I often frame the question among certain friends and family: “If we lose our trust and faith in the Word of God and the principles of holiness and separation from the world, where do we go? Where do we end up? Where do our children end up?” The end result is yet unknown. No one can control the consequences of sins and lies, as Jude summarizes in his short powerful letter, a difficult letter to read, concerning apostasy.
An interesting little volume was published last year entitled God and Churchill written by Jonathan Sandys (Churchill’s great-grandson) and Wallace Henley. The chapter “Preserving a Certain Way of Life” is very powerful and timely. Churchill, the authors point out, clung to a central hope that a Christian civilization would provide the principles to shape an enduring civilization.
The book examines these principles as cited by Churchill. The book, of course, advances explanations of how these elements provide the foundation for shaping our lives. However, I will list them here in hopes the list will connect with our hearts as to how powerful these observations are and cause us to think about what happens when we remove the foundations of God’s Word in our lives and culture. Psa. 11:3
If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
- Christian civilization rests upon the foundation of the Bible.
- Christian civilization recognizes healthy pride but rejects destructive arrogance.
- Christian civilization uses wealth and strength to serve, not to master.
- Christian civilization values and promotes the discipline of self-restraint, making true liberty possible.
- Christian civilization promotes the importance of forgiveness.
- Christian civilization celebrates and encourages true courage, not mere bravado.
- Christian civilization understands the importance of the Golden Rule in the foundation of government policy.
- Christian civilizationrecognizes the Ten Commandments as the basis of all morality and law.
The idea here is that it takes a foundation of vital and important principles to maintain our position in the world. Churchill’s “certain way of life” could not survive, he posited, unless we understood what it was that supported it, grounded it, or as we might say, “made it happen.” Sandys also quotes Edmund Burke to make this point — people “are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.”
If we reject the foundations, building the structure is impossible. One cannot rightly proclaim to be a true Apostolic New Testament church without the Apostles’ doctrine. There are no substitutions for what the Apostles of Jesus Christ preached after the Upper Room outpouring of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). It is the foundation of the new birth, without which we are adrift on a sea of speculation.
So, about this “certain way of life,” this Church Triumphant, is it not built on a sure foundation? Of course it is, and it will forever be a glorious Church. Does it not have an “Author and Finisher”? It does, of course. The apostles met with Him. “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.”
Perhaps all our gatherings should include a report to the Author and Finisher concerning all we have done and taught. And keep in mind we must all be vigilant, as Burke states; in order to maintain liberty we must “put moral chains upon our own appetites”—appetites that are contrary to the faith, appetites for power, positions, popularity, and lust for the false and superficial titles of the world. And perhaps the worst immoral appetite one might imagine is asking the preacher or prophet to lie to us as noted in Isaiah 30:10: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:”…