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HT&L Service Sheet – 30th January 2022

HT&L Service Sheet – October 24th 2021

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Covid Cures in 2 Chronicles

I thought to survey this slightly obscure OT Book in order to trace out principles for advancing the cause of Christ’s kingdom and especially the recovery of the Christian Church, etc. I’ll say more by way of introduction later. Here goes.

A Humble Plea to the Sleeping Bride

I recently discovered this piece which I wrote 5 years ago (or so). I find myself reading through Numbers, Deuteronomy & Joshua again as the year 2021 runs its course. Again my thoughts are governed by this framework which I’ve had in place in my thinking now for years. I’d like to supplement my comments in future Blog posts with reflections first from the Book of Deuteronomy and later from the Book of Joshua. These will hopefully further flesh out & illustrate the potency of my general paradigm.

We find ourselves today living in an unprecedented time of COVID-19; Government lockdowns & a widespread abandonment of traditional Sunday church activity. Could it be that God has orchestrated all of this? Yes of course! He IS sovereign and ordains all that comes to pass. Alas, the great majority of Christians I know have been bewitched by the mainstream narrative and believe that our Government leaders, Big Tech and Big Pharma have exercised great virtue in all that they have done by way of response. Along with countless others, I am one who dares to question the MSM narrative. I applaud independent news agencies such as UK Column for their robust critique of the misinformation we are routinely propagandised with.

Anyhow, enough said. Here’s the article. I commend it to you for close & careful scrutiny. Let me know how you get on!

Coronavirus & Christ

This unseen blight sent down from higher realm
To test the constitution of mankind
Has countless feeble-minded overwhelmed
Ensnaring them like sheep both lost and blind.

For God has demonstrated in His word
That He is sovereign in this universe;
Those sheep their Master’s voice have rarely heard
And so remain fast bound beneath God’s curse.

Yet other sheep have heard their Master’s voice;
While stumbling, they make haste to turn aside,
Disdaining panic-calls and angry noise
Requiring them to stay at home inside.

The message they have heard they’ve swallowed deep
(Compelling expertise from learned men)
Convincing them that, after all, they’re sheep
Who must not question ‘Why? or Who? or When?’

Alas for weeks they think they’re being wise
To keep a “social distance” and “the rules”.
But they unwittingly are swayed by lies
Too easily they’re led along by fools.

What madness has reduced us all to this?
To hold back little infants in our arms,
Supposing that a Grandad’s hug and kiss
Might risk the spread of deadly bugs and germs!

Awaken! Pause awhile dear friend and think:
Have you to folly been by guile reduced?
Reverse at once your tendency to wink
At cruel lies that sanction child-abuse.

The danger that you fear within your heart
Is symptomatic of a lack of trust;
The Devil whom you dread is very smart
And whispers, “Don’t you dare!” and “Yes, you must!”

For Jesus Christ alone is Lord of all
And has, within the contours of his Word,
Supplied for us a strong defensive wall
That cautions us to question what we’ve heard.

Contagions He from time to time us sends,
While legislating clearly how to cope;
The precepts that His counsel recommends
Are practical and wise, supplying hope.

There is no warrant for the civil state
To fetter us together in one home;
It has no right our conscience to berate,
While telling frail and aged, ‘Live alone!’

Barbarity and tyranny abound!
Vast multitudes have plainly been bewitched!
Yet isolated pockets can be found
Whose residents reach down to scratch their itch.

“Why can’t I hold his hand and blow his nose?
Why can’t he sit awhile up on my knee?”
The priesthood softly speaks, “That’s how it goes!”
“We are the ones in charge, we oversee!”

But nowhere in the Scriptures are we called
To bow the knee to Caesar on this front;
True saints by such pronouncements are appalled
And at such ‘regulations’ take affront.

The federal head of all the world is Christ;
By each in turn his governance is shared.
The family’s the sphere of heaven’s choice
Wherein we’re nurtured, entertained and cheered.

Both church and state have limits by decree;
Their jurisdictions are by God forbade
To make encroachments where they shouldn’t be –
In social realms a higher Hand has made!

When will the Lord of glory send his grace
And, as a Shepherd, summon back his sheep?
When shall we feel our children’s warm embrace
And soothe our broken hearts and cease to weep?

Dear God of love have mercy on us all,
Supply Your holy wisdom from on high,
Forgive us for the countless ways we fall
And give to us a more discerning eye!

Arise you citizens of every land!
Disdain the overreach of men on high!
This isn’t what the Lord of glory planned,
This isn’t how to live nor how to die.

Stand tall, let courage fill your sunken chest,
Despise, like David did, his wretched foes;
Eschew the propaganda on you pressed
To do so isn’t wrong as you suppose.

Gods Law must every thought in us constrain,
His only is the guidance for our feet;
If we submit to Him we shall remain
Invincible; we’ll never face defeat!

A multitude of saints have gone before
Who’ve sometimes had to shed their very blood;
The Lord himself is standing at the door
Commending us for striving to be good.

Let holy Law be written on your hand,
Let it inform the choices that you make,
For Jesus and his Kingdom take your stand
And show that, in your heart, you’re wide awake.

On judgement day before his throne we’ll fall!
Were we his loyal subjects through and through?
Will we be able there to stand at all
For having loved his truth and being true?

Coronavirus thunders from on high –
A trumpet blast, a vial heaven sent –
Have you my reader stopped to wonder why
You’ve been enticed by lies which men invent?

The choice is yours: who will you now obey?
An idol of your fickle, fallen mind?
Ne’er mind the idle things that others say,
Determine to be practically kind.

Beyond this present ‘Lockdown’ you will see
The Bride of Christ with eyes more open wide
And everywhere in all the world there’ll be
The healing of His wings if we abide.

No more will sin and suffering prevail,
No more will sorrow suffocate our way;
The sunshine of His love will in the vale
Illuminate the words we think and say.

Until that Day we’ll patiently forbear
And contemplate the wisdom He’s supplied
With other souls we’ll talk of it and share;
Recalling how for sins & lies Christ died.

1 2Sam 5:8

Lockdownism & The Church

Once again I find myself here expressing appreciation for the analysis & careful research of Dr Joe Boot. A PPT (I crafted) of his article is available here.
These are harrowing times & it’s noticeable just how unprepared the western Church has been to confront the ‘pandemic’. Joe Boot puts his finger on the underlying weakness of the contemporary Church, drawing attention to its failure (over decades) to cultivate a Biblical world & life view. All too frequently, we’ve settled for a dumbed-down ‘gospel’ of personal salvation that safely ignores the fact that God has given us in Scripture a manual by which to build Christian civilisation. Our forbears understood that much better than we do today. Alas, too many entertain the ‘escapist’ notion that Jesus will return imminently and mend everything. He won’t. He’s given us our marching orders & has promised to empower us by His Spirit to subjugate the world beneath His feet (Ps 110). Only Joshua & Caleb were willing to storm Canaan & defeat Christ’s enemies. The great majority that departed from Egypt died in the wilderness. That’s where most of the contemporary Church leaders prefer to languish away their time & energy. It’s a stark picture I know & the required medicine is no sweet syrup. Rather it’s a heart & mind transplant. Joe Boot provides a more detailed culture wide diagnosis & prognosis for recovery in his excellent book – Mission of God. See here.

Thoughts on Kinism

This piece I wrote after meeting with a young man and his wife who have endeared themselves to us. Joshua will presently disagree with my argument here but possesses a very fine spirit. Moreover, he’s young and very courageous!

The spirit of ‘political globalism’ much associated with ultra left wing progressivism has no place within the hearts & minds of those of us seeking to resist the woke agenda of identity politics, etc. But, I confess that reflecting on the actual Biblical paradigm of prospective earth history has made me wonder whether God’s present work of ‘shaking the nations’ will yield a blessed serendipity in the shape of beautiful new cultures from offspring born godly parents from diverse ‘ethnic’ backgrounds!

For those wanting a more robust refutation of the pseudo-theology underpinning ‘Kinism’ see this article by Dr Brian Schwertly.

An Indictment against the Contemporary Evangelical & Reformed Churches

Notwithstanding much time and effort made over decades, Theonomists have failed to adjust the thinking of their brethren within the mainstream evangelical constituency.  They have generally rather, been scorned for having sought to ‘rock the boat’ and to ‘introduce disquiet’ into the various flocks. The time has come for a reluctant but necessary indictment of those who have exercised leadership and responsibility in their churches for their neglect of sacred duty (i.e. proper teaching) before almighty God.  What follows is a humble attempt to itemise the reasons why this indictment must now be expressed and to outline the substance of it.  May the Lord grant grace (i) to us who articulate our misgivings – that we might do so rightly – and (ii) to you, the reader in your hearing of the argument – that you might do so fairly knowing the comprehension of truth brings true liberty (Jn 8:32).  Alas, the voices and traditions of 150 years or more of evangelical independency maintain possession of the microphone out there. Moreover, it appears that few Bible-believing Christians have the presence of mind to think as did the Bereans (Acts 17:11) or the discernment to apply the Scriptures in their entirety to the culture.

The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbour comes and examines him. (Pr 18:17)

Just over 500 years ago, Martin Luther posted his ‘Ninety-five These’ on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral as a token PUBLIC expression of his complaint against the prevailing magisterium of his day – the Papal Church of Rome.  This public announcement is offered in much the same spirit.  The underlying grievance then was much to do with the basis of our justification before God; today the issues are different, but arguably no less important.

How to organise the substance of our dispute is not easy – there are many disparate elements that contribute collectively to the overall argument.  I shall try to be clear and simple as I proceed: first things first, etc. By enumerating the points, it is hoped that others will be able to reference its progression along the way. 

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (Eph 5:11)

  1. God is the unique, sovereign Creator and Ruler of this His world (Ps 24:1).  The Earth is His theatre in which the great drama of redemption is being played out.  (Is 66:1)
  2. Darwinism has deluded and bewitched vast multitudes of Earth’s inhabitants who, even in the Churches, have sought refuge in various idolatrous counterfeits of the one true dogma regarding ‘all things’ found exclusively in Holy Scripture.  (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4)
  3. The great duty of us all, & consequently the obligation of the Churches, is to build, if necessary over the course of a lifetime, a Biblical worldview: a way of thinking that comprehensively accommodates all factuality in the light of God’s revealed word. (Ps 36:9)
  4. Such a worldview, derived from a fair appraisal of the totality of Scripture, illuminated by God’s Spirit, provides the proper understanding of history, all human endeavour, experience and the particulars of Holy Scripture. (Prov 9:10, 1Cor 2:10, 2Tim 2:15)
  5. By such an undertaking under God we are ‘saved’ & ‘redeemed’ as covenant creatures – i.e. we learn to walk humbly & righteously before the Lord.
  6. Man’s duty before God is to glorify Him through careful obedience.  That obedience marks him as a covenant keeper; disobedience to the divine impulse marks those who suppress its voice as covenant breakers.  (Ps 1)
  7. God’s creation ordinance was a summons to build civilisation to the glory of God. (Gen 1:28, Deut 4, Is 11:9, Hab 2:14, Matt 28: 19-20)
  8. Since God Himself is ‘the One and the Many’ it is not surprising that He has ordained three (at least) distinct sphere’s each working collaboratively with the others: these being, Family, Church and State corresponding to the three offices of Christ: Prophet, Priest & King.  (Deut 18:15, Heb 7:17, Ps 2:6 Rev 1:5)
  9. Christ is Lord over all of life.  His Word provides us with all that is necessary to build godly civilisation – i.e.  to build God’s kingdom (Christendom) including: (i) instruction on how to raise children in families (Deut 6), (ii) instruction on how to find reconciliation with our Maker through redemption (Eph 2:13) & (iii) how to conduct ourselves within society at large. (Matt 6:9-13)
  10. Moral instruction provided to us in Scripture is comprehensive.  Each social sphere may contribute legitimately to the exposition of Scripture although it is primarily the priestly duty of the Church to equip the saints (State & Family) with a proper understanding of its application.
  11. The State functions primarily as a Ministry of Justice to maintain peace & good order within society.  Its special jurisdiction is jurisprudence – the prosecution of justice in relation to crime & its punishment.  Accordingly, the nature of crime is determined by God; likewise, the due penalty for a crime must comport with the ‘equity’ found in God’s Law rehearsed in Scripture.
  12. The Church operates as a Ministry of Mercy & Reconciliation.  Its duty is that of a priest mediating between rival parties.  Its focus is remedial in relation to sin.  All crime is sin, but not all sin is crime.  The Church’s business is to identify prevailing sin (in family, Church & state) and to declare God’s sanctifying remedy in Christ.
  13. It is the special duty of the Church therefore to provide instruction (exposition, clarification, exemplification & application, etc) on the Law of God, for it constitutes the whole duty of man (Ecc 12:13-14).
  14. The Family is arguably God’s primary institution. In it we find our immediate identity.  In our matriculation through it we learn to find our place & vocation within the wider culture.  Collectively, wider families constitute clans, tribes & nation states.  Globalism is an affront to the family. (Gen 11; Acts 17:26)
  15. As image bearers of God, we are called to be holy (Lev 11:44).  True righteousness is defined by Scripture alone.  It is comprehended by a careful exposition of God’s Law (Ps 19:7-9).  All things are to be undertaken in accordance with God’s Law.  Consequently, we are to be Theonomic, not autonomous/humanistic; we are to be presuppositional not evidential (in apologetics) bringing every thought captive to the Word of God (2Cor 10:4); metaphysically, we cannot be neutral!
  16. When the judicial branch of God’s government (i) commands what God forbids OR (ii) forbids what God commands, it is the duty of a ‘lesser magistrate’ to interpose – i.e. to draw attention to the inequity of the legislation on behalf of God.  To remain passive under such tyranny is an abdication of responsibility.
  17. The collective obligation of the Churches at this present time is to exercise this duty of ‘lesser magistrate’ by declaring that Jesus, not Caesar, is Lord.  (Acts 4:12, 5:29, 17:7)
  18. Wilful subjection to the (humanistic) State in practice represents the idolatry of statism – the essence of OT Molech & Baal worship. 
  19. Allied to this crisis of conviction, contemporary Christian Churches have further diluted their apologetic stance.  They have settled for a place at the table of public discussion with a view to presenting the ‘claims of Christianity’ accepting the presuppositions of relativism and multiculturalism.  They ought, rather, to affirm the necessity of Christian truth as ‘the precondition for human rationality’ – that is to say, the table (of discussion) itself belongs to God!
  20. It is time to blow the trumpet in Zion & alert the faithful servants of God that they have been led astray by renegade priests who ‘have healed only slightly the hurt of my people saying peace, peace when there is no peace’ (Jer 6:14, Ez 3:13).
  21. In summary, the contemporary Churches have neglected to teach adequately the Law of God. Having done so, they have become antinomian.  God alone knows whether their abandonment of a full and thorough application of God’s Law for society at large represents ‘apostasy’ but in their neglect of this sacred duty they have most certainly invoked the wrath & judgement of God (Rom 118-32, Rev 12:17).

Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness (Isaiah 8:20-22)

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Josh 24:15)

We the undersigned present this indictment for public scrutiny and commend it to all for careful consideration:

Steve Layfield – April 2020

That Pesky Reconstructionist

That pesky reconstructionist is quite a trial to me

He sees within the Bible many things that I don’t see;

He notices the slightest thing my Pastor overlooks

And treasures like an antique vase his North and Bahnsen books.

That pesky reconstructionist is getting on my nerves

Too easily he spurns the idols modern Christians serve

He will not countenance the News that’s spun on my TV

He even dares to doubt the BBC’s (or CNN’s) integrity!

That pesky reconstructionist bangs on about God’s Law

You’d think it was inscribed upon the lintel of his door!

He might as well inscribe it on the fingers of each hand

His reference to it all the time is more than I can stand!

That pesky reconstructionist and his Theonomy

Disturbs our unity at Church and my tranquillity

I watch him restless in his seat, at times his brows are raised

And sense the sermon being preached each time has been appraised!

That pesky reconstructionist will rarely come to Church

When all we do is ‘sit there still’ like parrots on a perch!

He asks, “What do the Scriptures say?” comparing text with text

His scrupulous insistence on true doctrine gets me vexed!

That pesky reconstructionist behaves so meek and mild,

His conscience wounds so easily – at times he’s such a child;

Why does he talk so cheerfully to every soul he meets?

And smile, then share a warm embrace, with every friend he greets?

That pesky reconstructionist blabs on about Van Til

Whose writings are like jogging up a steep and boggy hill;

My pride has been sore wounded by epistemology

A gentler and more simple way there’s surely got to be!

That pesky reconstructionist believes the Earth one day

Will furnish every tribe and tongue with heaven’s holy ray,

That youths will die a hundred years of age, still in their prime

And that our bodies will resist old age in their decline.

That pesky reconstructionist disdains all other views,

All other faiths and paradigms he’ll steadfastly refuse;

He’s much too proud, believing in Truth’s exclusivity

Why can’t he exercise a bit of liberality?

That pesky reconstructionist believes that Christ will win

All nation states throughout the world and rule them as their king;

He’s not perturbed by machinations in the minds of men

Rather he silently derides, and even laughs at, them.

That pesky reconstructionist cites Deuteronomy,

Instead of hymns he sings the Psalms with sweet serenity;

He seems to think the Gospel of God’s kingdom is the key

And yearns for better times ahead when one day we’ll be free.

That pesky Reconstructionist ‘my gospel’ overturns

Instead his heart for righteousness and holy justice yearns;

Why does he think that equity within the Magistrate

Is counted in the Scriptures as a matter of such weight?

That pesky reconstructionist is too concerned with crime

I’ve listened to him long enough, he’s on it all the time;

The Law of God, I hear him say, is closest to God’s heart

He says defining sin is where our message needs to start

That pesky reconstructionist is wont to criticise,

He often denigrates the ‘Church’ for flagrant compromise;

Why won’t he simply fall in line and with the rest conform?

Why does he choose to rock the boat and urge another norm?

That pesky reconstructionist is living in the past

The principles called ‘Puritan’ are what his hands hold fast;

The transformation of all things by Jesus he proclaims

Imagining that unseen pow’r can loose us from our chains!

That pesky reconstructionist perpetually fights

For what he says to Christ belongs – His fiercely won ‘crown rights’.

Why can’t he settle for a much more measured victory –

The future hope of cloudy heights for souls like you and me?

That pesky reconstructionist thinks since all men are made

In God’s own holy image, he can seek to them persuade,

He thinks without a single proof it’s right to Scripture cite

Affirming that all ears and eyes are open to its light!

That pesky reconstructionist says Christ is Lord of all

And never seems to sense, like me, his back’s against the wall;

He is the Lord, I acquiesce, of ALL MY brain and heart,

But how can He be Lord of Science, Geography and Art?

That pesky reconstructionist thinks every king on Earth

Will one day bow the knee to Christ and magnify His worth;

He reckons there are special blessings for the ones that do

And that the Hand of providence will bless them through and through.

That pesky reconstructionist perceives God’s covenant

Is the abiding principle in all that God has planned;

He says God’s covenant’s the key to all earth history

And seeks by it to comprehend the way things ought to be.

That pesky reconstructionist resents us pietists

At times I’ve seen him, in a rage, blow spittle on his fists;

Why can’t he be more ‘laissez-faire’ and sing our worship songs?

Why must he always contradict and seek to right our wrongs?

That pesky reconstructionist Rushdoony quotes a lot

Why can’t he suffer ‘easy-truths’ within his melting pot?

Why must he always be precise when Scripture he divides?

Why must he check the text himself for all that he decides?

That pesky Reconstructionist is always on his knees

Reminding God of promises contained in His decrees

Though very few may gather and invoke Christ’s mighty Name

Importunately they and he continue just the same

That pesky Reconstructionist is more than I can bear

Obscure and ancient Scripture texts he references in prayer

“The rocks cry out! Spring up O well!” bizarrely he proclaims

He seems to think the season’s ripe for widespread ‘latter rains’….

Dr Joe Boot – Transforming Culture

This message posted recently Dr Joe Boot of the Ezra Institute helpfully unpacks the ache in my soul.  It is bewildering how plain and clear the New Testament actually is regarding the Mission of the Church when Dr Boot lays it out in this way.  It continues to amaze me that so many earnest Christians today decry the message of Christian Reconstruction and settle for cradle to grave salvation by the secular State.  We have become so entrenched and so bewitched by the pietism preached week in and week out from evangelical pulpits that we hear the authentic gospel of the kingdom as something ‘extreme’ or ‘pugnacious’.  May God Himself soften our hearts and stir us all up to better things.  Please consider carefully Joe Boots call to arms!

Steve Layfield

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