[preface] I have come to be in awe of this attribute of God, for it reveals to us one of the most remarkable characteristics of His nature and, I would dare say, even the very heart of God. As such, it is not surprising that we see it deeply manifested in every aspect of life.
It is not a word that is literally found in the Bible, just as we will not find omnipotent or omniscient or triune, but the delegations of God are unmistakably revealed in both the Scriptures and throughout the general revelation of what He has made.
It was first manifested in creation…easiest to see when He created plants. He didn’t create them as mere endpoints, but instead delegated to them the authority and responsibility to bring forth new plant life. He created them for this purpose. He did the same with the animals and man. We were created and then equipped and sent to multiply and fill the earth.
Unfortunately, this is too familiar to us and we therefore may miss the enormity of this amazing aspect of His nature. God is infinite in creative power. He could have been the forever progenitor of every plant, animal and human throughout time. He could have not made us male and female. He could have made the plants without pistils or stamens. He could have not made seeds or fruit or bees for pollination.
He could have made everything sterile…with Him being the continual-Creator, creating each and every new plant, each new cub, each new baby…or rather each new mature life, for there wouldn’t have been a need for seeds to grow or parents to nurture cubs or fawns or babies. There would have been no seeds. There would have been no parents.
But He didn’t create this way.
In fact, I will go so far as to say that He couldn’t have made His Creation sterile, because that would be contrary to His own nature. God is the God of life, yes, but almost more importantly He is the God who delegates. And when it comes to life, He delegated to His creatures the authority and power and capability to, themselves, create new living creatures…after their own kind. For their delegated authority was limited. They were not given the power to create life after another kind. They were given the authority and the means to create life after their own kind…only.
And God was pleased with this. He was zealous for this.
He has a zeal for His creatures to flourish.
And this flourishing, this “fruit” of His creatures, brings their Creator great glory.
This is the God who delegates.
But He does not delegate authority just for the reproduction of new life; He also delegates the authority to carry out other aspects of His purposes and plans.
This too, is for His glory.
This is why He sends.
This is why Moses was sent to Egypt rather than God going to Pharaoh Himself.
This is why God chose to send Jonah to Ninevah…and Elijah to Ahab…and Paul to the Gentiles.
This is why you and I are sent. This is why we are commanded to agape our neighbor.
This is the God who delegates.
This is the God who created social order and delegated within those social systems the notion of power and authority as well as submission. The husband does not have authority because of his own worth. He has authority because God has delegated it to him. He must therefore use it wisely and in accordance with God’s design, with fear and trembling, for he bears that authority only as it has been delegated to him by God. If he uses that authority in accordance with God’s design, there will be great blessing. If he becomes arrogant or haughty with that authority or abdicates that authority, he will suffer divine consequences…and most likely his family as well.
The king carries authority and bears the sword only because God has delegated that authority to him. He is to use that authority to punish evil and to condone that which is good. If he rules with righteousness, there will be blessings. If he reigns with arrogance and pride, he will find himself in a pasture, insane and eating grass like a cow. Maybe not exactly like Nebuchadnezzar, but his judgment will come…sooner or later. If he thumbs his nose at the God of the Universe, if he rules with wickedness and evil, with oppression and theft, with injustice and bribery and selfishness…then he will suffer divine consequences…and his nation as well.
Every one of the social systems that God has created carries their design and authority because of the God who delegates. In fact, the entire universe reflects this aspect of God’s nature, for even the atoms were created with delegated functionality. Chemical compounds fulfill the delegated purposes of God. The sun and the nuclear reactions operating within it fulfill the delegated purposes of God. The combination of elements, like hydrogen and oxygen forming water, are a vital piece of fulfilling the delegated plans and purposes of God.
And you and I have been delegated one of the greatest responsibilities in all of creation. For you and I have been delegated the authority and responsibility to be witnesses…to bear the good news…to bear the fruit of the Spirit of God…to speak of Him, act of Him, live our lives as a testimony of Him.
Because He has delegated to us the responsibility of proclaiming who He is to the world around us. He could fully show Himself in all of His glory at any minute of any day. But He doesn’t. Why? Because He has delegated that responsibility to us. We have the privilege of manifesting His glory. And in some strange way, His glory is magnified when it comes through His creatures.
This is so contrary to our sinful lust for power and control. When we obtain power, we generally misuse it or crave for more.
God gives it away.
The king rarely gives up power and authority. He usually grabs all he can, consolidating authority and power until he bloats on it and the whole culture collapses.
But God delegates His authority and His power. He gives it freely and willingly so that His creatures might be fruitful and that fruit, in turn, brings Him glory.
Jesus was the perfect example of a “delegate”. The Father granted authority to Him. Somehow in the mystery of the Trinity we have this nature of God manifested eternally within the Godhead: the Father delegating authority to the Son; the Father sending the Son; the Son only saying what the Father gives Him to say.
And the Son, in turn, granted authority to His disciples…and to us.
This is where the king gets his authority; the husband his authority; the pastor his authority; the owner his authority; the child of God his authority to speak and witness and bear the truth of the good news and manifest the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place; light; salt…and who is equal to such a task?
Oh how awesome is our God, that He should delegate to us such a precious and valuable task!
If we were fully perceptive enough in all of this, I would suppose that we would then come to our senses and recognize why He has granted us the mysterious authority to ask of Him, to petition Him, such that if we do not ask, we do not have. Herein lies the great puzzle of the delegation of a perfect God to His imperfect creatures.
“For He seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to His creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what He could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye.” C. S. Lewis
Verses to ponder throughout the week:
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people. Daniel 4:17
Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. Daniel 4:25
For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. John 12:49
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matthew 28:18
…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2
Did he not make them one…? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. Malachi 2:15
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Rom 13:1
…and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Luke 22:29-30
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. John 5:26
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. John 17:2
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. John 17:18
The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; John 17:22
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence… 2 Peter 1:3
But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Our President will offer, on Tuesday, his State of the Union address. However, it will most likely not be a true state of our nation, but rather another political posturing speech, just like we have heard for years, from both Republicans and Democrats. This is unfortunate, for our nation needs a true, honest assessment of where we are as a culture. It is in that spirit I offer my humble perspective. This is what I would wish for the President to say as he stands before Congress and the American people:
To the people of this great country, I offer to you my honest assessment of the state of our nation…and it is not good.
We are greatly blessed in America. We have abundant resources, rich farmland, and beauty beyond description: from the Grand Canyon to our waterfalls, from our mountains to our coastlands. We have been blessed with great people: people who have come here from all the nations of the earth, seeking the American dream. They have been hard working, good people, courageous in the face of trials and heroic in the face of enemies.
We have been blessed with more than we can enumerate. And, I suppose, the Hollywood and political style would have us gush and fawn over each other in our lofty positions and applaud all kinds of supposed accomplishments as if these blessings come from our own making. It would be in keeping with most of our recent State of the Union addresses to therefore give you a long list of all the grand things that the Federal government needs to do for the American people and to smile and look into the camera and assure them that we are taking good care of them...and things are going quite well.
But they are not.
We are not healthy…
Nor are we strong.
In fact, I believe we are now, more than ever before in the life of this nation, vulnerable to destruction.
This has not come as the result of an external power or force. It has not come from our current war with terrorism.
I do not speak of our military might, but I speak of the state of this nation’s soul.
We hang over a perilous ledge…at best, we are sliding into an insignificant oblivion.
We are in a state of decay…we are rotting away from within.
We have succumbed to a deep selfishness. It is eating away at our character, our strength and our core like an aggressive, unchecked cancer.
Despite all the current cries for secularization, we were founded with a clear belief that the health of this nation would rest upon two foundations: religion and morality. This was not to be understood that religious particulars would be legislated, but that we, as a nation, recognized the fundamental existence of God and His declaration of things that were right and things that were wrong, and that the citizenry would then govern themselves according to those transcendent laws. It was this self-government that allowed for a minimum of civil-government and therefore a maximum of personal freedom…freedom to work hard and to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor…to use that fruit and selfless efforts to raise a family and to aid one’s neighbor in distress.
This was the American dream.
In our great foolishness, we have now discarded those foundations.
We have traded self-government for self-indulgence. We have traded transcendent Truth for self-centered identity and self-centered lust. The desires of the heart now trump any notion of divine righteousness.
We have tossed aside these critical Foundations…Foundations that for years sustained and propelled us into being the greatest nation in the world. Now we chase the mirage and illusion of self-gratification and false notions that right and wrong are determined by the individual…by man himself. And these false notions are now supported and propagated by all the centers of influence in our culture: Hollywood, media, academia and even the President, the Supreme Court and Congress.
And, as with every lie and deceit, its promises are false. Instead of selfishness bringing us happiness and pleasure, it reaps us strife and groaning. In the end, a self-centered culture is a hateful and violent culture…a culture seething with the seeds of its own destruction.
Our cities teeter on the brink of bursting into riots and flames. We can no longer stroll safely at night on our streets. Our families are no longer secure in their homes. Our children are no longer safe in their schools.
Our pursuit of selfishness and hedonism has brought the true state of our nation to one that is filled with violence.
We lead the world in crime. We commit approximately 10 million crimes every year…nearly 26,000 every day. No other nation comes close to us.
Every day we murder 40 people and rape 320.
As such, we also lead the world in incarcerations. Of all the prisoners in the world, we account for 25% of them. Our prisons are overflowing.
The backbone of our culture, our families, are in serious trouble.
For every 7 marriages this year, there will be nearly 4 divorces. And when we have babies, fewer are within the security and nourishment of a mother and father. Half of our first babies are born to unwed mothers; a third of our children live without a father; if you are a black baby conceived in this nation, the odds are greater that you will be aborted than that you will be born alive. Since 1973, we have killed 55 million of our babies, about a million a year, and we abort more of our offspring every single day than the terrorists murdered in the World Trade towers on 9/11.
The true state of our Union should cause us to weep.
We lead the world in producing pornography. 90% of the world’s pornography comes from our nation. We are sexually addicted and obsessed. Our movies and music and media are awash in what was once considered sinful and vile.
The state of our nation is truly shameful.
We have lost our sense of morality and it is costing us dearly. Try to imagine this next statistic: in one year, we will contract 20 million sexually transmitted infections. That’s 54,000 people infected every day…a fourth of them are teenagers. This is well beyond a level that we should label as an epidemic and plague—but we don’t speak of these things because it would dampen our lust for sexual freedom and reduce ticket sales at the theater.
We are the world’s leading user of illegal drugs. Approximately one in ten of us is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Every day, our drinking and driving snuffs out the lives of 28 human beings. We spend $50 billion federal dollars every year fighting illegal drugs while we spend $100 billion a year using them.
We are a nation of self-centered addicts.
Our drug and alcohol addictions lead the world, but they are nothing compared to the astounding percentage of our people who have sexual addictions…people who are addicted to pornography or addicted to gambling or video games or other pathologies that have a death grip upon us, destroying our lives, our families and our fruitfulness.
This, too, is a national epidemic.
We are sinking fast into mental numbness and dumbness as well. Out of the top 22 developed countries, our upcoming millennial generation ranks dead last in math, dead last in problem solving, and near dead last in literacy. This is a continual decline over decades. After four years of college, our Millennials score no better than high school seniors in Japan or Finland or the Netherlands. Researchers call our Millennial scores “abysmal”.
Instead, our teens consume nearly 9 hours a day of entertainment on smartphones or TV. By the time they are 18, our children will have witnessed approximately 400,000 murders on TV and by the age of 21, they will have spent 10,000 hours playing video games.
Even the future state of our nation does not look promising.
We adults aren’t much different. We average nearly 6 hours a day in front of the television…a big screen TV that is most likely on a credit card. Our personal consumer debt is over $2.5 trillion. The average family owes $16,000 in credit card debt. Our students owe $1.3 trillion in school loans.
But the biggest runaway spending is found in Washington.
The Federal debt is beyond imagination. Our debt has gone from $7.3 trillion in 2004 to over $18.8 trillion today with no sign of slowing down. This debt is now higher than our GDP—the total of ALL the goods and services produced in our country. We pay almost $230 billion a year in interest on that debt. The debt load on every taxpayer in America is now over $157,000.
But, in reality, the $18.8 trillion debt is a phony number. The real debt is found in our unfunded obligations, obligations to pay things in the future like Social Security and Medicare. This is the real debt of our nation. We currently have unfunded liabilities that total over $100 trillion dollars….a debt load of $1 million dollars for every taxpayer in our nation. It is more than the total of the ENTIRE world’s output. This debt is beyond understanding. It is a house of cards awaiting a puff of wind to blow it down.
Are we so blind that we cannot see any of this?
Despite the political posturing, we have fewer people in the workforce today than in 2000. We play with numbers to keep a respectable unemployment figure by moving millions of people into a growing pool of what we call “not in the labor force”…currently over 90 million, but the reality is that many of them are of working age who desire to be employed full-time but the jobs are not there. That may partially come from the fact that we also have the largest trade deficit in the entire world and that our high corporate tax rate is causing businesses and jobs to move to other countries.
All of this is transforming our nation into an ever-increasing welfare state. Over half of our people receive redistribution benefits from the Federal government. Few Americans are saving wisely and 76% of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, which means over three-fourths of our nation are loaded with debt and are one paycheck away from financial disaster.
How can we be so foolish?
We are increasingly becoming a nation of dependents and wards of the State. We are becoming slaves to a Federal Beast that grows without restraint.
The power and reach of the Federal government has become unrecognizable by our founding standards. The President and Supreme Court craft laws in defiance of the Constitution. The President thumbs his nose at the Constitution’s requirement to get Senate approval for foreign treaties. [I can guarantee that the President’s State of the Union that will be delivered Tuesday will be filled with political posturing, back patting, and that everything proposed will lead to a larger and more powerful Federal Beast. And in so doing, our people will descend deeper and deeper into dependent wards, and with it, our productivity will continue to shrivel and dry up.]
And in all of this, we simply turn a blind eye and go back to our TVs and smartphones…because we are addicted to our self-centeredness.
Our military has increasingly been stripped of any notion of Absolute truth…a military that was once feared by enemies, but cheered by the liberated French. Why? Because they carried a belief in an absolute moral foundation. No longer. Our military academies and military services have become a playground for social policies and political correctness and there is growing list of incidents that are creating a very “hostile” environment for the religious freedom of military members in order to crush the notion of Transcendent Truth....leaving only "State" truth.
Nothing should frighten us more than to think that we would desire to build a military or police force that believes truth lies within their own heart or within whatever orders are handed down from the State…that might is what makes right.
We have an enemy that has attacked our homeland and yet we are too squeamish to label the worldview behind it. We cannot bring ourselves to acknowledge the existence of evil nor the existence of sin because to do so is to acknowledge a Transcendent truth that exists beyond our self-centered fantasy. Instead, we look for environmental causes of evil behavior and point a finger at guns while we ignore the violence and sex and hedonism in our movies and music. Hollywood or the media is never held accountable, nor the educational system or public policies that continue to destroy our families and our culture.
And we are back to the heart of the issue.
For the true State of the Union lies here, in the selfish casting off of the Transcendent for the temporary; seeking our hedonistic pleasure for today while selling our souls and our future.
Do not be fooled. Selfishness eventually spawns hatred and violence. If you do not affirm me, I will spew such animosity toward you that you will be swept away with its fury. If you do not bake me an affirming cake, we will destroy your bakery. If you do not take affirming photographs, we will destroy your studio. If you do not allow a man who identifies as female to use the women’s restroom, the state of Washington will now shut down your business. If you do not affirm my self-selected gender identity with the proper pronoun, New York will now prosecute and fine you a quarter of a million dollars.
Our selfishness has reached the level of stark absurdity…backed by legal and political tyranny.
Somewhere in all of this, the founding generation must be shaking their heads in disbelief at what is happening to this nation. Our selfishness and rejection of absolute Truth is sucking us into a monstrous whirlpool that leads downward to utter darkness.
We are committing cultural and national suicide and yet we continue to affirm and gush over each other and party while the nation crumbles beneath our feet.
Does anyone care enough to fight this?
Does anyone care enough to stand?...to stand for what is right…for what is true…for what is good?
The Governors of the States must stand against the tyranny of the Federal Beast, but it must be the people who will stand and say no to the path that we tread. For the true State of the Union, which hangs by a thread, can be changed only if the people demand a change.
But the change must begin within.
If we continue to pursue our pleasure and entertainment, if we continue to abdicate our responsibility for the health of our families and this nation, if we continue to allow Hollywood and academia and the media and the Government to lead us down this path, then we, as a nation, are going to die. And the death may come in a night…it may come so swiftly that the world will stand in awe at our downfall.
But health will not come over night. We live in a fallen world where you catch diseases quickly, but you don’t catch health. You can fall and break a bone instantly, but healing it takes a lot of time. If we are to regain our health, if we are to restore what is broken, it will require the courage and strength and long-term commitment of the people…if we still have the character to do so. It will come by first falling to our knees in repentance before the God who made us…the God who gave us a land flowing with milk and honey…the God who has sustained us through war and countless trials…the God before whom we now stand and shake our fist in His face. It will come by an examination of our personal lives and the pathologies that infest our social systems. It will come by both individual and national commitments to that which is True. And it will come by a sustained walk of turning back to the God to whom we owe all things…to the God who can reduce us to rubble with one puff of His breath.
And if we do not, may God have mercy on us and our children.
Though the state of our Union is perilous, Remnant, there is a reason why we remain. It is for this time that we have been preserved. May we stand for Truth in the times in which we live.
Pray, dear Remnant, for repentance, Tuesdays, noon eastern.
Just when you thought our culture couldn’t get any crazier, we now have a 47-year-old father of seven who wants to be identified as a six-year-old girl.
But the really crazy thing is that our culture is gushing over him.
Why? Well, it’s primarily because of the Covenant of Tolerance, where we discard the notion of absolute, transcendent Truth, substitute the individual as it’s source, and then affirm each other’s absolute right to follow our heart. The Covenant then says that I will affirm you if you will affirm me.
And we are going to affirm ourselves into a cultural abyss.
By affirming the increasingly absurd, we are hoping that we will, in turn, be affirmed in our own absurdity, our own self-centered desires…so that nothing can be denied us…no desire, no want, no need…absolutely nothing can be called into question because there is no absolute truth, only individual truth. And the Covenant assures that we will affirm each other...a solidarity of self-centeredness, if you will.
This leads us to see pathology as healthy, selfishness as praiseworthy, and evil as individual righteousness.
This is cultural leprosy.
We can no longer feel pain--a natural sense of danger; no longer feel when our hand is on the hot stove; no longer hear or see the warnings of lies and evil. We have made a Covenant to hear no wrong, see no wrong, speak that there is no wrong.
Cultural leprosy will lead to death. Over time, each evil and lie that we close our eyes and ears and voices to, kills another part of our culture until we become the walking dead. We may still exist, but as a culture, we are dead. We will have literally destroyed ourself through selfish stupidity.
So now we applaud Paul Woscht, ('please call me Stefonkee'), who has left his wife and family and has been embraced by an affirming Covenant family who has taken him in as a 6-year-old girl. He dresses in dresses and colors and no doubt plays house with his new “mummy and daddy’s” grandchildren.
And to call this insane or deranged, demented or loony, or just plain sinful to abandon one's family for selfish desire, is to be called hateful, bigoted, narrow-minded, and trans-phobic.
Because we have become cultural lepers.
I would call you again, Remnant, to join together to pray for repentance, Tuesday, noon eastern. Put it on your calendar. Pray that the Lord would strike us all with repentance that we might come to our senses and escape from the trap of the devil who has taken us captive to do his will.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26
For those who have been asking…I have been on the road in back-to-back trips for the last month or so. After the Grand Canyon filming, I taught the Calvary Chapel East Anaheim men’s retreat in the mountains of California, followed immediately by teaching at Impact 360, near Callaway Gardens, Georgia. This is an amazing gap-year program run by one of the great foundations of Chick-fil-a to help graduated high school students get a year of worldview under their belt before entering the university battleground.
This was followed by teaching at the Naval Academy/Merchant Marine Academy retreat held at White Sulfur Springs, the Officer’s Christian Fellowship conference center in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains of Pennsylvania. This was a great treat for me, to spend four days with these great academy midshipmen and cadets. It was extra special because the OCF was so instrumental to me in my own military career.
This was followed by two filming events, one near Dayton, Tennessee and the other at the Memphis Zoo.
If I get a chance, I will try to write something about each of those, but I only have a short break before we take the filming crew to St. Thomas, VI.
So, for those of you looking for the blog, the devotion, the headlines and between, the Kruptikos and WV content that hasn’t been posted for almost a month…this is why!
This is frustrating to me because there is so much going on around us that requires you and me to be wise in discerning the “signs of the times” and yet to be mindful that we remain as a remnant for such a time as this.