In the February 15 issue of The Standard Bearerundersigned wrote an article about the right wing movements that have recently attracted the attention of many people and have had considerable influence on political developments within this country. The points that were made at the time were briefly: 1) These right wing movements have as their chief goals the restoration of the free enterprise system in this country which has gradually been eroded through creeping Socialism; and the elimination of the threat of Communism not only the Communism across the sea, but also the sympathetic Communism in our own country. 2) This right wing movement has fired the imagination of many Church groups and Church people who have jumped into the battle with vigor. 3) It is incorrect to, say that historically either Capitalism or democracy has developed from Christian and Calvinistic principles, although this is often alleged to be the case. 4) There is a danger that Christians, faced with the growing threats of Communism, abandon their spiritual calling to submit themselves to those whom God has placed over them in the sphere of the state. 5) The danger of becoming deeply involved in the fight with Communism is above all that one retreats from the battle in which the Church must engage against the enemies of false doctrine and worldliness.
This article prompted several of the readers of The Standard Bearer to write of other views which they had on this matter. Since this correspondence was both instructive and enjoyable, I wish to share some of it with our readers.
A brother in Arizona wrote that the article on “That Right Wing” had omitted the important element of “obeying God rather than men” in speaking of our duty to submit to those in authority. This correspondent agreed that it was true that we had to obey those in authority over us, but that this principle was qualified in Scripture by the calling to refuse to obey those in authority when the magistrates demand of the child of God something contrary to his Christian principles.
This is true. Scripture very clearly defines the calling of the Church. It is to submit to those in authority. But it is also very explicit in qualifying this submission. If the state should demand of the believer that he do something which would involve a violation of the command of God, the believer must courageously and steadfastly refuse. When the Sanhedrin insisted that Peter and John and the rest of the apostles refrain from preaching Jesus, the apostles laid down the rule for all ages, “We must obey God rather than men.” This point became a point of discussion also in another letter which I received.
This correspondent argues that the believer must make a distinction between a legitimate and an illegitimate government—the former being a government approved by the people; the latter a government which comes to power through treachery, subversion, murder, intrigue and revolution. The former one is obligated to obey before God; the latter one is not obligated to obey or to acknowledge. The former one must submit to; the latter one may overthrow by revolution.
It is because of this view, so commonly held today, that we must be reminded of the fact that the believer may never take recourse to arms or to force in order to overthrow any government which God is pleased to put over him. No matter how tyrannical that government may be; no matter in what wicked way that government came to power; it remains the calling of the believer to submit. He cannot and may not obey if something is demanded of him contrary to his calling before God; but he errs when he makes use of force to overthrow such a government, or to resist it if overthrow is beyond his capabilities. To refuse to obey is one thing—and indeed the Christian’s right; to rise in rebellion is quite another—and contrary to his faith.
Another brother from South Dakota wrote a rather lengthy but also interesting letter the point of which was that our people are not nearly as aware of Communism and its dangers as they should be. This lack of awareness aids the Communists and threatens our own freedom. Evidently the brother is a member of the John Birch Society and considers an attack on this society to be a strike in favor of world-wide Communism. Several points which he raises are of interest:
1) America was formed not as a democracy, but as a republic. The former is rule by the people; the latter is rule by law and constitution. The attempt to change the description of our form of government from republic to democracy is a’ dangerous subterfuge.
2) The free enterprise system of Capitalism is the only economic system that adheres to the principles of God’s law such as “Thou shalt not steal.”
3) The Communists themselves have aimed their sights at the destruction of the “right wing,” and this is surely proof of the effectiveness of marshalling the forces of Anti-Communism under the banner of the “right wing.” To attack these movements is to play into the hands of Communists, be it unwittingly. To be indifferent to the threat of Communism, to be lethargic in the tremendous struggle with Communism, to attack those who oppose Communism, to be unconcerned about the dangers of Communism and Socialism is to give comfort to those who seek to take over our country and deprive us of our liberties.
4) To join with others in this country who are deeply committed to the fight against Communism is to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship and to be faithful to the mandates of the Christian’s calling.
With some of these points there is no argument. There is no question of the calling of the Christian to oppose Communism. It is atheistic materialism at its worst. As such, it is opposed to God and to Christ. Surely the people of God are called to oppose every form of evil as it appears in the world. Nevertheless, the following points can well be emphasized:
1) Communism is not the only evil in the world. The Christian fights the battle of faith on many fronts. The devil does not attack only from one direction, but from many. The walls of the city of God are being scaled on many sides. There is the enemy of worldliness that deadens the spiritual sensibilities of the saints and robs them of their vision of the goal of Life’s journey. There is the false doctrine that arises from the Church world itself and seeks to snatch from the grasp of the Church her weapons of the truth, her confession of God’s Word. If these enemies should ever be successful because we have failed to fight them in our concern for Communism, we would have nothing left to fight any battle at all, much less the battle against Russia. We cannot become so absorbed in defending ourselves against any enemy on one front that the enemies on other fronts overwhelm us unnoticed. It is to be feared that this often happens.
2) As grave a threat as Communism may be because of its atheism and materialism, it can hardly be said that America has higher moral standards today. True, the Church may still gather and the saints may worship in peace. But is atheism in Russia any worse than the Modernism in America where the blood of atonement is despised? Is materialism in Russia a graver threat than the materialism that has a death grip on our own society? Is the tyranny of Russia, while perhaps more complete, any different principally from the tyranny of labor here?
3) In the struggle against Communism, as well as in the entire battle of the Church, the saints must stand alone. They cannot join forces with unbelievers in all kinds of organizations in this spiritual battle against Communism any more than they can join forces with unbelievers in any phase of the battle of faith. The antithetical calling of the Church is to stand apart and witness to the truth with its own clear testimony; it is not their calling to witness through the muted and uncertain trumpet sounds of organizations with which they cannot agree.
4) The gravest danger of the Church has always been and remains today the danger (not of atheism) but of false religion and apostasy. The most dangerous enemy is not across the sea but “next door.”
Thirdly, I received a letter from a brother in Texas who wrote, not so much about the article on “right wing movements,” but rather about his ideas concerning the development of the Antichrist. Although it is somewhat difficult, and not entirely fair, to condense his views in a short paragraph, the main idea of his argument is that the Jews shall play a dominant role in the development of the Antichristian world power. He reasoned on the one hand that the Scriptures clearly teach that the Jews were rejected as a nation by God for crucifying their Messiah and rejecting the gospel. With this they sealed their doom for all time. They have not only ceased to exist as the special people of God and as a nation specially blessed; they have also ceased to exist as a distinct people. Their blood has been so thoroughly mixed with other blood that there is no longer such a thing as “a Jew.”
On the other hand, history proves that the Jews exert a most remarkable influence on world-wide events. (Note: there is an inconsistency here which I do not yet understand. How can it be possible that there really is no such thing as a Jew while at the same time the Jews are really authors of a world-wide conspiracy? Perhaps the solution is that there are Jewish pretenders.) They are the real force behind all that is evil in the world. They are the moving force behind Communism; they are the originators of Liberalism, Humanism, Lodgism, Modernism, etc.; they are in control of most of international finance. Their goal is the destruction of the present world order so that they can pave the way to establish their own world order on the ashes of the destroyed nations. This new world order which they hope to establish is the Antichristian kingdom of which Scripture speaks so often.
From the letters which were sent me and the literature which was enclosed, it seems as if the brother makes a rather fundamental mistake with regard to the place of the Jews in the New Dispensation.
1) It is true that as a nation Israel is rejected. They no longer exist as a nation and will never exist in such a form again as the chosen people of God. This must be maintained over against all pre-millennialism. On this point there is no debate.
2) It is not true however that the Jew ceases to exist as a Jew. Scripture surely indicates, especially in Romans 11, that there shall always be the Jew until the end.
3) While it is true that the nation of Israel and all the Jews will never be saved, God does preserve to Himself a remnant according to the election of grace. This remnant is not saved apart from the Gentiles, but is saved in connection with the Gentiles and becomes one with the New Dispensational Church. It is this spiritual bond which unites Jews and Gentiles into one body of the redeemed in Jesus Christ.
4) The fact that there is always a remnant according to election throughout the New Dispensation is the special prerogative of the Jews. Among the Gentiles when believers in their generations depart from the truth, they become apostate for all time. God does not retrace His footsteps and return to these generations again. But with the Jews this is different. They are unique in this respect. Even though the nation as a whole was rejected, God always saves to Himself a remnant throughout all the New Dispensation and until the end of time. This is not only clearly taught in Romans 11, but is also implied already in the prophecy concerning Japheth—that he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.
5) It is quite evident from Scripture that Antichrist shall not arise out of the Jewish people, and most certainly not out of a new Jewish world order.
We must be careful that we do not stand on the side of Adolph Eichmann and the leaders of the late Third Reich in Germany. Anti-Jew is not proper “anti” for the believer.