The Scriptures teach that God designed five institutions to establish order on the earth—institutions that have precise roles, responsibilities, and objectives that are unique to each of them.
In theological circles this is known as the mediatorial reign of Christ. God has ordained five institutions to manifest His presence in a fallen world.
More specifically, Scripture informs us that God created the institution of the state to moralize (to reward good and punish evildoers), commerce to commercialize, the church to evangelize, marriage to materialize, and the family to catechize. (See my Bible study, “God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth.”)
To maintain stability on earth, each institution is to fulfill the purposes it was assigned by God to achieve. It follows that each institution is woefully inefficient and ineffective when it tries to achieve the purposes of another.
This biblical truth has become glaringly apparent these past several weeks and serves to illustrate a Bible study I wrote long ago regarding this matter. And just what is that?
We are experiencing the institution of commerce attempting to moralize a culture!
But that is a job God ordained the state to accomplish!
The dictionary definition of moralizing is “to reform the character and conduct of another” which is precisely the singular job description that God assigned the state to accomplish in a world laden with sin! (Cf. Romans 13:1-8 and I Peter 2:14)
God ordained civil government as part of His means to quell evil in a fallen world.
The recent, huge phenomena in American business serves to illustrate how things go sideways real fast when an offending institution attempts to usurp another institution’s area of calling and expertise.
Instead of staying in their own lane of bringing some level of economic prosperity to a fallen world, in hidden and overt actions, some businesses have careened off course and have been using their influence in attempts to moralize, indoctrinate, and radically change American culture.
Here are four fresh examples:
Last week, Warner Bros. Discover, the parent company of CNN, announced plans to scuttle the less-than-one-month old CNN+ streaming network after consumers turned up their noses at the product—a repackaging of what critics call the radical liberal woke moralistic content and far-left politics of CNN news.
The CNN+ subscription streaming services offered 12 hours of live news and on-demand shows that included “Parental Guidance with Anderson Cooper,” who is an openly gay man whose two sons were born outside of wedlock.
CNN spent an estimated $300 million launching the service and between $100 million and $200 million advertising CNN+. The goal was to attract more than 2 million subscribers to the $6 per month service. But just days into a disastrous debut, only 150,000 had subscribed.
“In the end what crashed CNN+ is exactly what has crashed CNN itself. The network wandered off into a liberal la-la land and crashed its own ratings,” wrote author and political strategist Jeffrey Lord, in a story for MRC NewsBusters, America’s Media Watchdog.
No one was interested in that product. It was obviously a corporation packaging itself to be a moralistic (in their case woke moralism) force in our culture.
That just cost their parent company $500 million for getting out of their lane. It won’t be long until CNN itself folds unless its new owner wakes up and smells the coffee.
Instead of staying in its own lane, CNN invaded areas designated for the state, the family and the church.
Rather than provide programming that most people want to view, Netflix has been shoving radical ultra-liberal shows down the throats of resisting subscribers and this has led to the company’s recent severe financial losses.
For the first time in more than 10 years, subscribers bolted in droves. Netflix announced that 200,000 users had fled between January and March and is forecasting the loss of an additional 2 million subscribers in the second quarter of this year.
A few days ago, Netflix stock closed 35 percent down which wiped more than $50 billion off its market cap. “It is now the worst-performing stock of 2022 in the S&P 500, down 62.5% year-to-date,” reported CNBC in an April 20 online story.
Netflix is losing money because it is making “poor decisions in favor of the liberal agenda,” reported Left Right IQ in an online story.
“The rampant child porn-styled shows, the racially charged anti-white programs, and the rampant push for openly encouraging transgendered and homosexuality as the norm has been forcing people away for some time now,” the story said.
Netflix is scheduled to roll out another show called “He’s Expecting” an inexplicable series about a man who becomes pregnant.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, tweeted that liberal programming was causing the financial woes. “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” Musk tweeted.
Instead of staying in its own lane, Netflix invaded areas designated for the institution of the state, the family, and the church.
And speaking of Elon Musk, he just bought the social media giant, Twitter, for $44 billion with the mission of restoring it to a truly free speech platform.
Musk made his move after Twitter continued to ban one conservative voice after another including former President Donald Trump’s and reporting from the middle-of-the-road New York Post.
Other examples of Twitter’s censorship include it dispatching armies of misnamed “fact checkers” to silence people who offered factual evidence in opposition of “woke” anti-biblical politics and policies. It also used algorithms to boost certain stories and hide others such as the well-documented Hunter Biden laptop political kickback scandal.
In a letter to the Twitter Board of Directors, Musk said he believes free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy and that Twitter has the potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe.
In a tweet, Musk made his intentions clear to users: “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
Instead of staying in its own lane, Twitter usurped freedoms otherwise promised by the institution of the state: The U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right of free speech.
Perhaps the most flagrant example of a commercial establishment careening out of its God-intended lane is the Walt Disney Company. Under the leadership of patriotic founder and creator Walt Disney, the company’s products and services exemplified everything right with America and its way of life.
Its wholesome family films included The Jungle Book, Snow White, Dumbo, Cinderella, and 101 Dalmatians. Disney created guileless Mickey, the innocent little mouse that everyone loved and the Disneyland amusement park with its charming U.S.A. Main Street.
But in recent years, the Disney Company has pushed an increasingly anti-biblical agenda, including showing aberrant sexual lifestyles in its cartoon movies to children and presenting them as the acceptable norm.
Among many examples is the 2021 movie “Cruella” which featured Artie, an openly gay character. The movie “Frozen” offers the male character Oaken who introduces his family—another man and four children. “DuckTales” features Violet whose loving parents are two dads. Marvel’s “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was banned in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait because it featured an openly gay character.
It’s no secret that Disney is pushing a gay agenda, confirmed Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau. In a YouTube video, she boasted about how she pushed a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” adding, “Wherever I could, I was adding queerness” to children’s programming. “No one would stop me and no one was trying to stop me.” The video was exposed in March by journalist Christopher Rufo.
Raveneau’s comments came as Karey Burke, president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, “vowed to drastically increase inclusivity in its productions, promising that at least 50 percent of its characters will be LGBTQ or racial minorities by the end of the year,” according to a March 30 New York Post story.
Speaking out against “Disney’s moral failure,” Evangelist Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said Disney had “gone too far.”
“LGBTQ activists are using corporations to force their agenda on the public,” he said.
“The morals of the corporate leadership of Disney today are in the gutter and they want to redefine family counter to God’s original design and flaunt sin.”
The Walt Disney Company even took a stand against a Florida law that simply prohibited teachers from giving classroom instruction on “sexual orientation” or “gender identification” in kindergarten through third grade—as if their institution of commerce headquartered in California knows what is morally better for the children of Florida than does the institution of the state of Florida!
In signing the law, Gov. DeSantis said it was to prevent schools from usurping the authority of parents.
Herein is a wonderful illustration of God’s institution of the state realizing and limiting its otherwise usurpation of God’s institution of the family.
But Disney executives opposed the law and issued a statement that read, “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
Gov. DeSantis pushed back and called Disney’s threat “provocation.”
Last week the Florida Legislature passed a bill to dissolve a private government that Disney had been allowed to operate on its properties, essentially ending decades of tax breaks. The new law will greatly increase Disney’s taxes to Florida.
In response, Disney stock, which had reached an all-time high at $200 a share in March 2021, plummeted. As the market closed late last week, the stock was at near $120 per share, down some 33% from a year ago.
Instead of staying in its own lane, Disney invaded areas designated for the institutions of the state, the family, and the church.
Discipling Members of the State
Each of these four examples serves to illustrate what happens when God’s institution of commerce improperly invades areas of responsibility that God assigned to other institutions.
If business leaders desire to change the moral direction of culture via the use of their company they need instead run for office!
To repeat, God designed commerce to commercialize, the church to evangelize, marriage to materialize, the family to catechize, and the state to moralize! Each does what it does best; huge problems result when any and all institutions get out of their lane.
Only the Bible can provide us with such clarity and wisdom today in an increasingly warped world. God uniquely and wonderfully mediates His reign, albeit in a fallen world, via His five separate institutions.
The point is this: moralizing is not the job of commerce. God intends for the state to do that. Isn’t it therefore critically important for the church to evangelize and disciple those who serve in the state?
Absolutely yes—and that’s what CapMin is all about.
My prayer is that these four recent disasters will inform the boards of other corporations to cease and desist from doing what God never intended. To do otherwise is to do so at their own peril.
Again, if they wish to change the moral direction of our nation they should quit manipulating their companies, resign, and run for office. Any attempts otherwise will lead to their companies eventual, if not immediate, economic demise—and rightfully so.
President and Founder, Capitol Ministries
Ralph Drollinger leads separate Bible studies in Washington, D.C., every week to Members of the U.S. Senate, the House, and former White House Cabinet Members and Senior Staff.
To learn more about this issue, read Drollinger’s Bible study, “God’s Institutions and Their Roles on Earth.”