Lord Acton has famously stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men …”
People take this statement as the highest wisdom in politics, and various Christian writers and thinkers proclaim that this statement is an essential truth.
But is it? After all, Lord Acton was a Roman Catholic of the strongest variety.
Roman Catholicism and much of Protestantism erroneously teaches that the saintly Christian man is still substantially evil, flawed and under the yoke of sinfulness. Even if so to a lesser degree. But the Scripture shows:
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10).
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” (John 8:34).
What does that say of Lord Acton’s ultramontane views and his contemporary powerful popes? It is not the power that corrupts, but bad men, when they obtain power, do bad on a grander scale.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2).
Therefore, it is not authority, not wielding power which corrupts. It is sin which corrupts. But if a person is righteous, then, as the Scripture in Proverbs 29:2 quoted above states, the people rejoice.
In other words, it is good for good people to have power, and maximum power must therefore lead to maximum good.
Constantine or Theodosius did much good, as did the Protestant monarchs. Nothing has changed in this principle, therefore it is highly desirable that good people be elevated to good positions.
“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.” (1 Samuel 2:8).
So those supposed Christian political thinkers who raise up the human ideology over the Spirit-led Biblical view are either deceived or, worse, deceivers.
Here’s a quote showing the mistaken consequences of reasoning that power must be in some way corrupt:
“Since power corrupts and government power tends to naturally corrupt, if a society safeguards freedom of speech, its government becomes far more accountable to the people. Freedom of speech allows people to speak out and criticise the government when they think it is going awry. Consequently, freedom of speech ought to be viewed as a fundamental mechanism against the concentration of power.” (Augusto Zimmermann).
The flawed logic is that government power must be corrupt, and that the only way to deal with this is a form of libertarianism. In other words, allowing unBiblical and anarchic licence to say whatever is essentially a justification for anti-authoritarianism.
It is ridiculous to posit that the concentration of power is a bad thing, else one must reject the rule of Christ Jesus Himself! And if this is meant only for earthly government, then when shall Christian influence ever be allowed, for by such flawed reasoning, Christian government should be banned, which is the exact intention of Infidelity (consider, for example, its rigorous anti-Christian practises in the French Revolution, and to its consequences in the Social Revolution which permeated the English-speaking world from the late 1960s).
Mere socialist democracy, separation of powers by dilution, rejection of official religion and secularist removal of all religion in governance is, by its very nature, and in its origins and in its consequences, complete warfare against traditional Protestant Christianity.
The Gospel does not require some arbitrary grant of “freedom” of one sort or another to empower people to either speak out against “oppression” or else, to have the right to preach righteousness and “proselytise”.
Let us therefore turn to the higher and better way, that with the righteous, the truly ascending and attaining Christian, power is to be used well.
Christianity which is surrendered to at least the principles of Infidelity is already on its slow and tedious journey towards what is called the Left. The fact that almost all those on the so-called Christian Right have embraced the fundamental erroneous foundations of erroneous thought is deeply problematic, and requires empowered Christian action to bring Christian ideology to the sound foundation of Scripture and spiritual certainty.
Bill Muehlenberg runs a website https://billmuehlenberg.com/
His views are fairly typical of serious Protestants from recent years.
On his site, he has tried to attack Infidelity. He has done this largely by confronting various social issues. This is like trying to kill a hydra by cutting at its heads.
Here’s how the battle used to be illustrated by Protestants:
This image from the old Creation Science Foundation should have put “Infidelity” as the foundation of the bad side, and added the flag of evolution to the castle. On the other side, “God’s word” is the actual foundation.
The way to really defeat the issues is to get the right foundation (on our side) and to strike at the foundation of the other side.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a).
This video shows some really silly statements made against Protestantism on geopolitica.ru
It is like a really bad version of when the Assyrians came and taunted Jerusalem in 2 Kings chapter 18.
A certain Pentecostal leader in Victoria, who claims to be an apostle, recently wrote that Australia was largely Christian. He wasn’t speaking by faith, he wasn’t making a declaration … he actually thinks that most citizens are actually Christian.
On the other hand, Greg Sheridan, a conservative journalist, has written, “The Christian churches now need to reconceive of themselves as representing a distinct and not all that big minority (of practising Christians). They should conduct themselves as a self-confident minority, seeking to win conversion through example and persuasion”. Indeed, Mr Sheridan knows that Christianity is near extinct, but instead of actually fighting to win, he thinks it should fight to survive. That’s probably why Mr Sheridan has decided that he would “win” if he joined the side promoting same sex marriage, rather than to come along side with Pastor Margaret Court’s stand against it.
This new conservatism is completely weak and misguided, which is exactly why there is a Right resurgence and reactionary movements like the Alt-Right.
In Part One of this series, we looked at the call for Roman Catholics who not only stand up for good values, but who must come out into proper Protestant Christianity. In Part Two we looked at different approaches by believing Protestants. They have said, “We need a new Reformation.” I remember getting goosebumps when Ken Ham declared that uncompromisingly in Sydney years ago. Pentecostals, Fundamentalists, Presbyterians and any other believer need to stop compromising with the world, we need to seek a mass movement and outpouring of the Spirit on a ground level while also believing for doctrinal unity in the Church and Christian leadership at a top political level.
Jesus has placed ministry offices in the Church, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-16).
This requires outpouring of the Spirit, because there is no way that we can get our doctrine right and get into proper unity without Him.
I believe doctrinal unity of the believers is possible. I believe it is promised. I believe that we should let God do the work in us that are able to have it. But barely any Christian seems to believe that. Doctrinal unity is based upon the Word and Spirit, not on a sword or compromise.
As for the outpouring of the Spirit, then all Pentecostals who profess to believe that (many worldly and compromised Pentecostals are ineligible) should see that there is a positive future for believers prior to the return of Christ in the rapture, not one of near defeat.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” (Matthew 24:45, 46).
Notice that the promise of this passage is that the Christian is to be in leadership, the Christian is to be able to convert nations and systematically be reaching the normal person.
People have talked about supporting some secular ruler whom they like, whether Trump or Putin or any other hero of the Alt-Right. But if we are to have such heroes, they must be Christian in the true sense, and most importantly, it is foolish to try to get a Christian leader in without having a change in the culture. Constantine was able to come into power as a Christian ruler because there was a strong (albeit persecuted) Christian movement among the normal people.
We have the essence of correct culture being afforded to us, in the remnants of the ideology from Britain and America. Now the Christians in Australia need to assert genuine Christianity and reactivate what now is in pieces into a coherent whole, an Australian Christian culture.
Not yet her day. How long “not yet?”
There comes the flush of violet!
And heavenward faces, all aflame
With sanguine imminence of morn,
Wait but the sun-kiss to proclaim
The Day of the Dominion born.
Prelusive baptism!—ere the natal hour
Named with the name and prophecy of power.
(The Dominion, J. B. Stephens).
All Christians and so-called Christians are well aware of the state of current society. This problem is well known across the board, to conservatives (Catholic and Protestant) and to a variety of more right wing Protestant fundamentalists and so on.
Greg Sheridan, a thoughtful journalist at the left end of the scale of the Christian right has pointed out that, “In these [past] 120 years no victory was ever more than a temporary slowdown in secularism. While there seemed to be many tactical wins, the war was lost.”
That’s pure pessimism. His solution? He writes that Christians should, “reconfigure themselves as a bold, vigorous, self-confidant minority, determined to security their minority rights and to have their say on life and its purpose, come hell or high water.” It sounds good, until the hypocritical reality is revealed that Mr Sheridan went so far away from the traditional Christian view as to support same-sex marriage. It seemed that he was not content to even fight for a losing position with “minority rights”, but has fully pledged himself to the idea that “the war was lost”.
I was at a meeting with Christians in mid-2017 where they claimed that Mr Sheridan was a Christian journalist. Let me say that if this is the state of Christian thought, then Christianity needs a major shakeup.
For years a variety of Fundamentalists, Presbyterians and Pentecostals have been calling for a shakeup. They have prayed for revival and from time to time been involved in various meetings or events designed to promote a reinvigoration in the Church or in an evangelistic sense. It has not seemed to have got far.
These people have pined for the good old days and some future time of glory. Great conversions, they claim, are happening in Asia, Africa and South America … but not here. Now, is that really even true?
If the good old days were so good, they were not good enough to stop the decline we see now. If the far off future is good, then we should see steps toward it now. If all of these things are happening in foreign lands, then where is the evidence?
What is the real nature and calibre of Christianity in China? If there was spiritual revival in Kenya, wouldn’t we actually find missionaries coming forth? How much of what is going on in Argentina is actually for real and not being manufactured?
One missionary I saw online (who is too afraid to identify himself) claimed that he was having great impact with the Copts or whoever else in the Middle East. I don’t doubt there are believers in foreign parts, but I know nothing of any of their success. Surely this is not because of some worldwide media conspiracy.
But what does the Scripture and the Holy Ghost say to and for us today?
“ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3).
Greg Sheridan, a Roman Catholic journalist who belongs to the political Centre Left (he would probably say “conservative”), has written bemoaning the state of Christianity in Australia.
He writes about the “new religion of aggressive secularism”, the demise of church attendance and the capitulation of Christianity in the face of all social issues.
First we need to identify the Biblical reality. We are told in the Historicist interpretation of Daniel that in these days the transgressors are to come to the full (see Daniel 8:23). We are shown in Revelation chapter 3 that many attending church would be lukewarm.
There are two “Christian” stories about why this is happening. One is the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox story, which is incorrect. It says that the Protestant Reformation opened up society to eventually have the French Revolution and the demise of it we see today. The other story, which is correct, is that the Enlightenment brought in a new era in prophetic history. The war against religion was first a punishment on Roman Catholicism, and as Roman Catholics have joined up with the French and now EU/UN secular powers, there has been a steady move to the political Left in the West. The full manifestation of the French Revolution finally arrived in Western English-speaking nations in the 1960s.
Interestingly, even though Roman Catholicism, in trying to hold to its traditions and Right-wing views, even linking up with Fascism and Nazism, eventually changed in the 1960s to become the champion of the then USSR, and bringing in tremendous compromises and further errors through the Vatican II Council. The problem is that lots of Protestants, in allowing in the world into their churches, have been aligning some way with Roman Catholicism, particularly with the Left-wing (i.e. Liberal, Modernist) forms of it.
Greg Sheridan says that Australia’s churches are in crisis and need a new approach to relevant to a post-Christian society. Honestly, Mr Sheridan’s suggestion and appeal is completely misguided. A Christian would look to the Bible and to the Spirit of God. We should not react or do things based on anything other than what is truth and spiritual. Of course, if Mr Sheridan meant that Christians should repent and everyone convert to Protestantism, that would be good, but obviously he is not meaning that at all.
Surrender! That’s what Mr Sheridan seems to be advocating. That’s exactly what he has been doing in his active support for same-sex marriage when the remaining faithful resisted it.
“In these [past] 120 years no victory was ever more than a temporary slowdown in secularism. While there seemed to be many tactical wins, the war was lost,” Mr Sheridan wrote. If the war is lost, then all is lost.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9).
So then the answers are not with the Roman Catholics. The Catholic Left is part of the problem. The conservative Catholics are not able to address the problem. The best Catholics, of the SSPX and traditional variety, while at least taking a stand, are still in a system they need to exit.
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4).
This Secularism, Modernism and Liberalism is a plague. God calls any of His people among the Roman Catholics to come out.