by C.W. Powell
“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3,4
Humanist nanny theology prepares the way for the humanist nanny state. Because the humanist theologian thinks that Jesus is telling us things that we must do in order to become worthy of heaven, his whole understanding becomes corrupt and he is powerless to resist tyranny.
In Matthew 18, Jesus is not describing character which makes a person worthy of being called his disciples, for salvation is by grace. Instead He is describing the Christ-likeness of the true believer. This Christ-likeness is the result of conversion, something that is done to us. The humility that is the result of this “converting” is a grace given by God, the work of the Spirit, and not a work of the flesh. We are not “converted” because we are Christ-like, for then we would not need to be converted. We are converted from being very un-Christlike to Christ, as a new nature in His likeness is imparted to us by grace alone.
Because they do not understand grace and the power of God, the humanist model is false humility and childish weakness. Humanist religion teaches men to be weak and childish, and the model becomes a means of attack against those who are godly. “Don’t stand up for what you believe; we are supposed to be childlike,” the line goes.
Faith does not make a man weak and childish. “In understanding, be men” (I Cor. 14:20). “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (I Cor. 16:13). Heb. 11:34 speaks of faithful men who “out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens….”
We do not receive the kingdom of God because of our proud adult abilities and strengths, for the kingdom can only be received as the little children received the blessing of Jesus Christ. And those who receive the kingdom of God trust Christ and reject their own work as any means of blessing. But this does not make them childish and wimpy. Instead they are strong in their confession of faith.
“When for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God’s and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat….” Hebrews 5:12
Faith gives strength and fortitude. Faith brings liberty and confidence. Faith brings assurance and hope. Faith delivers from the tyranny of either church or state. Faith teaches complete dependency on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Because of the blood of Christ, the conscience is cleansed from dead works, so that the believer can serve the Lord. He is alive in faith, and confident toward God, for all his hope and confidence is in Christ. Nothing else but faith can clear the conscience toward God.
But the humanist state and the humanist church nurture dependency. How nice it is for governmental and ecclesiastical nannies, when people think of themselves in terms of childish dependency! “We are your children. What presents have you brought us? We cannot take care of ourselves and we love you for taking good care of us. What will you do for us? How will you meet our needs, and feed and clothe us?”
Childish people in the nanny church have the same attitude: “We are dumb sheep. Please tell us what to do. Make rules for us. Teach us what is right and wrong. Be our theological nannies and our moral gurus. Do our studying for us, and do our praying for us. How comforting it is to know that we have wise and good men looking after us. We never want to grow up.”
“I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old….” Heb. 8:10b-13a