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This blog site will feature essays, columns and musings that deal with the intersection of Christianity and journalism and the American Songbook.

Carl McIntire’s Victory March (radio editorial)

KGDN 630 Radio (Seattle)
April 7, 1970

Last Saturday (April 4, 1970) a group of approximately 50,000 people marched in Washington, DC under the banner of “God will give Victory in Vietnam.” They were led by the Calvinist theologian, Carl McIntire, who is quoted as saying, “We are challenging the moratorium march and the entire hippie concept of immediate and total withdrawal – and that is surrender.” He also stated the event would be a Christians and patriots march. As a Christian, a Calvinist, and a patriot I would like to comment on Dr. McIntire’s so-called “Victory” march.

It seems to me that in this post-Christian era when evolutionary humanism, and its political counterpart, pragmatism, is in control of our nation. What is needed is not a 19th century approach to our grievances, but a 20th century, or more correctly perhaps, a 16th century approach.

What I am referring to is an approach which is consistent with Reformation theology which in part stresses loyal to God before loyalty to worldly leaders. Dr. Francis Schaeffer, himself a Calvinist theologian and a rallying point for contemporary Christian thought, contends that every relationship in the Bible involves a covenant, and when one party of a relationship breaks that covenant then the other party is also released from the agreement.

When Israel broke their part of the covenant with God, an intercessor was required to repair that covenant. In the New Testament Christ was the intercessor. I’m convinced as understanding of the Biblical covenantal relationship is necessary. It is especially necessary for radical and contemporary Christians because it is this precise arrangement that gives us the freedom to not only oppose certain major social and political policies of our government, including the war in Vietnam, but to go so far so to leave America over those policies and, not only do I think it is biblically defendable to disassociate oneself with a governmental unit, but in some cases to do otherwise would be selling out to the American middle-class, bourgeois values which are most assuredly not Christian.

Nowhere in the Bible is patriotism upheld as a godly attribute. The only positive mention of the Christian’s relationship with the world’s rulers is in Romans 13, Titus 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:13. And I contend this relationship, like all relationships is only by covenant. On the other hand, the Bible is replete with passages that instruct the faithful believer to follow God first and man secondly, if at all. Luke 16:13 states this clearly, and I might add, beautifully.

More specifically, concerning a particular county, there is Hebrews 11:13-16 which Dr. Robert Ross of Northwestern College interprets as saying that when God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham became a tent-dweller and a nomad, or sojourner, without a country or city. He was a spiritual pilgrim. Dr. Ross states, “Heaven is the only home of faithful believers. It is the better country to which those who live by faith are fully committed.”

Finally, but perhaps most persuasively, we read in Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I think it is about time that we Christians, living in this post-Christian age, began to concern ourselves with the oppressed, the poor, and all classes of disenfranchised minorities; for you see we too are in the disenfranchised minority.

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