Sam Rohrer | LifeZette
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
As I drove up to the stoplight, the Christian radio program I was listening to started to mix with large amounts of “digital hash” interference. It reminded me that two different technologies were converging at the intersection: The AC electrical signal (lights) and the digital computer signal (controls) were in conflict until one was made to serve the other.
The life-and-death cultural conflict going on in American society and around the world is sort of like that.
At any time, we have five generations present in our country. Each of those generations has a different worldview, which may be distinct from generation to generation. The generations that exist right now are: the G.I. Generation (1901-1924); the WWII Generation and the Silent Generation, who didn’t go to war (1925-1942); the baby boomers (1943-1964); Generation X (1965-1979); Generation Y (1980-2000), also called the millennial generation; and Generation Z (2001-2013).
The past three generations will be considered as we look ahead.
What we are experiencing in our country right now is the result of philosophical changes and changes in beliefs about God, which started in Europe in the 1800s. With the passing of each generation, our country’s foundational biblical beliefs are eroding.
Though our founders established a Christian nation, regardless of presidential pronouncements, the understanding of who God is and how we should relate to Him as the source of all truth and the provider of principles for a good government is disappearing.
Another problem facing our society is the change in the meaning of words, as children have been educated in progressive schools and media exposure up to eight hours per day.
The principles of Christ’s Lordship in the founding of America. Historian George Bancroft once stated that while we consider Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison the founders of America and the Puritans as America’s grandfathers, it was Theodore Beza who was most instrumental in influencing the Puritans to engage the culture in order to build a social construct that glorified God. They believed the construct of civil government could never be neutral, especially when it came to theological and religious ideas.
Everyone holds to some belief system. People will think, act and live according to their own particular religious presuppositions. They will either be mindful of the supreme God or be depraved and rebellious before Him.
For the Puritans, the social order had to be based either in God and His just laws, or man — who without regeneration was trapped in a fallen state and entirely unpredictable. They understood that every soul functions according to a religious lordship operating principle. Either man is god — or God is God.
Autonomous man desires to be like God and to be as god. His battle cry is, “I will not have any man or God rule over me, I will be my own god” — an anarchist position. If the societal order was to be properly maintained, the sphere of civil government must function according to a set standard of principles, which, when applied, launches the actual execution of policy.
Ideas have consequences and are based upon a network of religious presuppositions, commonly called worldviews.
This network of ideas is ultimately concerned with principles of right and wrong, good and evil, God and man — and it directly guides the political theory of government, which, when applied, formulates political policy. Political policy, because it is directly based upon a certain political theory — which itself is directly based upon philosophical presuppositions that make up a particular worldview — is fundamentally religious in nature.
So then, all political policy is, at its root, religious.
Simply put: Law and public policy are born out of religion. They are either Christocentric or anthropocentric — Christ-centered or man-centered. They cannot be both. Let’s recap:
- All belief systems are based either in man or in God.
- All belief systems find their originating seed in either reason or revelation.
- Belief systems are either humanistic or theistic.
- Political policy, along with every other public policy, is organically religious.
When political theory becomes policy, the policy is enforced by the power of the government, either for good or evil, depending upon its notion of good and evil. Therefore, political policies are made efficacious by the threat of physical force.
This is what the Puritans knew, and it’s why they sought to enforce a structure of godly government and laws, which would ensure liberty under God and against the tyranny of man. Unfortunately for us, those of previous and current generations have drifted from a godly position.
“Any conception of the role of civil government that claims to be distinctively Christian must be explicitly justified by the teaching of God’s revealed word. Anything else reflects what the unbelieving world in rebellions against God may imagine on its own. If we are to be Christian disciples, even in the political realm, it is prerequisite that we abide in His liberating word.” So said Dr. Greg Bahnsen, as quoted in “God and Politics” by Gary Scott Smith (P&R Publishers, 1989).
This is why the only hope for our country is for our people to return to God in repentance, reestablish the authority of the Bible as the foundation of law — and recognize that He is the sovereign Lord, the undisputed creator, lawgiver, judge and owner of all that exists.
Sam Rohrer is president of the American Pastors Network, a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discusses today’s pressing issues. He was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 18 years and a candidate for governor in 2010, and is co-host of the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” national radio program, on 425 stations.