In the Great Commission Jesus commands the Church to disciple the nations. Have you ever thought about whether that includes teaching God’s law and wisdom to people who aren’t Christians? I believe that it does and that our view of the Great Commission is too narrow. If someone is not a Christian, he still has a conscience — he knows that God made him and that he owes obedience to God.
Consider raising children. When you disciple a child, how much of that child’s life do you seek to address and when do you start? In raising a child, we teach him about God and we teach him God’s law from the beginning. We teach Him that God made the heavens and the earth. We teach him not to hit his siblings. We give punishment for disobedience. We take care for the subject matter of his school lessons. We teach him to respect God’s authority. We set boundaries until he can stand on his own and make wise decisions. These things are a big part of his discipleship. They preserve his life like salt and light the path to Christ.
Do we wait for intellectual assent before we teach him God’s law? We don’t because we believe that God has given us authority and responsibility for that child. We teach him God’s law from the beginning. We surround him with godly learning materials. We inculcate the doctrines of God, creation, sin and grace into his worldview and much else besides from the time he is young. We do this because: 1) we believe it disciples the child to Christ; and, 2) we believe that we have authority and responsibility for that child.
Do we take a similar approach to the people of our nation? The humanists certainly have. They control the public schools which disciple the children of our nation. But Christians have grown less and less active in public life over the last 150 years. Why? I think the answer is that we have increasingly believed the lie that we don’t have authority or responsibility to be involved.
Our nation desperately needs instruction from us. But much of our theology tells us that God’s law does not apply to unbelievers, or at least that we are not God’s agents to teach it. We have adopted views put forward by humanists that we must have a “pluralistic” civil society where “no one faith” is dominant. We have bought into the humanist idea that the state can be religiously “neutral”. And while the Church has wrongly tried to maintain that neutrality, the humanists have not. The result? The humanist faith is becoming dominant. When Christianity pulls out of the public square, rebellion against God takes its place.
Such theology cripples the Church in its prophetic mission to our nation. We need to regain the deep spiritual conviction that this is God’s world and that everyone in it owes obedience to Him, even if they have not yet made a confession of faith… just like with our own kids.
We need to build a culture in our churches of learning God’s law and holding it in high, reverent regard. God’s law is powerful. We need to challenge and equip the saints to study and apply God’s law with authority to their own lives and the lives of their unbelieving friends. We need to develop of culture that exalts the wisdom of God’s law and encourages Christians to believe that God’s law applies to their unbelieving friends, to our culture and to every aspect of the life of our nation.
“The law of the Lord is trustworthy and perfect. It refreshes the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart, and gives light to the eyes.” (Ps. 19:7-9)
The Great Commission commands us specifically to teach the nations to obey everything that God has commanded. We have authority and responsibility to fulfill this commission. As we do, God’s law will preserve the lives of many and light the way to Christ. Many will repent and become believers and God’s name and word will be honored by the nations.
“Teach God’s law to ALL and baptize those who repent.”
This is a foundational difference in belief and practice for the Church. The theological difference resides chiefly in our understanding of God’s covenants, a topic which reaches deeply into our theology of the entire Bible. Thus, I submit to you for prayer and consideration the blog posts on this site and the following essays:
Thoughts or comments? Please contact me. I am gradually building out this site as I have time but I am glad to dialogue outside the site. I hope and pray that I can be a blessing to you and your family, to your church and community. And I pray that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, devoting all that you are to Him each day. May God bless you richly in Christ.