My blog of last week on Abraham Lincoln, the hero, as portrayed by Hollywood and the media needs an extension this week.  And as is my purpose in these blogs it should hopefully give you a very interesting insight into a critical event of the 14th Century that Lincoln shamelessly plagiarized in his famous Gettysburg address.

Probably one of the most famous political addresses of history is Lincoln's Gettysburg Address of November 1864 and the most famous line of that short little speech was his ringing declaration of "government of the people, by the people and for the people" for which ostensibly that terrible war was fought. If you look up "Gettysburg Address" in Wikipedia the authors admit that historians are at a loss as to where Lincoln might have gotten that famous statement.

Well where he got it from was clarified for me when I read Oxford professor Alister McGrath's great book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea".  I quote from page 214;
"Things began to change in England in the late Middle Ages even though the translation of the Bible into English was illegal at this time. John Wycliffe the English religious reformer of the fourteenth century is often referred to as the "morning star of the Reformation" (he was the first to translate the Bible into English)....One of Wycliffe's best known slogans, shamelessly plagiarized by Abraham Lincoln, affirms the fundamentally democratizing consequences of giving people access to the Bible: this book would give rise to "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

So Wycliffe takes the Latin Vulgate Bible which was only available to the Catholic clergy and translates it into English for the first time and is astounded when he finishes, he realize the incredible implications of what he finished translating and it was this:  The whole feudal structure of kings and priests was unbiblical (as well as the economic structures of the time) and if the people could only read the Bible it would result in "government of the people, by the people and for the people."

But people in those days got burned at the stake for publishing or reading the Bible.  William Tyndale, inspired by Luther's German translation of the Bible did a wonderful English translation and published 3,000 copies in Germany and had them secretly smuggled into England.  The English feudal establishment was outraged.  The Chancellor, Sir Thomas More had Tyndale abducted and burned at the stake in 1536.  

That's right....reading the Bible by the masses is dangerous to the ruling plutocrats, despots and kleptocrats.  The Bible is full of dangerous ideas. It sets out God's plans for government, law, social order and economy.....all of which are at variance to the feudal order of the ages before the Reformation when in all nations the power of kings and priests were supreme.

The Bible was at variance with the economic order of the ages where the national assets were owned and controlled by the feudal elites and the common people were the serfs and slaves of their overlords. 

To give you an idea of the arrogance of the kings and their idea of their "divine right" to rule, here is what King James (of the famous King James Bible) said at his coronation speech before the people:

"The state of the monarchy is the most supreme thing upon the earth, for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon the earth and sit upon God's throne but even by God Himself are called gods."

This arrogance was matched only by the Popes in Rome who through Pope Boniface 8th declared in his encyclical Unum Sanctum, "All the faithful of Christ by necessity of salvation are subject to the Roman Pontiff who judges all men. Therefore we be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every creature altogether necessary for salvation."

So the king is God on earth and the Pope is God on earth. That was the feudal structure of all societies. Until of course the people started getting access to the Bible. Martin Luther started it by declaring salvation was by faith (not through the Pope), scripture alone is final authority and  every believer is a priest before God. That was the end of Papal authority. 

Then Calvin came along preached election, that all believer are elect in Christ, not just the king. We are all seated in Christ's throne and we are all subject to the law of God. That was the end of "divine rights of kings".  And when James's son Charles decided to dispute this fact, the Reformation armies under Cromwell with Bible and sword in hand defeated him, chopped his head off and instituted "government of the people, by the people and for the people."

Now centuries later here comes Lincoln spouting pieties of "government of the people" after the incredible tragedy of hundreds of thousands of dead men who wanted their own form of government of the people (of the south, out from under Washington and the eastern money power).  If there was in fact a central turning point in the history of America when the people lost their government it was the Civil War where the power of the federal government in Washington rose up to trample states rights and human rights and ever since has been grasping for itself more and more power over the lives of the common people. King James could only dream of the power of today's government over its people.  Lincoln was so outrageous in his lawlessness that when the US Supreme Court tried to stop him he had the Chief Justice locked up in prison.

Today the fig leaf used to cover up this trampling of the rights of the common people is the old lie "it was necessary to end slavery".  The war did nothing to end the misery and slavery of the negro people after the war.  The northern "carpetbaggers" swarmed into the defeated south to rape the land economically. The plight of the blacks was completely ignored for another 100 years.

Today nobody believes in the fiction of "government of the people, by the people, for the people."  Everyone is aware that money is the power that is served by politicians.  Nobody believes that their overlords are "civil servants".  They are neither civil not are they servants of the people.  The government bureaucracy of all nations is a super class of highly paid incompetents who do nothing to further the plight of the people but only add to their burdens.  It has become "government of the plutocrats, by the bureaucrats, for the elites". A typical example is Zimbabwe.  The bureaucracy of 213,000 people consume two thirds of the national budget on themselves and their perks and the other third must be divided to the needs of the 13 million poverty stricken citizens. 

One of my favourite internet blogers Chris Hedges, had this to say recently:
"We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals and our banks destroy the economy."

But something is stirring out there....people are waking up.  All over the world whether it is China, the Arab nations, Europe, America....the people are taking to the streets agitating for change.  Nobody trusts bankers or politicians anymore.

The time is ripe for the Church to once again translate the Bible into a language that the people can understand. As in feudal days when the people did not understand the Bible because it was written in Latin, they did not know the wonderful plan that God had for all the people of the earth. But once they read it and understood it, it resulted in political revolution of the Reformation, the scientific revolution of the Industrial Age and the social revolution of the evangelical reformers.  And the world has never been the same since.

But that is going to require what Paul calls "living epistles read of all men".  You can't just hand out Bible tracts anymore.  We as a Church have to live the Word of God.  God wants the Church to be the "Ekklesia" the called out assembly of people.  We need to show the world the community of God's people who live the life of Christ as a community and not just as a Sunday morning meeting.    

I prophecy this to is coming!  The Lord sees that we are caught up in a new International Feudal order of a corporate-banking-big government matrix of power but the New Reformation of the Church is going to break that hold and set the people free.

Which brings me to next week's blog..."Jerusalem vrs. Athens:  Church or Ekklesia"


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