“Another area of discussion was Religion. This is an avowed atheist speaking. And he said: ‘Religion is not necessarily bad. A lot of people seem to need religion, with its mysteries and rituals – so they will have religion.’ But the major religions of today have to be changed because they are not compatible with the changes to come. The old religions will have to go. Especially Christianity. Once the Roman Catholic Church is brought down, the rest of Christianity will follow easily. Then a new religion can be accepted for use all over the world …” From the Dr. Day Tapes (link provided at the end of this post.)
In this reflection, I will be addressing some ideas regarding the Church’s relationship with the State in modern times. When I write “Church” in this post I am using it in a general sense to encompass the various Christian groups. I’m not using it in a specifically theological manner, nor as a means to identify only one group. I will also be using the word “denominations” for the sake of ease, although I do not subscribe to the implicit thought behind it that all groups are “equal.”
Generally speaking, Christianity has never been anti-government. This is clear from passages in Scripture such as, 1 Pet. 2:13-14, Rom. 13:1ff, 1 Tim. 2:1-2. Although it is evident from Church history that at frequent periods Christianity was illegal. So in that sense being a Christian was contrary to existing government powers. I simply point this out, it is not my intent to explore this historical path at length.
My intent is to highlight what seems to be a modern secular agenda of co-opting the Church so that it no longer preaches the Gospel of Christ but the modern gospel of this age. In past posts, I’ve pointed out that the Rockefeller family was actively involved in this agenda, together with many others. The goal is to reshape and use the Church for the goals of the new age. This is a real agenda and evident to any who have put the time in to research it. The quote above correlates this reality as do many other sources. The “Dr. Day Tapes,” as they are called, are the recollections of a Dr. Dunegan. He is recounting his firsthand experience in a lecture by Dr. Day, a man who was inside and part of the agenda for a new age. The “Tapes” are of great interest with that in mind.
It is good to note that Dr. Dunegan, who is some sort of Christian, after he relates the secular plan as revealed by Dr. Day calls Christians to remember the words of our Lord to St. Peter, “the gates of hell will not prevail.” So it is fitting to remember and believe. Yet, to acknowledge an agenda is not a lack of faith, rather it is to help expose the works of darkness. This is the intent.
We have often heard the words of our Lord quoted, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and give to God the things that are God’s” (Mat. 12:17). I believe it’s worth noting, nowhere are we ever called to give to Caesar the things that are God’s.
In the modern secular age in which we live, and speaking from the place where I live, America, and in the current “crisis,” I wonder if the church, generally speaking, has not ceded a great authority to the State. One that goes beyond the Biblical mandate. The Church in some sectors has given almost complete authority to the State to dictate how and when and where Christians will worship. For some denominations, this even involves allowing State mandates to touch and regulate the manner in which sacred mysteries are given. Are we asked to give such things to the State?
From a “classic” American view, is not the current situation a violation of the oft proclaimed “separation of Church and State?” (I simply point that out.) I have pointed out elsewhere that this dichotomy is but a synthetic facade in America; I believe this current crisis bears that out. The State has been more than willing to interfere with Church life and the Church has been, at times, more than willing to give it such authority. How much will the Church give? (Further, are the current lock-downs truly legal even from a State perspective? Are not the laws of the land, in the US, being violated? Not that law really seems to matter to various folks in government. Is not the current state of rule by executive decrees, by governors and other, an undermining of actual law? I wonder.) If the covid vaccine is mandated, which some are speaking of in government authority, will we continue to simply mandate, as Christians, government regulations and thus tell people to just get the experimental shot so to come to church? Who knows what will happen, but I wonder.
This current crisis raises the question, how far, and how much is the Church required to give to the State? What will the Christians sacrifice to stay “legitimate” in the eyes of the secular State?
Have we thought about the fact that now the Church is, in many places, in a position where it must ask the State for the ability to reopen and worship? That is, it is in some sense willfully making itself dependent on the State. Does not such a stance imply that now the State has gained (or gained more of) a certain and unhealthy power over Church life? Or that the State is the ultimate dispenser of “freedom” and “rights?” Most of all considering that current governments are anything but even nominally Christian, for they are, yes even America, blatantly secular.
One example I came across, which could possibly be representative of various denominations’ and their responses, is of the Roman Catholic Cardinal Cupich of Chicago. It is my impression that he is somewhat of a “liberal” leaning fellow, but I’m not Roman Catholic and I cannot say for sure.
Nonetheless, what seems to be “traditional” leaning Catholics are deeply criticizing his actions, which they say have, “blithely yielded the authority of the Church and subjugated the primacy of her worship to the laws of men …” This seems to be a valid concern.
Cardinal Cupich gives what seems to be a fairly common answer for those of his persuasion, “We should be motivated to cooperate with public safety norms, given our reverence for human life and dignity.”
What continues to puzzle me is how being “protected” from the current threat of a virus is now the greatest show of “reverence for human life and dignity?”
It is also puzzling to me, as I’ve expressed before, that the secular powers who are, of a sudden, showing such great care for “humanity” have a dark history of complete disregard for human life and dignity. Are these the folks that the Church wants to be aligned with unquestionably?
How is it now the greatest virtue is to “prevent” the spread of covid? And in this, I’m not saying that we should approach it lightly. Rather, what are the true Christian virtues, and why is the Church following the secular State in promoting its new “virtue?” Are we not to call even the State to the Heavenly standard? Is not the Church to be a faithful servant not of the State but of the Revelation of God? Do the current State regulations reflect the ethos of Christianity and our belief in Christ Jesus? Do not actions also preach a message?
The Cardinal makes clear that as the churches under him are in the process of reopening there will be “an ongoing discussion with pastors, health care professionals and civil authorities.”
I cannot help but be reminded of the general principles of technocracy. And now the “experts,” many times not Christian at all, in some cases, are involved in governing the very life of the Church. He most likely could have included lawyers, for I have a feeling that they are also being given a fair voice in the matter. There seems to be no greater sin than a lawsuit.
In surrendering to the “experts” are we not implicitly admitting that we do not, in the Church, have substantial wisdom to navigate such issues? In completely yielding to State guidelines, are we not possibly implying that the State has more wisdom regarding church life than the Church herself? Again, I’m not saying disregard everything, I’m asking a question of proper order and true authority. Is not, as many Christians have said, the spiritual life the Science of sciences?
Is it possible that such a message, as exampled by the Cardinal, is preaching, intended or not, that the Science of Christianity is indeed to be subject to the mutable and fallible sciences of this fallen age? (That’s not an anti-science statement, true earthly science is great. I’m addressing the Christian hierarchy of importance, at which, according to Christian teaching, stands as most vital not earthly science but rather Divine Revelation.)
Is the Church being lured into a soft form of technocratic rule? Are we by our actions making a statement, intended or not, that the Church is a lower authority than the State and its “experts”? And that in such matters of “crisis” the State has more wisdom than the Church? This is exactly the place that the secular world desires to hold the Church, for then it will have the power to manipulate and form it and use it for its own agenda. Then it will no longer truly be Church, but rather a secular department in Christian garb.
It is my opinion that the Church should be providing a different narrative in these times, one that is not bound to the “experts” but rather comes from the very Life in Christ. Moreover, should not the Church take the opportunity to speak to the spiritual life of people? Should we not be asking if certain government policies are truly working for the dignity of people? Or are they rather diminishing the dignity of humanity?
On but a physical level, has massive unemployment helped improve dignity? Has the loss of income for millions of people? Has the rise in suicides promoted human dignity? Has the rise of abuse at homes – physical, verbal, and sexual? Has the rise in depression? And on we could go … Are the drastic measures taken to “protect” people from covid truly promoting human dignity? Is it worth the above price that is being paid? Let alone touching upon the spiritual price (which is interconnected with the physical).
The Church is never called to blindly stand with the State but rather she is called to always and everywhere – under all circumstances – uphold the Truth.
So, should she not ask: are the State measures truly for the good and dignity of people? Moreover, are people being spiritually uplifted by them?
As many people are literally drowning spiritually, how is it that physical well-being is the top priority of the Church? And how can we blindly follow “mandates” that are clearly damaging the dignity of persons in many other ways? Is the salvation of the body now more important than that of the soul?
Are we making of the Church only a department of State? When they ask more will we give it so easily?
Does Christianity have no wisdom to offer the State, no other opinion than that which is dictated by the CDC and WHO (both of whom have very clear anti-christian agendas)? Can Churches offer nothing more than regurgitating their “guidelines?” In willfully adapting, by some, lockstep with the State are we not in danger of possibly promoting a godless agenda? Are we not in danger of being aligned in a uni-polar manner with a very questionable State and Globalist narrative and agenda? Does Christianity want to be so affiliated? Have we been asking to what end and goals are certain clear trajectories of the State going? Will it be for ultimate “well-being?”
In completely adapting to the State in this crisis are we in danger of compromise and the loss of our spiritual freedom and prophetic voice in the Church?
There is also a hypothetical question I would reflect upon because I feel it could have very real implications: what if the secular powers that be are using this “crisis” to see how quickly Churches would voluntarily close down themselves? This is not some far fetched idea. What if they were testing to see how easy it would be to get Christians to close their own Churches and then look to the government for permission to open and worship again under the guidance if the State? Do we think this is not a possible reality …?
I think the current crisis raises not so much a question regarding the Christian idea of giving due to the State but rather how much power are Christians willing to cede to the State over Church? Where will it lead? And do the Scriptures really call us to such a compromise?
One of the clear goals of the spirit of the modern age is to change the Church and make it a servant of the secular State. This is indisputable. It has been in the works for years upon years. I think it wise to take this evident agenda into account at current.
“Then followed one of the most surprising statements of the whole presentation: He said: ‘…some of you probably think the churches won’t stand for this [and he went on to say] The churches will help us!'” (Dr. Day Tapes).
Here is the link to the Dr. Day Tapes, a very insightful listen for those who desire to see above the narrative of this age.