If you are convinced that the Christian Faith is a "personal, private affair," designed only for stone-faced Sunday morning worshippers, gossipy Thursday evening home Bible studies, and ethereal "quiet times with Jesus," please don't tell our brothers in the African nation of Zambia. They have somehow picked up the idea that the Faith applies to all of life including civil government and are fashioning a Christian commonwealth as you read these lines.
And they want Chalcedon to help. . . .
A historic opportunity confronts Chalcedon. June 26-28 of this year Chalcedon will host a conference on Biblical Reformation and Christian Culture in Lusaka, Zambia, the only explicitly Christian nation in the world. For 27 years Zambia was mired in the throes of Communism. It was, in fact, one of the world's leading exporters of Communist terrorism; Communists from around the world traveled to Zambia for training in guerrilla warfare. By the unspeakable grace of God and a providential chain of events, however, in free elections on October 31, 1991, God installed (by a 5 to 1 margin) an explicitly Christian president, Fredrick Chiluba, and vice president, Godfrey Miyanda, as well as a largely Christian parliament (see Brian Abshire, "`Those Who Live in a Dark Land Will Have Great Light. . .': The Christian Reconstruction of Zambia," Chalcedon Report, August, 1995, pp. 11-14).
The present regime of Zambia is committed to historic Christianity. Are you stunned that a nation in Southern Africa with pagan roots would adopt Biblical Christianity, while we Americans with Puritan roots would increasingly adopt paganism (see Stan Evans's The Theme Is Freedom)? The irony is profoundly troubling, isn't it? In his article noted above, Brian Abshire observed, "When [after his election] he was asked if he intended writing a new constitution, [President] Chiluba replied that he didn't have to. It was already written. He held up the Bible to the full view of the world press." If that had occurred here in the good old US of A, Dan Rather would have suffered a nightly-news prime-time coronary, and every ACLU attorney from the Potomac to the Pacific would have strode down Pennsylvania Avenue rabidly uttering "fascism" to CNN live coverage.
It just goes to show that not all pagans wear goofy face paint and dance nude around fires. And it also shows that what Brian Abshire terms The Greater Reformation may not begin in the United States. It may begin (it may have already begun) in a God-fearing nation in Southern Africa.
And, with your help, on June 26-28, Chalcedon will be there to assist in the Reformation.
Monte Wilson, president of Classical Christianity and noted Christian reconstructionist author; Wayne Johnson, Chalcedon board member and veteran political consultant; and I are scheduled for about 16 lectures in Lusaka. We have concrete assurances that the president will open the conference and attend at least the first evening's meeting, and that the vice president will attend the entire conference. We have been asked to address topics as diverse (and vital) as the nature of Christian commonwealths; the moral basis of market capitalism; foundations for freedom; crime and punishment; principles for prosperity; policies that produce the blessing of God; education as the foundation for the future; the meaning of "the last days"; humanism and Hollywood (no, even Southern Africa cannot escape its sordid influence); hindrances to revival; steps to reformation; and so forth.
The Chalcedon conference will be attended by pastors and other Christian workers, politicians, law enforcement officers, businessmen, teachers and other educators, and many, many more.
Peter Hammond, Chalcedon friend and Africa's prime Christian reconstructionist, will join us, as will the energetic and unflagging John Jere, our main contact point in Zambia.
The transition from Marxist socialism to Christian civilization in Zambia has not been painless or effortless. Suckled on 27 years of socialist propaganda, almost an entire generation of Zambia's citizens, not surprisingly, finds it hard to perceive the state as anything other than Mother Provider. Because civil government has been the "solution" to Zambian problems for so many years, a temptation to replace big secular government with big Christian government (state TV is now Christian) betrays a defective understanding of Christian freedom in the marketplace. The understanding of individual self-government, family government and church government under God, and the responsibility these require, is somewhat lacking. In addition, with the new religious freedom, pietistic ministries from the West have surged into Zambia, hawking their world-denying, defeatist wares (and errors) to all who will buy. (That the adoption of this pietistic vision may pave the way for a return to godless socialism is a point we Chalcedonians will not fail to make).
Nonetheless, the Christian nation of Zambia is on the right road. It is on the right road because it is on the road that leads to eternal life (Mt. 7:14). It has unashamedly thrown its lot with Christ and his word, and has thereby ensured the blessings of our sovereign God (Jn. 12:26).
Now, some crucial questions for you, my dear friend: If you could contribute to the Christianization of an entire nation, would you? If you could be certain your gifts would be used to effect immediate change in a nation committed to the "Crown Rights of Jesus Christ," would you be eager to give? If you could be assured that your hard-earned money could finance the instruction of an entire nation's pastors, politicians, teachers, and businessmen for the sake of historic, orthodox, Biblical Christianity, would you fork over some wealth? If you would and can, you should.
You can see almost immediate results of your contribution by sending Chalcedon's leadership and representatives to the Christian nation of Zambia. The more money we receive, the more books and other materials that the Christian Zambians are craving we can take with us to abet the Reformation.
Of course, we will furnish you a complete report of the trip when we return.
If you believe fervently in Christian civilization and Christian culture not only here in the United States but around the globe please contribute generously to the Zambian trip. Send gifts to Chalcedon, earmarked, "Zambia Trip."