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All the Worlds Problems Are Religious.

John G. Reisinger
I remember the first time I heard the above statement. It was made by Donald Grey Barnhouse, the then pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pa. I was just starting to learn the necessity of thinking in terms of a biblical world and life view. My first reaction was to view the statement as an attention grabber that was not totally true. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was not only true, it was a very vital truth. Look with me at a few examples. One of the most pressing, and at the moment a most unsolvable, problems in America today is racism. I believe racism has a solution, but it is impossible to apply that solution until both the cause and cure of racism are seen to be theological and not political. What is the root cause of racism? It is a clear denial of the biblical truth that God is the sovereign creator of all men. The answer to racism is the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Before you charge me with heresy, let me clearly state that I believe all unsaved people have the Devil, not God, as their spiritual father. Let me assure you I agree with Jesus when he told the Pharisees that God was not their father, but they were children of the Devil. Jesus made this point very clear.
I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:38-44).

It is clear from these verses that there is a sense in which all people are not children of God, but some are children of the Devil. It is just as clear from other texts of Scripture that all men are, in another sense, the offspring of God. It is a clear biblical fact that only those who are born again are the spiritual children of God. Let me assure you I am not at all denying that only those who are born of the Spirit and have faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are the spiritual, and true children of God. Likewise, those who are not justified by faith and baptized into the Body of Christ are not my spiritual brothers and sisters. However, all men, regardless of whether they are believers or not, are my fellow human beings. All men are my brothers in that we are all equally created by God. My black neighbor is, equally with me, an offspring of God. There is a sense in which the statement, The Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man is true. There is also a sense in which the statement is very wrong. Acts 17 makes it abundantly clear that God is the Father, in the sense of Creator, of all men. They are all Gods offspring. This is the heart of Pauls argument in Acts 17.
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device ( Acts 17:24-29).

There is only one Creator, and there is only one race of men. There is not a black race of men created by a black God and a white race of men created by a white God. All men are the children of Adam. Some of Adams sons are white and some of his sons are black, but all men, whether black, white, red or

yellow, are the children of Adam and a part of the one human race. They all shared in Adams fall into sin in the garden. God has chosen to save some white people and some black people and make them his spiritual children and allowed the rest to perish in unbelief. There is not a single black person that chose to be born black. Nor has there ever been a white person, a red person or a yellow person who chose to be born a particular color. That fact has some clear implications. First of all, it must have a profound effect on my attitude to all men including my black neighbor. It means I must always remember that it was God who sovereignly chose to create me either black, white, red or yellow. I had nothing at all to do with what color my skin was. It is impossible to understand the theology of Paul and feel I am superior to my black neighbor. Paul wrote to the Corinthians and used this truth to shame them in their pride.
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (1 Cor. 4:7).

I am white and my next door neighbor is black. So what does that prove? One thing it does not prove is that I am in any way at all superior to him because I am white. Neither I nor my black neighbor chose the color of our skin. We both had zip, zero, nothing at all to do with our birth. I did not chose to be white, and he did not choose to be black. God himself made me white and made my neighbor black. God, by creation, is the father of us both. My neighbor and I share the same status by nature. We are brothers, of one blood, in the sense that we are both the sons of Adam or fellow human beings. We are true bothers in that we trace our lineage back to the same father, Adam, and we also both, along with ever other human person, trace our being back to God as our creator. It is impossible to understand what I have just stated and then either look down my nose at a person just because he has a different color of skin than mine. Likewise, I cannot feel inferior for the same reason. I would have to attribute my white skin to be the result of something I did and totally deny the absolute sovereignty of Gods creatorship. I would have to answer Pauls question by saying, I made the difference between me and my neighbor and my whiteness somehow proves I am superior. I must deny the truth of Gods sovereignty not only in his creatorship, and I must also believe that white is somehow a better color than black. Racism grows out of a failure to understand and apply the truth of Gods sovereign creatorship. The attitude of both whites and blacks cannot be changed with laws even though laws are helpful. The heart attitude must be changed with an understanding of theology. There can never be a serious dent in the practice of racism until there is a change in how we think about God as creator. The international problem with terrorism labeled Muslim Jihadist is another example of Barnhouses statement. True, terrorism may be used by politicians, but its root cause is theological. The stated goal of the terrorists is not just to make the Muslim faith the religion of the world, but it is to be determined to make one particular brand of the Muslim faith be the one universal religion. Democracy and freedom of religion is heresy of the deepest form to a true Jihadist. Their rejection of the separation of church and state denies the basic conception of democracy imbedded in the constitution of the USA. The man who killed all the soldiers at Fort Hood did so because of his religious beliefs. He sincerely believed he was serving God. The motivation in his killing spree was not political; it was religious. He was serving his God. His actions were acts of religious worship. There will continue to be more such acts of terrorism as long as there are people who sincerely believe what the man at Fort Hood believed. A failure to see this fact is one of the primary reasons there is no valid hope to believe such tragedies will not continue. Unfortunately the United States is no intellectual match for the Muslim Jihadist. The Jihadist not only has clear-cut religious doctrinal beliefs, but he is willing to die for those beliefs. He laughs at the stupid statement, It does not matter what your religious beliefs are as long as you are sincere. A vital part of the Jihadist's religious belief is his duty to kill Americans. He believes he will go to heaven and receive a harem of 25 virgins as a reward for performing his religious duty by killing Americans. In contrast, the average American does not believe anything let alone believe it strong enough to die for it. The typical

Americans religion demands that there is no such thing as absolute truth, and all religions are equally acceptable. It does not occur to him that the as long as the person is sincere in his religion it does not matter what he believes doctrine totally justifies the Jihadist at Fort Hood in what he did. How could anyone be more sincere than that man? Let me mention one more example of Barnhouses statement. I remember hearing a debate where a person said, There is very little difference between Christianity and Communism. The other person said, It all depends on how you look at it. Christianity says, What is mine is yours and I will share it with you. On the other hand, Communism says, What is yours is mine and I intend to take it from you. I suppose a good spin doctor could make that to be a small difference, but any thinking person will see truth turned on its head. I will agree that the goal of biblical Christianity is that all men would believe the Gospel just as all Jihadists want all men to believe their brand of the Muslim faith. However, this similarity totally ceases when we remember that the Jihadists feel justified in killing men, women, and children to attain his goal, and the Christian can only use truth and persuasion. Communism is a religion. It has its high priests and specific dogmas. It denies the creatorship of God and insists the individual exists for the state. There is nothing sacred since there is no God. Man is not special since he is the end product of evolution. He is only an animal despite the fact he is the highest form animal. This view allows, and in some cases dictates, the extermination of six million Jews by Hitler or fifty thousands Russians by Stalin. This is only possible because of a denial of the dignity of man as created by God in his image. Theology has consequences. This is never truer than it is when we define the meaning of the words man and the word God. A.W. Tozer said, The most important thing about you is what comes into your mind when you hear the word God. He went on to explain how you think about God determines how you think about your fellow man as created in the image of God. It is no accident that some nations treat women as personal slaves. Their theology of women is terrible. I really get upset when I hear a feminist bad mouth the Apostle Paul. He ought to be the patron saint of feminists. If you follow the translation of Pauls epistles around the world, you discover that the liberation of women always follows the preaching of those epistles. Again, we must insist that theology has consequences. I should add that good theology leads to good sequences, and bad theology leads to bad theology. The religion of some people leads them to build hospitals, schools and places of worship. The religion of other people leads them to blow these same things up, and I might add, to blow them up knowing full well that there are women and children in those buildings when they blow them up. Barnhouse was right; all the worlds problems are religious.

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