The Bible and Voting – Part 13Proverbs 14:34 • Dr. Andy Woods • October 2, 2016 • The Bible and Voting 2016
SUGAR LAND BIBLE CHURCH
October 2, 2016The Bible and Voting, Part 13
Good morning everybody. Happy October; it’s hard to believe September has come and gone but pretty soon, if the Lord tarries I’ll be saying Happy 2017. Let’s take our Bibles if we could and open them to the book of Romans, chapter 13 and verses 3-4. We’re continuing our study, coming near the end of it (I know I’ve said that for the last 8 weeks, but there is an end in sight), The Bible and Voting. Everybody is talking about elections, politics, polls, pundits, and I’m always a little bit frustrated when I see all the clamor because I’ve felt for a long time that the Bible has so much to say on the things people are talking about. And that’s sort of been the heart of this series. It’s what I would call a topical study looking at Bible positions on political issues so that when we vote in this election (or any election) we have the mind of God; we have a framework of values that we can use to cast ballots for people.
We’ve looked at economic issues, about ten of them. We went from there into social issues, we looked at several of those, about eight of them. And coming near the end here we’ve looked at foreign affairs issues; these may be the most debated today, as the United States of America and the stewardship that we’re given through the ballot box interacts with other nations. What does the Word of God say about foreign affairs issues? God has a great deal to say about one-world government, as we have seen. Many people today would like to have a one-world government. The Bible has a lot to say as we have talked about the reality of borders, national borders, and the morality of enforcing those borders. The Bible has a great deal to say about support for the nation of Israel.
And as we began looking last week, the Bible has a lot to say about this final issue that we’re considering which is called peace through strength. Will the candidate pursue a foreign policy of peace through strength. And when you get into this subject you get into something that has literally inundated our lives and this is the whole issue of terrorist activities; not just here at home but around the world. We’re reminded of terrorism constantly; it’s almost become a part and parcel of American life. We think of September 11th, we think of Fort Hood, we think of the Boston Marathon bomber, we think of what happened recently in Orlando and Chelsea, New York, and San Bernardino, and people just sort of engaging in acts of violence against seeming unarmed and innocent civilians.
Why is this happening? And if it is happening (which indeed it is) does the Bible actually address this directly or indirectly. And as I have been thinking about this I am convinced that the Bible has so much to say on this subject of terrorism. There is the outline that we’re following, we won’t get through all of that today, we got through parts 1 and 2 last time, maybe if God allows it we’ll get through parts 3 and 4 this morning. And then I’m planning on (at least this is the intent of my heart) to wrap up the series next week as we look at Roman numerals V and VI, terrorism’s false causes, Terrorism’s true causes: What works against terrorism, What does not work against terrorism. Can a government go too far in deterring terrorist activities. And are there actually legitimate methods that God calls any nation/state to exercise when seeking to prevent, inhibit terrorist activity?
We looked last time at some false causes; you see, if you don’t have the light of the Scripture and you see a horrible event take place, where innocent lives are taken, you have to blame that on something. And if you won’t blame it on the wickedness of the human heart, and the Bible (as we saw) teaches the inherent wickedness of the human heart, you have to come up with some kind of explanation. And typically what happens in the mind of the non-Biblicist, the secularist, is they want to blame it on something external, outside the human heart. We would call this an environmental cause, an exterior cause, because after all, at the end of the day we really can’t be that bad as people so something must have caused this outside of our humanity.
So people, as we saw last week have a tendency to blame these kind of events on poverty, sometimes a lack of education, and that’s why I’ve been sharing with you some of the statistics about terrorists; most people don’t know this but those involved in Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan were in the upper middle class and were largely college educated with a strong bias toward the natural sciences and engineering. It doesn’t sound to me like it’s the poverty stricken crowd that doesn’t have access to education that’s involved in terrorist activities. In fact, when you get into this you’ll see many times it’s the exact opposite. Bin Laden, as we mentioned, was a multimillionaire at the time of his terrorist activities. Other people, as we saw, want to blame it all on the United States; somehow if anything is wrong in the world it’s the fault of the United States. They like to blame it on what they would call American Imperialism, maybe they say we overreacted to 911 by invading Iraq and Afghanistan.
And as we saw last time the basic problem with this is terrorism goes all the way back to the administration of Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson, before America even became a real super power that we know it as today was struggling with this issue of terrorism in what is called the Barbary Pirates. And he did not understand why these people kept engaging in unprovoked attacks against innocent Americans constantly. And he actually purchased and began to read a copy of the Koran, not to build America on an Islamic foundation, that’s what the historical revisionists will tell you, it’s not true, he was trying to analyze what is going on in the minds of these people that propels them to engage in one unprovoked attack after another against us when we haven’t done anything against them. So it’s difficult to blame all of these things on poverty, a lack of education, American imperialism, but you see, if you don’t have depravity in your thinking these are the typical explanations that the secularist comes up with.
Well then, what are the true causes of terrorist activity? There are two; the first is… and these two factors must come together in concert, if you have these two factors coming together in concert you have the recipe for terrorism. The first is something that has contaminated every member of the human race. If you are alive and breathing today you have been contaminated by something called human depravity. What that simply means is Adam’s sin transmitted to all individuals, the only exception (of course) is Jesus Christ, which is why the virgin birth was so significant but other than the miraculous virgin birth of Christ every human being has been contaminated by a sin nature. My sin does not make me a sinner; rather I sin because I already am a sinner. I never had to learn how to sin; I was never given a class on how to rebel against God, it comes to me quite naturally because of human depravity.
And what you need to understand is human depravity is so severe that it has affected or it has contaminated the condition of the heart. This is why God, very early on in human history, in Genesis 8:21 said, “…the intent of man’s” what? “heart is evil from his youth.” Jesus, in Mark 7:20-23, we talked about this passage last time, as Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, who were criticizing His disciples for eating or consuming necessary nourishment on the Sabbath, Jesus makes a tremendous statement to them in response that deals with the root of man’s problem. Jesus said, “‘That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.  For from within,” notice the repetition here, “from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts,” look at that next one there, “murders,” you might even substitute the word “terrorism” into that language, “adulteries,  deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.  All these evil things proceed from” where? “from within and defile the man.”
Your average person on the news, trying to analyze terrorist activity almost never attributes this as a cause, looking to the outside of a person rather than the inside of a person. The fact of the matter is, I’m a terrorist already and so are you; it’s the natural hate and condition of the human heart. But you see, there is something else that must go into the mix in order to germinate and to create and to harbor terrorist thinking; that sin nature which already exists within us must come into contact with an ideology of some sort that gives people freedom to vent their sin nature.
And this is why the teaching of the Word of God is so significant; this is why (contrary to what you hear today) America’s Founding Fathers were so adamant about the teaching of the Scripture, particularly in the public schools. They understood that as this depraved human heart came into contact with the Word of God there would be a natural deterrent against the violence that already exists in people. And this would be a principal ingredient in what we would call self-control. And our Founding Fathers reasoned that if people were self-controlled through the Ten Commandments and the power of the Scripture and the Holy Spirit and the new nature than an all-encompassing police state to keep people in check would not be necessary. And this is the only way America could ever work with our concept of limited government.
And isn’t it interesting that today the government keeps getting larger and larger and larger and expanding into almost every area of our lives. Why is that? Because we don’t have self-control any more. Why don’t we have self-control? Because we don’t have the light of the Scripture which is really the only buffer against a depraved heart.
This is not some teaching that I engineered; this goes back to America’s thinking from its earliest days. Notice this quote from Robert Charles Winthrop who was the Speaker of the House from 1847 to 1849. I won’t read you the whole quote but he says, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.” [Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1852), 172. Speech to the Massachusetts Bible Society (1849-05-28).] He gave this in a speech to the Massachusetts Bible Society. Think about that, a leading politician, not just a leading politician but somebody who held a key position in American government speaking at a Bible Society and telling these people that were distributing the Bible thumbs up, keep it up, good work, because as long as the Word of God is going out people have self-control and our experiment in limited government is going to work.
How we have drifted from this formula of freedom that our Founding Fathers were so wise to give us. What happens instead, if your sin nature comes in contact with a different ideology, something that gives your sin nature permission to do what it already wants to do? Something that tells people that the murder of innocent civilians is actually a good thing, that is going to bring about something better, worldwide conquest. It’s interesting to me that some of the most rabid terrorists in our day, even before getting into the subject of Islam, were controlled by a Marxist ideology. You think of people like Bernadine Dorn, Bill Ayers, who became prominent in American thinking around 2008, since it was exposed that they were very close affiliates with the current President of the United States. They were involved in something called the Weather Underground. Well, what is that? It was people that were so against the Vietnam War that they actually went to war against innocent people in America. These are people that actually set off bombs in the Pentagon, police headquarters in a local city; many other examples could be cited.
Why did they do it? It wasn’t because their sin nature, which is already murderous, was under the control of the Bible, I’ll tell you that much. They came into contact with an ideology that gave their sin nature permission to act; in the case of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, it was the doctrine of Marxism. When a sin nature comes in contact with something that gives the sin nature permission to vent you have the formula, if you will, you have the ingredients of a terrorist.
And put yourself in the position of a non-Christian, someone who is unsaved, someone that knows nothing about the Bible or assigns it very little value at all, and suddenly they come into contact with something that seems so right; it seems so reasonable. Why does it seem reasonable? Because it’s telling me to do what I already want to do anyway; it’s just sort of masqueraded in the form of pursuing a higher good. Think how that would be so intoxicating, particularly if it comes into the mind of a very young person from someone with a PhD after their name in a college or a university. Think how right it would seem to someone very young that really hasn’t had a lot of life experiences yet to evaluate right from wrong.
The book of Proverbs, chapter 14 and verse 12 tells us very clearly that “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is” what? “… death.” One of the reasons I am confident as I stand here today that the Bible is the Word of God is because this book is always telling me to do something or not do something that I naturally want to do. I mean, the things I don’t want to do the Bible says do it; the things I naturally want to do the Bible says don’t do that. It’s almost as if it’s a perfect buffer or a check and balance against my depraved heart. You sort of get the idea as you read this book that God knows my heart pretty well and He’s given me order for my life that will bring fulfillment and fruitfulness and He tells me to stay away from certain things. And isn’t it interesting that the very things I do I’m told not to do. The very things I think I’m told to stay away from.
But what if the opposite were true? What if all of a sudden you come into contact with a philosophy or an ideology that gives you the exact opposite, lets your sin nature vent itself so a radical ideology in a sinful heart becomes the ingredient through which terrorist activity comes forth. I’ve given you several citations from the Koran last week but one of them that stands out is Surah, which means chapter, Surah 8:12, “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” A system that appeals to the sin nature, a system of thought that tells the sin nature to do and to perform murder in the name of some sort of higher good in a heart that already wants to do those things anyway. Or a system of thought that gives me what I would call permission to impose Caliphate. What is Caliphate? Caliphate is quite similar to the Marxist idea of a one-world system where the wealth is redistributed and everything is fair at the end of the day. Caliphate is kind of an analogue to that, it’s the idea of a global imposition around the word of Allah’s will legally in what is called Sharia law. And those who pursue, whether it’s the Marxist end game or the Islamic end game, those that are committed to this honestly believe that they are fulfilling something good.
It reminds me very much of the words of Jesus Christ that He gave to the apostles as they were about to leave the Upper Room. He said the time will come when people will come against you, people will in fact kill you thinking that they’re doing God a service. It is deception and blindness at the highest level when someone is led to believe the destruction of innocent life is somehow something that is God’s service in so doing. We underestimate how blind we can be when an ideology of some sort comes into contact with a depraved heart.
This comes from Yoram Ettinger, a retired ambassador from Israel, and he is talking about what is being taught and what is actually being read as I speak in Iranian school textbooks (Iran, of course, being a Shite Muslim theocracy). What are they learning? Are they learning grammar? I’m sure they are to some extent. I grew up with the old Janet and Mark stories. What are they growing up with? Ettinger writes, “Iranian school textbooks, such as The Qur’an and Life (Grade 12, p. 125) prepare Iranian children for the Ayatollahs’ sublime goal: the apocalyptic, horrifying, millenarian, military battle against the USA and other” here’s some quotes, “‘arrogant oppressors of the world,’” this is why people are trying to blame terrorism on the United States; it’s part of a world view, “which are ostensibly led by ‘idolatrous devils.’ While the ‘savior’ – the infallible, immortal, divinely ordained and eventual global leader, the Mahdi – has not surfaced yet, Iranian children are taught that the battle is already raging throughout the world, awaiting their sacrifice. School textbooks of Western democracies are the most authentic reflection of peoples’ values and worldview. School textbooks of tyrannies are the most authentic reflection of the nature and mission of the regimes.” He’s saying you don’t evaluate countries based on the speeches of their statesmen and politicians, you look at what they’re teaching their children. “Iranian school textbooks reflect the strategy and tactics of the Ayatollahs, much more authentically than speeches, interviews, diplomatic statements and conversations conducted by President Rouhani” who is current leader of Iran, “and his Foreign Minister Zarif.” [Yoram Ettinger, “Iran’s School Textbooks‒Can Congress Afford to Ignore It?,” online: http://theettingerreport.com/Iran-and-MidEast/Iran-s-School-Textbooks-%E2%80%93-can-Congress-afford-to-i.aspx, May 29, 2015, accessed 30 May 2015.]
What is happening around the world? Why is there this increase in terrorist activity? It’s the depraved nature coming into contact with an ideology that gives the depraved nature free license to do what it already wants to do, exactly the opposite of what our Founding Fathers wanted, where they saw the Bible as the last bulwark between us and tyranny, because the Bible is the last vestige of hope that people have for controlling themselves—self-government. If self-government is not a reality in the mind of a person then an all-encompassing government is always the next step.
That’s why there is a war, beloved, on the Bible. Why doesn’t Dan Rather run Easter specials against William Shakespeare? I mean, why are they always attacking the Bible? Why are they always attacking the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Why is it that the Bible is the only book that’s thrown out of the school? There’s a reason for that; if your end game is a big government, because that’s your world view, you’ve got to get out of the way of this book that calls for limited government. There is a political ideology at work in these attacks against the Scripture. You may have heard of the Explanatory Memorandum; an Explanatory Memorandum of the strategic goal for the group in North America published in 1991, what is this Explanatory Memorandum? It’s created by a terrorist group called the Muslim Brotherhood; it’s the master plan discovered by the FBI in a 2004 raid on a safe house in Annandale, Virginia. The document (it’s actually a legal document), the document became key evidence in The Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial in 2008.
When I quote this memorandum I’m quoting from something that was actually admitted as evidence in a trial in a court of law. This is not fiction, it says in this document, among many other things, that the “Muslim Brotherhood must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilizations from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion” he’s talking there about Islam, Allah, “God’s religion is made victorious over all religions.” They’ve spelled out what they’re doing. You know, as Westerns we look at this and we say it couldn’t be true.
Let me tell you, one of the greatest mistakes we have ever made in the history of mankind, we have not taken people at their word because there was a two volume set published some decades back, around the 1920’s, called Mein Kampf, written by somebody that most people has written off, the gentleman that wrote this, Adolf Hitler, was not just the Furor, just a crazy person rotting away in a jail and he meticulously identified and explained what he was going to do, how he was going to take over Germany, how he was going to persecute the Jewish people, someone, a young man, that had bought into a radical ideology, in this case known as Nazism. Think how different human history would be if somebody had given that young man the gospel, the Bible.
What if this young man had become infatuated, not with the doctrines of evolution and Nazism and Jew hatred but he had turned to the Bible and he saw it as a check on his sin nature? What if that happened in 1920? Think of the countless lives that could have been spared simply through the power of the gospel. For whatever reason the gospel, I don’t know whose fault it is, whether it’s his fault or evangelists fault or whatever, I’m not here to ascribe blame but the dominant ideology in young Adolf Hitler’s life was not the gospel, it was not the Bible, it was this patriot and insanity germinating in the mind of a very young person, probably seeming right at first since it cooperated so consistently with what his hate-filled heart already wanted to do. And thus he writes this two volume set, Mein Kampf, he explains exactly what he’s going to do.
And whoever took that seriously, those writings? And yet it was a blueprint. This document that I’m quoting from here, people will write this off, it is a blueprint. Think of the ideology of Marxism, a tract, a treatise, a set of ideas, and think of the mayhem and the trouble and the countless lives that have been lost all over the world because of this little tiny tract written by Karl Marx.
You see the great problem in human history is we simply don’t believe it could ever happen and yet Jesus, going back to Mark 7, is saying it can happen, it will happen, look at the state of your heart. That’s why the book of Proverbs talks openly about “Guard your heart with all diligence,” why? “because from it proceed the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23] What about O. J. Simpson? What if he had… when he was filled with murderous rage what if he had guarded his heart with all diligence and simply allowed the light of the Word of God to be a bulwark against his murderous thoughts. Think about how his destiny would be different. Think about how Hitler’s destiny, the destiny of the world would be different. Think about your destiny; are you guarding “your heart with all diligence,” understanding that from the heart proceed the great issues of life. May God help us to understand these things.
Think about how Iran would be different. I used this slide last week, that upper slide is what Iran was like prior to 1979, what you would call a modern country, modern dress, modern education, women allowed to pursue vocations and education of their choice. And look at how everything shifted to what it is today; look at the burkas, look at the oppression. God cannot be involved in that oppression because God, Jesus, has come into the world to give life and life to the what? To the full. You’re telling me God is involved in a woman in the heat of the day draped in a burka where the only thing you can ever see is the slit of her eyes, perhaps to cover up the bruises of her husband who has permission to physically abuse her, walking five, ten, fifteen feet behind him everywhere he goes? You’re telling me that’s the light of God; that’s not the light of God, that is the devil, that is bondage that Satan wants to bring the world into.
That’s what happened in Iran. Do you realize that Iran, prior to 1979, when the Shah was deposed and replaced by the Ayatollah, do you understand that prior to that point in time that Iran was an ally of the United States of America, an ally of the nation of Israel? But people bought into this argument that the Shah is bad, we’re not going to defend the Shah, he’s a human rights violator. People want to talk about the lesser of two evils, here’s the lesser of two evils. Who do you want, the Shah or what replaced it? I guess I’ll take the Shah. But a whole culture in our very own lifetime shifted. Why couldn’t it happen in the United States of America? Why is it that we’re so slow to believe that it could actually transpire on our own shores?
So you’ve got two things coming together in concert, you’ve got two things coming together in harmony; you’ve got a depraved human heart and you have a radical ideology. Well then once it germinates in the heart of a person how do you stop it exactly? By the time it germinates it’s too late to really share the gospel; of course, I want to be careful in that because Paul says today is the day of salvation, God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Of course the change of the human heart and the gospel, of course, is the greatest bulwark against terrorism that we have, but what if this ideology takes off and begins to affect countless people, and the gospel is never given? What do you do then? In fact, the Bible, I believe, has the solution to that.
That’s why I had you turn to Romans 13:3-4, but before we get to Romans 13:3-4 let me tell you what does not work. The first thing that does not work in deterring terrorism is military reduction. There are a great many people out there that will say well if we set a good example then they’ll follow suit; if we reduce our military they will reduce theirs and world peace will quickly happen.
Let me quote the Wall Street Journal, if I could. “More ominously Mr. Obama’s budget has an overall defense spending of falling sharply in the future years” it gives the numbers [– to $614 billion in 2011, and staying more or less flat for a half decade.] “This means the relatively boost to the economy and especially to domestic priorities, defense spending is earmarked to decline.” That’s the key word. “…defense spending is earmarked to decline.” This is an old article, by the way, this goes back to 2009. The Wall Street Journal says this: “ The danger is that Mr. Obama may be signaling a return to the defense mistakes of the 1990s. Bill Clinton slashed defense spending to 3% of GDP in 2000, from 4.8% in 1992. We learned on 9/11 that 3% isn’t nearly enough to maintain our commitments and fight a war on terror.”
[“More ominously, Mr. Obama’s budget has overall defense spending falling sharply starting in future years — to $614 billion in 2011, and staying more or less flat for a half decade. This means that relative both to the economy and especially to domestic priorities, defense spending is earmarked to decline. Some of this assumes less spending on Iraq, which is realistic, but it also has to take account of Mr. Obama’s surge in Afghanistan. That war won’t be cheap either. The danger is that Mr. Obama may be signaling a return to the defense mistakes of the 1990s. Bill Clinton slashed defense spending to 3% of GDP in 2000, from 4.8% in 1992. We learned on 9/11 that 3% isn’t nearly enough to maintain our commitments and fight a war on terror — and President Bush spent his two terms getting back to more realistic outlays for a global superpower. American defense needs are, if anything, even more daunting today. Given challenges in the Mideast and new dangers from Iran, an erratic Russia, a rising China, and potential threats in outer space and cyberspace, the U.S. should be in the midst of a concerted military modernization. Mr. Obama’s budget isn’t adequate to meet those challenges. [By The Wall St. Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123595811964905929.html. Posted March 2, 2009]
If military reduction was some sort of panacea of cure to deterring terrorism 9/11 would have never happened. That’s what the Wall Street Journal is saying because prior to 9/11 the defense spending in the United States of America decreased. Let me tell you what also doesn’t work. Appeasement! What is appeasement? Go back to your school days, in elementary school, Jr. High School, High School, where the bully, someone bigger than you, says I want your milk money, or your lunch money, half of it every Thursday. And because he’s bigger than you and more powerful than you, you appease, you give in to a demand. That’s what appeasement means. Is that going to satisfy the bully? We all know how that’s going to end. He comes back the next day and he says I want all of your lunch money for Thursday, and he’s going to come back after that and say I want all lunch money for all five days of the week.
We all know instinctively that given human depravity that appeasement, acquiescing constantly to the demands of people doesn’t create peace and harmony; it destabilizes, does it not? It emboldens the appetite for more aggressive behavior. We should have learned this, should we not have, with this individual, Neville Chamberlain, who did exactly that with Adolf Hitler. It was an exercise in appeasement; he came back to his home town and he said we now have peace in our times because I have the Furor’s signature on this document. Of course he was heralded as a man of peace. And no sooner had the ink dried than Adolf Hitler violated the agreement, violated everything he said he was going to do and became more and more embolden and more and more territorial. As it’s been said the great lesson from history is we don’t learn from what? From history, we just act like these lessons that have come before us never happened, and yet the history books, I believe, are a very good teacher.
Wayne Grudem, in his book that I’m quoting from here, which I recommend to you, Politics According to the Bible, he has a whole chapter here on national defense. He writes this: “The only method that has shown any success,” or “that shows any promise of success in stopping them” that is terrorism, “is the use of superior force by military and police forces within each nation so that these hardened supporters can be captured or killed before they are able to carry out an attack.” Lawrence writes in his book, entitled Looming Powers, “Recounts in various places how Nasser and Sadat in Egypt and the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia attempted to appease terrorist elements in their own countries with various concessions and at various times but without any success. There is not a historical example where appeasement in the face of terrorism has worked.”
Well, I know what we’re going to do, we’re going to get into a dialogue; dialogue meaning I’m going to convince you to come over my direction. And this is the great error of western thought, where we think that we can talk people out of things. We do that every day, don’t we, in bargaining. Let me ask you something: How do you even know that the person you’re dialoging with is telling you the truth when their very own religious documents give them permission to lie, called taqiyya. They’re not bound by the same set of principles and ethics and codes you’re bound by. Why do we assume that they are? Because we really don’t understand the nature of what is happening. We do not understand our depravity.
Wayne Grudem writes, “The tendency towards evil becomes so powerful that those people cannot be reached by reason and negotiation and compromise that can only be restrained by superior power of a just government.” Well, I know what we’ll do… and by the way, today when you criticize Islam you’re automatically looked at as a racist; you’re a hater. I do not hate Muslims; neither should you. What I hate is a religion and an ideology which is holding them in bondage and is a threat to the safety of my friends and my family. That’s what I hate; I don’t hate people, what I do is I love people but I see what they are under and I pray for the day of their deliverance. And that’s why quoting respected leaders, like Winston Churchill are very important. You know, there’s a reason why I have all these dark circles under my eyes when I come in here; when I research for a sermon I, when I use quotes I don’t get them off social media. I might become aware of them on social media but I want to know is this an actual quote and I will literally spend hours simply tracking down quotes to make sure that they are authentic. What I’m reading to you here is authentic. You can read about it yourself in a book that Winston Churchill wrote in 1899, it’s available online. The title of it is… the full title is The Real War, the subtitle is The Historical Account of the Conquest of the Sudan.
Notice what Winston Churchill… most people would look at Winston Churchill as one of the greatest leaders of all time; notice what he wrote in his book. “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism,” now there he’s speaking of Islam as it existed in his day, “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism_lays on its votaries!” Exclamation point. “Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog,” isn’t it interesting that when you criticize Islam, just like when you criticize the same sex movement today they throw the word phobia at you, you’re a homophobe, you an Islamophobe? Why do they do that? Because “phobia” means something; a phobia is an irrational hatred. When they use the word “phobia” they are assigning to you mental instability; that’s why they use that type of vernacular. The only reason you oppose Islam or oppose homosexuality is because of irrational thought.
It’s very interesting to me that Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world, took the word phobia, which we throw around all the time, and put it right back at Islam, that’s the phobia. Once that enters the mind of a person it’s like hydrophobia in a dog; it is the confluence of a radical ideology coming in contact with the sin nature as that radical ideology gives the sin nature permission for what it wants to do. He goes on here and he’s so direct about Muslims that I’m not even going to read what he says; you can go to our website and read the rest of the quote there on your own. How do you appease somebody like that? How do you appease somebody that’s like hydrophobia in a dog? You’re not dealing any longer with rational thought, rational bargaining, rational give and take. This is why in the history of the world appeasement has never worked.
Well, I know what we’ll do, we’ll enter into a treaty. What is a treaty? A treaty is like a binding arrangement, if you will, between two nations, they’ll keep their end of the bargain, we will keep our end of the bargain. Notice once again this citation from the Wall Street Journal article entitled The Disarmament Illusion, it says this, quote: “In the bitter decades of the cold war we learned that we had heard that the only countries that abide by disbarment treaties are those who want to be disarmed.” The only people that abide by the treaties are the people that believe in the nature of the treaty itself. And the person that you’re dealing with is probably telling you what you want to hear but given permission to lie, to deceive, they know, just like Hitler with Neville Chamberlain, they’re not going to keep a single word of it. Treaties, as well intentioned as they are, do not accurately capture the whole concept of human depravity and a radical ideology.
Well, I know what we will do, we will subsidize, we’ll just give them money. Will giving the bully at school your lunch money ever work? Why do we think that Iran, or whoever, can be pacified simply by handing more money to them. You might have followed the Iran Nuclear Deal with the United States involving untold billions of dollars, leaving the United States into Iran and yet today as I speak Iran is not decelerating their nuclear program, they are accelerating their nuclear program as they get closer and closer and closer to joining the nuclear club, what we call the nuclear finish line.
I know what we’ll do, we’ll just go around the world and apologize to everybody. We will bow and we will scrape before foreign dignitaries because of America’s past sins, and there are some, and once they see our good-hearted nature they will being to accept us. Can I ask you a simple question: after two years of doing this, from 2008-2010, why then did the Arab Spring take place, where in the Arab Spring one moderate Islamic government after another was toppled and replaced with something far more radical. If apology tours are that effective and successful we wouldn’t have the Arab Spring, would we, where we have statements like this: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet Islam.
After four years of saying things like this why did Benghazi happen? Do you realize what happened in Benghazi, September 11th, that’s an interesting date, they staged their attack on the American embassy on September 11, 2012. It was sort of like a reunion in their minds. What happened in Benghazi? Four Americans died, maybe more. The American ambassador, Ambassador Stevens, died. It was an attack on the American Embassy; something of that nature has not happened to the United States of America since the Iranian crisis, hostage crisis, where Americans were held against their will for 444 days, going back several decades. If apology tours worked we wouldn’t have Benghazi; we wouldn’t have the Arab Spring.
And as you move into this mindset of appeasement, dialogue, treaties, although the vernacular always sounds good, we’re bringing peace to the world, the exact opposite happens; you have destabilization. The fact of the matter, whether we understand it or not, whether we believe it or not is the world today is more dangerous and it’s a more dangerous place than it has ever been, because of our misunderstanding of radical ideologies coming into contact with the depraved human heart.
Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes said it very nicely. Solomon (of course other than Christ), being the wisest man that ever lived, he said, “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to vent evil.” [Ecclesiastes 8:11] There’s no fear, there’s no fear of retribution, there’s no fear of retaliation and so the sin nature says I’m going to allow it to vent itself, vent myself more and more and more because after all, nothing negative, in terms of a consequence will ever happen to me. It’s like dealing with a spoiled child in your household, and the child acts up and you have to as a parent stand your ground because one of these days that 10 year old is going to be an 18 year old, and if you can’t control him at age 10 what in the world are you going to do at age 18? And so you issue, out of love, a consequence for bad behavior and if you don’t follow through with that consequence, whatever it is, the child’s nature does not improve; it becomes more and more embolden and more and more depraved. This is common sense, and yet for whatever reason common sense no longer applies in the United States of America when dealing in this subject of international relations.
Let me take you back to the Roger Winthrop quote; what did he say, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; … either by the Bible, [the Word of God] or by the bayonet.” [Robert Winthrop, Addresses and Speeches on Various Occasions (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1852), 172. Speech to the Massachusetts Bible Society (1849-05-28).]
So that takes us now to number 4, how do you control terrorism? All these other things I’ve described here really don’t seem to be working anymore. May I just say to you that God has a solution to this: God, who has placed us in this world of fallen human beings and random violence understanding what depravity is has actually built into the human race preservatives, things that will curb the sin nature if faithfully implemented. That is the whole logic for the Noahic Covenant, the beginning of human government. Why do we need a Noahic Covenant?
Have you read lately what the flood world was like? The pre-deluge world? Have you read Genesis 6:11, which says violence spread throughout the whole world. [Genesis 6:11, “Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.”] By the way, an interesting side for this, no extra charge, do you know what the Hebrew word for violence is? Hamas, it’s Semitic, derived from the same root that Hamas, a terrorist organization employs. And yet because as Americans we know so little about the Middle East and we know so little about Semitic languages we take their word for it when they want peace, that’s what they tell us anyway. How could a group want peace when their name is violence? You want peace but you call yourself violence…, something’s wrong here.
So to prevent the world from becoming what it was like in the pre flood world, God in the post flood world establishes the institution of human government and God says this: “Whoever sheds man’s blood,” notice this, “by man,” God is saying here I’m not going to do it directly, I’m going to do it through an institution that I’m giving to the human race called the institution of human government, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed….” Why would God care about man? Because man, as the rest of that verse says, for man, as the rest of that verse says, is made “in the image of” who? “God.” [Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.”]
When somebody engages in an unprovoked deliberate attack against an innocent human being and spills their blood, that is an offense against God Himself because there has been an attack on a being, whether they’re saved or unsaved it’s immaterial or irrelevant, there has been an attack on a being that has value because he has status as an image bearer. Even in our fallen state isn’t it interesting that God cares about humanity and wants to preserve humanity because all of us, even in our fallen state, bear His image. That is the whole logic of human government.
You say well, that’s Old Testament, that doesn’t apply today. Oh my goodness, do we not understand the difference between the Mosaic Covenant, which does not apply today and the Noahic Covenant which does apply today? Yes, the Mosaic Covenant given at Sinai doesn’t apply today because that was given only to which nation? Israel. Genesis 9, by contrast was given to the entire human race before Israel ever existed. That’s why the Noahic Covenant applies today.
Let me ask you a question: When you look out in the midst of a rain storm have you ever seen a rainbow? That’s evidence that the Noahic Covenant is still in effect; it is a deliberate preservative that God has given to the human race, the power of the state, it’s reflected in Paul’s writings. That’s why I had you turn to Romans 13 so we’re just getting to the sermon now. “For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;  for it is a minister of God… [to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.]”
Isn’t it interesting that people in government are called “ministers of God”? Do you look at government that way. Why are they called “ministers of God”? I thought a minister was a guy that stood behind a pulpit and preached to the choir. They are called “ministers of God” whether they know it or not, because they are fulfilling the covenant that God gave with Noah which is a preservative or deterrent to widespread violence. People ask would you rather have a bad government or no government? And the answer to that for me is a no-brainer; I’d much rather have a bad government than no government because if there is no government the reality of your life would be Genesis 6:11. There would be widespread murder and looting and bloodshed and terrorism on a level that would be unprecedented. This is why God sent the flood.
I was driving through the streets of Los Angeles, fortunately not the day of the Los Angeles riots in 1992, but the day after; I was traveling from Orange County to Los Angeles, attending law school and I watched with my own eyes building that were once there destroyed. What happened in 1992 was the police could not get in to deter activity and people knew it; they knew that there was a window of time where they could commit whatever they wanted to commit and there would be no consequence. So what happened? Pillage, murder, destruction, violence for a season of time until the police could get control of that area. That is what Genesis 6 is talking about. That is what our world would be like on a daily basis without the institution of human government. If you do what is evil be afraid, for it does not bear the sword for nothing,  for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.”
Getting now, which I’m obviously not going to be able to cover, to the actual solution to terrorism. I told you what’s not the solution and yet God has actually given us answers to these things as we grow in our understanding of the preservatives that He has built into society and culture, which are there for our own good. This should shape how we think about these things; it should shape how we vote.
Of course the only solution to the depraved nature is the gospel. If you’re here today and you’ve never received the gospel our exhortation to you here at Sugar Land Bible Church is to trust for the safekeeping of your soul and your eternity in the promises of Jesus Christ. Jesus has done all the hard work, we don’t labor for our salvation, we rest by faith in what He has done. If it’s something you have never done you can do it right now as I’m speaking. The ultimate solution to terrorism is not necessarily government; government can come in after the fact but it is a changed nature which you only receive through personal faith in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit enters you. Trust in Christ now, even as I speak, and if it’s something you want more information on I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray.
Father, we’re grateful that You have given us a book that doesn’t just teach us how to get to heaven but it tells us what life should be like here in our fallenness; You have given us so many provisions, including the institution of human government which is, other than the gospel, the last full work against terrorist activity. Help us to grow in our understanding of these things, not from a left/right point of view, not from a Republican/Democrat point of view but from a biblical point of view. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen.