Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. (Exodus 15:1-3)
The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. (Isaiah 42:13-15)
I have made some shocking statements about religious people, perhaps even some provocative and incendiary statements. In fact, people that don’t know anything about me might be inclined to believe that my remarks thus far have been an attack on Christianity. To the contrary, I am a Bible-believing Christian, as conservative as they come. Probably more conservative than many nominal Christians would feel comfortable with. True, I have spoken or written negative things about every religion, sect, and Christian denomination – including my own – but the difference between me and Christian apologists for Bush, the Republican Party, the military, war, and the state is that I worship the God of the Bible, not Mars, the god of war. Although I am not an ordained minister, I have preached in churches and other venues. I have earned degrees in theology. I have taught children in Sunday school and adults in Bible college. I will put my conservative Christian credentials up against anyone.
Obviously Mr. Vance, you do not read the Scripture as much as you say as the above verses reveal the LORD God to be a “man of war.” Your very clear statement “and the state is that I worship the God of the Bible, not Mars, the god of war.” is a reference that could have easily been left out of the speech altogether if all you were after was to rebuke those “Christians” that are so bent on totally supporting President Bush without regard to the rightness of his actions. Instead, you have equated the LORD God of the Bible to the false god and idol of Roman religion, Mars. According to your own statements concerning your qualifications, you should know better. Oh, you do attempt to give cover to your statements by continuing with the following:
I think I know Christianity and Christians as well as anyone. So, please understand that it is not Christianity I am criticizing; it is Christians who, by their persistent support for war, the warfare state, and the military, are giving Christianity a bad name.
If you really “knew” Christianity as well as you say you do, you would know that the Scripture plainly teaches there is no “Church,” but there are churches, meaning that the Scripture does not teach the concept of a universal church, visible or invisible. You would also know that there were churches throughout the last twenty centuries that never came under the wicked system of Roman Catholicism, and were never part of the “Reformation” and the Protestant movement. Moreover, you would know the names of these various groups and that their doctrines were remarkably similar, and very much in keeping with the doctrines of fundamental Baptist churches you find today. Understand though, this does not refer to Board, Fellowship, or Convention Baptist churches, but those little, out of the way, unaffiliated churches who still hold fast the Scripture.
No, Mr. Vance, your criticism of “Christians” is very much like the pot calling the kettle black. The “Christians” you supposedly oppose have an agenda, and you have an agenda — and its not holding fast the word of God. You could have easily criticized those who claim Christ, and have considerable error, without attacking a government institution that has existed since the first king ruled and reigned on this earth. In fact, your attack upon the use of any force by a child of God implicitly attacks Abraham (Genesis 14:13-16) and Samuel (I Samuel 15:32-33) and it denies the reality of this world and the reality of the spiritual war that has been on-going since Lucifer rebelled against the LORD God:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
You know Mr. Vance, if you knew the Scriptures as well as you say you do, you would know of certainty that the wars and conflicts of this world are but a reflection and shadow of the spiritual war. You would also know that war is one of the ways the LORD God judges nations:
In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. (II Kings 24:1-4)
Whether we like it or not, war is, and will remain a prominent feature of life on this earth. Until this earth is destroyed by a fire so hot that even the very particles of the atoms are consumed, war will be a continual feature of man’s existence. Even during the Millennial Reign of Christ in which peace will be enforced with a rod of iron in the hand of the Word of God and Satan is bound for a thousand years, man will be at war with God in his heart. The Scripture does not lie, in our unregenerate state, we hate God and His rule over us. We are rebellious to the core, and want nothing better than to satisfy our own selfish desires at the expense of everyone else. That is why the LORD states in the Scripture:
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. (Psalm 82:6-7)
And, why the LORD God challenges man with the following:
Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you. (Isaiah 41:21-24)
In fact, the LORD God has done everything He can do to reconcile man to Himself, yet man hates God, and will continue to hate God as long as there is one soul that refuses to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. In this, the Scripture is extremely clear:
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. (Psalm 69:4)
Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. (Psalm 109:1-4)
He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (John 15:23-25)
Man will never escape war on this earth. Thus, to make the following declaration is to deny the truth of man’s state, and deny the truth of what the LORD God has repeatedly stated:
War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest creator of fertile ground for genocides and atrocities. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. War is the greatest creator of famine, disease, and homelessness. War is the health of the state.
To be continued . . .