diversity.

Most national boundaries reflected linguistic, religious, and ethnic homogeneity. Until the late 20th century, diversity was considered a liability, not a strength…

Countries, ancient and modern, that have tried to unite diverse tribes have usually fared poorly. The Italian Roman Republic lasted about 500 years. In contrast, the multiracial Roman Empire that after the Edict of Caracalla in AD 212 made all its diverse peoples equal citizens endured little more than two (often violent) centuries.

Vast ethnically diverse empires such as those of the Austro-Hungarians, the Ottomans, and the Soviets used deadly force to keep their bickering ethnic factions in line — and from killing each other.” [1]

In that article on ethno nationalism I argued that America’s change from laws protecting ethnic homogeneity (via the 1790 Naturalization Act) have led to a weakening of the American nation and fractures along ethnic lines.  Why? Because even though we have tried to stamp out racial hatred (which is good thing) you cannot stamp out racial clustering in other words, racial preference.  I showed statistics in my article “Is Self-Segregation a Sin?” that the vast majority of people of all ethnicities prefer to marry and live around people of their own ethnic group and this natural racial preference among human beings will inevitably lead to division in a nation.

So this common ethnicity, one of the three pillars that is crucial to any nation’s unity, has been badly weakened over the last century and it is continuing to degrade more each year.

In this article I want to talk about another pillar that is essential to national unity and that is common religion.

Why America’s Founding Fathers Wanted Freedom of Religion

The first amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The founding fathers gave us this to protect the people from state churches like the Anglican Church in England as well as state churches that existed in the American colonies.

One the greatest champions for religious freedom and separation of Church and State was a Baptist minister name John Leland(1754-1841). Hundreds of Baptist ministers had been imprisoned throughout the colonies for “disturbing the peace” or in other words not going along with the Anglican or Congregational state churches in various colonies.  John Leland brought the plight of these Baptist ministers to the attention of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  James Madison had already heard of Baptist imprisonments in Virginia and was fighting for their freedom in there.

In order to secure the support of Leland and his many Baptist followers in Virginia, James Madison had to promise Leland that he would add specific protections for religious liberty to the new Constitution.  This is why Leland is credited by many historians as the greatest influence of religious liberty on Madison and therefore the first amendment.

In 1790, a year before the first amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights was ratified Leland wrote:

“The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever. … Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.” [2]

In 1791 Leland again wrote:

“Is conformity of sentiments in matters of religion essential to the happiness of civil government? Not at all. Government has no more to do with the religious opinions of men than it has with the principles of mathematics. Let every man speak freely without fear–maintain the principles that he believes–worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in so doing, i.e., see that he meets with no personal abuse or loss of property for his religious opinions. Instead of discouraging him with proscriptions, fines, confiscation or death, let him be encouraged, as a free man, to bring forth his arguments and maintain his points with all boldness; then if his doctrine is false it will be confuted, and if it is true (though ever so novel) let others credit it. When every man has this liberty what can he wish for more? A liberal man asks for nothing more of government.” [3]

And in 1804 Leland Wrote:

“Experience, the best teacher, has informed us, that the fondness of magistrates to foster Christianity, has done it more harm than all the persecutions ever did.” [4]

Were America’s Founding Father’s Secularists?

While men like Thomas Jefferson and John Leland were champions of religious liberty they were not the advocates of a purely secular government as some of their statements have made them look.  We need to look at their actions, not just their words to see what they truly meant.

In a speech he gave at at Beeson Divinity School on May 2nd, 2000  Richard Land made the following historical observation comparing Jefferson and Leland’s words on separation of church and state to their actions:

“Clearly, Jefferson saw no contradiction between his concept of church and state separation and having a gift personally presented to him at the White House with a promise of continued prayer by a prominent Baptist preacher on the morning of the very day he wrote to the Danbury Baptist ministers, and less than 48 hours later attending a Sunday morning worship service where that minister — John Leland — preached from the Speaker’s podium in the well of the U.S. House of Representatives” [5]

Were there secularists among the founders like Thomas Paine? Yes.  But the truth is it can be easily proven by their diaries, personal letters and public statements that the vast majority of the founders were indeed Christians.

In response to Thomas Pain’s “Age of Reason” John Adams wrote:

“The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will.” [6]

And Adams was not the only founder to attack Paine’s secularist views.   Samuel Adams, Benjamin Rush, Charles Carrol, Patrick Henry, William Paterson and John Jay were amongst just a few of many founders who condemned Paine for his work. Zephaniah Swift stated at the time the following of Paine’s work:

“He has the impudence and effrontery to address to the citizens of the United States of America a paltry performance which is intended to shake their faith in the religion of their fathers.” [7]

The Error of the First Amendment

As much as Americans cherish the first amendment there was a fundamental flaw in design which came from men like John’s Leland’s “experience”.   As we previously noted Leland said that “Experience, the best teacher” regarding his views of the separation of church and state and religious liberty.  We also gave his statement that “…Let every man speak freely without fear–maintain the principles that he believes–worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in so doing”. 

The problem with this thinking, which also heavily influenced Madison, is that it opened the door open for secularism to poison American culture.  If Leland could witness what happened over the next two centuries and “experiance” what happened as a result of having no protection for Christianity or Christian principles in this country I think he might have reconsidered his positions.

The first amendment – which was meant to protect freedom of religion and conscience was actually turned into a weapon by secularists to drive Christians from the public square.

After reading much about his life and what he fought for I can see where Leland was coming from.  His intentions were good.  I agree 100% with Leland that what the Anglican and Congregational state churches did to Baptists and other Christians was wrong.  But Leland and the founding fathers he influenced went too far in the matter of religious liberty.

They could have put protections in for the freedom to practice the Christian faith according to one’s conscience and they could have clearly outlawed  state churches.

They could have put moral laws in the Constitution straight from the Scriptures like do not steal, do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not commit fornication as well as protections for family rights and male headship while protecting the right of Christian churches to assemble and worship as they pleased.

Instead they set up a system of government that allowed for secularism, atheism and religious pluralism to eventually erode the unity of the nation.  This erosion of common religion among Americans will eventually lead to the end of the great experiment the founders began more than two centuries ago.

The Founding Fathers Believed Our Rights Came From God Not Government

The rights of government, the church and individuals and families do not come from government, they come from God as our American founding fathers so clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved”

The founders referred to God as our “Creator” from whom our rights come and the “Supreme judge” who will judge our intentions and actions. They were absolutely right in this regard that governments are not the source of rights but instead God instituted government to secure the rights he had given. The Scriptures state:

“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.”

Romans 13:4 (KJV)

Therefore we can rightly say that Government is there to protect our God given rights and punish those who violate the God given rights of others.  It is not the purpose of Government to grant new rights or nullify rights that God grants.  When a government becomes “destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government”.

What “Creator” and “Supreme Judge” did the American Founders Have in Mind?

Decades before the American Revolution a young John Adams wrote this in his diary:

“Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!” [8]

Then in the decades that followed the birth of our nation this great American founder stated the following in a letter to Thomas Jefferson:

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” [9]

 

What Can We as Bible Believing Christians Do?

As believers we must take a page from the story of Joshua in the Bible.

“14 Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:14-15 (KJV)

America and the Western world have forsaken the God of the Bible, the God of their ancestors, for the false gods of emotionalism, feminism, secularism, humanism, egalitarianism, materialism and education.

We as believers in the God of the Bible must stand faithful in the midst of a faithless generation and follow Joshua’s example that no matter what others did – he and his family would serve the Lord.

But we must also take another page from earlier in Joshua’s story.  When the children of Israel were looking to build a new nation a powerful city lay as an obstacle in their path and that was the city of Jericho.  In Joshua chapter 6 we see that God told them he would destroy the walls of Jericho and all they had to do was follow his commands one of which was to shout:

“2 And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.”

Joshua 6:2-5 (KJV)

We know from the rest of the story that the Israelites followed God’s commands and God caused the walls of Jericho to fall flat to the ground.

In the same way we as Bible believing Christians must shout out against the wickedness of secular humanists, feminists and others who oppose the knowledge of God in our culture. Sadly we must even shout out against those who claim to be Christians but stand in lock step with secularists in opposing a Biblical worldview.  We cannot simply stand by in the shadows.  God calls us to be a light in a dark place.

Secular humanism, feminism, egalitarianism and a host of other false gods have fortified themselves much like Jericho did.  They control the courts, legislatures and media.  Only God can take down the stronghold of these false gods that are entrenched in our society.  But we must do our part as Christians to call it out until he does and when he does we as Bible believing Christians need to be prepared to go in after God brings the walls down.

The Fatal Flaw of Secular Humanism That Will Bring Down Its Walls

Below is the definition of Secular Humanism from secularhumanism.org:

“Secular humanism is comprehensive, touching every aspect of life including issues of values, meaning, and identity. Thus it is broader than atheism, which concerns only the nonexistence of god or the supernatural. Important as that may be, there’s a lot more to life … and secular humanism addresses it.

Secular humanism is nonreligious, espousing no belief in a realm or beings imagined to transcend ordinary experience.

Secular humanism is a lifestance, or what Council for Secular Humanism founder Paul Kurtz has termed a eupraxsophy: a body of principles suitable for orienting a complete human life. As a secular lifestance, secular humanism incorporates the Enlightenment principle of individualism, which celebrates emancipating the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life.” [10]

Obviously the most glaring flaw of secular humanism is its denial of the existence of God, the creator of all things including humanity.  But another flaw that comes from the denial of our creator is that secular humanists fail to recognize the natural consequences for not following God’s owner’s manual – the Bible.

It is absolutely true that God instituted the spheres of “family, church and state” and gave each of them different “controls”.  When you remove the controls of these three spheres that God created in any nation eventually that nation will fall.

It would be like having a car and going into the engine and switching all the spark plugs around and switching other plugs for various components and then expecting the engine to function properly.  If you don’t follow the design of the car, eventually it will fail.

A critically important control for any functioning nation is the control of family. If parents fail to exercise their God mandated control over their children or husbands fail to exercise their God mandated control over their wives this will cause any nation to eventually crumble.  Marriage and family form the bedrock of both churches and nations – without strong marriages and families neither of these other institutions will continue to exist.

While parents today still exercise a small amount of control over their children, husbands for the most part have completely given up all control over their wives.  They no longer lead their wives, teach their wives or discipline their wives.

The result is that because men allowed feminism to take control of our nations and because men ceded their ownership of and responsibility over both their wives and daughters we have nations in the Western world that are in moral chaos.

Marriage rates have plummeted since the early 20th century, divorce has skyrocketed, birth rates have declined and of the fewer births we have almost half of them that are born out of wedlock.

This will eventually culminate in the fall of not only the United States, but all of the Western World.  Another way of putting this is – when men abandoned their control of women (their wives and daughters) they broke God’s design for this world. They took their hands off the wheel of the car that is civilization and now that car is headed toward a cliff and eventual destruction.

When will the America as We Know It Fall?

The Roman Empire fell about two hundred years after it embraced multiracialism and multiculturalism and it lost its identity as an Italian Roman empire.  I predict that the time line will be similar for the United States.  The United States began to lose its identity as a nation of northern white European protestant Christians near the end of the 19th century.  It was not long after this that secular humanism, multiculturalism and feminism secured strong footholds in American culture.  So if we use that as our starting point it is most likely that America as a nation will crumble by the end of the 21st century or by beginning of the 22nd century.

The causes of this collapse could come from any these factors:

  1. Racial Wars – As Whites in America begin to lose their majority numbers and Africans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups rise this growing diversity of ethnicities will lead to more division and eventually war.
  2. Secular Humanists vs Christians – As Secular humanists seek to push the Christian faith further and further from American culture eventually lines will be crossed that cause Christians in mass to practice civil disobedience and then eventually military revolt against the secular powers.
  3. The falling fertility rate – America’s fertility rate is 1.84 which is well beneath the minimum 2.1 to 2.33 that needed just to keep the population rate from falling.

The third reason, falling fertility rates, is the factor which I believe will most likely be the final straw that breaks the back of Western Civilization.  Consider these other countries that have even worse fertility rates than the United States:

WorldBank.org reports that Germany’s fertility rate is 1.5, Japan is at 1.5,  the UK is at 1.8 and Greece is 1.3.  [11]  Below is a chart from WorldBank.org that displays the sharp decline in births across the world.

A recent article from Bloomberg.com actually applauds the decline of its own species:

“So far, the prophets of overpopulation have been defeated by technology. But human ingenuity alone can never deliver a final victory in the battle to feed the world — eventually, population growth will overwhelm the Earth’s ability to provide calories. That’s why in order to put Malthus and Ehrlich finally to rest, a second component is needed — lower fertility rates. To save both the environment and themselves, humans must have fewer kids…

The world is now approaching that magic level, thanks to a phenomenon known as the fertility transition. In most countries, total fertility falls from a high level of about six or seven children to two or below, and stays there. Once smaller families become the norm in a country or region, they very rarely go back up. There are a number of theories for why this happens. The shift from agriculture to urban life means less incentive for families to have kids to work on farms. Urban life also increases the cost of raising a kid. Higher education levels for women, freeing them from traditional gender norms, are probably a big factor as well. Importantly, none of these factors are temporary.” [12]

Of all the sins Western Civilization has committed at the behest of secular humanists, environmentalists and feminists – the sin against God’s command “to be fruitful and multiply” is most likely to be the cause of their undoing.

It is a simple matter of math and the law of sowing and reaping.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Galatians 6:7 (KJV)

If you sow less children, you will have less children.  And if you have less children and continue to have less children eventually your civilization withers up and dies.

And why is a shrinking human population a bad thing? Well think of it this way.  How will a business do if it continues year over year to have less customers? It will die. How will a government do if it continues to bring in less taxes each year with the same rates of spending? It will collapse.  People don’t think about this.  A social safety net is predicated on the fact that you have a larger population of young people to help care for the needs of its older population as well as its poor and disabled.  If the younger population is only a fraction of the size of the generations that came before it the social safety cannot be sustained.

So when will world population numbers start to plunge? The approximate year is given at OverPopulationIsAMyth.com:

“The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) is the most reliable source of population statistics in the world, which is why we use their numbers for our videos. And, according to the UNPD, population growth will continue to slow down over the next few decades. In fact, if current trends persist, our growth will halt right around 8 billion by 2045. After that, our numbers will start to fall off, slowly at first, and then faster.” [13]

So in 27 years we will see the world wide population of the earth begin to decline matching the already declining numbers of Western nations.  2045 will most likely be the beginning of the end for America Western Civilization which will most likely fall by the end of the 21st century.

The New Democratic Christian Theonomic Republics

Out of the ashes of the fall of Western Civilization, I propose that Christians could introduce new Democratic Christian Theonomic Republics.

These new nations like the United States would be a Republic where the rights of both the government and the people are limited by a core set of laws much like our current Constitution.  As I said previously and as the American founders once said – our rights as individuals come from God and God has spoken these rights through his Word, the Bible.  Therefore this New Constitution would be based explicitly on Biblical moral law  or in other words this nation would be a theonomy. This of course would take into account progressive revelation in the Bible and the realization that the Old Covenant has been replaced with the New Covenant.

These new types of Christian nations would not be theocracies– as a theocracy is directly ruled by God through his prophets and only God himself can institute a theocracy as he did with Israel.  Also unlike the totalitarian theonomic military dictatorship in the popular fictional “Hand Maid’s Tale” these new nations would still be ruled democratically but within the limits of Biblical law upon which the government’s constitution would be based.

Totalitarian forms of civil government, even Christian forms of totalitarian civil government, violate the purposes for which God designed civil government.  Much like we in America currently have three separate but equal branches of government with different rights and powers so too God set up three separate spheres of government with those being the family, the church and the state.

And if you examine the Scriptures closely you will see that the most powerful human authorities God established are those of the father and husband with the husband being most powerful of all.  The “power” I speak of with husbands and fathers is that they have power and control over the personal decisions of their wives and children.   The government does not have this type of power and neither do church authorities.

But none of these three spheres of authority may usurp power over the others. Each must respect the limits and powers of the other.

One of the most important parts of these new Democratic Christian Theonomic Republics would be safe guards placed in their new Biblically based constitutions.

These constitutions would guard against the rise of secular humanism or feminism ever being able to rise to power again in these nations.  To do this, there would be a certain list of interpretations and applications of the Bible which no law and no amendment to this constitution could ever change.

Some example laws for Democratic Christian Theonomic Republics

Below are some example laws I could think of just off the top of my head.  I am sure there could be many more. But the most important parts of these laws would be to protect the institution of marriage and by extension the family unit which forms the building blocks for any nation.

  1. The rights of men to exercise their Christian faith and worship the God of the Bible according to their own consciences shall not be infringed upon by any government entity. The freedom to interpret and apply the Bible and principles and doctrines of the Christian faith are between a man and God. However, in order to guard against certain heresies that would undermine marriage and the family a limited number of interpretations and applications of the Scriptures must be adhered to by all who live within the boundaries of this nation.  Those interpretations and applications are spelled out in the points that follow.
  2. The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything except if he commands her to break God’s moral law or the laws of this nation that do not usurp the authority of the husband and father over his family.
  3. Children are to obey their parents as long as their parents do not command them to break God’s moral law or the laws of this nation that do not usurp the authority of the husband and father over his family.
  4. Women are the property of men. This means husbands exercise full ownership over their wives, and fathers exercise full ownership of their daughters and sons. Their ownership over their sons would terminate upon the son reaching the age of manhood.
  5. A man may not marry a woman without her father’s permission. If her father is dead or the woman is a widow or divorced he should seek out another male relative of the woman under whose authority she has placed herself. Only in rare cases where a woman presents proof to a fellow kinsman defender that her father is unlawfully holding her back from all marriage may a judge decide to forfeit the rights of the father over his daughter.
  6. If a father or mother are found guilty of engaging in incestuous relations with any of their children they shall be banned from seeing their children again as well as punished in other ways as the judges see fit. If the guilty party is the father, then the judge shall grant temporary ownership of the children to the mother until she can find a new husband.
  7. A woman may not hold any position which gives her authority over men whether it be public office, in the work place, the church or any other place in society.
  8. Only adult men who are professing Christians may vote in elections. A woman, whether she is a professing Christian or not, may not vote in any election whether it be local, state or national elections or anything to do with church decision making.
  9. While all married women are under the authority of their husbands, previously married women whether they be widows or divorced should immediately place themselves back under the authority of their father or if he is dead they should find the closest adult male relative under whose authority they may find protection and guidance.
  10. Women may not own property and if a woman comes into an inheritance this inheritance comes under the ownership of her husband. If she is without a husband, then this inheritance would remain in a trust until she is wed to a husband to whom she may give herself and her inheritance.
  11. Only women who make vows of celibacy in service to God may enter higher education. Even then their higher education will be restricted to fields which involve caring for the sick like nursing, nurses aids, medical assistants or the care and education of children such as elementary school teachers.
  12. If a man willfully and in full neglect of his duties fails to provide his wife with food, clothing and shelter or denies his wife her conjugal rights in marriage she will seek out a kinsman defender to represent her cause to the judges. If the judges agree that willful and intentional neglect in any of these areas has been committed by the husband the judges shall declare the husband’s ownership over his wife to be forfeited and she is free to ask for a divorce.  If the neglect extended to the children as well the wife may request that the husband’s ownership of his children be transferred to her until she can find a new husband.
  13. If a man abuses his wife or children by causing serious bodily injury or life threatening injuries to them or if he willfully places his family in life threatening positions in neglect of his duty to protect them the wife may seek out a kinsman defender to represent her cause to the judges. If the judges agree that the husband rather than protecting his family from harm, has actually placed them in harm by his actions the judges shall declare the husband’s ownership over his wife to be forfeited and she is free to ask for a divorce.  If the abuse extended to the children as well the wife may request that the husband’s ownership of his children be transferred to her until she can find a new husband.
  14. A man may only divorce his wife for adultery or his wife’s denial of his conjugal rights. In either of these cases the woman is sent away without anything but the clothing on her back and she retains no rights to her children as her husband maintains full ownership of them.  If adultery is the cause of the divorce, the husband may ask a judge to impose a prison sentence as the judge sees it upon his wife.
  15. The right of men to keep and bear arms to secure their persons, their wives, their children, their homes and their other possessions may not be infringed upon by any government entity.
  16. The right of men to pursue through work or ingenuity their own private property including but not limited to lands and women shall not be infringed by any government entity.
  17. The government shall encourage the formation of private charities for various types of assistance (food, medical care and housing) to the poor. All government approved charities will be required to prove that at least 90 percent of all the funds they take in go directly helping the poor and no more than 10 percent goes to their overhead. Churches will be highly encouraged to participate as private charities. Still penalties and criminal prosecution may be pursued against groups that act as charities but keep a large part of the proceeds for themselves.
  18. Each man must present proof when he pays his taxes each year that he has donated at least 3.5 percent of his gross income to charitable causes whether it be a local church, a local soup kitchen, homeless shelters or some other cause which helps the poor. If the money was donated to his church, he must prove that the money went to help the poor. Charitable giving to support the operations of the church and its ministries to the poor must be separated.   Failure to donate at least 3.5 percent of one’s income to the poor through various approved charities will result in a 10 percent tax penalty collected by the government. These tax penalties for failure to give to the poor will be redistributed to approved charitable organizations.
  19. The government may only tax for the purposes of providing for law enforcement, public education, public infrastructure, and national defense. The only exception to this rule is the tax penalty allowed for failure to give to charitable organizations that help the poor. Other than this the government is restricted from taxing for the purposes of redistribution of wealth between various income groups.
  20. All public education is to be conducted in support of Biblical teachings. Only professing Christians may teach religion, philosophy or history programs. If a non-Christian teaches another type of course such as business, science or engineering they may not teaching opinions or philosophies which contradict the Christian faith.
  21. While no one may be forced to become a Christian or to attend a Christian church, all citizens of the nation must follow the moral laws of the Bible and also the laws of this nation which find their basis and authority in the Bible.
  22. Non-Christians including those who adhere to other faiths or those who adhere to no faith at all will be tolerated in small numbers provide they do not present a threat to the unity of the Christian faith of the nation. If the number of non-Christians rises to levels which the government deems too high or any one group of non-Christians disturbs the peace and unity in a local area, state or throughout the nation government authorities shall have power to remedy this situation through imprisonment or deportation to a non-Christian nation.

A Word to Non-Christians Reading This

If you are a Muslim reading this then what I have wrote here will make a lot of sense since the vast majority of Muslims do not believe in freedom of religion in a nation as most Americans believe in. But to secular humanists reading this the questions they will ask are “what if you took these same rules and applied them to Muslim nation, Hindu nation or some other non-Christian nation? Does the ideology that a nation is built around common religion, common ethnicity and common language still apply to them?

Before I give the answer to your question I want to share with you a statement from the Apostle Paul that is found in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.”

I Corinthians 9:20-21 (KJV)

So in the words of the Apostle Paul – I am going to answer your questions on your level as a secular humanist (one who is does not believe in the law of God).

The answer to your questions is YES.  The same formula of common religion, common ethnicity and common language applies to all nations whether the majority of its citizens are Christian or not.  If the common religion, common ethnicity and common language of a nation is not protected by its government that nation will eventually fall.  All three are necessary for the survival, stability and security of any nation.

I have worked alongside many Muslims and Hindus over the years as a software developer.  While I consider their faiths to be false because I consider the Bible’s description of the character of God and the Christian faith to be far superior to those faiths, I will admit in the vast majority of cases they have strong marriages and a strong family ethic.  If a religion, even a false religion, promotes the sanctity marriage and family and a nation protects that religion as the common religion of the people it will in most cases lead to a more stable and secure nation.

Secular humanism, which in my opinion is actually a religion of sorts with the natural world and humanity as its god, does not pass this test.  Secular humanism leads to the weakening of marriages and the family unit.  Therefore even if a nation decided that it would be a secular humanist nation and it outlawed all religion (as many communist countries did) trying to unite the people around the common philosophy of secular humanism it would eventually fail.  The reason is that secular humanism by overemphasizing individualism and trying to take off the controls of the family actually weakens marriage and the family and in doing so it undermines its own society.

Conclusion

We can look back to the history of nations and see that nations that are not united around common religion, common ethnicity and common language ultimately fail.  Not only must nations share and protect these things but they must also promote the sanctify of marriage and the family as the building blocks of society, otherwise they too will perish.

The Christian faith and the Christian Bible are vastly superior to all other religions and ideologies in giving us a blue print for the sustainability of marriage and the family and thus the sustainability of nations.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord… but it also tells us in the book of Acts 5:29 that We ought to obey God rather than men. Only a Democratic Christian Theonomic Republic whose Constitution and laws are founded in the Bible and which protects the Christian faith from non-Christian interference can allow Christians to live in a culture where they never have to practice Acts 5:29.

America will not be an exception to history’s rule and neither will the rest of the Western world.  We as Christians must prepare our children who can then prepare our grandchildren for the future that is coming unless God directly intervenes in this world before that time.

UPDATE 4/18/2017

I have added some additional quotes(with references below) to statements from John Leland who was a highly influential Baptist preacher. He sought religious liberty and protections after Baptists in the colonies had been so badly treated by the state Anglican and Congregational churches.  He was one of the greatest influences on  Madison and the other founders in creating the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

References

[1] V. Davis, “America: History’s Exception”, National Review, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436347/america-melting-pot-immigrant-culture-made-country-great.

[2] John Leland, arranged by L.F. Greene, “The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland: Including Some Events in His Life”, G.W. Wood, 1845  [Available as Free Ebook Online]. Available: https://books.google.com/books?id=bMAiAAAAMAAJ&#v=onepage&q&f=false. Pg. 118

[3] Ibid, Pg. 184

[4] Ibid, Pg. 278

[5] Dwayne Hastings, “Religious freedom champion John Leland also active in public policy, Land says”, Baptist Press, 2000. [Online]. Available: http://www.bpnews.net/5785/religious-freedom-champion-john-leland-also-active-in-public-policy-land-says.

[6] John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Charles Little and James Brown, 1841), Vol. III, p. 421, diary entry for July 26, 1796.
[7] Zephaniah Swift, A System of Laws of the State of Connecticut (Windham: John Byrne, 1796), Vol. II, pp. 323-324.
[8] John Adams, Works, Vol. II, pp. 6-7, diary entry for February 22, 1756.

[9] Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.

[10] “What Is Secular Humanism?” SecularHumanism.org. [Online]. Available: https://secularhumanism.org/index.php/3260

[11] “Fertility rate, total (births per woman)” Data.Worldbank.Org, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN

[12] N. Smith, “The Population Bomb Has Been Defused”, Bloomberg.com, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-03-16/decline-in-world-fertility-rates-lowers-risks-of-mass-starvation

[13] “Episode 5: 7 Billion People: Will Everyone Please Relax?” OverPopulationIsAMyth.com [Online]. Available: https://overpopulationisamyth.com/episode-5-7-billion-people-will-everyone-please-relax/

Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics And Slavery – Oh My!

This is the second part of my YouTube series entitled “A Defense of Living Biblically”.  In this next part I take on an statement by Rachel Oates that is a very common attack by atheists and sadly even some Christians asserting that we cannot really follow the Bible.  These attacks have even been used in some television shows over the years including the new television series “Living Biblically”.  This video is also available as an mp3 audio download in my audio section here.

After watching this video I suggest reading these articles that I have previously written on methods for properly interpreting the Bible:

How to Correctly Interpret the Bible

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Also on the controversial topic of slavery that I covered in this video please see the article below that I previously wrote on that subject:

Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Ashamed Of Slavery In The Bible 

Are Feelings A Better Basis For Relationships Than The Bible?

This video is the first part of a larger series I will be doing responding to this video by Rachel Oats:

In the video above Rachel Oates is taking on my recent article “Why God Wants You To Stay In An Abusive Relationship” from her atheist and secular humanist perspective.  She has a lot of statements that I want to address from a Christian perspective.

My goal in responding to her is to equip Bible believing Christians with answers to the assertions she makes as well as plant questions in the minds of non-Christians viewing this.

Also you can find the mp3 audio version of my video response in my audio section here.

Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship

Stay in an abusive marriage? Stay with an abusive father or mother? To assert anyone should ever stay in an abusive relationship is counter to everything our culture teaches.  We are to confront or flee abusive situations but we should never ever endure abusive situations or so we are told today even in the vast majority of Christian circles.

In my previous article “What Does The Bible Say About Abuse?” I talked about what abuse is from a Biblical perspective.  I stated that the word abuse literally is “ab + use” which means to misuse or mistreat someone or something.  I also talked about both emotional (including verbal) abuse and physical abuse as they are spoken to in the Bible with a specific emphasis on what abuse looks like in marriage and the family.

But what I did not cover were two important areas on this subject of abuse.  The first is what role does God grant to the government in dealing with abuse?  The second is how family members, including husbands, wives and children, should respond when they are abused by one another in various ways.

Did God Grant Government the Power To Determine What Abuse Is?

Many Christians instead of looking to the Bible for their definition of abuse instead look to their feelings, their culture and most commonly their civil government.

First we must understand that it is God who defines the responsibilities, rights and limitations of the spheres of authority of the civil government, the church and the family. Abuse is a moral issue and it is God and not culture or government that defines what is moral and what is immoral.

Many Christians have been wrongly taught that civil government is an unlimited power established by God.  This comes from a false understanding of passages like the one below:

“13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”

I Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

Passages like the one above must be taken into context with the entirety of the Scriptures.  Christ himself stated that civil government is in fact limited in its scope and authority:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

Mark 12:17 (KJV)

Jesus did not say “Give to God what is God’s and everything else belongs to Caesar”.  His words were carefully measured.  He said to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s which tells us God actually intends for civil government to be limited.

So the next question we must ask is “What is the scope of responsibility and power that God has given to civil government?”  The answer is found in Romans chapter 13:

“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.

Romans 13:4 (KJV)

The government is God’s “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”.  It is the civil government’s job to ENFORCE God’s moral law – not to MAKE moral law on its own. Murder is not wrong because the United States government or our State governments say it is wrong.  Murder is wrong because God says it is wrong. So when police officers or other law enforcement officers arrest murderers to stand trial and ultimately face punishment they are acting as God’s ministers. When the judge or jury hand down the sentence they are acting as God’s revenger executing “wrath on him that doeth evil”.

Now our punishments for breaking God’s moral law may be different in each state, province or country but the moral law of God itself cannot be added to or changed by anyone but God himself.

The civil government must always be respectful of its limitations when it enters the sphere of the church or the home.  This means that they must never usurp or take authority in matters which God has not given to the government but instead he has given to the church or the home.

When the government attempts to usurp authority in the church or the home Christians have the God given right and in most cases the responsibility to exercise civil disobedience against such usurpation.

God has appointed Pastors as the interpreters of God’s moral law in the church assembly and he has appointed husbands as the interpreters of God’s moral law in the home. God states this regarding our obedience to church leaders:

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

When I walk into my church assembly I must always recognize that God has given my Pastor the spiritual oversight of that assembly.  That means if I were to teach Sunday school in my church or teach from our pulpit in his absence I should not teach contrary interpretations to his that would cause division. This is one reason that I have not taught in the church I attend in many years and I would not because I might easily come into conflict with my Pastor’s interpretations on many doctrinal issues.  Also I and my family follow whatever rules my pastor sets for dress standards for church activities if those standards are more conservative.

But think of how absurd it would be for me to go to my local mayor or state governor and ask them their interpretation of the scriptures and also what they think the rules for behavior within my church assembly should be.  Imagine if I brought these interpretations back to my church and in direct defiance of my pastor began trying to implement them. Not only would these actions be absurd on my part – but they would be in direct contradiction to the Word of God.  Those civil authorities have no authority in these matters in my church.

By the same token God does not tell wives when they have a moral or spiritual question to go seek out their Pastor, local mayor or state governor.  Instead he tells them to seek out the spiritual head of their home:

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

This is why it is highly inappropriate for government or church officials to come into a home and give wives or children instructions on morality that are counter to the teachings of the husband who is the head of that home.  In fact, the husband is the only human authority in all the Scriptures where God commands the one under his authority to submit to him “as unto the Lord”:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:22 (KJV)

It is a sad testament to the wicked times we live in that husbands, the most powerful of all human authorities that God ever established, have had their spiritual authority completely usurped and gutted by both our civil and our church authorities.

The Government Has Nullified God’s Law With Its Domestic Abuse Definitions

The Scriptures tell us this regarding God’s law:

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)

As we previously established, the government has absolutely no right to add or take away from God’s moral law.  None whatsoever.  Also Christ spoke against human laws which nullify God’s laws:

“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 7:13 (KJV)

This is what our current US Justice Department definitions of domestic abuse do – they literally attempt to add to God’s moral law and in effect nullify God’s moral law in regard to this issue of domestic abuse. With that said I will briefly address some of this addition to and nullification of God’s law in current US Justice Department definitions of domestic abuse which you can find at https://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence. Also keep in mind that all these definitions have to do with domestic violence – meaning what is considered abuse in the home between members of the home.

The Government’s Definition of Abuse Vs The Bible’s Definition of Abuse

 Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.”

The first problem with this definition is that it completely negates any type of physical discipline which is commanded by God for children (Proverbs 23:13-14) and is also allowed by God for adults (Deuteronomy 25:1-3, Proverbs 19:29 and Proverbs 26:3).  Under this definition of physical abuse spanking of one’s child or one’s wife would be consider abuse (See my article “Does the Bible Allow Wife Spanking” for more on that issue).  A mother or father slapping their rebellious child even with an open palm (front handed) would be guilty of physical abuse under this definition.

I agreed in my previous article on abuse that things like shoving and punching have no place in the home not even as methods of discipline because they risk serious bodily injury or even death in violation of God’s law regarding limits on discipline (Exodus 21:26-27). I also agreed that things like biting, kicking and hair pulling have no place in the home as methods of discipline as it should be done in love and in control and not as brawl or a fight.  But again overall the biggest problem with the government’s definition of physical abuse is that its definition negates physical discipline in the home which God allows.

 “Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.”

First we will address where this government definition of sexual abuse aligns with God’s moral law and that is regarding children.  A parent has absolutely no right under God’s law to touch their child in a sexual way, to coerce them or force them to have sex.  This is a violation of God’s moral laws regarding incest (Leviticus 18:6).

But really the heart of this definition is directed at husbands in regard to how they engage in sexual activity with their wives.  And when applied to the husband/wife relationship this definition of sexual abuse for the most part nullifies God’s Word.

This government’s definition of sexual abuse as with physical abuse nullifies a husband’s God given sexual rights to his wife’s body in marriage.  It also nullifies his right to discipline her for sexual refusal.  The Bible says that sex is both a right and responsibility in marriage (Exodus 21:10-11, Proverbs 5:18-19, I Corinthians 7:3-4) and that the only thing that must be mutually agreed upon in the area of sex is when a couple will NOT have sex (I Corinthians 7:5) for a short time.  See my articles on sexual refusal, sexual consent and forced sex in marriage for more on what the Bible says about these topics.

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.

While we need to be careful of how subjective this government definition of emotional abuse is I think for the most part it aligns with what the Scriptures say that we should generally be trying to build people up and not tear them down(Ephesians 4:29,James 3:8-10). See my article on “What Does the Bible Say About Abuse?” for more on the subject of emotional abuse.

Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.

This government definition of “Economic Abuse” is a complete addition to God’s moral law and it also nullifies a husband’s rights toward his wife under God’s law.  And again let’s not kid ourselves that they are speaking equally to husbands and wives. This is an attack on patriarchy and men having their wives being economically dependent on them.

The fact is this definition of Economic abuse is exactly the opposite of God’s moral law on this issue.  In Exodus 21:10-11 we are told that if a man does not provide his wife with food and clothing she may be free of him (divorced from him).  God considers it economic abuse when a man forces his wife to economically independent of him, not when he forces his wife to be economically dependent on him.

And yes husbands under God’s law can absolutely forbid their wives from going to college or seeking careers as wives are to be subject their husbands in EVERYTHING as the Church submits to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:24).

Also as far as household finances go – whether a husband allows his wife to work or not all the financial decision making comes under his direction.  If he wants to take away his wife’s ATM card he can do that under God’s law.

Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include  – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

If read in a certain way, the government’s definition of psychological abuse may actually align with the Scriptures.  God does forbid the use of threatening (Ephesians 6:9).  If a husband or wife threatens to kill themselves or their children or pets or to destroy property if they don’t get what they want that is the very definition of threatening behavior which is condemned by the Word of God.

However a warning from an authority toward one under them of the consequences of their actions is not engaging in threatening or psychological abuse. If I isolate my teen son from friends that are bad influences on him is that psychological abuse? The answer is no.  It all depends on my motivation.  Is my intent simply to exert my power over him or is it actually for his own good? If it is the latter there is nothing immoral about this from a Biblical perspective.

Many people would agree that the example I gave is not immoral.  But what if I replaced my son in that example with my wife? OH NO – that is completely different right? Why? Because she is an adult? The Bible however makes no such distinction when it comes to the discipline of wives and children.  If my wife was talking to or hanging out with other women who were bad spiritual influences on her affecting her morals, relationship with God or with me I have absolutely ever right before God as her spiritual authority to restrict her access to those women.

The Bible teaches a clear social order – the husband, an adult male, is the head of the wife, an adult female and children are under the authority of their parents(Ephesians 5:23-24, Ephesians 6:1-3).

And for all you feminists out there the practice of a husband exercising his spiritual authority over his wife in these ways does not infantilize her or make her equal with her children.  God has granted a wife and mother more rights than he has her children.  She has sexual rights to her husbands body and she is given the position of manager of the home and of the children which are sacred and honored roles.  She of course exercises these positions under the authority of her husband but by no means does the Bible make wives and children equals with another.

So when we throw out the straw-man argument that a husband exercising control over his wife infantilizes her we come to the real heart of the issue.  Feminists don’t like the fact that while God gives women more rights than children he does not give women equal rights with men.  In other words, its not about women be treated as children but its about women be treated as women.  Feminists want women treated as men.

When Are Women Allowed To Approach Civil or Church Authorities About Abuse?

A wife and mother should only go around her husband who is her spiritual authority in the gravest of circumstances. If a husband violates the Exodus 21:26-27 principle and threatens or actually causes serious bodily harm or what he is doing has the potential of causing death to her or her children a wife has every right to approach her church authorities and civil authorities.

In I Samuel 25 we see that Abagail went against her husband’s wishes to save her family from his wicked actions that would have had them killed.  This teaches us that if a woman finds out her husband is involved in some criminal or otherwise wicked activity that endangers the life of her family she has every right to go to the civil authorities to protect her life and the life of her children.

Also if a wife finds out that her husband has been sexually abusing one of her children in violation of the Leviticus 18:6 principle she has every right to turn her husband over to both the church and civil authorities.  When husbands commit such heinous acts they invalidate their ownership and headship over their wives and children allowing their wives and children to be freed from them.

Why God Wants You to Stay in an Abusive Relationship

The natural follow up question to what we have just said about a woman and her children being able to free from a man who physically abuses them(by Biblical standards of course) is What about non-physical abuse like emotional and verbal abuse? What recourse does a wife have in such situations?

First I will fully agree that men can abuse their wives in non-physical and less extreme ways than what I have previously mentioned. A husband may not be a drug dealer who places his family’s life in jeopardy by his wicked lifestyle and he may not ever lay a hand on either his wife or children in a sinful manner.  But perhaps he has a problem with anger and flying off the handle and saying hurtful things.

Maybe he has a problem with bitterness and taking that out on the family in various emotional or verbal ways.  Maybe he is hyper critical toward his wife and children and never uplifts them.  Maybe he even abuses his authority and gets off on power kicks and trying to humiliate his wife or children by various unreasonable demands. Maybe he isolates his family not for their protection but to project his power over them.  There could be a myriad of ways that a husband either verbally or emotionally abuses his wife and children or he simply abuses his power to meet his own ego needs.

I also want to stop here for a second and make a very important point on this subject of abuse.  Often times we center these discussions of domestic abuse on husbands and fathers but we forget that wives and moms can and do physically, verbally and emotionally abuse their husbands and children as well.   Do wives or moms sometimes engage in hypercritical behavior toward their husbands or children? You bet they do.  Do some wives or moms even punch, shove or engage in other forms of physical abuse toward their husbands or children? You bet they do. Do some wives play emotional games with their husbands and insult their manliness or sexual ability? You bet they do. Do some women push their husbands away sexually which is a form of emotional abuse toward men?  Absolutely there are many women who engage in these behaviors.

Also children sometimes abuse their parents in various ways. Do children steal money from their parents? Yes they do. Do children despise and curse their parents? Yes they do. Do some children strike their parents? Yes they do.  Do children reject their parent’s authority over them? This happens all the time in our day and age.

But let’s now return specifically to the subject of wives and children enduring emotional, verbal and other forms of abuse that are not the physical or life threatening types of abuse we have previously mentioned that would warrant outside intervention and in many cases divorce.

As I mentioned at the introduction of this article our modern culture has an attitude that we should never endure any kind of abuse from anyone whether it be someone who is our equal and especially from someone who is our authority.  We are told to confront the person and then flee the relationship if the abuser does not repent and change their ways.

But when we read the Scriptures we see a very different view of how we should respond to abuse:

“18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

I Peter 2:18-24 (KJV)

When we endure grief or suffer wrongly at the hands of others, in other words when we endure mistreatment which is abuse and take it patiently the Scriptures tell us “this is acceptable with God”.  God is not excusing the actions of the abusers.  But God is saying when we are on the receiving end of various kinds of abuse and we take it patiently that this is acceptable with God.

Such a thought is foreign to our thinking but the Scriptures tell us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).

We often talk on this blog about how God likes to image or model things.  Man was created to image God and thereby bring him glory (I Corinthians 11:7) and woman and by extension marriage was created to help man fully image God as a husband and father (I Corinthians 11:9, Ephesians 5:22-33).  When it comes to this matter of suffering abuse – we, both men and women, actually model Christ when we suffer abuse from others taking it patiently as he did. And that is why God wants you to stay in an abusive relationship.

Now again we must look at this passage in light of the entirety of the Scriptures.  I have already shown that God does not expect us to stay and endure physical abuse that could risk serious injury or death from Exodus 21:26-27.

There were certain areas Jesus would not go into during his ministry because he knew the Jews there sought to kill him (John 7:1) and it was not yet his time to die.  Although Paul suffered great persecutions he also sought to avoid them at times (II Corinthians 11:33).  But did Christ or Paul run from “verbal and emotional abuse” as we often hear people telling us to do today? No. They were fleeing the threat of serious bodily injury or in most cases death.

So what this means on a practical level is this.  As a wife or as a child there are going to be days when your husband or your father may act in the flesh and not in the spirit.  He may say hurtful things.  He may raise his voice for what appears to be no reason at all.  He may act sinfully toward you by being verbally or emotionally abusive.  But his wrong actions do not justify wrong actions on your part.  Not only should you never return insult for insult or repay any type of verbal or emotional abuse but you must also never forget your subordinate place as either the wife or the child.

It is not your place to rebuke your husband or our father for emotional or verbal abuses.

Now does that mean that a wife or child can never express grievances they have with their husband or father? No. I don’t think that is wrong but it should never come across as if they are they are equals and are teaching the husband or father.  In the book of Job we read:

“13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; 14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

This is a teaching which applies to those of us who are in authority over others no matter what sphere it is in including the home.  We as husbands must realize that if we have truly wronged those under us God allows them to bring their grievances to us.  If we do not act justly toward those under us it is God who will rise up against us. That is why God warns husbands that if they mistreat their wives he will not hear their prayers (I Peter 3:7).

When it comes to expressing grievances we must realize this can abused as well.  Remember that God tells wives in I Peter 3:1-2 to win their husbands who are disobedient to the word by their subjection and reverent behavior.  If you as a wife are expressing your grievances with your husband every five minutes you are not “taking it patiently” as I Peter 2:20 exhorts you to do.

The same goes for children.  Far too often in our culture we make children feel completely comfortable confronting their parents with accusations of unfair treatment on a regular basis.  Again we need to teach our children that they too need to be “taking it patiently” and following the example of Christ in suffering what they believe to be wrong doing.

Wives and children also need to be reminded of something on a regular basis.  Just because you feel you have been mistreated does not mean you actually have been mistreated.  Sometimes your feelings can blind you to reality that is going on.  You need to step back and look objectively at what has occurred to see if what actually happened was in fact fair treatment that was warranted because of your behavior.

Should Authorities Allow Abuse From Their Subordinates?

But now we come to the issue of husbands, fathers and mothers who might suffer abuse at the hands of those God has placed under their spiritual authority. Should authority figures react to abuse from their subordinates in the same way that their subordinates should react to abuse from them? Should they simply endure and take patiently all forms of abuse from their subordinates as long as they are not being physically abused or having their life threatened?

To answer these questions we must first understand that all authorities God has instituted have not only a right but also a responsibility to discipline those under their authority.  Church leaders have a right and responsibility to discipline those within their assemblies, civil authorities have a right and responsibility to discipline those within their local, state or national jurisdictions and husbands and parents have a right and responsibility to discipline those in their home.

In the case of the family if a husband or parent allows all mistreatment of themselves by their wife or children to go unpunished then they would be violating the spiritual duty God has given them to rebuke and chasten those under their authority(Proverbs 23:13-14, Revelation 3:19).

So for instance if a man’s wife or child is cursing him, or disrespecting him or telling him they do not have to obey him then he is called by God to discipline them.  Yes these actions are an abuse toward him and mistreatment of him.  They are hurtful and unkind. But for the husband or father in this situation they must remember that this is not about their feelings of hurt after being mistreated by their wife or child.  It is about their solemn responsibility as the head of their home to discipline their family members.  That is why husbands and fathers must always realize that true Biblical discipline should never be an act of revenge for some incurred abuse, but rather it is an act of love to discipline the other and perhaps cause them to repent and change their ways.

Notice earlier that I said a husband or parent should not allow “all” mistreatment of themselves but the key word is “all”.  As human authorities we cannot read or control the thoughts and feelings of those who are our subordinates.  We can only hold our subordinates accountable for their words and actions, not their thoughts and feelings.

So we may see that our wife or child does the right thing after being disciplined but they still seem to have an attitude of bitterness toward us.  No husband wants to be despised by his wife and no father or mother wants to be despised by their child.  But at these times we must enter in prayer for our wives and children knowing that we can only seek to correct the outward actions as human authorities and only God can correct the heart.

If you as a husband or father live to always feel liked and loved by your wife or children then you will not discipline them as God has called you to and you will fail to be the husband and father God wants you to be.  Not being liked at times is part of the job description gentlemen.

14 “What If” Questions About Marriage

What if my spouse makes fun of my looks on a regular basis?

What if my spouse hurls insults at me on a daily basis?

What if my spouse is hyper critical toward me on a daily basis?

What if my spouse is bipolar or has some other mental illness and refuses to get professional help?

What if my spouse has some type of addiction?

What if my husband abuses his power and gets off on using his power to make me do ridiculous things?

What if my husband is a selfish lover and never asks me what I want in our sex life?

What if my husband never talks to me and only wants sex?

What if my wife is a contentious and brawling woman toward me on a daily basis?

What if my wife is like a constant dripping water and nags me on daily basis?

What if my husband is a workaholic?

What if my wife is never satisfied with anything I buy her (our house, her clothes, our car…etc.)?

What if my wife always gives me grudgingly given sex?

What if my wife is a selfish lover and only wants sex her way?

The answer to all these “What If” questions is the same.  Search the Scriptures and you will find there is absolutely no allowance for divorce in any of these situations.  All of these situations are hard to live with if you are the spouse who has to endure them.  But God does not give us an easy way out but instead he tells us this regarding the trials we face in life:

“3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope”

Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)

Often times the greatest trials we face in life are a result of the actions of those closest to us. It might be our spouse whose behavior tries our faith on a daily basis.  It might be our child. It might be our parents.  But in all these cases God does not allow us to simply push the eject button and leave these relationships because they are hard to endure.  He calls us to lean on him for strength knowing that his grace is sufficient to get us through each day of these trials.

When we as husbands or wives continue to live with a spouse that verbally or emotionally abuses us or they just make life difficult for us we not only follow Christ’s pattern in taking such abuses patiently on a regular basis,  but we also honor God by showing our commitment to his institution of marriage.  This is why staying in an abusive relationship can actually bring glory and honor to God.

Is It Wrong to Feel Hurt Because of Abuse?

This is a very legitimate question.  Even if we as Christians set out to follow Christ’s example in taking patiently the abuse we may suffer from others does this mean it is wrong for us to allow ourselves to experience anguish or hurt because of past or even future abuses we know are going to happen?

Again we have Christ’s example to answer this question for us:

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:41-44 (KJV)

You think your husband’s verbal and emotional abuse is bad? You think your parent’s emotional or verbal abuse is bad? Think of the abuse Christ suffered.  And because he was God in the flesh he knew before he suffered exactly what he was going to suffer.   Christ was literally in “agony” knowing what he was about to face.  He asked his father if it was his will that he would remove this coming trial – yet he prayed not his will, but his father’s be done.

So again Christ is our model in dealing with abuse that we suffer from others.  It is not wrong to feel hurt about past abuses or impending abuse that we know we will continue to suffer on daily basis from our family member. It is not wrong to agonize over these things.  We are not called to suppress our feelings.  Christ did not suppress his.  But Christ controlled his feelings, he did not let them control him.   We should all follow Christ’s example when suffering abuse asking God to remove the abuse perhaps by changing the heart of the abuser.  But we should always end such prayers the same way Christ ended his – “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done“.

Conclusion

Our culture teaches us a one size fits all approach to when others mistreat us (abuse us). They teach us we should never allow any type of mistreatment from others to go unchecked and unchallenged. We are told we must confront all forms of abuse from wherever they come and they make absolutely no distinctions between a husband and wife, a parent and child, an employer and employee, a church member and a Pastor or a citizen and his government.

We have literally created “grievance industries” within our political arenas, business arenas, churches and families where people air their grievances both big and small and real or imagined with one another on daily basis.  There is very little following of Christ’s example in regard to abuse to “take it patiently”.

So from our world’s perspective children are encouraged to correct and rebuke their parents for every harsh word they may speak toward them. Wives are encouraged to confront every harsh word their husband speaks toward them. And this pattern is seen in churches as well as nations. In other words – every perceived or actual injustice is encouraged to be confronted no matter where it is or how it occurs.

The Biblical approach to us handling mistreatment which is abuse is not a “one size fits all approach”. The type of abuse and the sphere it occurs in whether in marriage and the family, the church or in society with government are handled differently if we are following Biblical principles in these areas.

Those in authority must confront sinful words and actions of those under them whether those words or actions are direct abuses toward the authority themselves or toward others.  But these actions of discipline are not to be a repayment of sorts for abuses incurred but rather they are meant to be corrective actions taken in love to help that person better conform themselves to God’s moral law.

Those under authority while having the right to address grievances with their authority should not over use this right.  The over usage of the ability to respectfully air grievances with one’s authority goes against Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.  Also specifically when it comes to wives, if a wife is airing grievances ever five minutes with her husband she is violating the I Peter 3:1-2 principle that she is to win her husband who is being disobedient to the Word with her subjection and reverence, not her contentions.

So on the one hand Biblically speaking we do not have to suffer or allow every kind of abuse from every sphere in our life but on the other hand the Bible does not allow us to or encourage us to do what the world says and confront EVERY kind of abuse or mistreatment toward us no matter what the offense is or where it comes from.

We all need to look to Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.