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Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Michael Bates Quotes Sproul about Schaeffer, Christianity, and Statism

Couldn't resist quoting this. I know not all of my readers are familiar with the inimitable Michael Bates and might have otherwise missed this gem:
R. C. Sproul, writing in 2008, recalled asking Francis Schaeffer what was the greatest threat to the church in America. Schaeffer's one word answer: "Statism."
Schaeffer's biggest concern at that point in his life was that the citizens of the United States were beginning to invest their country with supreme authority, such that the free nation of America would become one that would be dominated by a philosophy of the supremacy of the state.

In statism, we see the suffix "ism," which indicates a philosophy or worldview. A decline from statehood to statism happens when the government is perceived as or claims to be the ultimate reality. This reality then replaces God as the supreme entity upon which human existence depends....

Throughout the history of the Christian church, Christianity has always stood over against all forms of statism. Statism is the natural and ultimate enemy to Christianity because it involves a usurpation of the reign of God. If Francis Schaeffer was right -- and each year that passes makes his prognosis seem all the more accurate -- it means that the church and the nation face a serious crisis in our day. In the final analysis, if statism prevails in America, it will mean not only the death of our religious freedom, but also the death of the state itself. We face perilous times where Christians and all people need to be vigilant about the rapidly
encroaching elevation of the state to supremacy.

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