01 November 2021
The nature of a covenant faith community is full separation.
I hope I've set the stage for understanding this in previous posts: Following Christ means refusing to assimilate into the society around us. In most cases, that means first pulling away as much as possible. As always, this is not a rule, but an image of holiness. The truth lodges in the heart of convictions, and the convictions command the intellect so that the mind can work out the implications in context. The image we paint is a parable to which the disciplined flesh aspires.
If you are genuinely following Christ, you can not continue thinking of yourself as an American. The Hebrew Messiah is not the imaginary fellow in populist art standing in front of the American flag with a Euro-American face and Medieval clothing. We simply must break away from that mythology or we will remain trapped in Satan's clutches.
I've recounted in these pages how Constantine seduced the Early Church Fathers into becoming the Harlot Church riding the Beast of pagan government. Today's secular government is simply the idolatry of man, yet another form of pagan worship. The mere notion that the Kingdom of Heaven can be linked to any human government is blasphemous. Once the organized churches began consorting with this adulterous relationship, there was no stopping the slide into Hell. Only by the grace of God did any part of Christ's message survive in organized religion. That small portion varies widely, but the point is to note how some people still find Christ despite the institutional churches.
During the two centuries after the Fall or Rome, the Church remained the only institution from the old regime still intact. In order to maintain her political power, the Church courted the Germanic tribal invaders by tweaking the biblical imagery to match the Germanic pagan mythology. It gutted the gospel message in favor of a blended mythology of what it meant to be "Christian." This is the core of what became Medieval culture.
The only reason the Germanic tribes bought into this in the first place was that it painted their political power as sacred. While it did become a game of give and take between king and bishop, the whole system obscured the call of the gospel message to avoid such entanglements. Yet, here we are today with mainstream churchians insisting that it's our Christian duty to engage the secular government, as if the system is somehow blessed by God. There is this wild imagination that it's possible to have a righteous American heritage that we should protect just like we were taught to protect the institution of the church.
The institution of American government and religion is shot through with Anglo-Saxon and Norse pagan mythology, and a liberal sprinkling of Greco-Roman pagan legacy. Our Heavenly Father is portrayed rather like Odin, and Satan is more like Loki. And for some, we have Mary-Mother-of-God rather like Oester -- having a female deity of any flavor is an abomination in Hebrew culture. Regardless of your particular brand, being an American marks you as a pagan idolater before Christ.
The whole notion of covenant faith is separation -- the root meaning of "holiness." It means pulling away from common use for the singular purpose of God's use. The image is a parable, an indication of what we should reach for as we bow before the Lord. With all the things Judaism gets wrong as the Synagogue of Satan, there is one slender issue they get right: They refuse to assimilate to the local culture and social institutions. They always demand their own social order, schools, worship, and commerce. They remain a separate nation in their enclaves wherever you find them on the earth. This is the one thing we can rightly borrow from them.
Obviously I'm not suggesting that we allow ourselves to wear costumes frozen in time and place, but that we remain distinctly different and clannish wherever we are found in this world. Over and over again Jehovah told His people to remain different and separate from the pagan nations around them. On such a large scale, and with such a truculent bunch of people as Israel was, it failed eventually, but it remained the image. So it was that the Apostles in their missionary work had to transplant an appropriate measure of that into the churches they planted wherever they went. Each church was to become a distinct society, an extended family household living together in an enclave wherever possible and keeping themselves separate from the pagan society around them.
Instead of adopting weird costumes from some previous era, simply adapt the local clothing to fit the modesty God requires. As much as possible, do business only with each other. Cultivate business contacts with people on the outside who are sympathetic and will make allowances for the differences; they will always be there. Reward them richly. The same goes for secular government authorities. Don't get involved in their other policy choices; bless them for cooperating regardless. You may eventually help them rethink their agenda, but we should never expect to shift political policy. Simply be grateful when God moves them to give you a break in your drive to find accommodation for your boundaries. Be sensitive to what drives them, but never compromise.
Strive to create a society that keeps out the pagan influences. Educate your kids internally as much as possible. Instill in your children that prime directive that they are not like the others. They hold a privilege the rest of the world cannot comprehend. Yes, you will inevitably lose some of your children to the outside. It's their choice at some point. Yet you should strive to build in them a love for what sets them apart. Avoid exposing them to any forms of secular entertainment. Then again, it may be really hard for us as adults to cut ourselves off from the addiction to such things. It takes a while to build up an immunity to that trash.
You must learn that being weird is good. Don't laugh at the Orthodox Jews, Jehovah Witnesses, old-timey Pentecostals, or Mennonites and Amish. They may have a lot of substance wrong, but the principle of separation should be our brand, too.
To be separate from the pagans around you is to be closer to the Lord. This is His peace, His shalom.
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