commentary: America's Most Powerful Religion
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 16-Aug-14; Sermon #1227c; 13 minutes
Politically correct pastors water down the Ten Commandments to "the Ten Negotiating Principles," or perhaps "Ten Helpful Suggestions." When pastors have abandoned their responsibility to uphold God's Law, government has historically stepped in to fill the gap, basing their decisions on humanistic preferences rather than biblically-based morality. The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, although crafted by men of nominal Christian persuasions (some of them having roots in the Separatist and Puritan experience of desiring religious liberty and even a kind of theocracy) and Deists (believing in God by inferring it from design and order in nature), did not establish the Constitution as a covenant with Almighty God, but did build into it common sense checks and balances so that if a moral populace lived by it, our people should be governed with the least amount of friction. Sadly, the populace has drifted from an ethical and moral climate into a relativistic, secular humanist point of view. Morality now consists of toleration for mass infanticide (termed abortion) and homosexual sodomy (called gay rights), enforced by a government voted in by people with a narcissistic, agnostic, or atheistic humanistic mindset (virulent secular humanism) which has totally displaced Christianity (real or nominal) as the dominant religion of our land, marginalizing anyone who insists on basic human ethics, let alone God's 'pesky' (because it is intolerant of sin) commandments.
I am going to have the men in the audio booth play a two and a half minute recording of two Australian comedians doing a satire, mocking their government's handling of a religious issue that touches exactly on what happens whenever pastors withdraw from their responsibility to effectively preach God's word.
Brian: Thanks for your time.
Interviewee: Good evening, Brian. Very good to be with you.
Brian: Now you're a spin doctor with the government.
Interviewee: Well, can I stop you there, Brian? That's a pejorative term. That's certainly not the way I would characterize—
Brian: Well, how would you describe it?
Interviewee: Well, Brian, I am a linguistics advisor to a predominantly Christian management group in the Canberra area.
Brian: A Christian management group.
Interviewee: That's right, yeah.
Brian: Interesting work.
Interviewee: It is interesting, very.
Brian: Mmm. Are there a lot of you?
Interviewee: Linguistics advisers?
Interviewee: About fifteen hundred of us, Brian. I mean the Canberra area's—
Brian: Why do you need so many linguistic advisers?
Interviewee: Well, Brian, think of it as a college for the interpretation of the Scripture.
Brian: So they are studying the texts.
Interviewee: Right. Look at the parables; the ten principle negotiating positions . . .
Brian: Which are?
Interviewee: They are just ten sort of great starting point for a discussion.
Brian: Where did they come from?
Interviewee: Moses, I think. Brian, it was before my time.
Brian: Oh, you mean with Ten Commandments?
Interviewee: Brian, I certainly wouldn't be advising the minister to accept that term.
Brian: But that's what they are called—the Ten Commandments.
Interviewee: Yeah, I'd be advising him to reject that term.
Interviewee: Well, too restrictive, Bryan. You do not want to go into a negotiating position with no malleability. You go in with room—
Brian: You said it was a Christian management group. Surely you must have Christian policy.
Interviewee: Oh, yeah. Yeah, they are Christians—of course they do.
Brian: What else do they study?
Interviewee: Oh, well, you know everything, Brian—the left-wing lecture in the hills . . .
Brian: Sermon on the Mount.
Interviewee: That the one. You know the Beatitudes?
Brian: Yes, indeed, they are very beautiful.
Interviewee: Yeah, well, we fiddled with them a bit, Brian. They retain their beauty, in my view.
Brian: Those are the ones here. "Blessed are the persecuted, for they should be blamed for the persecutions."
Interviewee: That's a very early draft, Brian. That's not what the minister's gone with.
Brian: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall get stuff"?
Interviewee: Where did you get that? You shouldn't even have that. That's classified.
Brian: Well, let's go to a practical example. In the last couple of weeks, some Tamil asylum seekers were locked in a jail in the desert, and then flown from there to Nauru.
Brian: Were you were providing advice on how to do—
Interviewee: Yes, yes, Brian, I was. This is what I do.
Brian: Two jails in a week?
Interviewee: Yeah, that's actually not the angle we went with. . .
Brian: You said you were trying to send a signal to people smugglers.
Interviewee: That's the one we went with, Brian. We need to put these people smugglers out of business.
Brian: But that's not the fault of the people who are trying to escape persecution.
Interviewee: No, but a lot of this is going out on talkback radio though, Brian. I mean, you do not want to get too technical.
Brian: So why do it on talkback radio?
Interviewee: So you do not have to get too technical.
Brian: You also said this policy is "designed to prevent drownings."
Interviewee: Yeah. That was one of my better ones, wasn't it? I don't know; I was surprised that one got a run in the paper, to be honest.
Brian: Are you a Christian?
Interviewee: Oh yeah, we are all Christians out there.
Brian: Do you believe there is a day of judgment?
Interviewee: Ah, I don't know about judgment, Brian. I think you better have another look at that book. I should probably write the book at some point. It's very big. We're quite busy.
Well, did you understand the point that they were making? Did you hear them call the Ten Commandments "the ten principal negotiating positions"? How about the Sermon on the Mount: the left-wing lecture in the hills," or "blessed are the meek, for they shall get stuff"?
Well, just in case their routine was too brief for you to grasp what they were mocking, I will tell you that these men were spot on in analyzing a historical truth. It is that when church pastors do not carry out their religious responsibility to the nation, somebody else moves in to fill the gap. It is a group of people who love power to influence that fills the gap, and history proves it is always the government that fills that need.
When this nation was founded, it began with a strong religious base. A fairly large percentage of the original settlers, fleeing to these shores, were escaping religious persecution in their former lands. Thus, when the time came for the colonists to break away from domination of England and organize into a single united nation, the religious understandings of the Founders driving the move for independence was fairly strong.
But the religion of that group was not a united, organized body. They were members of eight or ten organized religions, but they all consider themselves Christian despite the differences each had with the other Founders in practice and in doctrinal beliefs. But they indeed were more intensely religious in much of their thinking than the average person is today.
In the same way, the majority of the colonists were in general more intensely religious than the general population is today. And when the Founders hammered out the Declaration of Independence, and then later the Constitution, there is no doubt that they openly acknowledged the sovereignty of God.
Now, acknowledging the sovereignty of God was as far as things went. Neither off those documents is a covenant with the great Creator God. That group was not lead by men of such spiritual stature as Abraham, Moses, Joshua or David. There is nothing—absolutely no terminology—in either document that even comes close to being anywhere near even the Old Covenant.
Both of those documents are political statements as to how [the Founders] believed that a nation of this world should be governed. Most of their thinking was guided by their knowledge of the governing histories of England, France and The Netherlands. What they created were both very good carnal documents. The Constitution is probably the best carnal governing document in the history of mankind, providing more individual liberties and protections for the individual citizen from the oppressions of the government, short of anything except what God has given. But even that carnal constitution requires the individual citizen to control himself by not overstepping the bounds of what the liberties provided. Well, the citizens haven't, and neither has the government figures, faithfully performed their responsibilities either.
A couple of years ago, I gave sermons providing evidence that showed that this nation was not formed as a spiritual nation. Much of the blame for the governing disaster of the political leadership and the quality of life disaster off the citizenry we have degenerated into, is because of the failure of the churches and their ministries to strongly preach everybody's responsibility and accountability to uphold those two doctrines. Now notice, I did not say uphold the Ten Commandments, because remember, they aren't in the Constitution.
This must be done because of the nature of the governance of this nation. It is a governance—listen to this—of the people, by the people, and for the people. The people have a responsibility. It is the responsibility of the people to give diligent oversight of the government to hold it in check.
The citizens bailed out. And part of the reason for their bailing out is because the church pastors backed away from constantly reminding the people of their responsibility. So, what happened as the decades passed, the representatives in government gradually kept taking more and more power to themselves. Today the citizenry is practically in bondage.
One of the areas of most serious concern in which the government and academia has taken over is in the areas of setting standards of spirituality and morality. The sum and substance of this takeover is that now the most powerful religion in America is humanism. Humanism is a religion in which man denies the existence and the role of the Creator God and assumes that role for himself. He first dictates only to himself, but it is not all that long before he begins assuming that role before others and begins dictating to them what he believes is moral.
A huge percentage of this present government are of the humanist persuasion. Their doctrines—what they believe—can be witnessed by anybody concerned by means of observing the court decisions made by judges. And so now, infanticide—commonly called "abortion"—is an on going practice. Murder is permitted by our Constitution. So also is homosexuality, gay marriage, the ideals of feminism, which is really nothing more than a hatred of men proclaimed as liberty for women. In fact, virtually any practice that will undermine and ultimately destroy family life is proclaimed in our time as morally good and free.
The nation's leaders are immorally destroying this nation and its people through indebtedness. Really, they are stealing from us and calling it good. Any vague connection the governing administration has to God bears no resemblance to Christianity, let alone even to common sense.
The process of what we have become was set to function right at the beginning of the nation's founding. Our foundational documents, as good as they carnally are, do not represent a covenant with God. His moral standards, written in bold statements, are nowhere found in them. And just as an example, the Constitution nowhere even says, "You shall do no murder; you shall not steal; you shall not lie; you shall not commit adultery," etc. What happened then is that the door of immorality was left open a crack right at the beginning. We are seeing now that God is, in fact, pretty much left out. The door is almost wide open, and we are sliding through it into the gutter at the invitation of our humanistic leadership.