A Devotion for 17 September 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
5 ¶ And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. MATTHEW 8:5-13
As I have written before, perhaps the most prolific occasions of violation of the Third Commandment occurs every Sunday morning when the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) is recited communally in Church. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” How well our memories draw out the words from our library of rote learning and leave the weightier meanings behind. Our lips pronounce the words in perfect order, but our minds remain blank to a careful understanding of a single line of it.
We have been declared a nation “Under God” by our Presidents. Abraham Lincoln was the first to explicitly state that principle, but it is woven into our Founding Documents when the world had yet unknown such a government saves ancient Israel. President Eisenhower was inspired to add the words, “One nation under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. From that day to this there has existed a constant challenge to have that statement of faith removed. The Democrat Party in the House has actually removed that phrase from oaths taken in testimony.
What does it mean to be under God, under authority, or subject to a Higher authority? In the American military forces, the highest authority is vested in the President of the United States as Commander-in-Chief. Beneath the President are varies grades and degrees of both commissioned and non -commissioned officers who constitute what we term, the chain of command. Each level of the structure falls under one or another of the members of that chain – but each officer at each level is subject to the higher level. All levels are subject to the pleasure of the President.
In God’s Kingdom of Heaven, the Church also has a chain of command with each level being subject to the higher authority. And, like the US Military, each level is subject to the higher law of God. He is the sovereign Authority under which each of us is commissioned and serve. The central verse of the Holy Bible (KJV) is found in Psalms 118:8 – “8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” In case that counsel is forgotten, it is reinforced in the New Testament in Acts 5:29 – “ . . . . We ought to obey God rather than men.” Unfortunately, our people have allowed the burden of political and religious oppression to be forged for our shoulders at our own expense over the years. As the political Marxist/Fabianist cabals have slowly encroached on each and every liberty, the church has sat silent and endured the indignity believing this will be the last grasp at our liberties – but it is not. As Senator Barry Goldwater wrote many years ago: “The hand of power grasps at everything simply because everything is in its reach.” Everything has been brougth in reach of a government whose voracious appetite for power has been left unchecked by an indifferent citizenry who enjoys their present comforts more than their future freedoms.
When an aware citizen raises the question of Constitutional liberties being threatened, even the Church may retort with a quote from 1 Peter 2:13 – “Submit yourselves for the LORD’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority.” This counsel is not directed to a free people, but those in bondage to Caesar. Who is Caesar in our American Republic? Is it not the people themselves who wield the power to raise and dethrone their leaders?
The Church government varies significantly from temporal power. It is a government of submission one to another and in which the greatest subject will be the servant. We submit to one another by considering their interests above our own: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21 When we recognize the image of God in each of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will be humbled to submit even over the color of carpets and curtains in the Church. I jest in this last statement for their can be no division in Christ. If we are One in Christ as He is One in the Father, how can serious differences arise? Each member will be centered on the Word of God in both Spirit and Truth.
The hierarchy of power goes from the temporal to the spiritual. Each municipality makes its own law and ordnances, but these must not contradict the law of the county; nor may the county laws contravene those of the State; nor those of the State contravene those of the National Government. Now comes the greatest failure of modern America: the laws of the National Government must not contravene the Law of God – the Supreme Authority in the affairs of men.
Have we forgotten our heritage? Have we allowed the unruly mob of Marxists and totalitarians to destroy our institutional memories to the point that we have become insensitive to outright wickedness in society? Those things that would have resulted in either capital punishment our years at hard labor in our recent past are now applauded by the madding crowds made up of ignorant, indoctrinated youth and even mature people. Child pornography, still a crime of record, is allowed to be produced by protected movie houses. And we say nothing. The Holy Estate of Matrimony is being perverted before our very eyes and quite vociferously, while we remain unaffected. Our children are being sex-trafficked and drugged, but we have become so calloused as to take those things as the normal flow of events. Our Constitutional protections are being expunged from the record by wicked and dishonest justices from the local courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. These black-robed scoundrels have become both interpreters of law as well as givers of the law. They have turned the U.S. Constitution on its head by their wicked and corrupt misinterpretations of Constitutional Law.
If we expect to re-establish our Constitutional rights and God-given liberties, we might heed the words of Paul: “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:16-17 (I might remind you that the ultimate Emperor is our Lord Jesus Christ). I append a few quotes from that great proponent of the Republican form of government, Marcus Tullius Cicero (around 44 B.C.):
(Taxation) “We are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of men, but for foreign nations, complaisant nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace – these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare, and surely it is becoming bare! We are taxed to maintain legions on their soil, in the name of law and order and the Pax Romana, a document which will fall into dust when it pleases our allies and our vassals. We keep them in precarious balance only with our gold. Is the heartblood of our nation worth these? Were they bound to us with ties of love, they would not ask our gold. They take our very flesh, and they hate and despise us. And who shall say we are worthy of more? … When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself.”
(Treason) “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
(Deep State) “A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?”