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A Lost Century

Christendom?

What was Christendom?  What is today referred to as “The West” was not too long ago called Christendom.  The people of God, Christians, so influenced the world around them that their societies and countries were referred to as Christendom.

What happened to the Christian influence that, up to a few decades ago, was so very visible and vital in this country? What is behind all the insane outcry and demands we now see and hear from the country’s youth? What happened to the relatively peaceful nation that America was just a few decades ago? What lies behind the huge change we see in the news media, an agency that has become little more than a propaganda machine? Where are the Christians, the God-appointed guardians of the truth? Where are the descendants of those that fought for and upheld the God-given standards that once governed Christian America? Why are the churches so silent on these matters?  What has become of the “Black Robe Regiment” of the War of Independence, and its slogan: “No King but Jesus”?

These are the kinds of questions that need to be asked today. Some are beginning to awaken but most appear unconcerned, just sitting back and living life as it comes. Very few of today’s church leaders appear have any answers at all; most, attempting to please as many donors as possible, simply ignore the problems. Why such a universal apathy? Where is the energetic social interest and involvement that was there in generations past?

There are really just a few factors that, taken together, underlie and are responsible for this awful transformation. It began with the introduction of a wholly novel theological perspective, a new way of understanding Scripture. This perspective, known as Dispensationalism, was originally devised by a Catholic priest as a way of protecting his faith from the vigorous Protestantism that prevailed in the Western World two centuries ago. This utterly new interpretation of God’s Word was adopted and subsequently very actively promulgated by a few radical thinkers.[1] It differed from the older, prevailing faith as follows:

Dispensationalism vs Truth[2]

Dispensationalism  Truth – God’s Word
God has instituted a new age that was signaled by His judgment of first, Europe in the French Revolution and later, America in its Civil War.We are now in the Christian Era. It began when Christ rose from the grave and will not end until He returns.
He gave Satan much greater freedom in this world and a new dark age has begun.
 
There has been no change in Satan’s power in the Christian era. He was bound by Christ and remains bound until Christ returns.[3]
We are now in the last days of the current age in which, because God has ordained it so, no matter what we do, the world will become increasingly evil until Jesus returns.Christ has all power in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18-20).
Prior to the worst of it, Christ will “Rapture” His elect and then return to take control Himself. This will begin a thousand-year period in which He will rule, in person, here on earth. These events have already begun to unfold (as of a century agoChrist is seated at God’s right hand and will remain there until He returns to judge the nations. We are in the millennium today.[4]
The Great Commission (Matt, 28:18-20) is just a call to evangelism. The current responsibility of God’s people is to spread the Gospel message and get as many saved as possible before the end comes.The Great Commission (Matt, 28:18-20) is a call to evangelize and also to teach the nations to obey God’s commandments (that is: to make this world a Christian world)

This entirely new doctrine was promoted and spread widely by a number of individuals. C. I. Scofield (1843-1921) incorporated it as notes in his very popular “Scofield Bible.” The notes were embedded within the biblical text which many readers came to see as, not just an explanation, but an actual part of God’s Word. Large numbers of God-fearing (but theologically weak) Christians felt that they at last had a Bible they could read and understand without the help of an educated pastor.[5]

The “Scofield Bible” promoted and played a significant role in the subsequent widespread acceptance of Dispensationalism. It appealed, not to the pastors, but to the biblically weak Christian population at large. So effective was this new Bible that many of the pastors that attempted to refute, or even just failed to teach, Scofield’s doctrines were either restricted or replaced by their congregations. 

Scofield’s teachings gained much support. A close associate and student of Scofield, Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952), founded Dallas Theological Seminary. This institution, first accredited in 1944 and still in existence today, claims to have taught and graduated over 15,000 pastors, all thoroughly steeped in Dispensational Theology.[6] This institution and these men have played a significant role in leading God’s people astray. Their promotion of this false doctrine has significantly contributed to its spread throughout the Christian landscape.

The Effects

Through the work of these men and others like them, huge numbers of America’s faithful, God-fearing but theologically weak, citizens were deceived. They were led to believe that their previous hope of bringing about a Christian world was never any part of God’s plan. Their anticipation of a gradual but certain and final establishment of a Christian world was dashed. This change, almost an about-face from the previous optimistic outlook, severely impacted the attitude of Christians toward the future and to their responsibilities as Christian citizens. 

Everything that energized their previous long-term oriented, evangelistic activity, was lost. It was replaced by a false, short-term hope: Jesus is coming soon! any time now! Forget working to bring about a future Christian world, there won’t be one until after Jesus returns. This is Satan’s time now, they say, and all we can do is try to get as many saved as we can before the Rapture.

This debilitating outlook swept through the country, eventually permeating virtually all the fundamentalist, as well as many other conservative congregations, with it. The world-wide Christian dominion outlook and its evangelistic perspective changed radically. Its previous purpose and drive to prepare the world for Christ’s second coming, was lost

Consequences:

  • Evangelism became more urgent and short-term rather than long-term oriented. Get as many saved as we can before the sky falls!
  • The Christian population has in great measure retreated from its previous view, that of seeing God as governing in every walk of life.
  • A two-layer philosophy of life has developed and is widely accepted by Christians today.
    • Dr. Joseph Boot has perceptively described thistwo-layer philosophy of life.[7] In it, life is divided and pictured as a bus with upper and lower decks. The upper deck containing all things spiritual: God, church, Scripture, prayer, etc. The lower deck containing everything else in life, everything unrelated to the spiritual, that is, most of life.
    • God and His law, came to be seen as belonging only in the upper deck of life and was gradually excluded from the lower, the great majority of life’s concerns and activities. The latter were seen as being worldly and outside the area of God’s concern.
    • This is how most of today’s Christians see and conduct their lives. For them, God and His Word are only really involved in a small portion of life! Some reflection should confirm the truth of this. It explains much of the change we have seen take place in this country: the lack of any true outcry against abortion, homosexuality, exclusion of the Bible in the schools, and much more, Godlessness is rampant everywhere and God’s chosen people don’t seem to care.
    • God’s people of course do care but their care is misplaced….
  • An outcome of the adoption of this philosophy has been that Christian monitoring of and influence in the civil government has greatly diminished in significance and importance and is now seriously neglected.
    • Abortion was legalized and is now declared by many to be a woman’s right.
    • Homosexual “marriages” are legal, protected by law and may not be criticized.
    • Education moved from the family to the state
    • Public schools (employed by many Christians) are actively anti-Christian in character.
  • Worship is reduced to singing, adoration emphasized, and obedience abandoned. The Holy Spirit is only active when singing, and not in the rest of life
  • Hymns like “This is my Father’s World” are either no longer heard in the churches or have taken on a very different, an “upper deck” meaning in the hearts of most Christians today. Although they may deny it, for all practical purposes, they appear to believe that this is not God’s world any longer.

The Future

The above is a truly sad story but the question is: what do we do about it? We cannot look to “the pulpits” nor the “denominations” to fix this as they are fundamentally a part of the problem.

  • We must dispense with the clergy/laity split …
  • Christ is the head of every man and every man must put on the armor of God and stand firm.
  • Permanent babyhood must be denounced.
  • The family must be strengthened.
  • We must go to God’s Word and see what we should do. He says:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;  and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  (2 Cor. 6:17-18)

God commands us: “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” We must demonstrate true obedience by forming and joining ecclesia communities as God has shown us. As external conditions deteriorate, it may well be an uphill battle that lies before, but God is above and is ready to give His infallible support to all who faithfully follow Him and obey His command/instructions.

With God’s help these ecclesia communities will grow and prosper. As external conditions worsen, an increasing number of God’s elect will see that this is the path they too must take. The number of communities will grow with ever-increasing rapidity and will eventually cover the earth.


[1] See: “Death of the Church Victorious” by Ovid Need, Jr.

https://www.preteristarchive.com/2002_need_death-of-the-church-victorious/

[2] See: “Comparing Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology,” by Richard Belcher   https://www.monergism.com/comparing-covenant-theology-and-dispensational-theology

[3] See: The Binding of Satan” by Douglas Kelly, https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/binding-satan/

[4] See previous note

[5] See: “Refuting the Scofield Bible” by Clement Pulaski  http://truesonsofabraham.com/refuting-scofield-bible.htm

[6] See: Dallas Theological Seminary, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Theological_Seminary#History

[7] See YouTube presentation… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5evg5lA376o

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