Monthly Archives: October 2009

Applied Tactics For Concrete Results – A Primer

Although I now enjoy traveling on airplanes less than I used to, the providence always provides me with thought provoking, often productive, considerations. In a recent ecclesiastic related trip, I was given opportunity to thumb through the September 2009 issue of the Delta Sky Magazine, which is strategically and conspicuously placed in the seat-back in front of each passenger. Delta Sky Magazine is often filled with articles on business, education for the executive and the entrepreneur, as well as pieces on travel and leisure. It also has some of the most interesting educational offers for the ‘man on the go’ who hasn’t the time to sit and catch up on the latest business news, or the affairs concerning the global economy. While a secular magazine, I invariably find contained therein certain principles that I can relate to the work of the ministry.

Leadership is a hot topic these days in the business world, and major companies are seeking to train leaders to maximize their profits. It seems that this topic of leadership is also very prominent in the churches as well, since there is a dearth of it. As we all know, the end of secular business is money – sometimes power – but always money, while the end of the work of Christ is to advance the Kingdom on earth, in time and in history (or at least that what it is supposed to be). To put it another way, the goal of secular business is wealth and power through business entrepreneurship, while the goal of Biblical Leadership is spiritual wealth and the advancement of God’s Kingdom by individual regeneration unto societal reconstruction according to God’s Law Order. Kingdom advancement uses Biblical means, strategies and tactics, whereas the secular business world uses any means, since pragmatism is the ideology of secular business. This is why the secular model of business will fail, whereas the Biblical model of Kingdom building will succeed.

Now on the outset permit me make a disclaimer. The Work of Christ, and that of the Church is not a business. In fact it is nothing of the sort. The Gospel work is a ministry commissioned legitimately by Christ to be executed according to His Law Order in the real world. However, I must admit that what the secular world is contemplating, and doing to advance their cause, often stimulates me into thinking Biblically.

As I flipped through the pages of the magazine, the piece entitled “Executive Education’s Top 7 Trends: How Graduate Schools are Modifying MBA Programs to Meet the Needs of the Business World” interested me. My initial thought was, “How can Christendom set up educational programs to advance the Kingdom of Christ on a global scale?”

At the Marshall School of Business located on the Campus of the University of California (I am almost embarrassed to mention UCLA – but I digress), the faculty members are using a curriculum plan that takes a ‘more holistic view’ of the challenges which senior executives encounter on a daily basis. While still teaching the basic operations of business, accounting, operations and marketing, they are looking at the overall picture.

I found this to be an interesting shift in focus since today’s postmodern Christian education, whether at home, in the Christian School, or from the Pulpit, usually fails to look at the overall picture in light of God’s providential workings. The Christian community seems to be ‘tunnel-visioned’, and compartmentalized, unable to see the big picture, and thereby unable to address the problem(s) comprehensively.

This holistic integration process at the Marshall Business School stresses teamwork, and the galvanization of its team members to work together as a task force, targeting particular areas of difficulty. To be sure this method is dominion oriented, albeit on a secular level.

Since God has placed in the Body of Christ all sorts of folks with a variety of skills, He intends for them to work together to identify and solve the problems of the world. Christendom needs to be more integrated and holistic in its approach. Networking is the key to our Dominion Goal. This integration, scenario structuring begins at the local church level. God has providentially placed in each church a very precise group of people, well suited for each other, in order to accomplish the goals that God had ordained for them to accomplish. What the saints need to do, is to find out how they are to work best together in this holistic integrated capacity, and then go out and incorporate that plan into the real world. The church is God’s machine of Theonomic Reconstruction.

While the reading was generally interesting, and I was able to make some notes as to how to incorporate some of the thoughts into Biblical terms and strategies, the “6th Trend” really hit home. Number six was titled, “Evaluating Current Events”. This model forced the students to actually address real world current events in concrete terms. Since all current events play a vital role in business, the students were required to think through the problems in order to find solutions to real world business problems. In other words they were not allowed to engage in the futility of academic acrobatics, or useless abstracts, but had to come to terms with real day-to-day problems, and then solve them with real concrete tactical solutions. What a novel idea. This is the one place the postmodern Christians loath to be.

Today’s professing “religionist” seeks to hide out in the monastic church hoping never to be asked to actually get involved in something culturally. Rather than coming up with concrete solutions to societal problems they are content to complain and talk about what should be done, never actually pounding out the tactical terms for getting anything done. To think beyond the abstract theology of Scripture is something the modern saint has not been challenged with. In fact, church leaders, seeking to alleviate any societal responsibility other than the saving of souls, have peddled a theology of “Cultural Non-Intervention”. This is nothing more than ‘self-seeking Salvationism’ theology, and not the theology of God’s Word. It is seeped in ‘me-ism’ and individual pietism, and has no place in Christ’s Church; it never did and it never will. To come to grips with real solutions to real ethical problems in our culture, which can be implemented so as to restructure the societal order, so that it conforms to the Law-Word of God is now taboo among mainline churches.

The Weatherhead School of Management, for example, emphasizes that no one is born a leader. Leadership must be taught. It can be learned. Of course this is somewhat true for any discipline. Even among the saints, the Scriptures are taught to them and they, by the invention of the Grace of God, learn the several principles therein. It is however those principles that must be applied concretely in the world. That can be taught. Throughout the Scriptures, God’s men learned by instruction, application and trial. God took some of the lowliest of people and groomed them into leadership models. They were given concrete examples, laws, and directives.

The Weatherhead Management School stresses leadership on 4 levels. 1. The individual level, i.e. leading yourself; 2.the team level, i.e. leading a small team; 3. the organizational level, i.e. leading groups of teams; 4. leading in a society. This simple progression has Biblical parallels to be sure. According to Mark Kizilos, assistant director at the Carlson school of Management, “the goals of our programs are to make [the solutions] extremely practical, and to help people go quickly from learning new perspectives and turning them into great results. The problem with the Christian model is that there is no real focus upon results other than getting more people out of the world and into the church, rather than into the world and out of the church, so as to change it.

What Christendom needs is leadership training. The goal is relatively simple, while the task itself is extremely difficult since it takes time, effort and self-sacrifice. The strategic and tactical application of God’s Law Order through concrete solutions is the task at hand, especially in our 21st century where God’s Law order is no longer an acceptable standard of life. The restructuring of the social order through applied Biblical principles must be waged at every level of life, and throughout every institution. It is comprehensive and universal in scope and has far reaching implications. The reversal of sound Biblical order can no longer be tolerated. God’s Cultural Law order must be restored. At the New Geneva Christian Leadership Academy we are experimenting with these very principles. Using Biblical principles and examples, both faculty and students are seeking to expand their knowledge of applied Theonomics for the reconstruction of a God pleasing, Law Ordered Culture.

Deo Vindice

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What is God’s Sequence of Biblical Obedience? Part Three of Four

American culture is disintegrating because many Christians have one or more disconnects between their New Spiritual Life, and their New Lifestyle. This series looks at this eight-part sequence so that you can identify any unintended disconnects in your worldview and lifestyle.

We Know How We Should Do It

When the Holy Spirit “gives us a heart to know God,” He does so in order that we will “return to Him with our whole heart.” 37 Our Triune God does not enlighten us with His truth, merely to inform us about the proper way to live, but to transform our lifestyle so that we bring honor to Him in everything we say and do! 38 As non-Christians, we served ourselves exclusively, and now we are to serve Jesus exclusively. 39 This includes not associating with those who openly deny the faith, 40 or with those who profess to be Christians, but refuse to submit their will to God’s. 41 Not only are we to stay away from such people in our business and social dealings, but we are commanded to “expose their hypocrisy and false beliefs. 42 As Moses instructed the ancient Jews before they went in to possess the Promised Land, we are to uncompromisingly “live by God’s statutes and judgments.”

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 18.1-5

When Elijah asked his neighbors, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him,” 43 his point was that we will accomplish a holy lifestyle by living according to God’s perfect counsel, contrasted with an “abominable” lifestyle by living according to man’s imperfect counsel. 44 Paul urges us to “Hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” 45 to “direct our paths.” 46 This is how Jehovah described His relationship with us to the Priest Eli: “Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” 47

Our call is clear: We are to “arise and shine” 48 so our neighbors will “see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.” 49 As we “continue in the things which we have learned,” 50 by “casting down arguments that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God,” 51 we will be able to “bear much fruit” for Christ’s Kingdom. 52

God Makes Certain That We Stay On Course

Our most merciful Triune God “chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy,” 53 which means that we have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works!” 54

The same power that “raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at God the Father’s right hand in the heavenly place,” 55 is now “working in us to both will and do His good pleasure” by demonstrating a daily antithesis to the “crooked and perverse” cultural agenda of non-Christians. 56

This is why we should “thank God without ceasing,” 57 because we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!” 58 Contrary to what we may have imagined before our conversion, His commandments are not burdensome,” 59 and since His law is written on our hearts, “we delight to do His will.” 60 No wonder that Jehovah told Isaiah to preach: “My word will not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please.” 61 In the meantime we should: Be diligent to present ourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2.15-16

NOTES
37 Jeremiah 24.7
38 1 Corinthians 10.31
39 Joshua 24.15; Matthew 6.24
40 Leviticus 19.18; 2 Corinthians 6.14
41 2 Timothy 3.5
42 Ephesians 5.11
43 1 Kings 18.21
44 Deuteronomy 18.9-12
45 Hebrews 10.23
46 Proverbs 3.6
47 1 Samuel 3.5
48 Isaiah 60.1
49 Matthew 5.16
50 2 Timothy 3.14
51 2 Corinthians 10.5
52 John 15.8
53 Ephesians 1.4-5; Jeremiah 1.5
54 Ephesians 2.8-10
55 Ephesians 1.19-20
56 Philippians 2.12-16
57 1 Thessalonians 2.13
58 Philippians 4.13
59 1 John 5.3
60 Psalm 40.8
61 Isaiah 55.11

Buddy Hanson is President of the Christian Policy Network, Director of the Christian Worldview Resources Center, and has written several books on the necessity of applying one’s faith to everyday situations, circumstances, and decision-making. Mr. Hanson sits on the Advisory Board of the New Geneva Christian Leadership Academy, located in Appomattox, Virginia. bhanson@graceandlaw.com 205.454.1442 http://www.graceandlaw.com


What is God’s Sequence of Biblical Obedience? Part Two of Four

American culture is disintegrating because many Christians have one or more disconnects between their New Spiritual Life and their New Lifestyle. This four-part series looks at this eight-part sequence so that you can identify any unintended disconnects in your worldview and lifestyle.

We Know What We’re Supposed to Do

As we are faithful to be “fruitful, multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,” 21 we know that God will bless our obedience by enabling us to “restore the earth” to live according to His will. 22 As Jesus repeatedly told His disciples, “the Kingdom of God is in our midst” 23 and “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” 24
In explaining why they should “occupy until He returns,” 25 Jesus tells His disciples:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28.18-20

Turning the world rightside up sounds like a very imposing order, but we must remember that we have the world’s Creator who is enabling us to accomplish our task. Therefore, we should “not despise the day of small beginnings,” 26 because how can “anything be too hard for the LORD?” 27 Besides, Jesus promises us that the works we do will have “farther reaching consequences than the works He did during His earthly ministry!” 28 This is why He prays to His Father to not “take us out of the world, but protect us from Satan while we complete the work He has given to us!” 29

While we are carrying out our commanded duties as “ambassadors for Christ” to “reconcile the world” 30 to “God’s will,” 31 our daily confidence grows because we are promised that “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us,” 32 and that we will “be preserved until we “restore the earth!” 33 In the meantime, Jesus is “sitting at God the Father’s right hand until He makes our enemies His footstool.” 34

The “kingdoms of this world are the kingdoms of our Lord.” 35 They just don’t realize it, yet! But when they do, the earth will reflect Isaiah’s great prophecy:

“Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of those who see will not be dim, and the ears of those who hear will listen. Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly. The foolish person will no longer be called generous,nor the miser said to be bountiful; for the foolish person will speak foolishness, and his heart will work iniquity: to practice ungodliness, to utter error against the LORD, to keep the hungry unsatisfied,and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.Also the schemes of the schemer are evil; He devises wicked plans to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaks justice. But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.” Isaiah 32.1-8

In the meantime, may we all “forget those things which are behind as we reach forward to those things which are ahead, pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 36

NOTES
21 Genesis 1.26-28
22 Isaiah 49.8
23 Matthew 12.28; 3.2; 4.17; 10.7
24 Matthew 16.18
25 Luke 19.13
26 Zechariah 4.10
27 Genesis 18.14
28 John 14.12
29 John 17.15
30 2 Corinthians 5.18-20
31 Matthew 6.10
32 Romans 8.37
33 Isaiah 49.8
34 Psalm 110.1; Acts 2.34-35
35 Revelation 11.15
36 Philippians 3.13-14

Buddy Hanson is President of the Christian Policy Network, Director of the Christian Worldview Resources Center and has written several books on the necessity of applying one’s faith to everyday situations, circumstances and decision-making. Mr. Hanson sits on the Advisory Board of the New Geneva Christian Leadership Academy, located in Appomattox, Virginia. bhanson@graceandlaw.com 205.454.1442 http://www.graceandlaw.com