Dear Friend of Radio Liberty,
Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That's why many contemporary evangelicals believe that the American Revolution was completely justified, both politically and scripturally. They follow the argumentation of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are divinely endowed rights. . . . But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13: 1-7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings that God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience of the Founding Fathers. Dr. John MacArthur 
German children were taught prompt, explicit obedience to parents, teachers, and military commanders. . . . Everyone was to keep pace with the nation and its highest good. Romans 13: 1-2 was often quoted: "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. Dr. Erwin Lutzer 
Do you really believe the masses will be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. . . . But we can hasten matters. The parsons will dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes. Adolph Hitler We are engaged in a spiritual war, and many of those who should be guiding us have embraced the theology of our enemy. Where can we find Godly men to lead us? Recently I received a letter from a listener, part of which is reproduced here:
. . . As a Bible-believing, God-fearing Christian, I believe what is happening in the world is a fulfillment of scriptures. Also, there is an inevitability to the fulfillment and no person, principality, power, or even angels can stall or stem the coming of Jesus in God's allotted time. This 'Spiritual Warfare' we're involved in will not be won by saving America or even my or your physical life. But by saving our spiritual existence to come through repentance of sin on a continual basis and relying on the Hope of Jesus. A person once said "America is the last hope for saving the existence of western civilization." I must rebut that if America is our last hope, then we are doomed. Dennis, a worshiper of God almighty through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.Every week I receive similar letters criticizing my effort to educate people, and urging me to stop trying to save America. How should I answer them? If God intends to destroy our country there is nothing we can do to prevent that from happening. But shouldn't we try to do our best; aren't we to be "the salt and the light of the world"? Are we to watch and do nothing as evil envelops our land? Won't our refusal to address public issues bring God's wrath on our nation? What will happen if Jesus returns 30 years after America has fallen, and millions of our fellow citizens have been slain because we did nothing? Didn't God delay the destruction of Nineveh for two generations when the Assyrians repented? Can the United States survive if Christians withdraw from the public arena? Is Satan trying to convince us we shouldn't be involved in public affairs?
I believe a great apostasy is sweeping our nation and drawing Christians away from the traditional teachings of the Church. I also believe there is an organized effort to convince us we shouldn't oppose the Prince of Darkness.
I've been involved in the "Christian-conservative movement" for almost 39 years. During that time I've read thousands of books, but none of them has disturbed me as much as one by a well-known Christian pastor and author. I respect him, and I agree with many of his theological positions, but I must challenge the Scriptural interpretation he's promoting in Why Government Can't Save You because I believe his position will destroy our nation and undermine the religious faith of many of our people. The Nazis promoted the same interpretation of the Scriptures 65 years ago, and most German churches stand empty today. I believe Dr. John MacArthur's new book reflects a lack of understanding of the history of our nation, a faulty grasp of our political process, and a flawed interpretation of Romans 13. I will address each of those issues in this and subsequent letters.  I don't believe we can preserve America without a Christian revival, but we have an obligation to be involved in public affairs because Satan and his followers are using our institutions to destroy the religious foundation of our nation.
Much of the information you are about to read will be disturbing, but it is far better to speak out now than to curse the darkness later.
I plan to send Dr. MacArthur a copy of my analysis of his book.
Let me begin by analyzing Dr. MacArthur's basic concept. He believes:
Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That's why many contemporary evangelicals believe the American Revolution was completely justified, both politically and scripturally. They follow the argumentation of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are divinely endowed rights. Therefore those believers say such rights are part of a Christian worldview, worth attaining and defending at all costs, including military insurrection at times. But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13:1-7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings that God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers. 
If he is correct, the men who risked their lives, their fortunes, and their families to establish the United States were wrong, and our nation was:
. . . born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings that God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers." Dr. MacArthur acknowledges that God has blessed America, but he believes, ". . . any blessings that God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers." Why did God favor our country? Does He ordinarily reward nations that willfully disobey Him? Is it possible that Dr. MacArthur is incorrect in his assessment of God's response to our revolution? Dr. MacArthur has raised three issues which must be addressed:
1: He believes our revolution was, ". . . born out of a violation of New Testament principles. . . ." because it violated ". . . the clear teaching and commands of Romans 13:1-7.
2: He believes that people ". . . have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. . . ."
3: He rejects the concept that, ". . . life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are divinely endowed rights."
1: Did the American Revolution really violate the principles of the New Testament, or did the apostle Paul write a letter to a group of Christians and advise them to obey the Roman law? Nero was Emperor at the time, and opposition to his decrees resulted in imprisonment or death. In Romans 13, Paul advised his followers to obey Nero, and the government officials he had appointed, because God had given them their power. Paul's letters contain excellent advice, and his ideas were divinely inspired, but do they all apply to our time? Christians should be good citizens and obey the law, but what should they do if Satan's agents control their government? Should Christians support them? Should German Christians have obeyed the law and turned the Jewish families they were hiding over to the Nazis during World War II? A number of competent theologians disagree with Dr. MacArthur's interpretation of Romans 13.
2: Dr. MacArthur contends that, "Over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity." He certainly has a right to believe that if he wishes, but he doesn't have the right to claim our country is a democracy. The United States was founded as a republic, and it has never legally been a democracy. If you read the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers you will never find the word "democracy" used other than to condemn that form of government, and proclaim that our nation was to be a republic. The fact that Dr. MacArthur refers to our country as a democracy reflects a lack of understanding of our form of government and the history of our nation. 
3: Dr. MacArthur contends that those who believe that, ". . . life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are divinely endowed rights. . . ." are wrong. Is he suggesting that God doesn't want men to be free? Satan has been trying to enslave the Christians who have been living in North America for almost 400 years, and he will succeed if we follow Dr. MacArthur's advice. Why? Because Dr. MacArthur admits that:
. . . God has permitted Satan great but not unlimited power over the people and affairs of this world. Satan did not directly cause mankind's fall into sin, but his sinister and evil temptation hastened Adam and Eve's disobedience of God, which was the first sin and a characteristic passed on to all their posterity. Ever since that tragic episode in the Garden, the devil has waged a relentless, multifaceted campaign to get men and women to yield to their naturally sinful impulses and defy God. Consequently "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" . . . who is "now the ruler of this world". . . . When Satan tempted Jesus, our Lord did not dispute his claim to "all the kingdoms of the world" or his ability to give Him "all this authority . . . and their glory. . . . " 
I agree with that assessment. Down through the ages God has allowed Satan to control the governments of the world. There have been only two occasions when men and women have been relatively free from government interference in their lives. The first time was when the Children of Israel lived under the Ten Commandments. That story is recorded in the first book of Samuel, and ends with chapter 8. The second time was when our Forefathers established a Christian Republic in North America. They realized that no human being could be trusted with power so they restricted the authority of the Central Government, installed a system of checks and balances, and added the 10th Amendment to prevent government officials from usurping the authority of the States. That system worked fairly well until Satan and his followers took over our Supreme Court, began centralizing power with the Federal Government, and neutralized the influence of the Church. The part of the story that deals with the take-over of our Supreme Court was covered in my March 2000 letter. A copy of that letter is available on the Internet at www.radioliberty.com.
Dr. MacArthur concedes:
My point is not that Christians should remain totally uninvolved in politics or civic activities and causes. They ought to express their political beliefs in the voting booth, and it is all right occasionally to support legitimate measures designed to correct a glaring social or political wrong. . . . It would also display a lack of gratitude for whatever amount of religious freedom the government allows us to enjoy. . . ." Then he cautions:
To devote all, or even most, of our time, energy, money, and strategy to putting a facade of morality on the world, or the appearance of "rightness" over our governmental and political institutions is to badly misunderstand our roles as Christians in a spiritually lost world." We need to let go of the notion that culture and government are the enemy. It's simply wrong to blame our country's moral disintegration on political parties, liberal conspiracies, or biased media." 
We are to obey every civil authority no matter how immoral, cruel, ungodly, or incom petent he or she might be. . . . " 
. . . there is no type of persecution that should cause us to revolt against the government. It should only cause us to patiently endure trial and persevere righteousness." 
The people of God then ought to consider resistance to the government under which they live as a very awful crime, even as resistance to God Himself." 
Similar concepts are being taught in churches across America. What will happen if God expects us to try to stem the tide of darkness, and we do nothing? I believe there is a coordinated effort to neutralize the influence of the Christian church in America, and it is succeeding.
Dr. Francis Schaeffer didn't agree with the modern interpretation of Romans 13. He wrote:
Clearly, the state is to be a ministry of justice. This is the legitimate function of the state, and in this structure Christians are to obey the state as a matter of "conscience." But what is to be done when the state does that which violates its legitimate function? . . . The bottom line is that at a certain point there is not only the right, but the duty, to disobey the state. Through the ages Christians have taken the same position as did the early church in disobeying the state when it commanded what was contrary to God's law. William Tyndale, the English translator of the Bible, advocated the supreme authority of the Scripture over and against the state and the church. Government authorities continually sought to capture him, but Tyndale was successful in evading them for years. . . ." 
In almost every place where the Reformation had success there was some form of civil disobedience or armed rebellion. . . ." 
Whereas Reformers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin had reserved the right to rebellion to the civil rulers alone, (John) Knox went further. He maintained that the common people had the right and duty to disobedience and rebellion if state officials ruled contrary to the Bible. To do otherwise would be rebellion against God. Knox was not against civil government per se. He knew well that civil government is ordained of God. Knox maintained, however, that state officials have the duty of obeying God's Laws." 
(Samuel) Rutherford argued that Romans 13 indicates that all power is from God and that government is ordained and instituted by God. The state, however, is to be administered according to the principles of God's Law; Acts of the state which contradicted God's Law were illegitimate and acts of tyranny. . . . Rutherford held that a tyrannical government is always immoral . . . since tyranny is satanic, not to resist it is to resist God -- to resist tyranny is to honor God . . . since the ruler is granted power conditionally, it follows that the people have the power to withdraw their sanction if the proper conditions are not fulfilled. . . . Violation of the trust gives the people a legitimate base for resistance. It follows from Rutherford's thesis that citizens have a moral obligation to resist unjust and tyrannical government." According to Dr. Erwin Lutzer, the Nazis used the modern interpretation of Romans 13 to control the German people and neutralize the German church. He wrote:
German children were taught prompt, explicit obedience to parents, teachers, and military commanders. Respect for . . . (order) was taught by ritual and threat of punishment. Everyone was to keep pace with the nation and its highest good. Romans 13:1-2 was often quoted: "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. . . ." Dr. Lutzer then quoted Adolph Hitler as saying:
Hitler spoke of both Protestants and Catholics with contempt, convinced that all Christians would betray their God when they were forced to choose between the swastika and the Cross. Do you really believe the masses will be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. . . . But we can hasten matters. The parsons will dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes." Is the situation any different today? How many American ministers were willing to publicly support the effort to impeach President Clinton for perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and conspiracy to suborn perjury? How many American ministers are willing to speak out against the occultists in our government? At one time our churches were the conscience of our nation, but that is no longer true. Are most of our ministers any different from the German ministers who remained silent while thousands of Jewish families were herded into cattle cars? We still have a few outspoken leaders. Dr. Lutzer tells us:
We must support our government, but we must be ready to criticize it or even defy it when necessary. Patriotism is commendable when it is for a just cause . . . . if the German church has taught us the dangers of blind obedience to government we must eschew the mindless philosophy "My country, right or wrong'" . . . We must teach parents, teachers, nurses, bankers and attorneys to stand for biblical values; we must not be ashamed of "coming out of the closet" and letting people know that not everyone is buying into the relativistic values of our disintegrating culture." Dr. Lutzer believes we should emphasize spiritual matters, but we should also be involved in public affairs. I agree. To withdraw from society and do nothing assures Satan's success.
This is the first in a series of letters dealing with the Christian history of America, and why the message and the music of the Church has changed. Next month I will explain why it is important to understand the difference between a Republic and a Democracy.
We are carrying Hope of the Wicked by Ted Flynn, Crisis in Christian Music by Dr. Jack Wheaton, and Hitler's Cross by Dr. Erwin Lutzer. We also provide How the Communists use Religion and How Liberals and Radicals are Manipulating Evangelicals. We have a new four-tape audio set on the Bohemian Grove and the forty-foot stone owl where a "sacrificial ceremony" is held every year.
We're getting a good response from our American Freedom Network programs. They can be heard at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time every weekday morning on www.americanewsnet.com. Please encourage your friends to listen to that program, and to our other programs on www.radioliberty.com. We are rapidly expanding our listener base on the Internet and satellite programs.
Those who are promoting the modern interpretation of Romans 13 seldom mention Paul's warning about the demonic forces we face:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." In his last letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:
. . . in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, With- out natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. Paul's description of the events of the latter days sounds very much like what we are witnessing today. What are we to do? We are to do our best, put on the whole armor of God, stand against evil, continue our effort to inform others, and try to bring them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Whatever happens we will know that we have fought a good fight, we have finished the course, we have kept the faith.
Thank you for your loyal support.
Yours in Christ,
Stanley Monteith, M.D.
1. Dr. John MacArthur, Jr., Why Government Can't Save You, Word Publishing,
Nashville, 2000, pp. 6-7.
2. Erwin W. Lutzer, Hitler's Cross, Moody Press, Chicago, 1995, p.111.
3. Ibid., p. 104.
4. E-mail communication: copy is available from Radio Liberty.
5. W. Cleon Skousen, The Making of America, The National Center For Constitutional Studies, Washington, D.C., 1985, pp. 264-67.
6. Dr. John MacArthur, op cit., pp. 6-7.
8. W. Cleon Skousen, op cit.
9. For information on Satan's effort to enslave Christians living in North America, see: Manly P. Hall, The Secret Destiny of America, The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1991, p. 174, 181. See Also: John MacArthur, op cit., p. 28.
10. Ibid., p. 8.
11. Ibid., p. 13.
12. Ibid., p. ix.
13. Ibid., p. 21.
14. Ibid., p. 26-27.
15. Ibid., p. 31.
16. Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, Crossway Books, Westchester, Illinois, 1981, p. 93.
18. Ibid., p. 97.
19. Ibid., pp. 100-101.
20. Dr. Erwin Lutzer, op cit., p. 111.
21. Ibid., p. 104
22. Ibid., pp. 204-206.
23. Ephesians 6:12-13, King James Version of the Bible.
24. II Timothy 3:1-5, King James Version of the Bible.