So what is the real deal with an obligation to the World? The key questions are these: (1) What exactly are you doing with the World, and (2) What kinds of contracts are you signing? The answers to those two questions determine everything. In and of themselves contracts aren’t bad*, and we are here bopping about with Babylon all around us.
The plain truth about contracts is that you are never obligated to do anything until you say you will do something. A contract makes you legally bound to your agreement, and the World likes them because so many seek to get out of their earlier assent when the price makes them uncomfortable. The tricky part is that they still like to keep the benefits of the arrangement.
Jesus said that if you were actually His, you would be fully truthful about your intentions and fully respectful of another's. You would not therefore need a contract that could be held in your face to show that you signed on the dotted line. "Just make your 'Yes' be true, and your 'No' be true as well." It should be added that the concept of an oath is that a "Yes" is such serious matter for a sinner prone to default on his end, that from him only a bold solemn affirmation is accepted.
What if, on the other hand, one was not a sinner?
A "Yes" or a "No" may certainly be put down on paper, but this also means that if we get out of a contract, we may legitimately do so if we agree to end the benefits provided by the one with whom we've had to do. To deceptively continue to receive those benefits without paying the price is nothing less than theft.
The harrowing fact is that most Christians don’t have a clue about how they’ve been deceived, and just how much it grieves God that they dismiss Him so blithely by seeking something they could otherwise have from Him in phenomenal abundance. (The specifics of some of those contracts are here.) They refuse to put their full trust in God who would provide all good things for them, including the most resolute protection from the extortive advances of Caesar's operatives who can't imagine that along with terminating a given World contract, you would willingly relinquish all of the benefits also. Too many Christians hear Caesar command, "You must be bound in this matter or you'll be in big trouble," and they cower in the fear that they must keep that contract.
A critical factor in all this is the extent to which people still desire the World's enticements. Too often covetousness disguises itself as the wholesome Americanist demand that our rights be recognized, and we end up stepping all over people to get what we believe is rightfully ours. This may be news to many, but guess what: You have nothing. You have no rights, except what God decides to give you. You have no nice things except what God has already provided. That you even have a breath should make you rejoice that God even gave you that.
Is God so cold-hearted and aloof? No, He wants to give you the Kingdom — a hundred-fold greater than anything in the World. When you demonstrably side with the World instead by signing the contracts, then you get precisely what you've signed up for. Whatever "right" or "propriety" you clutch is only afforded you because the tyrant you've enabled likes to be your master.
Anytime someone insists that another owes him something in question, he puts himself in an awkward confrontational situation. Many then feel that protecting ourselves from exploitation by powerful people and seizing material goods and rights protections means “creating power.” When they believe they aren't getting their fair share, they get stirred with a righteous rebellion when all they're doing is trying to stretch the terms of the contract they've agreed to. Those who've extended the privileges of the contract justifiably get a bit steamed about this.
People respond with the firm belief that there is “power” in numbers. Hey, revolution is fun! If you are a committed Catholicist, the distended conflict is merely part of your existence. The devoted follower of Christ, on the other hand, addresses others with Truth and Grace — that is all he needs. David was rebuked by God when he proudly counted the men in his armies, but Gideon trusted God when He pared down his fighting force to almost nothing. Hezekiah only needed to pray and God miraculously wiped out an attacking army of thousands.
Virtually everyone in today’s “democratic” world thinks statements only have veracity when vociferously supported by x number of people. Furthermore, the Christians among them are convinced that to solve a given problem they must enlist the services of y number of people, no matter how many of them worship Cain. It'd be one thing to say how small their faith is, but how can it not be when they're beholden to the World as they are?
Look closely at what Peter writes here:
If you are in Christ, you already have power. In fact, if you just appreciated that you had it, if you actually participated in the divine nature, you wouldn’t be so easily taken in by the corruption of the world! This passage throws into question the extent to which church leaders really cared about the purity of those to whom they minister. Ask them about Jesus and they say “Amen brother there’s this and that about him!” Much of it may be fine. Ask them about what it means to share the good news and they shout “Amen brother there’s this and that” and they’ll usually get it a lot of it just about right.
But ask them about their contractual obligation with the Agency of Cain itself, and they clam up, huff and puff, cleverly dissemble, or even derisively belch that their Holy Anointedness should not be touched. They won’t give up their precious 501c3 commitments because they have been utterly seduced by Catholicist elements dedicated to the proposition that keeping every “Christian” leader subject to Cain and the burden of law means more people are kept from Christ who is Truth and Grace.
I see bright-eyed eager people — college kids, young adults with small children, single parents, older folks with hearts filled with acquisitiveness and compassion — coming to 501c3 churches all the time desperately hopeful to find The One Who Truly Frees, and for a while they may hear splendid things about Him.
What is happening all along, however, is that they are getting the full humanist panoply of ratio studiorum*, all the stuff of the World that has infected the organization and corrupted the worship. They will either end up hypnotically Catholicized by Churchianity, with some just as much a son or daughter of hell, or, if they are authentically honest and incisively inquisitive, they’ll see the leaders for what they are: out in the spotlight magnanimously beaming gentlemen (and sometimes ladies), but in their nether worlds caked with covetousness and compromise. Discovering this truth will leave most overwhelmingly disillusioned or abjectly despondent, and the operatives will have scored more points.
Being grafted to Babylon through incorporation, our churches are really just God clubs who must pay tribute to Caesar they wouldn't otherwise owe if they truly did as Peter wrote above. Anyone who feels compelled to incorporate or enable incorporation because they desire some stamp of approval from the government is enslaving themselves to the dominion God set up for the purpose of regulating the behavior of evildoers, not for the redeemed who love with His love. The result is the virulently emotional, spiritual, and of course physical violence spawned by hearts that still dread, mouths that still spew, and hands that still strike at any perceived affront.
The boldest conservative Christians screech "Abortion! Sodomy! Secularism!" while the most strident liberal ones holler "Poverty! War! Sectarianism!" They all gleefully gather with their own to hose down all bad things with their extra-strength holy pesticide, and yet little changes despite all the righteous vitriol.
Someone steps up and graciously says, "Maybe it has something to do with how much you're all plugged into the World." They get a glazed look on their face, smile, and shrug "Whatever," as they set off looking for stronger pesticide. This is what is so tragic — especially when they can be fully in the Kingdom by simply stepping there.
The upshot of all this is that they all trust in Caesar to manage their affairs. However much ignorance they plead, they still know that they need the services of government, an entity which is already contracted to prosecute evildoing. In turn, if you are a sinner, you are by default contracted to the Legacy of Cain. The only thing that can get you out of that is the blood of Christ. That is the only oath that counts: His solemn affirmation through His work on the cross that would free you from that body of death.
Praise God that He still does miracles. That He still enters people’s lives to reveal how much He loves with a heart-rendering, mind-blasting, soul-wrenching love. That while we may be lost, adrift, and yes, even still contractually beholden to masters to whom we swore allegiance many years ago, He still goes crazy loving us, extending His hand to take us right there...
Through The Gate. Even though it is a bit narrow, God opens it to whoever wants to enter.
Yes, you may still be in a place where Babylon is.
But The Gate goes to the Kingdom, and you may be there even so.
* Another reason contracts may be legitimately beneficial is that they may help us understand terms of an agreement we may not have considered. The economic principle of opportunity cost means we may need to be sure of those critical things. Jesus clearly said, “Count the cost.” (Luke 14:28-32), and Proverbs 14:15 says "The naive believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps." The principle of opportunity cost is that there is always something else you could be doing with your time or resources. The idea here is significant: We're always thinking about that contract that may be signed now, but later it is discovered that a better deal is available. What do you do? Again, the most important issue is, are you trusting in God's provision for which no other alternative can adequately compare? And do you understand how much you are loving another by respecting his or her opportunity cost in trusting that you will complete your agreed-upon service? Carefully read all of Luke 14 to find out more.
* Ratio studiorum is essentially the Jesuit program for making humanism very religious and acceptable for inclusion in Christian worship. It is Latin for "method of study," and all 501c3 churches, that is, those incorporated by the state and obligated to its instructive mandates, have adopted it for at least some of their belief and practice. The farther an ecclesiastic body is from using Scripture as its guide, the more pronounced will be its attention to the radio studiorum and to humanist thought and behavior.
This page was originally posted by David Beck at yourownjesus.net on March 19, 2006