The eminent English cleric and academic William Kay (1820-1886) noted that “God’s soldiers can only maintain their war by priestly self-consecration. Conversely, God’s priests can only preserve their purity by unintermitted conflict.”
The pursuit of “unintermitted conflict” appears to be the missing component of American Christendom’s ‘butts, budgets and buildings’ model over the last multiple decades. Biblically, this approach may even run counter to Jesus’ Ekklesia Kingdom assignment in Matthew 16:18, where “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
On landing on the Eastern shore, Puritan Founders went to work by establishing 106 of the first 108 colleges in America as distinctly Christian; yet, present-day education is antithetical to Christianity. Contrary to general opinion, civil government is all but neutral among religions and worldviews, with eight secular Justices of the Warren Court (1953-1969) foisting and decreeing upon America a pagan religion empowered by government in 1962 and 1963.
Rather than being random incidents, three important Supreme Court decisions represent Satan’s premeditated assault on liberty and freedom. They include the removal of prayer to Jehovah from education in Engel v. Vitale in 1962, the expulsion of the Bible from public education in Abington School District v. Schempp in 1963 and the ban on displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools, courthouses and government buildings in Stone v. Graham in 1980.
The distinguished Anglican theologian William Berriman D.D. (1688-1750) observed that “It is the property of the devil, not to mistake the nature of virtue, and esteem it criminal, but to hate it for this reason, because it is good, and therefore most opposite to his designs. The wicked, as his proper emissaries, resemble him in this, and grieve to have the foulness of their vices made conspicuous by being placed near the light of virtuous example.”
If America is to make it through as “one Nation under God,” the only way forward will require a mass exodus from public education, equivalent to God leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Nothing less than the evil emissary of Satan’s spiritual revolution, public schooling has become the principal tool for sordid purveyors of cultural wickedness to contort and corrupt the lives of multiple generations of America’s future: its youth.
This brings us to George H. Bowen (1816-1888). Initially a radical skeptic of Christianity, Bowen committed his life to Christ in 1844. After graduating from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1847, Bowen went immediately to Bombay, India, where he remained for the rest of his life as a missionary. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) cites educator Bowen in his classic “The Treasury of David” concerning contemporary education theories.
“Can it then be said that the nonreligious world is without wisdom? Has it no Aristotle, no Socrates, no Tacitus, no Goethe, no Gibbon? Let us understand what wisdom is. It is not any mere amount of knowledge that constitutes wisdom. Appropriate knowledge is essential to wisdom. A man who has not the knowledge appropriate to his position, who does not know himself in his relation to God and to his fellowmen, who is misinformed as to his duties, his dangers, his necessities, though he may have written innumerable works of a most exalted character, yet is he to be set down as a man without wisdom.
“What is it to you that your servant is acquainted with mathematics, if he is ignorant of your will, and of the way to do it? The genius of a Voltaire, a Spinoza, a Byron, only makes their folly the more striking.
As though a man floating rapidly onwards to the falls of Niagara should occupy himself in drawing a very admirable picture of the scenery. Men who are exceedingly great in the world’s estimation have made the most signal blunders with regard to the most important things; and it is only because these things are not considered important by the world that the reputation of these men remains.
“If you have learned to estimate things in some measure as God estimates them, to desire what he offers, to relinquish what he forbids, and to recognize the duties that he has appointed you, you are in the path of wisdom, and the great men we have been speaking about are far behind you—far from the narrow gate that you have entered. He only is wise, who can call Christ the wisdom of God.”
Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) came to similar conclusions: “Nowhere in the Epistles is there a single exhortation for the saints as such to engage in public evangelism, nor even to do ‘personal work’ and seek to be ‘soul winners.’ Rather are they required to ‘witness for Christ’ by their daily conduct in business and in the home. They are to ‘show forth’ God’s praises, rather than tell them forth. They are to let their light shine. The testimony of the life is far more effectual than glib utterances of the lips. Actions speak louder than words.”
Bowen in his 40+ years of ministry in India was one of the most beloved missionaries in the nation. Even heathen idol-worshipers looked to Bowen as the example of what a Christian is.
Pink affirmed William Kay’s theology of “unintermitted conflict” as he wrote: “It would indeed be strange if we apprehended how that on the one hand Canaan was a free gift unto Israel, which they entered by grace alone; and on the other that they had to fight for every inch of it!”
To take part in fulfilling Kay’s dictum of “unintermitted conflict,” three necessary commitments need to be made:
- Reestablishing prayer in America’s churches.
- Starting up a mass exodus from public education.
- Involvement in the public square by men and women of Issachar, with every church in the nation having a pastor, elder, deacon or congregant running for local offices in 2024, 2026, 2028 and thereafter. “On my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days,” (Acts 2:18).
With Gideon’s and Rahab’s now entering the public square, praise be to God.
David Lane is the founder of the American Renewal Project.