What is The Ecclesia?
Is It A Church? Is It A Cult? Is It Important?
Part Two of Three
"...the house (i.e. domain) of God, which is the ecclesia of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (I Timothy 3:15)
Churches are proving grounds for religious tricksters, con artists and politicians. Churches thrive on greed and superstition. They prey upon the gullible. CHURCH IS THE GREAT AMERICAN IDOL, AND CHURCHGOERS ARE IDOLATERS.
Some of us have suspected, for a long time, that something was terribly wrong with the church system. Now I understand why I felt uneasy about it.
The answer has to do with the word "church" itself. "Church" is the English word used (by the churches) to replace the Greek word "ECCLESIA," in the English Bible versions. But "ecclesia" means something altogether different from "church." Somewhere, somehow, the wrong word was inserted and the right word was discarded -- hid under the rug.
Why was this done? How long has this error been with us? The answer is a study in logic and history.
THE PERVERSION BECAME THE NORM
The error has been with us long enough to spawn an entire culture. Modern Churchdom (not Christendom) is the product of this perversion.
Churches are natural outgrowths of a perverted society. They answer the needs of perverted people. On one hand, they facilitate superstitious, childish people... and on the other hand, they facilitate con men who want to exploit the market.
The typical preacher is nothing more than a salesman taking advantage of weak-minded people. Preachers are usually motivated by their own self-centered greed. Churches serve the preachers by providing a forum for their childish ambitions. I've personally been associated with many preachers. I understand them better than most. With few exceptions, they are religious con men, working angles to gain recognition and money.
Preachers are actors. The Charismatic Movement has helped to produce a flood of them. Churchgoers have come to expect nothing more than emotion and stage performance from churches. They are satisfied by entertainment, excitement, or scandal. They do NOT expect to be taught! They only want to sit and observe.
Churches have produced nothing practical. Churchgoers expect nothing practical from churches. Indeed, churches have achieved their goal -- to neutralize Christians!
CHURCHES HAVE SERVED AS SUBTERFUGE
A "church" is NOT an "ecclesia" -- as the English versions of the Bible attempt to say. The churches won't admit it, however. They prefer to just ignore the two words and avoid bringing any attention to them. Churchgoers get caught up in playing the game of church which dissipates and neutralizes them through useless rituals and countless activities like the ones illustrated on our cover [Editor's note: I think the drawing "Play the Game of Churches," shown later, was the original cover for this segment.]. Every week they repeat the ritual, feeling holy, never questioning anything, never discovering any more than they are programmed to know. The game captures and holds them in its sticky web of unity, herd pressure (pressure to conform), and superstition (fear of the unknown). They become slavish addicts who don't dare step out of line for fear of getting kicked out of the church herd (excommunication).
Ecclesias are different in important ways. Understanding these differences causes a profound change in your understanding of the Bible and your grasp of the gospel of the kingdom.
Getting a grasp of this important word may not be easy. Some commentaries prove to be little or no help because they condescend to the churches in equating "ecclesia" with "church." Obvious differences are glossed over.
In part one of this study, we defined "ecclesia." It is a Greek New Testament word meaning THE CALLED-OUT (ONES); THE CHOSEN; THE ELECT -- [EK = out; from; KALEO = call].
The word "church," as it appears in the English versions of The New Testament, is wrong. It gives a wrong impression. Nonetheless, "church" was used by the King James translators to replace "ecclesia." In every single case in the New Testament, "church" is the wrong word.
Some of the earliest English translators chose not to use the word "church" to translate "ecclesia" into English. Rather, they kept "ecclesia," or else they used the English word "congregation." The word "church," was later used to replace "ecclesia" for the purpose of justifying a different institution.
By 1611 (when the King James Version was published) the translators, and their public, had obviously become comfortable with the other institution -- and the other word: "church."
The "church" is a distinct religious system created to propagate religion and superstition under the guidance of the State. It does not fit the description of an ECCLESIA. An ecclesia is a political body of Christians, under Christ. It is free, self-governing, and is made up of families and communities working together under the Reign of Christ -- otherwise called "the Kingdom of Heaven."
The 1st-century Christians quickly learned that they had to get away from the churches (also called synagogues) because they stifled truth and freedom. They left the churches/synagogues to the Judaizers, and began forming ecclesias (wrongly called "churches" by the KJV translators). All that exciting activity in the New Testament was "ecclesia activity" -- not "church activity." Its purpose and impact was quite different from the false scenario painted by the churches. The excitement was not over a new church, but a new government.
The apostles and disciples were "called out" of the Roman/Jewish synagogue/church systems and brought back to the real world. In this process, ECCLESIAS (i.e., independent Christian communities) were formed. This was also called "coming out of Babylon."
RELIGION? ... OR GOVERNMENT?
The key to beginning to understand the difference between "a church" and "an ecclesia" is this: one has to do with religion, and the other has to do with government. Christ didn't set up a new religion! He set up a kingdom government! Thus, Christ's government system was immediately at war with the government systems of the world (i.e., the dragon of Revelation).
Jesus called his followers to withdraw themselves from the Roman/Jewish political systems (i.e., the beast system). He called them to form their own independent political systems based upon God's law and the patriarchal, family-type system which is God's true plan for civil government among men.
Does this ecclesia system of government relate to us today? Well, as Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun." The problems have not changed all that much. Man's tendency toward slavery is still a fact. Central governments are still basically the same in our day as they were in the first century. Central government is the proverbial Babylonian beast system, and we are still being "called out" of Babylon. We are still commanded to withdraw ourselves from the beast system.
But, the process is not easy, nor is it as quick as we would like. It requires a change in the public perspective. It requires that people lose their love of Babylon. As we begin to develop bona fide ECCLESIAS around the country, we will cause people to become more and more withdrawn and independent from the central government system of Babylon (Bush's New World Order). We will become less and less enslaved to it. But the first, and perhaps most important (and difficult), step is to convince people that they do not need "Big Brother."
The old brainwash of, "the Constitution is good, but the politicians are bad," MUST BE ABANDONED! The Constitution is what empowers the politicians to do what they do. The Constitution created a bad government. It's time the true patriots admit it, and stop their tacit support of the beast that they otherwise profess to hate. As Christ said, YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS! And as Paul said, YOU CANNOT SIT AT THE TABLE OF DEVILS AND THE TABLE OF GOD AT THE SAME TIME. So, following Gideon's example, we must throw down our idols (i.e., our worship of central government) and reform ourselves and our families, -- and thus, our communities, into free civil bodies. These individual, independent communities of free Christians are what the Greek Scriptures call "ECCLESIAS."
So, those of you who still cling to a hope that central government can save you -- guess again. You will eventually be forced to abandon that false hope and turn and look to Jesus for your leadership. This change of vision -- from believing in man, to believing in Christ -- is the change that gives us the capability to "see the Kingdom of God." In John 3:3, Jesus says, "Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Once we see that Chirst is our reigning king, we can no longer support the lawless systems of man which operate upon the principle of "milk the public for all it's worth, and destroy all opposition."
TEAR DOWN AND DON'T REBUILD
The concept of Christ's reign, and the ecclesia system, is not easily grasped by people who have lived most of their lives brainwashed to follow the churches' propaganda. It's not that truth is elusive. Rather, people just have a hard time letting go of the delusion. But, they must let go!
The process of changing one's mind about central government usually precipitates many questions. HOW DOES AN ECCLESIA WORK? WHAT IS ITS STRUCTURE? HOW, EXACTLY, IS IT DIFFERENT FROM CENRALIZED GOVERNMENT?
First, an admission. I am an iconoclast by definition. An iconoclast is a person who tears down icons. Icons are relics of worship; sacred cows, as it were, held in reverence by religion and religious people. An icon can be any sort of idol: a statue, a picture, a stained glass window in a church, a doctrine, an organization, a preacher, a government -- or anything that is idolized and worshipped.
People love icons. I tear them down. And, in doing so, I make people mad at me. I incur the wrath of those who love their icons (idols). But this is what I am called to do. This is what I do best.
CHURCH is an icon. So is CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. I'm tearing these icons down in the minds of Christians. I'm causing Christians to lose their loyalty to them. As central government, and the church system, is dethroned in your mind, you find yourself thinking like a free man. Next you start acting like a free man. You suddenly realize that, up till now, you had never really understood the meaning of freedom. The feeling is wonderful! As the Psalmist said, "Truly the light is sweet!" BUT, the first steps can be bitter. People tend to get upset with me for belittling their cherished icons.
Church is an icon that must be thrown down. However, it is only a diversionary tool designed to keep slaves from discovering the true nature of central government. Central government is the thing that has usurped the ecclesia of God. "Church" is only subterfuge. The direct problem is central government. Central government needs the church system to help keep it camouflaged. "Church" is a secondary problem, but one which must be addressed. It must fall! It is a necessary step to the final objective of dethroning central government.
Slavery minded people are quick to object to this. It takes time for their slavery mentality to wear down. We must not get discouraged by objections from new-comers. One of the objections I often hear from new-comers is: "Well, you can't just tear down our present government without replacing it with something. It is easy to tear down, but what do you propose to build in its place?"
Have you heard that one? It almost sounds sensible. But, the fact is, it simply doesn't apply to the subject of central government. When Babylon (central government) falls, should we replace it? I say no! Our ancestors failed to escape Babylon because as one central government fell, they replaced it with another, and another, and another. And, I submit that they replaced one failure with another failure -- over and over and over.
The menace was not removed in the past because, as one demon was cast out, another greater demon was being ushered in to take its place. It is like a person saying "We need to get rid of the prisons in our land." and another person replying, "Well, we can't just tear down the prisons without replacing them with something!" Do you see the point? A prison is a prison -- and prisons are bad. There are no good prisons. Why replace a prison system with another prison system when prisons are condemned by God?
When you cut out cancer, you don't replace it with something similar -- as if the cancer had been filling a needed position. It is easy to see that prisons are evil and, therefore, when we tear them down we don't need to replace them. Rather, we need to tear them down and abandon the whole concept.
The same is true with central government. We not only have the wrong form of government ... we have about one million times too much of it. Our present government is not only evil, it is overgrown, abusive and top-heavy. It invades, and pervades, every nook and cranny in every business and home. It must be torn down and NOT replaced! It must be eliminated! We need some breathing room!
Understand that an ecclesia is NOT a replacement for central government. Rather, it is an alternative. I am NOT proposing that we REPLACE central government with ecclesiastical government. I'm proposing that we switch from slavery to freedom. I'm saying that we don't need a hoard of bureaucrats to control our lives for us. We don't need corporate national government to control the states. We don't need corporate state government to control the counties. We don't need corporate county government to control the cities. We don't need corporate city government to control businesses and citizens. We don't need corporate federal and state banks to control our money. We don't need corporate state schools to train our children. We don't need corporate central government on every level. We don't need the gigantic leviathan beast plundering us. We don't need the beast in every station of our lives. We don't need the beast that appears (claims to be) gentle like a lamb but speaks (rules) like the old dragon.
Thus, Scripture describes the plunder and destruction caused by central government in a land. By the same token, it also warns us of the added judgment from God that falls upon our land if we tolerate criminal government.
I am proposing that we drop central government -- cut it off at the roots and let it die on the vine. It is parasitic and cannot survive on its own, without a host. All we have to do is stop volunteering to be its host. Stop donating our blood to feed it. We must stop underwriting the destroyers. We must start developing independent Christian families and communities.
Public dependence upon the beast in Washington D.C. has been a grave error. Central government sucks our blood and tells us it is good for us. We outgrew our supposed dependence on leeches in medicine -- why can't we outgrow them in government? Why have we been so gullible? Must we, like lemmings, never question the worn path which leads us over the cliffs? Must we, like ignorant, indulgent parents raising a spoiled child, support a government whose purpose is to harvest us like a crop of wheat, or milk us like a herd of cattle? Let it suck its own blood, instead of ours, and see how long it survives. Let the bloodsuckers get a real job, or die of starvation! And, if they refuse, let them know that we will not willingly and blindly support them ever again!
We will NOT replace that which must be destroyed. Central government is our greatest enemy. Anyone who says we must replace it is either a fool or an enemy.
WHY FREEDOM SURVIVES IN ECCLESIAS
Ecclesias are the natural, healthy form of community for man. It is not just another form of control. It is not a church. It is freedom and independence at the local level.
A patriarch is the leader of a large family -- by extension, a clan or tribe. A clan, or tribe, may be large enough to occupy a whole community.
When Joshua took the children of Israel into the promised land it was divided into 12 large parcels and apportioned among the 12 clans (the familes of the 12 sons of Jacob). Each clan (tribe) was its own community, and it was apportioned land for inheritance. Each tribe, with its land parcel, was led by its own recognized patriarchs and judges. The patriarchs and judges were also the ones who periodically met, in Jerusalem, with the patriarchs and judges of the other tribes. There, they worked out plans of cooperation with regard to national affairs. The clans were bound by common need and goodwill -- NOT by enforcement from a central government with a central army of mercenary thugs (central police, central intelligence agencies, central taxing agencies, etc.).
The following quote illustrates the implied method of law enforcement in an ecclesia:
The term "church" was of later usage and not known in the early days. "Eta" in Aramaic means "group, or congregation, composed of elders and town counsellors who generally arbitrate disputes and settle quarrels, and pass judgment on legal matters."
Nomads, as well as inhabitants in small country places, are governed by a group of elders selected from among themselves. These elders are also members of the chief's cabinet who advise on tribal matters. They sit in judgment and pronounce sentences of punishment.
When peaceful means fail to bring settlement between the parties involved, the case is brought before one or two of the Elders, and when the guilty is discovered, he is admonished and chastised or punished.
In the wilderness, Moses selected a group of elders to act as judges, but important cases were submitted to him as chief justice (Exodus 19:25; Deuteronomy 22:18). This custom still prevails in many Eastern countries where the Patriarch acts as chief justice, and the bishops and ministers are the judges. Smaller cases are arbitrated by lay members.
Gospel Light -- from Aramaic on The Teachings of Jesus, by George Lamsa
The patriarchs and judges were NOT RULERS! They were businessmen and statesmen. They were farmers and fathers. They were community leaders. They were not RULERS! The people were free, and they gave their support freely -- as it was deserved. By the same token, they freely withdrew their support when a particular leader proved untrustworthy. No central enforcement agency came to their doors with weapons to force them to pay taxes and register their spears and their children.
Tithes were given freely. They were not TAXED! Central governments tax! Free societies TITHE to support their leaders. There is a great difference. A tax is mandatory; a tithe is voluntary. Malachi refers to the voluntary-tithe form of government:
As this scripture plainly shows, the tithe is for the land; the nation. It is certainly NOT talking about sending money to a church organization! But preachers use this scripture to threaten and shame you into giving them your money. Here, again, the churches have misconstrued and misused scripture. This tithe is not for churches; not for temples; not for evangelists; not for TV ministries and saving souls from hell. It is for upholding the individual's rights under the law of God and for upholding the sacredness of the family unit, the clans, the lands and the nations -- and to insure that we have righteous leaders who are interested in the well-being of the land, and not just in plundering the people. This is the patriarchal form of government.
In the New Testament scriptures, this form of society is called "the ecclesia." It simply means THE FAMILIES OF CALLED-OUT CHRISTIANS. It works the same as the Israelite tribes, or clans, worked in old Israel. They were called out of Egypt to form free families and communities within a free land. The 1st-century Christians, by the same token, were called out of the Roman system. We, today, are still being called out of the One-World beast system to form our own ecclesias (politically-independent, patriarchal-type communities under the reign of Christ).
CLEARING THE SUBTERFUGE
If this is true, and the ecclesia is actually a form of civil government rather than a church, then it would explain some things. For instance:
This MANCHILD symbolized government by God, as manifested through Christ (i.e. the ecclesia). The DRAGON symbolized central government by man.
In chapter 12, verse 5, we are told that the ecclesia (MANCHILD) was to "SHEPHERD the nations with a staff of iron." Christ's kingdom government (the ecclesia) presented a great threat to dragon government. So, the dragon, being a beast of prey, simply tried to do what it had to do to survive: he tried to destroy the competition -- i.e., the ecclesia. But, the last part of verse 5 tells us that the ecclesia (Christ and his system of government) was "caught away unto God's throne." In other words, Christ's government became invulnerable!
Even so, this beast system wasn't just any ordinary dragon government. It was portrayed as a CORPORATE beast -- with several heads. In Revelation 17:18, this corporate beast is shown also to have one supreme ruler over all the heads. It says that "THE WOMAN" (Babylon) rules over the kings of the earth (i.e., she rules over the heads of the dragon). Back in chapter 13, we are warned that this beast was disguised to appear as a lamb. But, it spoke with the voice of the old dragon. In other words, this new form of government was not really new after all. It was only disguised to appear as if it were new. It was simply the old dragon government with a new twist.
The symbolism portrayed by this infamous beast perfectly fits the central government of the United States. It holds itself out to be a lamb, but its actions are those of a dragon. It appears to be good, but its actions betray it. It speaks of liberty, but it enslaves. It speaks of justice, but it is wholly unjust. It speaks of rights, but only offers privileges. It claims to represent "we the people," but in truth only watches out for itself.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The answer is clear. We must remove ourselves as far as possible from the beast. How far can we remove ourselves from it? Well, it depends upon our individual circumstances and how things develop. At the very least we can withdraw our loyalties. We can certainly remove any and all feelings of dependency upon the beast. In most cases, we can also extract ourselves out of debt to the beast's usury-banking system by simply stopping our practice of borrowing from them at usury. This would include throwing away our credit cards and monthly credit accounts, and start dealing in cash only. If we refrain from spending that which we do not yet have, we will keep ourselves out of debt, and that will eventually show us the way out of slavery altogether.
Next, we should begin interpreting the political events in our nation, and in the world, as they really are -- instead of accepting them as the media and politicians portray them. We should begin to recognize the criminal motives of central government. It is nothing more than organized crime. It certainly is NOT a benevolent institution for the good of the people. We should educate our families to see the truth of the political events near us and around the world. And, if our children will do the same in each succeeding generation, truth and freedom will grow exponentially. Thus, the numbers of people who can SEE THE KINGDOM will grow with each succeeding generation. And, each generation will reach millions of others who will come to see the light. Eventually, the beast will starve and die!
This we will do by starting right now with our own families! Our families will grow into communities. And our communities will populate the land.
The ultimate answer for establishing godly government is not to agree to support a system, but rather to agree to stand against any and all systems which attempt to centralize and amass power. Yes, the truth is that we've had it all backwards in the past. We were brainwashed into thinking that freedom depended upon us all supporting a system. But, the truth is, freedom depends upon us standing against a system. That means that each individual needs to defend his own liberty. He can't hire mercenaries to do it for him. Mercenaries, in the end, take over the land. We must do it ourselves -- individually!
How will we punish crime, you may ask? Who will enforce the law? Again, the answer is so simple we generally overlook it. Many prefer to overlook the answer because they refuse to become responsible adults. True freedom scares them. But the answer is obvious.
Crime (i.e., sin) among men is the act of harming someone. Crime is commited against INDIVIDUALS. Crime cannot be committed agains "a state" or "a nation" unless it harms at least one individual within that "state." Courts, today, claim to prosecute people for "crimes against the nation," or "the state." However, most prosecutions are for victimless crimes where the state cannot produce an individual victim of the alleged crime. The question we've been asking for a long time is simply this: how can "the state" receive damage without a single individual being damaged? That would be like accusing someone of damaging your body without injuring any of the cells.
Thus, in trials where the state is the plaintiff, the defendant is denied the right to face his victim -- because there is none. No one was damaged! The court system is 100% heathen and unjust. It is tyranny, pure and simple.
In order for a real crime to have happened, it must be traced to at least one real victim. The accusation itself must be made by the damaged victim himself. It is the victim's right to accuse his attacker. It is not the duty of the state to do it for him -- as the courts claim today!
The individual, himself, must defend himself from harm with all means available to him. And, when a crime has been committed, and an individual has been damaged, he must prove it in a court of law. Then he, himself, must enforce the punishment upon the defendant. The court will verify that he has the authority to enforce the punishment -- but the court can't enforce it for him.
"BUT THAT WOULD BE TAKING THE LAW INTO YOUR OWN HANDS!" you say. That is absolutely correct! Gods laws are designed for the individual. In fact, the individual is truly the ONLY one that can protect himself from damage. Police, even if they wanted to, cannot prevent crime -- any more than a fireman can prevent fires. However, a sawed-off shotgun, or a 45 caliber pistol in the hand of a would-be victim, stops crime very effectively. It works without fail. Crime is committed by bullies and thieves. Bullies and thieves succeed only when their victims are unable to protect themselves or thier property. Howver, even a 90-pound grandma can squeeze the trigger of a gun that can stop a bully. It has been said that "God created all men, but Samuel Colt made them equal."
Freedom requires the ability to defend yourself against those who would take freedom from you. For that reason, in a free land, there can be no monopolies on law enforcement. Each person must enforce the law. Godly courts (judges) can interpret the law, but only individuals should enforce it.
When people defend themselves, police and central government lose business. This they do not like! For that reason, a gigantic campaign has been underway for several decades to teach us to NOT TAKE THE LAW INTO OUR OWN HANDS! After all, the bureaucrats need something to do. They want you to call the police and beg them to protect you. Then they want you to send a few reams of typewritten paper through their offices begging the courts for justice -- something they know nothing of. This gives them the appearance of doing something useful. This illusion is necessary if they are to keep collecting taxes for their plush salaries and retirements, and funding with which they hire lawyers and judges to entrap and prosecute you, and hire police thugs to beat you up.
Most patriots still think they are fighting Russians, as if the Russians were some kind of an immediate threat to our way of life. What nonsense! I've lived over 40 years in America and have yet to receive any noticeable damage from a Russian. However, our "capitalistic" central government has damaged me greatly -- and continues daily. It steals from me; it oppresses me; it lies to me; it gives away my inheritance to foreigners; it brings other gods into my community; it enslaves my children. I am damaged in more ways than I can list by the American dragon power. My worst enemy is not in Moscow -- it is in Washington D.C.!
Moscow has served as a straw-man; a diversion; subterfuge to divert our eyes off our real enemies in Washington D.C.
Godly government (Christian Self-Discipline) is quite different from central government. Detractors try to say that self government cannot work. They say it is insufficient by itself to keep order in a land. But, the Bible says otherwise. Logic says otherwise. Liberty demands otherwise!
The New Testament provides the following list of titles for leaders in ecclesias. Remember these are NOT offices on a church board. Jesus' kingdom is concerned with freedom in government and not with playing the useless game of church!
Abram's clan didn't ask for government authorization, or a permit, before taking care of the problem. Abram didn't expect the local police to enforce the law for him. He didn't ask permission to defend his family. He just did it! He and his own family enforced the law and defended themselves. Abram, the patriarch, took the law into his own hands and did what was right. This is the ecclesian way.
ADULTS PLAY VERSIONS OF CALVIN BALL TOO... IN THE COURTS, LEGISLATURES, AND CHURCHES.
PLAYGROUNDS: TRAINING FOR SLAVERY
In forming ecclesias in our land, our biggest task will NOT be in organizing and institutionalizing. Rather, it will be in DE-ORGANIZING and DE-INSTITUTIONALIZING! Americans are programmed, organized, institutionalized, and herded around, from one game to another, until they don't know what's happening. They wouldn't know how to act if they didn't have a ruler herding them around like a bunch of steers.
Men and governments remind me of children on a playground at public school (Those of you who went to public schools should be able to relate to this.). When recess comes, the children run out to the playground, anxious to play... but someone has to decide which game to play.
One kid gets his way, and the others go along with him. If another kid manages to finagle his way into control, then everyone does what he says for a while. Thus, they change leaders again and again. There can be any number of games with different game rules. Each leader's set of rules represents a temporary government. Each leader represents a temporary ruler. This is the way of kids (and politicians).
Playgrounds are training arenas for slave children! It teaches them to follow other children, and adopt other kids' ideas as their own for the sake of unity -- so they can continue playing games. The greatest fear in the mind of the child is that the playing might stop. They don't want to stop playing. They will compromise anything, and even allow themselves to be cheated by another kid, if necessary, in order for the playing to continue.
This playground training infects the child's mind so deeply that he will never completely overcome it. A child who has gone to public school will have permanent damage to his mental faculties. It destroys individuality, self-government and self-confidence. It turns kids into "joiners," and sets them up for being obedient, conforming slaves of central government, and churches, when they grow up. It also provides early practical training for future politicians and church builders who will use the playground training to help them organize their own profit-making games when they are grownups playing "government" and "church."
Politics is a game -- the big-league playground. A society which accepts central government is like kids addicted to game-playing. UNITY must be maintained for the sake of the games.
The politicians wait in the wings for their chance to advance to a more powerful position -- like the children on the playground just waiting their chance to dictate their own rules to fit their own ambitions and prejudices, and to benefit themselves. The object is to make everyone else do what YOU want to do, and the rules are changeable at any time.
The priests, also, do their job of keeping the people exercised and in shape by inundating them with church programs. Also, there are other games like Rotary Club, Masonic Orders, etc. Such games are herd drills -- good practice for the big-league.
The point is that we need to grow up and quit playing kid games. Americans have had central government games so long they don't know any other way to play. They wouldn't know what to do if the game stopped.
We must stop repeating the old habits of our ancestors. Remember how the Children of Israel were delivered, through Moses, from the institutions and political games of Egypt? Do you remember what they said once they were free? They looked around and realized that the games had ceased. They were dumbfounded! They hadn't been free but a few days before they began to complain about the lack of government games. Moses hadn't organized, institutionalized, and developed welfare games to take the place of the programs to which they had become addicted back in Egypt. They didn't know how to function off the playground. They wanted Moses to build another Egypt for them -- only with "kinder, gentler" slave masters.
American society is still running in the same circles today! If we are to ever escape that vicious circle, we must stop thinking like kids on the playground. We are called to leave Babylon. We are not called to build another Babylon to replace the old one!
We should opt for the ecclesia, with its patriarchal-type, free government system. And, as we work toward that, God will reveal more insight into its fulfillment.
In Fredrick Bastiat's classic book, THE LAW, the following quote describes the correct Christian attitude toward central government:
"Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!
And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: MAY THEY REJECT ALL SYSTEMS, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works."
Fredrick Bastiat, a century and a half ago, described for us the basic tenets of the ecclesia! He simply called it "liberty." And he correctly labels all who cannot kick the habit of central government as "faithless," in that they refuse to acknowledge God's system of government.
The Kingdom of Jesus has been planting seeds of freedom and independence all over the world in every land where Israel was scattered. These seeds have been growing steadily for centuries. They have been there growing, in spite of oppression from central governments. With all the scheming of the enemies, Christ's kingdom survives in thousands of locations.
Our greatest, and most urgent, mission today is to wake people up to the message of the Kingdom of Christ: to get them thinking about the government of God and how it applies to us right now! To do this, the people who have been sidetracked by the churches must be enlightened. They must be shaken out of their stupor. If we must offend them, then so be it. Whatever it takes to break their hypnosis, we must do it.
As people begin to look out across the fields of wheat and tares, and as their eyes are opened to the Kingdom, they will begin to SEE the difference between ecclesias and churches. And, as the people see the diference, the charlatans and church builders will be exposed, and Christ and His Kingdom will take on new meaning to them.
But, I repeat -- our biggest task will NOT be organizing and supporting a system. Rather, it will be DE-ORGANIZING AND STOPPING OUR SUPPORT OF A SYSTEM!
This is the hope for freedom for our people. We need faith, a sincere spirit, and open eyes if we are to see the Kingdom of Heaven: that city of God -- the ecclesia.
Reprinted from The American Christian
(Isaiah 33:22) For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.