When a nation’s religion is false, it is not only on the path to destruction, it is dead. The nation that has the Lord for its God, is a nation that is alive, that flourishes, prospers. I attended a lecture at Keele University in Staffordshire some time ago. The lecturer was discoursing on Middle Eastern affairs, Arabs and Israel. In his opening remarks, he pointed to the total dysfunctionality of the Arab states that surrounded Israel, despite having major resources, like oil and gas, the two major commodities that everybody wants today. So why are they dysfunctional? Why are they not the most developed, civilised nations in the world? Then he pointed to the tiny nation of Israel and how despite being continually mauled by its neighbours and others, it prospers, it flourishes. As I thought about this and Calvin’s ministry, words like theology and freedom came to mind. I read a short time ago, someone said that the real founder of the United States of America, was, in fact, John Calvin, the Reformation theologian. Why? Well, he is esteemed to be the greatest theologian since the apostle Paul, it was he who developed and formed the Reformation’s theology after Luther kick-started it. The Puritans who fled to America took Calvin’s theology with them and planted it in fertile soil, and it grew. The theology of Calvin espoused freedom, of political thought, economy and religion, expressed in the spoken and written word. But my point is this, that it was under that liberty that the USA prospered, flourished. Come back across the Atlantic to Britain. We had years of strife and bloodshed, Elizabeth, Charles I & II, Cromwell, finally, someone said, enough of this bloodshed and fighting. We can’t force religion on people, so just let the clergy persuade people by sound doctrine. It was another hundred years after this that total religious emancipation came, but it came. The British Isles flourished, prospered as Calvin’s Reformation theology became the warp and woof of our nation. Good theology and freedom of expression make for a functional, prosperous nation. The Arab States remain and have done for many, many years in a dysfunctional state simply because they have bad theology, i.e., false religion, therefore no freedom. The former keeps them in jail, no freedom, just bondage to more pagan religion. As someone else has highlighted, Protestantism fosters healthy growth, intellectual growth, not just religious. It brings education to the masses. It doesn’t encourage laziness or despise hard work. It exalts independence and individual responsibility. It creates a higher calibre of morality. It fosters separation from Church and State. Everything you don’t see where you have a predominance of pagan religion, whether it be the Islamic Arab States or Roman Catholicism’s South American enclaves. The Roman Church-State agenda is not about freedom or economic development. Its teaching is the cause of economic stagnation, poverty and suffering. Where the yoke of pagan religion is cast off and abandoned, there is growth, there are freedom, wholesomeness and health, there is life. It was Protestantism, Calvin’s theology, that brought liberty, stimulation of life to the West, to Europe and the United States of America.
Freedom Comes & Freedom Goes
But now that prosperity and freedom are under threat. Why? Partly to blame, we, have sold out on the truth, we have not been thankful to God for past blessings. But another cause is the insurgence of paganism, the invasion of the West, the influx of dysfunctional Islamic religion into Europe and the USA. Whether consciously or not, Muslims living amidst poverty and cruelty realise their only hope lies in the free West, so some, are drawn by the prosperity and freedom they see and want. But of course, when they come, they don’t leave their false religion behind. What they don’t realise is, the very cause, the reason they didn’t prosper, flourish where they were, was all the time because of their false religion, they bring with them the deadly poison, and the result if it is not divinely checked, will be, that the West will become as dysfunctional, stagnant as the Arab States they left behind. But of course, it has to be said also, that our people in the West have so apostatised from true religion, i.e. Calvin’s Reformation theology, have become so stupidly anti-intellectual, and idolatrous that even they don’t realise where the prosperity and freedom they have enjoyed for so, so long came from, namely, the Lord who instigated the Reformation that brought about our freedom. But we are already being judged for that and will be increasingly more so. There is but one defence against this invasion of death-dealing paganism, and that is the bold, courageous preaching of the same Reformation principles that brought us out of a thousand years of enslavement to superstition, pageantry, and popery. The rampant superstition of the Middle ages ended with the rediscovery of the Bible and the proclamation of its truth, of Calvin’s theology, which he, of course, got from the Jewish Scriptures, “for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), Alas, our nation walks upon eggshells now, in Schools, Colleges, Hospitals, businesses, everyone must be careful, hush! We must not upset the Muslims. That certainly wasn’t the attitude that brought the Reformation to these shores. But men and women who were bold enough for Jesus, willing to fight and even shed their blood for truth and freedom. Freedom is a very, very expensive commodity, are we willing again to pay the price for it? Like our forbears lifting our voices and making the truth known, loving sinners, whatever false beliefs they may hold, loving them enough not to be silenced.
(©️ James R Hamilton, February 2020)