A City Set On a Hill
Surviving the Seventieth Week by Reforming Fundamentalism and Establishing Cities of Refuge
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First Step, Virtual Government
Copyright 2010 by Raul E. Lopez, MD, MDiv

It is important to have good ideas, but experience teaches us that the task of finding a way to implement an idea can be even more challenging than coming up with a good idea in the first place. The city of refuge concept can be implemented at various levels. The greatest obstacle to the creation of cities of refuge is that true Christians are almost always a minority in every location and at any point in time. Christ confirmed this truth when he said "Enter in by the narrow gate." (Matthew 7:13-14). A Christian majority, or the control of an area by a Christian minority constitutes a situation analogous to a high energy state in physics. In order to maintain such a state an influx of energy from a source external to the city of refuge is required. Consequently, an international effort will be required to focus the influence of Christians from a large area into selected areas which constitute the cities of refuge. It is this type of approach which makes the modern state of Israel a viable nation. In these cities the light will be bright because it is focused from a large area. These cities would better meet Christ's ideal that Christians be "the light of the world" because "a city set on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).

The two trees in Zechariah were individuals. The heart or core of the cities of refuge will be servants of God with a special anointing of the Holy Spirit. These should be individuals with special wisdom and insight in areas directly related to the Bible and the ministry, as well as those with insight on how to glorify God through non ecclesiastical means, such as politics, finance, science, language, etc. Their primary task would be the dissemination of wisdom. Such collections of individuals currently exist in the form of Christian Universities. These persons exercise their gifts by teaching young Christian leaders, by writing books, by providing oversight for various Christian ministries, and by providing services for churches. One way to start a city of refuge is to fist establish it as a Christian university. A Christian university is able to function as a mini-city. Such a university would be a virtual or prototype city of refuge.

Many good Christian universities currently exist, but the one which constitutes the prototype city of refuge would be different in several ways. First of all, its focus would be primarily to train young leaders to implement the ideas presented in this book, to create a new conservative Christian denomination and to participate in the political process with the goal of conforming the laws of the country as closely as possible to the Biblical pattern. Furthermore, this university, and subsequent ones, would be located in places which could be transformed into cities of refuge. For example, a poor place to locate a city of refuge is in the United States, because that country is a huge powerful nation and the federal government would not allow Biblical law to be implemented within any of its fifty states. In order for that to happen, the country as a whole would have to be transformed and if that is a task almost as challenging as converting the whole world. If that were possible, then the postmillennialists would be right in thinking that the church can successfully bring in the millennium in this era. The whole point of the cities of refuge is that there is a need to influence small areas in a very intense way in order to show the world what kind of society the gospel can produce.

The seminary of the University would have several distinctive features that would make it different from other seminaries. First of all, it would focus on missions. This is probably the greatest weakness that Christianity has at the present. We are not effectively spreading our message beyond our local communities. Many times we send as missionaries those whom we would not accept as pastors in the United States. We should be sending our best and brightest into the mission field. Most pastors should serve one term (four years) as a missionary or assistant missionary before going back to the United States as pastors. Young people should also spend one or two years in the mission field like the many young Mormons do. Secondly two areas of the Bible ignored by most seminaries are prophecy and Biblical law. This seminary would attend to both subjects without neglecting other areas.

Finally, it seems that at least some conservative Christian seminaries, including some which consider themselves part of the fundamentalist movement, have neglected the teaching of theology. Theology is simply the logical, organized, systematic teaching of the doctrines of the Bible. The books of the Bible were written to specific individuals and groups who had specific problems at specific points in time. They represent specific revelatory cases. In order to effectively apply the commands given to the original addressees to the problems faced by churches and individuals in our time it is important to compare teaching found in different scriptures which addresses the same topics. The Bible is perfectly designed for this since many passages are repeated and restated from a slightly different perspective. Examples of books which restate information found in other books are, the book of Deuteronomy, the books of the Chronicles, the four gospels, the letters to Ephesians and Colossians and many other passages and books. This comparison of scripture with scripture provides doctrinal depth. This is similar to our natural vision system which takes advantage of the fact that each eye sees a slightly different image in order to extract depth information and allow us to see in three dimensions.

The parable of the unjust steward teaches us that an important component in spreading the kingdom of God is raising financial support. Jesus said "And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]? (Luke 16:8-11). Funding should be raised in different ways for different parts of the University. The University should be divided into two parts according to the analogy of the two olive trees. One part will be a theological seminary or school of religion. It should have a board of directors which is distinct from the rest of the university, and should be composed solely of ordained ministers. The University and seminary should have the same president in order to provide unity, but the dean of the seminary should have more authority than the other deans. The seminary would then have its own funding, which should come through donations and contributions from individuals and churches. Income would also be generated from tuition, but tuition at the seminary should be kept at a minimum through subsidy from the University and gifts from the churches.

The other part would included the rest of the University. Income would be generated, first of all, by charging a modest amount for the services provided. This includes revenue from tuition, room and board, and from the sale of books, Christian music, and Christian films. In addition to teaching, there are other tasks which a Christian university is best suited to accomplish. These activities are Creation Science research and research related to the promotion of Biblical law. The latter could be accomplished in conjunction with a Biblical Law political party. Biblical law and creation science are activities which would yield great spiritual dividends for the church, but which are not directly commanded to the church. Rather, they seem to be legitimate responsibilities of a Christian government. However, since secular government is antagonistic to such activities a Christian university could serve as a sort of virtual Christian government in order to promote the implementation of Biblical law and in order to conduct creation science research.

Governments are financed through taxation. When people, both individually and collectively in the form of corporations, profit from an economy they return a portion of their profit or income as taxes to that government which is the general manager of the economy in that area. These taxes are paid in order to finance the expenses involved in the task of governing. An investment company in a form similar to a mutual fund could be created to finance these two tasks. This fund would be managed by Christians in the university, and its goal would be to invest profitably in the region surrounding the place where the university is located. It would also seek to bring business and industry to the general area of the University and would seek to start new businesses by funding business venture directed by graduates. Part of the profit from the investments would be used to fund both creation science research and the promotion of Biblical law. Ultimately these two activities would pay for themselves because some creation science has business applications and an economy governed by Biblical law would be more profitable for business than one governed by other principles.

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