Home, Church, and State—God’s Good Gifts and Satan’s Evil Attacks
I believe in conspiracy theories. I think you should too, if you are a Bible believer. To be clear, I believe in one giant conspiracy theory standing behind every example of godlessness, wickedness, chaos, fear, and division in the world today. A conspiracy theory can’t survive without a description of the conspirator behind the scenes pulling the strings. I believe in one conspirator behind all of these things, and it isn’t a son of Adam. That might disappoint some, who immediately point the finger at one man, or one group, or one political party. To the disappointed I would say, the Bible will lead you to a clarity the counterfeit theories of the world could never provide. This is what the church and the world needs in this hour. We need a biblical analysis of what we are seeing, feeling, and experiencing together in this great national unrest.
I can’t quite remember who said it or wrote it first, but there is a helpful way to understand what is going on in our world today in the systems or institutions God designed according to the Bible. I’ve heard it said there are three primary institutions: the home, the Church, and the state. God designed and ordered each of these in the Scriptures and declared them to be under His control. His design includes authority structures and how man is to relate to each of them based upon his relationship to each one in any given moment and under various circumstances. Moreover, God gave each of them a means of restraining or correcting evil/sin, which is the part that I believe can be of the most help to us in these days.
We need a biblical analysis of what we are seeing, feeling, and experiencing together in this great national unrest.
He gave the home the rod to be used in loving, corrective, restorative, and grace filled discipline (while the biblical term “rod” may sound abusive in of itself to those unfamiliar with the Bible, that connotation is not reflective of God’s good and loving design, but rather another example of Satan’s effort to pervert and destroy that design. True discipline within the home is never abusive, nor administered in a sinful way when it is biblical). Proverbs 22:15, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.”
He gave the Church the keys, which represent the authority and responsibility of the local church to administer loving, corrective, restorative, and grace filled discipline. Matthew 16:19, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
He gave the state the sword in order to restrain and punish evil by holding those who exhibit it responsible and punishing them as ministers of God. Romans 13:4, “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
If you have been keeping score at home over the course of the last couple of generations then you would agree that each of these has been undermined and done so with a seemingly calculated precision. Satan, the chief conspirator, has been working through the world to break down the first institution of the home and to remove the rod, effectively removing the restraints of evil and sin designed to be used during the formative years of children born into sin.
This initial breakdown of the home has made it much easier, and even culturally palatable to move on to the second institution. We have seen Satan working through the world to oppose the church in general, rejecting her authority (the Bible), and undermining what she teaches, while diminishing, and now seemingly destroying her standing and role in society. Sadly, instead of strongly rejecting the work of Satan in this area, and the encroachment of the world into the church, we have seen churches across the country respond by abandoning God’s design for the church, including the use of the keys. What is the result? Well, predictably, it has produced churches filled with unregenerate members free to sin without restraint.
Now, in the very days in which we are living, we are watching, for the first time in this country, a significant attack by Satan on the third institution, and especially on its means of restraining and correcting evil through authority structures like the police. Granted, this institution, unlike the church, is at times led by godless, and even wicked men. Those men, however, do not seem to be at the heart of the collective national focus at this time. As the world rises up in desperate rage against the police departments of our world in a broader sense, calling out for their defunding and in some cases abolishment, we are seeing the work of the great conspirator. Make no mistake, Satan’s aim is to ensure sin rules the day, and to remove any and all obstacles to it, while encouraging men, women, and children to reject God and embrace their depravity.
Satan is the great deceiver, tempter, murderer, hinderer, accuser, and instigator that stands behind and within the hatred and chaos (John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 1 John 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18, Revelation 12:10, John 13:2). The gospel shines an inescapable light upon the one who seeks to destroy further, that which has been undone through the fall. That light alone uncovers his darkness like a roach in the middle of the night, while also revealing his final end. Romans 16:20, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”
May we step back and evaluate, not only how we can love our neighbors, pursue righteousness, and maintain the unity of the Spirit Christ has already won for us (Ephesians 4:3), but may we also refuse to ignore the great conspirator and the damage he has done and is doing now before our eyes. Perhaps this is the time to repent of the ways in which we may have personally contributed to the breakdown of these institutions? May we work, by God’s grace, and in faith, arm in arm, with brothers and sisters in Christ of every ethnicity and color to restore and enjoy God’s good design for these institutions as we wait for His return and the final redemption that awaits the church.