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Heresy  of  the  Christian  State

How did so-called Christians ever arrive at the place where they took this sacred oath:   I swear before God this sacred oath that I will render unconditional obedience to the fuhrer of the German nation and volk, Adolph Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces . . . ?   That is a question about the past.  The more pressing question is about the future:   When Will They Ever Learn ?  

The Russian Orthodox Church and the German Lutheran Church were to blame for the tradition of moral and spiritual sur-render to the Czar and the Kaiser which paved the way to the  moral and spiritual  sur-render to Stalin and Hitler.  And the Socialist Movement must take the blame for the murderous forms of socialism which grew into the Communism and Fascism that destroyed millions in World War II.  But Catholics and the Catholic Church must accept their full share of the blame.  Hitler and Mussolini could not have happened without them. 

There is a basic difference in theory between Catholic and Lutheran theology of Church and State.  Which in practice comes out to no difference, as Hitler's Germany illustrates.  The Catholic Church claimed independence from the state and even spiritual and temporal sovereignty over the state, as is shown by the pope claiming the right to crown the emperor, the fiction of The Donation of Constantine, and the inscription on the papal tiara.  Luther used an extreme interpretation of Romans 13.1-7 to attack the claim to secular power of the medieval popes, insisting that the Church must be subordinate to the Prince. 

The Marriage

The question is:  who is to dominate this State-Church marriage ?  There is no question as to whether the marriage is valid.  Both Catholic and Protestant insist upon trying to erase the line that Jesus drew between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world.  The merger of the Empire of this World and the Worldly Church, which began in the time of Constantine, defines Secular Christianity, properly so-called, in all of its later variants, whether Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant.  All of them represent apostate Christianity for the same basic reason.  They represent military Christianity and millionaire Christianity.  They represent the kind of Christianity which sponsored all the wars of Christendom and finally led to 60 million murdered in World War II. 

Whatever independence the Pope claims, he is reduced to Dependence when his army is beaten and he has only the square mile of the Vatican left to rule, which is what happened to Pius IX.  And, long before that happened, the popes had become dependent upon military power--their own or someone else's with whom they could cut a deal.  When the Church sanctions its members being conscripted into the armies of the empire--which is the bottom line of its deal with the state--there is nothing left of its pretended independence.  As the situation of Pius XII in World War II illustrates.  In Hitler's Germany, young women were also conscripted into labor brigades and into the military and there was a complete erosion of sexual morality and family life, which was a basic part of the radical socialist agenda. 

 

Protestant Christianity has even less resistance to the evil of the State than Catholic Christianity.  It has no tradition of independence from the State and naturally embraces that patriotic idolatry of the State which sanctions mass murder.  As Shirer said, Luther was a ferocious believer in absolute obedience to political authority. . . . In no country with the exception of Czarist Russia did the clergy become by tradition so completely servile to the political authority of the State.  Luther was the agent of the German princes, first to last, and his State Church dogma, based upon his reading of Romans 13.1-7, became their weapon against the Church State of Rome in the contest over who was entitled to the ecclesiastical revenues of Germany. 

The theology which justifies the abomination of the Christian State is a  pervasive poison in the Protestant Church.  It can be traced directly back to Luther and Calvin and Zwingli,  all of them followers of Augustine, who invented the theology.  But Protestantism is so fragmented that it is hard to find any authority which can be held liable.  Who can you sue for the terrible destruction of World War II ?  And the same is true of Socialism.  Maybe Karl Marx could be dug up and burned at the stake--or hung with a dirty rope--for whatever satisfaction there might be in that. 

The papacy still endures and it offers a high profile target for the urgently needed attack upon the Military Christianity which began with Constantine and for which Saint Augustine furnished the theology.  Which achieved its full flowering in World War I and produced an abundance of poisonous fruit in Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, as well as Churchill's Britain and Roosevelt's America. 

Pope John Paul II

In 1996, Pope John Paul II visited France to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the Baptism of Clovis, which brought about the supposed conversion to the so-called Christianity of the French nation.  He thereby recognized the historical and spiritual connection between the modern Roman Catholic Church and the Church of the later empire.  The eb9 essayist describes the baptism of Clovis and the reality of the "Christian" nation he founded:    Some thousands of his wild warriors followed him to the font, as willingly and with as little thought as they would have followed him to death or victory.  From this moment the firm alliance between the church and the Frank began, an alliance which affected both; the church became more warlike and aggressive, the Frank grew more civilized, and learnt the art of ruling. . . .   the grim Frank, vigorous and ambitious, knew neither scruple nor pity, and the clergy round his throne passed over crimes which they were powerless to prevent. . . .  Not without reason does France inscribe on the first page of her history this German conqueror, a robber, a liar, a murderer,--for it is from him that modern France rightly dates her beginning.  [ eb9 IX 529a ]

The Lessons of Monte Cassino 

In 1994 Pope John Paul II sent a message to the veterans of a Polish regiment which had gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the  victory of Monte Cassino in Italy on May 18 1944.  Polish soldiers in exile from German-occupied Poland played a major role in this battle.  They were given the honor of trying to make a suicidal advance up the steep hill occupied by the Germans and many of them are buried in the Polish military cemetery at Monte Cassino.  The Pope said:   The fact that the Abbey of Monte Cassino was destroyed has a symbolic value.  Christ said:  "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat;  but if it dies, it produces much fruit"  (John 12.24)  Evidently the ancient Abbey of Monte Cassino had to be destroyed so that a new life for all of Europe could rise from its ruins.  And in a certain sense, this is what happened.  On the ruins of the Second World War, a united Europe began to be built, and those who were its first builders staunchly clung to the Christian roots of European culture.  It was the Allied forces that deliberately destroyed this ancient abbey founded by St. Benedict.  The Germans occupied the heights but they refrained from setting up their guns in the abbey until after the Allied artillery destroyed it. 

This wishful interpretation of the moral significance of a battle which destroyed an ancient monastery and which annihilated a Polish regiment for nothing ignores the real much fruit produced by World War II, such as the Soviet occupation of Poland, Stalin's appointment of Mao Tse Tsung as dictator of China and the galloping erosion of Christian faith and morals in Europe after World War II.  As the Pope knew first hand.  He pleaded in vain with the Italian voters who re-affirmed legal abortion in Italy in 1981. 

The Pope says:   Their death was a witness to the readiness that marked all society at the time: to give one's life for the holy cause of one's homeland.  In fact, the Poles who died at Monte Cassino in effect gave their lives to further Joe Stalin's victory and the occupation of Poland.  But the Pope steps around these nasty facts as best he can.  The Poles at Monte Cassino somehow died to free Poland, even though they achieved the opposite result by helping the Soviet Union to win.  As a result of this victory by God's Christian warriors, Poland was enslaved to the anti God Soviet Union for another 40 years.  Rather a clumsy result for a war directed by God and on behalf of Christianity.  These Polish soldiers died for nothing in respect to the battle of Monte Casino.  But their sacrifice helped Stalin become the master of eastern Europe, and he appointed Mao Tse Tsung to become the ruler of China, where he starved 70 million of his own people to death.  Is there a moral some where in this ?  Yes, but it is not the one that the Pope pretends to find. 

A Moral Mess

In another place he says:  From this standpoint, what does the battle of Monte Cassino represent:  It was the clashing of two "projects":  one, both in the East and in the West, aiming at uprooting Europe from its Christian past linked to her patrons, and in particular to St. Benedict, and the other, striving to defend the Christian tradition of Europe and the "European spirit."  Like others who try to make moral sense out of World War II, he wants to somehow put Stalin and Hitler on the same side.  So he does, contra the facts of history.  He neglects to notice that it was the Americans who destroyed the old Abbey.  That doesn't fit the script.  So those who obliterated the Abbey did it on behalf of Christianity.  Those who incinerated Dresden did it in the service of Jesus Christ.  And the war was a victory for Christianity and the European spirit.  Somehow the Pope manages to space out the conspicuous fact that the Communist Soviet Union was a major partner of those who were supposedly on God's side and who supposedly were fighting for Christianity.  What a murky moral mess the Pope produces when he tries to find the Good Side of this war.  

Who or what is this European spirit ?  And what business does the Pope have invoking it while he pretends to be instructed by the Holy Spirit ?  What a curious concept for a Christian to put out.  Is this the Holy Spirit ?  No, nor is it connected with the church.  But it is somehow a powerful and good spirit that is connected with European civilization, which is sort of equivalent to Christendom.  This European spirit inspired the allies to go to war . . . or at least the non-Soviet allies.  What spirit inspired the Soviet Union ?  The man who is responsible for the theology of the Catholic Church, needs to carefully distinguish between the Holy Spirit and the Evil Spirit.  But here he presents us with an in between kind of spirit.  It is powerful enough to inspire a world war--that would seem to rate a capital !  A war which aims at restoring Christendom and winds up enslaving Poland to the anti-Christ.  This is a good spirit ?  This is a spirit which needs a little more discernment.

He does concede that:    We Poles were unable to participate directly in the rebuilding of Christian Europe undertaken in the West. . . .  Which is a remarkable understatement as to what went on in Poland after World War II.  What was rebuilt in Germany and western Europe looks more like pagan Europe than Christian Europe.  And authentic Christianity persisted in Communist dominated eastern Europe just because it had to meet the challenge of persecution.  

Papal statements made before these wars broke out or during the war show how helpless the papacy was to take a moral position in respect to a war in which the papacy was hopelessly compromised and complicit.  This statement, 50 years after the war, shows how lame is the faith in Christian Civilization, and what foolishness flows from the heresy of that Church / State theology which is still embedded in papal statements. 

Pope Pius X 

In 1913 Pope Pius X published an encyclical Magni faustique to mark the 16th centenary of the Peace of Constantine--the deal that Constantine made with apostate bishops to establish the Imperial Roman Church, after the defeat of Maxentius in 312 AD.  It shows the historical awareness of this pope as to what the Roman Catholic Church owed to Constantine.  Like other Popes, Pius X displays the long historical memory of the papacy and the lack of any repentance in respect to the deal with Constantine.  It is not surprising that, two years later, soon after the death of Pius X,  Catholic Italy was at war with Catholic Austria in World War I.  In the wake of that terrible war, Mussolini came to power in Italy and Adolph Hitler annexed Austria and launched an even worse war.  As it did long before, the Peace of Constantine camouflaged mass murder.

what happened to christendom

The horrible effects of the first World War on the European continent empowered the Bolsheviks in Russia, the Fascists in Italy and Spain, and the Nazis in Germany.  As I wrote in Roots:   Out of the rotten heart of christendom grew the terrible thorn bushes of Communism and Fascism, from twin seeds opened by the fires of the Great War and watered by the streams of blood which flowed from it.  World War II was the direct result of World War I.  Nazism and Bolshevism grew out of the very heart of  what called itself christendom in the aftermath of that war.  The ravages of a disease measure the weakness of the body.  World War I and its aftermath accurately measure the moral weakness and the spiritual emptiness of what once claimed to be christendom. 

What standing does The Pope have to preach peace to the rest of the world ?  He does not even have a credible enough moral standing to prevent Catholics from killing one another.  And how can he, considering the Military Christianity, which is so integral a part of the history of the Catholic Church, which was the foundation of the Imperial Church of the Roman Empire, the basis of the deal with Constantine ?  The theology of the encyclicals shows that they are still stuck with that deal.  It is absurd to imagine that rulers will pay any attention to the formal pleas for peace from the papacy while rank and file Catholics still dutifully line up to become the rank and file of the army and the navy. 

Everyone is for peace.  Read their speeches.  What is it except illusion and self delusion ?  Adolph Hitler made a couple of the prettiest pleas for peace you ever heard in 1935, while he proceeded with the rapid re-armament of Germany.  Talk isn't just cheap, it regularly is used as a cover story to distract us from basic historical realities.  

Pope John XXIII 

In 1963, Pope John XXIII issued an encyclical called Pacem in Terris.  Which has various nice things to say in favor of peace.  And which quotes from a radio address by Pope Pius XII on Christmas Eve 1944:  it follows that the dignity of the State's authority is due to its sharing to some extent in the authority of God himself.  At least he modified it a little:  to some extent.  But how could he say this while Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini--to take only the most glaring and conspicuous examples--wielded the State's authority in their several nations ?   By comparison, Roosevelt and Churchill were nice guys.  They only killed a million or so civilians dropping bombs on cities. 

So Pius XII in effect re-subscribed the Catholic Church to the Idolatry of the State at a time when any simpleton could see that it was Satan Worship pure and simple.  The authority of the State is built upon devil worship as Luke 4.5-7 says, and as the deeds of rulers illustrate.  It does share in the authority of God if that means Satan, the god of this world.

Pacem in Terris  repeats the same moldy fiction that earlier popes proclaimed:  56  "As Our Predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII has said:  The civil power must not serve the advantage of any one individual or of some few persons, inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all.  ( Encyclical Letter Immortale Dei  =  On the Constitution of States  1885 )   This idealization of the State as a Commonwealth and this endorsement of the pretence that rulers have ever served the common good prevents the popes from recognizing the actual character of the state.  In which common men are conscripted into those armies which inflict common evil on everyone.  

Pope Leo XIII on Christians and the State

Leo XIII  ( who was the pope from 1878 to 1903 ) was a prolific producer of encyclicals and he wrote three of them on the theme of the christian state:   Diuturnum   On the Origin of Civil Power  1881;   Immortale Dei  On the Christian Constitution of States 1885;  and   Sapientiae Christianae   On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens  1890. 

Diuturnum, the first of these encyclicals,  was published June 29th  1881 as the pope's response to the assassination of Czar Alexander II on March 13th 1881 by revolutionary socialists in Russia.  And shows that the pope had no good answer to the forces that were already gathering in the shadows of Christendom to launch all the horrors of the 20th century.  The socialists who assassinated the Czar were the forerunners of the Bolsheviks who seized control of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and murdered the last Czar of Russia and his family.  In the winter of 1932-33, they starved 10 million Ukrainians to death, getting a head start on Hitler, as it were.  Their deadly rivalry with the National Socialists of Germany was a major cause of the carnage and the crime that engulfed Europe in World War II, a war in which 60 million were killed, two thirds of them civilians.  The National Socialists of Italy surrounded the Vatican in Rome and severely restricted the pope's freedom of speech and action.  But the real restriction came from the history of the Church of the Empire and the Church / State dogmas Augustine produced for it, to which the popes have been chained ever since.  As Leo XIII was chained and as these encyclicals illustrate. 

The total moral and spiritual inadequacy of Leo's answers foreshadows the total inadequacy of the Catholic answer to World War I and World War II.  Total war was facilitated by the total moral blindness of the popes who pretended to have the answers.  Their dogmatic foolishness prevented them from seeing that the Catholic Church had become a partner in mass murder, because of its idolatry of the State--of the Church State.  Unless, somehow, the Catholic Church has no responsibility for what Catholics do, when they act in accordance with the teachings of the Church.  In fact the actions of Catholic soldiers are in line with the exhortations of their bishops which directly reflect the encyclicals of the Popes. 

don't kill the Catholics 

The only place in these three encyclicals where Leo raises the possibility of the refusal of military service is in Diuturnum  20 in respect to Christian soldiers in the Roman Empire:  if anything dishonorable was required of him, as, for instance, to break the laws of God or to turn his sword against innocent disciples of Christ, then, indeed he refused to execute the orders . . . "  In 21. he goes on to say:   But afterward, when Christian rulers were at the head of States, the Church insisted much more on testifying and preaching how much sanctity was inherent in the authority of rulers.  Especially those, like Constantine and his successors, who put the bishops on the pay roll.  For 1600 years thereafter, these bishops provided the moral cover for the crimes of the Empire, including the murderous persecution of nonconforming Christians. 

From the rest of this encyclical and the other two, it is clear that only innocent disciples of Christ are to be spared.  In Immortale Dei  21  Leo brags about the fact that Christian Europe has subdued barbarous nations, and changed them from a savage to a civilized condition.  And there is no suggestion that innocent disciples of Christ are to be confused with the nonconforming Christians of North Africa who were massacred by the Christian soldiers of the Emperor Constantine and his son Constans.  ( See The Church of the Empire. ) These soldiers did turn their swords against other Christians and the Great Saint Augustine justified it with Romans 13.4, a verse he invented.  ( See The Church of the Empire, Chapter XI  Augustine and the Manufacture of Scripture. )

In fact, Leo avoids any acknowledgement of Christians outside the Catholic Church.  He lumps them in with the forces which were entirely hostile to the Christian Church.  In one place, he in effect compounds the Protestant Reformation with the French Revolution, without even a minimal acknowledgment that it was a Catholic State which launched the French Revolution.  It wasn't just the financial bankruptcy of the French Empire which opened the way to an anti Christian revolution which still reverberates in modern society.  It was the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of Catholic France, a society which was profoundly not Christian, contrary to its pretensions.  What happened later in supposedly Christian Russia and supposedly Christian Germany began more than 100 years earlier in supposedly Christian France.  The French Revolution accurately measured the apostasy of the Catholic Establishment of France.  In fact, there was a substantial overlap between that Establishment and the closet Freemasons who organized the revolution. 

Leo XIII also wrote an encyclical aimed at the Freemasons which deploys various philosophical and theological arguments aimed at them as a sect attacking the Church from the outside.  But Leo was oblivious of the basic reality that a corrupt and luxury loving Church Establishment provides the perfect environment in which morally and spiritually subversive groups like the Freemasons can thrive.  The Freemasons are mostly gone to the dumpster of history but the modern Church is full of individuals and groups which have a parasitic attachment to the body of the Church while they work steadily to undermine Christian faith and morals.  And, like the Freemasons, these groups find a home within the Vatican itself. 

 

Even Leo's Don't kill the Catholics principle is so feeble as to be a dead letter.  The proof of that is how helpless the popes and the bishops were to prevent Italian and Austrian Catholics from murdering one another in World War I.  And the inability of the German Catholic bishops to do anything except lead the patriotic applause when Hitler's Germany invaded Catholic Poland and Catholic France and Catholic Belgium in World War II.  Even on the premise of a narrowly focused Catholic chauvinism, there is no hindrance to any war the ruler wants to launch, even when the ruler is Adolph Hitler !  That accurately measures the apostasy of the Imperial Catholic Church.  And it was nothing new.  The perennial wars of Christian Europe over many centuries set the stage for the wars of the 20th century in which mass murder from the air was added to slaughter on the ground. 

Defending the Right--the Rights of the Church

There are several places where Leo raises the possibility of Catholics refusing to obey rulers who infringe upon the rights of the Catholic Church.   In Sapientiae Christianae  7.  he writes:   No better citizen is there, whether in time of peace or war, than the Christian who is mindful of his duty, but such a one should be ready to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than abandon the cause of God or of the Church.    In 10. he says:  But, if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime. 

Leo's whole focus is on Catholics resisting encroachments upon the rights of the Catholic Church establishment--especially his.  He ignores the possibility of Catholics refusing to participate in the wars of the state.  And that theology played out in Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany.  Several hundred priests wound up in German concentration camps for resisting the Nazi take over of Catholic schools and youth groups.  Meanwhile, it never occurred to German Catholics to refuse to participate in the invasions of Catholic Poland and Catholic France and Catholic Belgium.  It was up to the sovereign--Adolph Hitler--to determine whether these wars were just or not.  He said they were, so that settled the matter.  Only God had the standing to argue with him--privately and discreetly of course.  That is the doctrine which Augustine states in Contra Faustus.  If I carry out Hitler's orders, Hitler is to blame for whatever crimes I commit, not me.  That was Adolph Eichmann's excuse.  They hung him anyway. 

Here again is that peculiar perspective from which a Catholic could readily conclude that participating in Hitler's wars or helping to round up the Jews raised no moral issues that he was competent to deal with.  But meanwhile you should resist any attacks upon the rights of the Catholic Church:  The Church cannot stand by, indifferent as to the import and significance of laws enacted by the State; not insofar, indeed, as they refer to the State, but in so far as, passing beyond their due limits, they trench upon the rights of the Church.  [  S.C.. 30. ]    Here again is that narrow organizational chauvinism, typical of these encyclicals, whereby Leo warns against laws which infringe upon the rights of the Church while he is oblivious of any moral problem with Catholics participating in the wars of the state.  It is this mind set which is conspicuous in the bishops of Hitler's Germany.  And in the satisfaction which Pius XI and Pius XII took in the Concordat they signed with Hitler's government.  The outrage Pius XI voiced later in With Burning Sorrow was because of Hitler's violation of the Concordat in respect to the rights of the Church, not because of his invasions of Germany's Catholic neighbors or because of the laws targeting the Jews. 

 

The Gospel Governs the Empire 

Immortale Dei--On the Christian Constitution of States--published in 1885, starts off with a whopper.  The partnership of the Empire and the Catholic Church produced a new civilization--All nations which yielded to her sway have become eminent by their gentleness, their sense of justice, and the glory of their high deeds.   Leo's blindness to the wickedness of Christendom in all its branches is characteristic of his predecessors and his successors.  No one with any sense who has read any history could possibly describe the so-called Christian nations of medieval Europe with terms like  gentleness and justice.  Does that describe the situation of the peasants ?  The sacking of Constantinople by the Crusaders ?  The African slave trade ?  The Spanish conquest of the New World ?  The perennial wars of Christendom were as savage as those of the barbarous nations. 

He follows that with a worse whopper--a blasphemy really--in I.D. 2:  no better mode has been devised for the building up and ruling the State than that which is the necessary growth of the teachings of the Gospel.  Then, in  I.D. 21. he states:  There was once a time when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel.  Then it was that the power and divine virtue of Christian wisdom had diffused itself throughout the laws, institutions, and morals of the people, permeating all ranks and relations of civil society.  Then, too, the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, established firmly in befitting dignity, flourished everywhere, by the favour of princes and the legitimate protection of magistrates; and Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices.   . . . A similar state of things would certainly have continued had the agreement of the two powers been lasting.  [ 22. ]  But that harmful and deplorable passion for innovation which was aroused in the 16th century . . .  put an end to Camelot.  Of course the conspicuous corruption of the Roman Church had nothing to do with provoking the Protestant Reformation. 

comic book history

Leo here displays a childish faith in Christendom--the many Christian kingdoms which appeared after the Roman Empire was dismembered by the Christianized and Romanized former barbarians: --  Church and State were happily united in concord and friendly interchange of good offices.  That is how he describes the golden age when the nobles and the cardinals worked together to skewer the peasants.  Leo XIII isn't just teaching bad theology and bad morality, he is also teaching comic book history.  If he ever read a history book in his life, he read it through a pair of rose-colored dogma spectacles which diffused a pleasant glow over an imaginary landscape.

The assertion that  there was once a time when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel is almost too silly to argue with.  Or it would be if that and similar dogmatic fictions had not led to the wars of the 20th century in which 100 million were killed.  Most of those who have tried to justify the Christian Empire have argued from Nature or from the Old Testament.  And have had sense enough not to attempt to square the Empire with the Gospel.  But I suppose we should be grateful to Leo for attempting it.  For trying to show how love your enemies . . . turn the other cheek . . . and my followers don't fight because my kingdom is not of this world   can fit right into the policies of the Roman Emperors and the endless wars of the medieval kings and the Holy Roman Empire and the popes who raised armies.  How the atrocious actions of Clovis and Charlemagne somehow illustrate the gospel. 

This same claim appears in Rerum Novarum 22. written in 1891:   civil society was renovated in every part by the teachings of christianity.  Leo is repeating Augustine's claim that the world--the Roman Empire--had become Christian by the deal Constantine made with the apostate traditor bishops who became the new religious establishment of his empire.  That is the foundational heresy which the Imperial Catholic and Orthodox Church has been stuck with trying to defend ever since.  And the Lutheran Church.  That is why the pastors of Germany whole-heartedly supported a Satanic State which marched on to mass murder carrying the banners of the old iron cross and the new crooked cross.  Following in the footsteps of Constantine's legions over the cliff and down to hell. 

It was just as obscene a doctrine in the time of Constantine and Augustine as it became in the time of Hitler.  You have to be blind and an idiot to refuse to recognize it.  The difference is that we now have the pictures to prove it.  The Empire was notrenovated.  What happened instead is that the Church was totally corrupted by its conformity to the Empire.  And it still is today. 

The gospel as the charter of the military state--the very idea is blasphemy.  But it is nothing new for the ideological errand boys of the Imperial Church.  Eusebius proclaimed the court of Constantine to be the Kingdom of God on earth.  In the City of God Augustine admits the historical fact of the criminal foundation of the Roman Empire then slides around that to the doctrine that the Christian God somehow established it. 

The gospel is the charter of a good society--that community worthy of the name which real Christians are called to join.  But this society defines itself by its independence from secular society--by its refusal to join the army.  By its close attention to what Jesus and Paul taught about refusing to conform to This World.  

The Sacred State

Leo had no use for the modern doctrine that the people are the source of political authority . . . that the people . . . [ is ]  its own ruler.  [ I.D. 24 ]  He argues against the 18th century theory that political authority comes from The People.  He argues against  those who believe civil society to have risen from the free consent of men.  [ Diuturnum 12 ]   Which is an absurd and anti-historical belief.  Almost as absurd as Leo's belief that the Caesar and the Czar and the Kaiser and the Reichfuhrer are appointed by God.  Writing in the 4th century in North Africa, Tyconius stated the Christian doctrine succinctly:  evil men are the throne of Satan.  All illusions aside, coercion is the foundation of the state.  But even an empire has to maintain some popularity.  It coerces some, bribes others and relies upon the idolatry of men who worship the empire and the emperor.  Who worship themselves by worshipping the Great Thing to which they belong, the thing in whose Power they have some small share. 

In I.D. 18 Leo writes:  " In political affairs, and all matters civil, the laws aim at securing the common good, and are not framed according to the delusive caprices and opinions of the mass of the people, but by truth and by justice;  the ruling powers are invested with a sacredness more than human, and are withheld from deviating from the path of duty, and from overstepping the bounds of rightful authority; and the obedience is not the servitude of man to man, but submission to the will of God, exercising His sovereignty through the medium of men.  Now, this being recognized as undeniable, it is felt that the high office of rulers should be held in respect;  that public authority should be constantly and faithfully obeyed; that no act of sedition should be committed; and that the civic order of the commonwealth should be maintained as sacred. "

 

To be sure, the laws of 1930s Germany were not framed according to the delusive caprices and opinions of the mass of the people, but rather according to the delusions--the criminal insanity--of Adolph Hitler.  In 1933 the chaos of democracy ended and the rule of the fuhrer began.  When you read this dogmatic foolishness--the ruling powers are invested with a sacredness more than human  . . .  the civic order of the commonwealth should be maintained as sacred--it is not hard to see how the Catholics of Germany wound up repeating:     I swear before God this sacred oath that I will render unconditional obedience to the fuhrer of the German nation and volk, Adolph Hitler, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. 

And they meant it.  And they did it.  They invaded Poland and Belgium and France.  And killed any Catholics that got in their way.  They rounded up the Jews and took them to the death camps.  And this encyclical, along with all the other State Church documents, is the charter of their moral blindness.  Their delusion that they were serving God when it was so very, very obvious that they were serving Satan.  Leo's doctrine of the Sacred State is a mandate for that worship of the State and its head which is the essential character of patriotism.  It is the deal that Satan offers in Luke 4.6-7: All this power will I give thee . . . if thou will worship me.  The essential heresy of the Imperial Catholic Church was that it identified as sacred what was in fact satanic.  They did it in the 4th century when they made the deal with the Emperor Constantine and they did it again in the 20th century when they went along with the new German Emperor.  But by then the camera had been invented and the film footage of the grisly results has become part of the historical record. 

defending my country 

Like all those who must justify the wars of the state, Leo's sense of history comes out of a patriotic comic book, and he must have flunked geography:   the natural law enjoins us to love devotedly and to defend the country in which we had birth, and in which we were brought up, so that every good citizen hesitates not to face death for his native land  [ Sapientiae Christianae  5. ]  There is a seamless transition from defending my country to killing people in some far off country.  At the time Leo wrote, all the nations of Europe had grabbed territories and planted colonies in Asia and Africa and South America.  Then the peasants are pushed into the army so they can die for their country in defense of those far off colonies which bring prosperity to a class of people into which they have no access.  Some were conscripts, others were so poor they were glad to get the job. 

Leo's attitude here is one of mindless patriotism.  As if he had never in his life thought to question how far the boundaries of the empire can be extended before it ceases to be my country or whether defending is the same thing as extending and dying is the same thing as killing.  That is exactly the psychology which was reproduced in the Christian soldiers of Mussolini's Italy who invaded Ethiopia with the pope's blessing.  And the Catholic soldiers of Germany who invaded Poland, Belgium and France, with the blessing of their bishops, in order to defend their home land. 

He says the natural law enjoins us  . . . and, if that isn't enough for you, Conscription decrees that you had better do it or else !  By using euphemisms like our own country, Leo avoids having to discuss how Kingdoms and Empires arise and what feeling we should have for them after they gobble up our own country.  What is my country ?  The square mile of the Vatican ?  The City of Rome ?  The papal states ?  Italy ?  The Roman Empire, including Israel, Egypt, North Africa, Spain and Britain etc. ?  His immediate predecessor, Pius IX, lost the papal states, and, finally, the rule of the city of Rome in 1870, when King Vittorio Emmanuele entered the city.  The Pope was allowed to retain the Vatican and the state voted him an income.  And that was the situation when Leo XIII became pope.   His 16th century predecessor Leo X once said:   Could I recover Parma and Piacenza for the church, I would willingly lay down my life.  He did die suddenly from a chill--or poison, perhaps, as some alleged--soon after Emperor Charles V expelled the French and restored these cities to the rule of the Holy See in 1521.  This most ostentatious of the popes left the Church a bankrupt exchequer and the rebellion of the protestant German princes.  A rebuilt St. Peters and a lot of Renaissance art. 

If you stuck to defending my country, defined in a sensible way, you would never wind up half way around the world swapping shots with people from a nearby village whose language you don't understand.  You would never wind up killing for my empire, which is the basic reality of war.  You would recognize, as the Germans did not, that if you love your country devotedly, it is not compatible with joining Hitler's army.  If you hated your country devotedly, how could you do it more harm ?  The nightmarish rubble of German cities in those 1945 vintage films makes that plain enough.  The moral and spiritual rubble of Hitler's Germany--which was also the moral and spiritual rubble of Catholic and Lutheran Germany--is harder to see.  Most Christians are still blind to it.  They are blind to the spiritual rubble and the moral ruins of their own empires. 

The Criminal Character of the State

John Henry Newman was a contemporary of Leo XIII and had read a history book or two, as is shown by a remarkably succinct passage in one of his sermons:  Earthly kingdoms are founded, not in justice, but in injustice.  They are created by the sword, by robbery, cruelty, perjury, craft and fraud.  There never was a kingdom, except Christ's, which was not conceived and born, nurtured and educated, in sin.  There never was a state, but was committed to acts and maxims, which it is its crime to maintain and its ruin to abandon.  What monarchy is there but began in invasion or usurpation ?  What revolution has been effected without self-will, violence or hypocrisy ?  What popular government but is blown about by every wind, as if it had no conscience and no responsibilities ?  What dominion of the few but is selfish and unscrupulous ?  Where is military strength without the passion for war ?  Where is trade without the love of filthy lucre, which is the root of all evil ?   (from:  "Sanctity the Token of the Christian Empire" in Sermons on Subjects of the Day  p. 273)

The reply of the pirate to Alexander the Great  states it even more succinctly:   Because I do it with a little ship, I am called a robber.  You, because you do it with a great fleet, are called an emperor.  If he manages to survive and succeed, yesterday's terrorist is today's honored Statesman and the revered  Father of the Nation. 

A third century Christian dialogue treatise, the Municius Felix, gives an early Christian view of the foundations of the Roman Empire:  Say you the noble and majestic fabric of Roman justice drew its auspices from the cradle of infant empire !  2  Yet were they not in origin a collection of criminals ?  did they not grow by the iron terror of their own savagery ?  The plebs first congregated in a city of refuge;  thither had flocked ruffians, criminals, profligates, assassins and traitors;  and Romulus himself, to secure criminal pre-eminence in office and rule, murdered his own brother.  Such were the initial auspices of our religious commonwealth !  3  Next, without leave or law, he carried off other men's maidens, some betrothed, some promised, some already married wives, outraged and mocked them, and then went to war with their parents, that is with their own fathers-in-law, and shed kinsmen's blood.  Was there ever procedure more irreligious, more outrageous, more cynical in its avowal of crime ?  4  Thenceforward it becomes the practice of all succeeding kings and leaders to dispossess neighbours of their territory, to overthrow adjoining states with their temples and their altars, to drive them into captivity, to wax fat on losses inflicted, and crimes committed.   5  All that the Romans hold, occupy and possess is the spoil of outrage; their temples are all of loot, drawn from the ruin of cities, the plunder of gods and the slaughter of priests."  [  Municius Felix  chapter XXV ] 

Writing a few decades earlier, Tertullian said:   Nothing could be more foreign to the Christian than the state.    [ Apology, chapter 38, written about A.D. 200  ]   In his book,   On  Idolatry,  chapter 18, written about A.D. 210, he says: All authorities and ranks of this world are not merely strange to God, but also hostile to him.  Tertullian's doctrine is the basic gospel doctrine that there is a fundamental antagonism between the kingdoms of  this  world  and the kingdom of God. 

God versus Caesar 

In chapter 19 he explains why Christians cannot join the army:  There is no compatibility between the oath to serve God and the oath to serve man, between the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil, the camp of light and the camp of darkness.  One life cannot be owed to two masters, God and Caesar.  Of course--if you like to make a jest of the subject--Moses carried a rod and Aaron wore a buckler, John had a leather belt, Joshua led an army  and Peter made war.  Yes but tell me how he will make war, indeed how he will serve in peacetime, without a sword--which the Lord took away ?  Even if soldiers came to John and were given instructions to keep, even if the centurion believed, the Lord afterwards unbelted every soldier when he disarmed Peter.   These arguments for Christian soldiers which Tertullian buried early in the 3rd century were dug up by Augustine late in the 4th century and they are still used today to negate the pacifist faith of the early church. 

Obviously, there is no State without an Army, and if Christians cannot join one, neither can they belong to the other.  They cannot be citizens of the empire and also belong to the kingdom of God.  That is the essential understanding of the early church and it is as true today as it was then.  Is it not wonderful how Franz Jaggerstatter was led by the Spirit to see this contra Hitler's Empire at a time when so many other Christians were blind ?

And the corollary is true:  if you insist upon being a Citizen of the Empire, you take on the obligation to lay down your life to defend your country, which, translated into real world terms, means you are obligated to kill for your empire, drop bombs on villages and look the other way when your comrades rape women.

When you look at how the Roman Empire was established, how the British Empire was established, how the American Empire was established, you realize that Newman understates the case.  And that the affirmations of the various popes in respect to the idealized character of Commonwealths and rulers are sheer dogmatic foolishness.  Are fairy tales and fictions which the popes have to maintain because of the deal the Catholic Church made with the Emperor Constantine.  If you get yourself a library card and begin to read real history, you don't need any dogmatic or biblical arguments to plainly see that Empires are launched by robbery, rape and murder, and maintain that character first to last.  Which is its crime to maintain and its ruin to abandon, as Newman says.  We may deplore the crimes of our grandfathers, but we aren't going to give back the land or pay back the money. 

Any benefits of the deal with Constantine were used up long ago,  but the Church must still pay the mortgage and centuries worth of accumulated interest.  In World War I and World War II, the interest was paid in rivers of blood.  Millions of Catholics paid with their lives for these State Church dogmas.  And worse--they killed millions of others before they died.  In the name of God, they served Satan. 

Authority versus Power 

Leo's belief in the authority of the emperor is coupled to his belief in the authority of the pope.  Leo insists upon complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.    [ S.C. 22. ]   And obedience to rulers is also submission to the will of God. [ I.D. 18. ]   Diuturnum  8:  But, as regards political power, the Church rightly teaches that it comes from God.  In Immortale Dei 30. he writes that all power, of every kind, has its origin from God.  And that doctrine provides the necessary excuse for the cowardly conformity to the militarized state--to that throne of Satan which men themselves create by their abject submission to Hitler and their idolatry of his power.  Just as Satan demands in Luke 4.6-7.  

It is power, not authority, that goes with position.   Power comes from success in war.  As Mao Tse Sung wrote:  All political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.  Bismarck said:  War is the Health of the State.  The would be Roman Emperor was told:  if you refuse the sword, you must refuse the crown.  Successful violence--wholesale slaughter--is the foundation of the state. 

In the real Christian Church there is no authority except the authority of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.  Without that spirit, the so called Church is as morally rotten as Hitler's Germany.  Without that spirit, every kind of falsehood and fiction is read out of The Bible and read into it by those who have lost the Spirit or who never had it in the first place.  War and genocide and slavery and every other abomination is justified by those who read the Bible with a false spirit.  Every kind of wickedness was spawned by those apostate Christians who claimed the authority of Peter's Chair.  Every kind of wickedness was promulgated by those who claimed the authority of The Bible.  Only the authority of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ can rightly guide the church and teach us how to read the scripture.  

If the structure which confers power also confers divine authority, then Adolph Hitler's authority is sacred.  And the authority of any profligate occupant of Saint Peter's Chair was as good as that of any other pope.  Supposedly he receives the power of the Holy Spirit in a mechanical way just by sitting down in Peter's chair. 

The Worldly Popes

Leo XIII was the first pope without an army in a long time.  His immediate predecessor, Pius IX, finally lost what remained of the papal states after a long series of wars involving France, Germany and Italian City States in which the pope himself fielded an army in alliance with the French.  The defeat of France by Germany in 1870 brought defeat to that alliance also and reduced the pope to a square mile of territory defended by a few Swiss Guards.  No more than his predecessors could Leo imagine how his Worldly Church could continue without the protection of an army--his own or that of some stronger state.  The Dependency of the Church upon the Army began with Constantine.  The consequences of that Dependence are what you see in World War II, in Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany, where the Vatican was still making deals with those who had armies, and still instructing Catholics to serve in those armies.  Leo XIII made a deal with Bismarck to restore the status of the Catholic Church in Germany.  Pius XI sent Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli--later Pius XII--to sign the Concordat with Hitler's government. 

In Immortale Dei 2. Leo says that the "slanderous accusations" of Christians as "being enemies of the Empire" was refuted by Augustine in The City of God.  In I.D. 20. he has a  long quote from Augustine:   Let those who say that the teaching of Christ is hurtful to the State produce such armies as the maxims of Jesus have enjoined soldiers to bring into being . . .   such judges, and such payers and collectors of tribute, as the Christian teaching instructs them to become.   From epistle 138 ad Marcellinum. 

So what Jesus says in John 18.36--my followers don't join armies because my kingdom is not of this world--is negated.  The real slander is the assertion that the true Christian church ever merged with the Empire of this World and required its members to join the imperial armies.  But that is what the Imperial Catholic and Orthodox so-called Church did in the time of Constantine and those Churches are still chained to the theology that Augustine invented to justify it. 

The popes themselves became players in the endless wars of Christendom and the shifting alliances which disposed of kingdoms.  It was Pope Alexander II who sanctioned the Norman invasion of England in 1066.    Hadrian IV, alias Nicholas Breakspeare, who became pope in 1154--the only Englishman to occupy the papal chair--bestowed the sovereignty of Ireland upon the English monarch, thus sanctioning the conquest of Ireland by England.  That was the meaning of the inscription on the triple-crowned papal tiara:  to the infallible vicar of Jesus Christ, to the supreme governor of the world on earth, to the father of nations and kings.  "Father"  gives the green light to invasions and wars of conquest, if you can make a deal with him. 

Leo X, Giovanni de Medici, who received his first benefices when he was 8, became a Cardinal at 13, and who was pope from 1513 to 1521, provoked the rebellion of the German princes and gave Luther the issue which launched the Reformation by sending the papal vendors of indulgences into Germany.  The money was used to re-construct St. Peter's basilica on a magnificent scale.  At the expense of the destruction of the rest of the Catholic Church.  Leo X also spent large sums on that neo pagan Renaissance art which the pleasure-loving cardinals of the Roman establishment relished.  Did young King David prance around without even a loin cloth ?  He did in Leo X's Rome.  That was the kind of piety that appealed to the Renaissance Popes.  As ART, of course.  It can't be pornography when you spend that much money on it. 

authority from above   anothen 

Leo cites Romans 13.1-7, of course, the verses that Augustine added to justify the Church which was bossed by the Emperor.   But he also borrows from Augustine's other manipulations and mis interpretations of scripture.  In Diuturnum  9 he writes: "To the Roman governor, ostentatiously pretending [ ? * ] that he had the power of releasing and of condemning, our Lord Jesus Christ answered:   Thou shouldst not have any power against me unless it were given thee from above.  [ John 19.11 ]  And St. Augustine, in explaining this passage, says:  Let us learn what He said, which also He taught by His Apostle, that there is no power but from God.  [ Augustine  Tract. 116 in Joannes., n. 5   ]   [  ? *  Leo seems not to understand that Pilate did indeed have this power--the Jews could not have crucified Jesus without his consent. ]  What Augustine really points up here is that his power from God doctrine can only be validated by misinterpreting what Jesus says here and then adding to it the  13.1-7 verses which Augustine added to Romans.  [ See The Church of the Empire, Chapter XI, Augustine and the Manufacture of Scripture. ]

Augustine invented new scripture and twisted old scripture to justify the Imperial Church contra the non-conforming Christians of North Africa--the so-called donatists.  And he did this especially to establish his neo-pagan doctrine that the authority of the Roman Emperor came from the Christian God.  Here Augustine mis interprets anothen--"from above"--to mean from God.  Which does not fit the context of John 19.11-13.  What sense does it make ?   Pilate is less guilty of condemning Jesus because Pilate has received his authority from the Father of Jesus ? ?   What a peculiar theology !  And why would Jesus obscure the matter by saying anothen if he meant From My Father ?

What does make sense is that Pilate has received his authority from above--from the Emperor Tiberius who appointed him.  And that does explain John 19:11-13.  Pilate allowed Jesus to be crucified because his position and even his head were at risk if he didn't.  That is why Pilate's guilt was less than that of the chief priests who demanded the execution of Jesus.   Therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.  

As Tacitus and Suetonius relate, the paranoid fears of plots against his throne led the Emperor Tiberius to execute any official accused of disloyalty by one of the legion of informers who were paid for making such allegations.  That is why Pilate was at once intimidated by the threat recorded in John 19.12-13  if thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend . . . When Pilate therefore heard that, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat . . .   and allowed Jesus to be crucified.  And Jesus understood the situation in which Pilate was placed.  He would have released Jesus if he could, but his own neck was on the block if he did.  That is what mitigates his guilt.  That interpretation makes good sense of this passage.  The other makes no sense. 

Old Testament Authority

Like Augustine, like other bible abusing worldly Christians, Leo surfs the Old Testament for verses which prove that God appoints all kings.  God has always willed that there should be a ruling authority. [ I.D.4 ]   In Diuturnum  9.  he argues "In truth, that the source of human power is in God the books of the Old Testament in very many places clearly establish.  By me kings reign . . . by me princes rule, and the mighty decree justice.  [ in Proverbs 8:15-16   me = Wisdom ]  And in another place:  Give ear you that rule the people . . . for power is given you of the Lord and strength by the Most High.  [ Wisdom. 6:3-4 ]   The same thing is contained in the Book of Ecclesiasticus:  Over every nation he hath set a ruler.   [ 7:14 ]  . . . [ Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus are books of the Septuagint = the Catholic version of the Old Testament. ]

He ignores all the Old Testament verses which show that the rulers of the nations were the enemies of The Lord and that their power came from demons.  Psalm 96.5 says that all the gods of the nations are idols.  Other verses identify these idols with devils and show that the nations of the world are governed by them.  Deuteronomy 32.16-17  They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods . . . They sacrificed unto devils, not to God;   Psalm 106.36-37  And they served their idols, which were a snare unto them.  Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils . . . unto the idols of Canaan. 

Hosea 8.4  says:   They have set up kings, but not by me.  They have made princes and I knew it not.  Psalm 2.2 says:  the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed.  The kings were the Lord's enemies,  not his regents.  And they are still his  enemies in Revelation 19.19  I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him.  

The crowning of Emperors and Kings became the privilege of the popes, standing in for God supposedly--standing in for Satan in fact.  Leo refers to it in Diuturnum  21:  "But afterward, when Christian rulers were at the head of States, the Church insisted much more on testifying and preaching how much sanctity was inherent in the authority of rulers.  Hence when people thought of princedom, the image of a certain sacred majesty would present itself to their minds by which they would be impelled to greater reverence and love of rulers.  And on this account she wisely provides that kings should commence their reign with the celebration of solemn rites;  which, in the Old Testament, was appointed by divine authority."  and then he cites 1 Kings  9.16  10.1  16.13--the Catholic equivalent of  1 Samuel 9.16  10.1 and 16.13.   Samuel anoints Saul and then David.  

The king versus the King

This looks like dishonesty on Leo's part.  Why does he ignore all the verses in these same chapters where it is clearly stated that The Lord has given them a king under protest and what it means:  they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  8.7   In the next verse, 1 Samuel 8.8, he equates their demand for a king with the apostasy whereby they have forsaken me, and served other gods. 

Leo ignores  1 Samuel 8.11-17   where the Lord spells out what the king will do to them.  This king they have demanded will be a curse upon them, will take their sons and their daughters and their property, and they will rue the day they asked for a king.  8.18  And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.  The King will take everything they have for his own uses and ye shall be his servants.  8.17.  How does that square with the silly notion that rulers attend to the common good ?  It is a matter of true history, that kings lived in luxury while the people starved.  That wars of conquest were waged which enriched the king while they brought nothing but death and dismemberment to the conscripts who waged them. 

The doctrine that The Lord establishes kings to inflict evil upon men is found again in Jeremiah 27 where The Lord decrees that the King of Babylon will conquer them all and lay his yoke upon them.  And then the turn of the King of Babylon will come.  27.7   There is no suggestion of the Romans 13 doctrine that this king is appointed to the right ordering of the world or that he will reward the good and punish only the evil.  His destiny is rather to conquer many nations and cast down their kings in the course of building an empire which is destined to be overthrown in its turn.

In Isaiah 45.1-4  the Lord calls the Persian king Cyrus his anointed because he has been given the mission to overthrow the empire of Babylon and release the Jews from their long captivity.  (about 536 B.C.)  This is a special mission given to a specific king who hast not known me.  It is not a sanction of heathen kings in general or even of Cyrus except for this specific service to the Jewish nation.  In fact Cyrus is anointed to destroy many kings.  

The Lord is presented as commissioning and anointing regicides.   In Judges 3.15-23 the Lord commissions Ehud to assassinate King Eglon.  In 2 Kings 9.1-8  the Lord anoints a rebel and entrusts him with the mission to kill both Joram the king of Israel and Ahaziah the king of Judah.  He goes on to slay Jezebel and 70 sons of the former king.  Contra the Romans 13 doctrine that God always backs the establishment, and whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God.  The Lord is here presented as ordering the overthrow of that establishment.

In 1 Samuel 10.19, Samuel says to the children of Israel . . . ye have this day rejected your God . . . and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us.  Which shows that this first King of Israel represented, not God's will, but the wicked will of the Jewish people who thereby  rejected  god.  In Samuel 12.12-19 he again sets forth the doctrine that the Jewish people rejected the Kingship of God when they asked for a king--we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.  And this is echoed in the statement by the fourth century Christian writer Tyconius:  Evil men are the throne of Satan. 

In Hosea 13.9-11 there is a reassertion of the doctrine that the Lord himself is their only rightful king:  9-11  O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help  10  I will be thy king;  where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities ?  and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes ?  11  I gave thee a king in mine anger and took him away in my wrath.  These verses from a late prophet hearken back to the original protest in 1 Samuel.  Took him away aptly describes the permanent disappearance of the independent kings of Israel, a situation which had continued for hundreds of years before the advent of Jesus Christ.  Isaiah 7.16 prophesies that the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.  Which is what happened.  Israel had long since become the conquered province of one empire or another.  King Herod was an appointee of the Romans.  And the would be murderer of the infant Jesus.  Was he not quite literally the enemy of God ? 

All of this contrasts sharply with the bland assertion of Romans 13 and the doctrine that Luther and Calvin and their followers have derived from it that The Lord routinely rubber stamps all emperors and kings and princes and magistrates and soldiers and cops and meter maids and court house clerks, and that the janitor at the post office has authority from God.   Get out of the way so I can sweep !  My authority is from God !

The Criminal Character of Kings

The negative attitude towards kings shows up again in Daniel 4.17: the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.  While Matthew 4.8  and Luke 4.5-8 show that it is Satan who rules all the kingdoms of the world  and that to whomsoever I will I give it.  The phrase basest of men clearly indicates that the rule of kings is intended for evil, just as 1 Samuel 8.11-18 states.  But where there is no Prince of this World to blame it on, as there is in New Testament theology, the evil must logically be attributed to the Lord himself.  The concept of Satan as the independent god of this world which is found in the New Testament is not found in the theology of the Old Testament.  There is instead the concept of The Lord as the source of both good and evil.  Satan, in the book of Job, is still only The Lord's mischievous agent. 

The Lord is the Source of Evil

There is a basic difference between the theology of the Old Testament and the theology of the New Testament in regard to Satan.  The New Testament concept of Satan is missing from the books of the Old Testament.  In the Book of Job he is still far from being the independent prince of this world of John 14.30 and  the  god of this world of 2 Corinthians 4.4.  The Lord himself is the god of this world according to the oldest Jewish theology, because there is no power which is independent of the Lord.  The Lord himself is the source of  both good and evil.  There is no concept of one powerful and evil god of this world who is the enemy of God and who acts independently of Him.  Although there is a more general doctrine of false gods who are demons and who are represented by idols.  cf. Deuteronomy 32.17  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not . . . 

In the Book of Job, Satan is a mischievous courtier who hangs around the heavenly court of The Lord.  He is still the Lord's agent in Job 1.12  2.6-7.  The concept of a mischief maker who provokes God to do evil things to a good man is a half step in the direction of the fully developed concept of Satan found in the New Testament where Satan is the nemesis of Jesus and his followers and the evil Prince of this worldwho has power over all kingdoms.  That is the basic theological reason why Old Testament books have to present evil kings as coming from The Lord. 

In the same way  The Lord himself is presented as the source of evil spirits.  Judges 9.23 God sent an evil spirit.   1 Samuel 16.14 an evil spirit from the Lord.  18.10 and  19.9  an evil spirit from God came upon Saul.   He sends out a lying spirit in  1 Kings 22.20-23.  Instead of Satan sending out lying spirits to deceive men, The Lord himself does it in this Old Testament theology.  Isaiah 45.7 presents The Lord as saying I make peace, and create evil. 

A comparison of 2nd Samuel 24.1-25 with 1 Chronicles 21.1-27, written 500 years later, shows a basic change in Old Testament theology.  In the earlier version it is  the lord himself who incites David to number Israel and then punishes them with a pestilence that kills 70,000.  In the  First Chronicles near duplicate of this same story, it is satan who incites David to number the people of Israel.  This introduction of Satan as an evil actor who operates independently of the lord leads to the concept of Satan found in the New Testament, where it is spelled out in Luke 4.5-6 and John 14.30 and 15.18 etc. that Satan is not merely a mischief maker but the prince of this world--the power behind  all the kingdoms of this world. 

The Lord of the Old Testament is both good and evil.  He is the god of this world.  Whereas God the Father is good and Satan is the evil god of this world as Saint Paul descrbies him  or the Prince of This World as Jesus names him. 

In John 15.18-19 Jesus says that the world hates him and his true followers, who, like Jesus himself, must be in an adversarial position to that world of evil men which is the throne of Satan, as Tyconius stated it.  Jesus obviously does not mean that the natural world is evil or that the rivers and the rabbits are out to get us.  He does not mean that Satan is in charge of the sparrows and the lilies of the field.  He means that Satan is in charge of empires--all the kingdoms of this world.  Which is obvious enough when you look at the trail of blood they leave.  The endless lies and perennial wars of kings and kingdoms clearly indicate that Satan is their master. 

The basic New Testament doctrine of Christians versus the World was obscured and abandoned and reversed by the apostate imperial pseudo Church of the 4th Century which made the deal with the Emperor Constantine, the deal which has imprisoned Secular Christians ever since.  [  as described in The Church of the Empire ] 

Locusts from God

Romans 13--Augustine's neo-pagan interpolation in Paul's epistle--reflects the earliest concept of The Lord in saying that   there is no power but of God.  The powers that be are ordained of God.  But it radically diverges from it when it asserts that he is the minister of God to thee for good.  It is one thing to say that God rules through kings and another to say that he has power over them, if he chooses to have it.  The plague of locusts has power from God in the sense that he allows them to destroy the crops.  Do the locusts therefore have God's authority to minister to us for good ? 

Calvin's Institutes  6.54 cites Daniel 4.17 the Most High rules the kingdom of men in support of his doctrine that all law and authority is from God.  Then, like other dishonest bible thumpers, he omits to quote the concluding phrase from 4.17  and setteth up over it the basest of men.   Calvin interprets 1 Sam. 8:11-17 to mean that we shall not hesitate to hold a most wicked tyrant in the place where the Lord has Deigned to set him.  That is the doctrine that Augustine states in Contra Faustus.  A just man should wage war at the command of an unjust king.   And this doctrine of submission to even the most wicked of rulers justifies the cowardly conformity of those who carry out the decrees of Adolph Hitler and every other demon-possessed ruler.  It teaches Christians to worship Satan and carry out his murderous commands while claiming patriotic righteousness. 

Contra the doctrine of Peter in Acts 5.29 that we ought to obey God rather than men.  Contra the clear teaching of Luke 4.5-8 and the many other New Testament passages which show that obedience to rulers is obedience to Satan and that the principalities and powers of this world are the enemies of the true Christian.  We must war against them, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 6.11-12:   Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  The worship of the empire promoted by the Worldly Church is Satan worship.  And Hitler illustrated that in such a way that even the blind can hardly help seeing it.  The Secular Christians of this world are blind.  They have eyes and see not. 

All law from God ? 

The logic of the doctrine that all secular authority is from God pushed Calvin to the logical conclusion that all laws are from God, as he argues in his Institutes 6.47:  the law is a silent magistrate; the magistrate a living law.  In  6.48  he argues against those who deny that a commonwealth is duly framed which, neglecting the political system of Moses, is ruled by the common laws of nations.  And in 6.49 he argues that the laws of other nations are as legitimate in their way as the Law given to Israel, and must be accepted as coming from God.  (references are to the 1536 edition of Calvin's Institutes.) 

But this is contradicted by many Old Testament passages which plainly state that only The Law given to Israel is from the Lord.  The laws of the heathen nations  are  not  The Law of The Lord.  Leviticus 18.3 tells them  neither shall ye walk in their ordinances--the laws of  Canaan and Egypt--18.4  Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein.  I am the Lord your God.  Deuteronomy 4.8 asks:   and what great nation is there that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day ?  The Lord tells them that the laws of other nations are not in the same category with The Law which he has given them.  Don't walk in their ordinances means do not follow the laws of Canaan and Egypt which are NOT  The Law which The Lord has given.  The charge against the Jews in Esther 3.8 is that  their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws.

The belief in The Law which was central to the faith of ancient Israel was an exclusive belief which excluded the laws of other nations just as their worship of The Lord excluded the gods of other nations.  To equate the laws of the heathen nations with The Law of ancient Israel was blasphemy to the Jews.  It was the equivalent of adding the gods of these nations to the religion of Judaism, a rebellion against The Lord for which they were severely punished.  When the ancient Hebrews demanded a king, they rejected the kingdom of God.  And they paid the price for doing that. 

As a practical and common sense matter, the Laws of the Empire embody and enshrine and enable the fundamental criminal character of the empire.  Laws which mandate war and slavery.  Laws which allowed babies to be exposed in the old Roman Empire and which allow them to be aborted in the new American Empire.  The laws sometimes give an ineffectual and unenforced mandate for good behavior while they sanction and demand criminal behavior.  The laws are strictly enforced which conscript men into the army to kill on behalf of the empire.  The laws which prohibited abortion were not enforced. 

It isn't just that the law fails to enforce good behavior.  By pretending to do it, it allows Secular Christians to shrug off their responsibility.  I voted !  And I prayed !  What more can I do ?  Now it is up to God and the government.   The false faith in the law added to the false faith in the people traps us into going along when the people vote for abortion.  The People have spoken !  I must follow the law !   Even when it mandates murder. 

Ammon Hennacy argued:   What good are laws ?  Good men don't need them and bad men won't obey them.  Paul wrote in Galatians 2.21:  If righteousness comes by The Law, then Christ is dead in vain.  The illusion to which Secular Christians cling is that we can stay on the side of Power, conform and obey and go along.  We don't have to stick our necks out.  We don't have to defy principalities and powers to live a Christian life.  We can go along with the crowd. 

Saint Paul taught the early Christians that they were no longer bound by The Law of Moses.  Jesus taught that the two great commandments to Love God and Love Your Neighbor fulfill the 10 commandments.  [ I have gone into this basic subject at some length in  Luther's Distortion of Paul's Teaching and in Jesus and the Law---What Does Jesus teach About The Law ? ]  

Gideon draws the line

The doctrine found in 1 Samuel chapter 8, that God in person is the only legitimate ruler of his chosen people is not a new theme in the books of the Old Testament.  The earliest Hebrew faith in respect to the authority of the king was that the Lord alone was the king of Israel.  There was no king except Jehovah himself who dwelt with them and communicated his decrees through Moses and Aaron.  It is literally The Kingdom of God.  Jehovah directs even their daily movements from his tabernacle--his own special tent--in the middle of the camp.  ( Exodus 40.34-38)

In Judges 8.23, Gideon refuses to become the ruler because only the Lord himself can rule over Israel:  I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you.  The Lord shall rule over you.  And his refusal to become the king of Israel foreshadows the refusal of Jesus Christ to become the secular king of Israel in John  6.15 even while he persists in announcing that  the Kingdom of God is at hand.  Meaning that, at long last, the ancient Kingdom of God is about to be restored.  What did Jesus mean ? 

It is important to note the line which was drawn between the kingship of God over the Jewish people and the rule of the kings of Israel, because it points ahead to the line which Jesus Christ draws between the Kingdom of God which he proclaims and the Kingdom of Israel which he leaves to its folly and its terrible fate when he refuses to become the king of Israel.  The independent Kingdom of Israel had disappeared long before.  As Isaiah 7.16 had prophesied:  the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.  But the Jews were still determined to restore the Kingdom of Israel.  They expected a warrior messiah to re-establish the throne of David and throw off the yoke of the Empire.  In 1 Samuel 8.11-18, The Lord warns them of the consequences of their folly in seeking a king.  In the 24th chapter of Matthew, and other places in the gospel, Jesus warns them of what is coming to them because they have rejected the kingdom of God to pursue a secular kingdom. 

 

The Lowly King

In the later prophets there appears a new idea in respect to the future king of Israel.  These prophetic verses point to the appearance of a king who is an anti king, who comes without the military triumph and glory which the Jews expected.  Zechariah 9.9 describes the king as lowly and riding upon an ass.  Isaiah  53.3-10 describes him, not as a king triumphant but as  despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows; as  smitten of God, and afflicted;   with his stripes we are healed . . . he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter . . . for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 

Isaiah 7.16 prophesies that the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.  This directly follows the prophecy of 7.14:   a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  And again there is this contrast between the Kings of Israel and this very different sort of a king who re-establishes the Kingdom of God even while he seals the fate of the conquered Kingdom of Israel.  Isaiah 9.6-7 has an astonishing description of the future King:   For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:  and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace  7  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  Somehow, the King of Israel, sitting upon  the throne of David, is identified with   the mighty God, The everlasting Father.  Instead of a warrior king, he is the Prince of Peace. 

And that squares exactly with John 18.36:  the kingdom of Jesus is not established by war.  It was established when Jesus returned from the grave and breathed upon them:  Receive ye the Holy Ghost.  20.22.  It is the rule of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ through those who have received him, that still defines the kingdom of Jesus.  John 20.21  as my Father has sent me, even so send I you.  He commissioned them to carry on his mission and then gave them the power to do it by making them spiritual clones of himself ! 

The Kingdom of God is Here !

The Kingdom of God is central to the teaching of Jesus Christ.  The gospel of the kingdom--the good news that the kingdom of God has arrived--is the first teaching of Jesus Christ and the last teaching.  In Mark 1.15 Jesus begins his public teaching with the proclamation that The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.  And in Acts 1.3 Jesus is described as still speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  There are only about 150 verses in the New Testament which describe and define the kingdom of god.  Augustine and Luther and Calvin ignore all of them and draw upon the Old Testament and upon pagan philosophers for their doctrine in respect to kingdoms. 

1There is a development in the bible of the doctrine of God's kingdom on earth.  In early Israel The Lord himself is the king of the Jews.  He lives in a tent in the middle of the camp and it is literally the Kingdom of God.  cf. Exodus 40.34   In Judges 8.23, Gideon refuses to become the ruler because only the Lord himself can rule over Israel.  In 1 Samuel 8.7  The Lord agrees to let the Jews have a king but says that it means  they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  That literal Kingdom of God is what the prophet Ezekiel sees in a vision as being restored in the latter days, as in Ezekiel 43.5,   temple and priesthood and all,  contra the revised version of this prophecy in Revelation 21.22.  And the many things which Jesus teaches us about the  Kingdom of God show that the time has come when the kingdom of God has again been established on earth through his anointed ones--those who have received the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

2In the time of Jesus Christ, the Jews had a great expectation of an anointed king who would re-establish the Kingdom of Israel which was also somehow identified in Ezekiel and in other prophetic books with the Kingdom of God.  And it was this great expectation which set up the drama of the life and death of Jesus Christ.  In Matthew 21.9 they shout  Hosanna to the Son of David.  In Matthew 27.35-37 they crucify him and put a sign over him to mock his pretensions:  the  king  of  the  jews.  Thirty years later they followed false messiahs in a disastrous attempt to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel.  The result was the destruction of Israel and the permanent exile of the Jews.  The Zionists who now occupy the land with the backing of the military power of the American Empire, can have no legitimate spiritual claim.  They are manifestly in violation of all the prophecies, contrary to the TV evangelists whose pseudo Christian Zionist faith is focused upon modern Israel. 

3In Matthew 21.43 Jesus tells them:  The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  He drew a line between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of God.   The rejection by patriotic Jews of the kind of King that Jesus was and the Kingdom of God he proclaimed led directly to their doomed rebellion against Rome in 66 A.D.  which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 A.D.  It was their doctrine of a military messiah king which led them to reject The Prince of Peace and follow false messiahs into the attempt to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel in defiance of the Roman Empire.  As Josephus states in Jewish War  6.5.4,  the belief in the immediate appearance of the messiah Warrior King they hoped for was what gave the chief impetus to this disastrous rebellion.

The teaching of Jesus Christ in respect to  The Kingdom of God became one of the most confused of Christian doctrines.  Because false Christians went to a lot of trouble to obscure it.  After the Roman Emperor Constantine established the Imperial State Church early in the 4th century, there was a major re-working and re-interpretation of the concept of the Kingdom of God to force it into alignment with the new order in which an apostate section of the Christian Church had sold out to the Empire.  (As I documented in The Church of the Empire.)  The imperial toady Eusebius proclaimed the court of the emperor Constantine to be the Kingdom of God on earth.  Augustine reworked the old Christian theology to prove that the state church of the empire was the City of God.  He perverted the work of Tyconius who, like other orthodox Christians,  regarded the Roman Empire as the City of Satan and the antagonist of the City of God, by which he meant the true Christian Church.

The Rise of Christendom 

Then, with the disintegration of the Roman Empire into a multitude of feudal states, the concept of Christendom was fabricated to justify the new social order in which something which pretended to be Christianity made its deals with any bishop or prince or pirate who could establish a city with enough of a wall to keep out the invaders and enough of an army to hold it.  Meanwhile, the real Christian church persisted as an underground and persecuted church.  We know about it because of those persecutions.  Under various heretic labels such as donatist, novatian and priscillianist, it outlasted the persecutions of the imperial Church. 

The number one rule of true Christian hermeneutics is that the Old Testament has to be read in the light of the New Testament, and not vice versa.  The many New Testament verses about The Kingdom of God show that spiritual authority belongs to Christians--real Christians--and not to kings.  The rule of Jesus Christ is carried out through the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ--through individual Christians who have received the Holy Spirit.  In the time of the Old Covenant only the prophet received the anointing of the Spirit.  In the time of the New Covenant the Spirit is poured out upon many individuals, cf. Acts 1.8, 2.17, 7.55 etc., who have no formal position.    That is why the kingdom is a ghostocracy.  It is ruled by those who have received the Spirit.  In accordance with the tradition of the true Christian church.  In conformity with the faith of the first followers of Jesus.  We test our faith by theirs.  

The real kingdom is defined in the dozens of places in the gospel where Jesus described it.  It was defined contrary to the kingdom of Israel and contrary to the kingdoms of this world.  It was defined by a permanent state of hostility to This World.  It cannot be established by armed men.  That is the elementary doctrine which the Worldly Church abandoned.  It is the only state without an army.  Or, rather, with an army equipped with spiritual weapons, as Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 10.3-4 and Ephesians 6.10-18  --   16  Above all, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the  sword  of  the  Spirit,  which  is  the  word  of  God. 

If the credentials of the kings before the time of Jesus are doubtful, what King after the time of Jesus can claim to be the Lord's anointed ?  If God abandoned the Kingdom of Israel and the Temple of the Lord in 70 A.D., how likely is it that He then switched his favor to the Roman Emperor, and the emperors and kings who followed ?  But that is the doctrine which Eusebius proclaimed in his turgid orations and which Augustine developed in his Romans 13 and King's Covenant doctrines.  [  as described in  The Church of the Empire ] 

The sacred majesty of Mao Tse Tung

And what was the consequence of Leo's doctrine which encouraged the idolatry of rulers ?  Hitler could never have done what he did to the Jewish people, to the German people and to the rest of the world without the all out support of the German clergy and laity which created a Patriotic Religious Cult around the Reichfuhrer.   The image of a certain sacred majesty which the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church promoted enabled him to launch a campaign of mass murder in which they all participated.  In which the world participated.  In the end, those who opposed Hitler mirrored the evil that was in him.  They joined an alliance with Stalin, who was Hitler's spiritual twin.  Stalin came to power in a nation that had more  Churches than any nation in Europe.  Which measures its apostasy.  This alliance was responsible for Mao Tse Tung in China.  Who managed to murder as many of his own people as Hitler and Stalin put together.  That is the bottom line of this heresy that all power comes from God. 

The greater reverence for rulers, which the popes encouraged is none other than that demon worship which Satan demands in Luke 4.5-7 as the price of worldly power.  The price that the Imperial Church paid long ago, and must still pay until they are finally forced to understand what Jesus taught about The World and about The Prince of this World.  Which is the opposite of what they teach.  

Terry Sullivan  June 2010  14496 words 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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