Jeffrey A. Ziegler: President SGI
Matthew 2:1-8; 13-18 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. . . . And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
St. Matthew’s gospel depicts here the infamous Herodian persecution of his own people. On the surface, Herod’s murderous rampage would seem just another ruthless political ploy the likes of which have been habitually played out upon the stage of world history. However, what is at stake, in these all too familiar verses, moves far beyond mere political intrigue.
The spirit of Herod is the spirit of resistance, recalcitrance, and rebellion to the rule of God. This insolence is always manifest in one form or another with attempts to destroy “the image of God” upon man. The Incarnation, or God becoming flesh, represents the ultimate expression of “the image of God” resting on the perfect man, even the God-man, Jesus Christ. In Christ, the power, grandeur and absolute authority of the other world is revealed over and against every temporal earthly realm. Herod is caught up in the great conflict of the ages and moves to exterminate the One who is both fully God and fully man, at the same time, yet diminished in neither aspect. Herod, whose god is his belly would not have the celestial image of the Christ eclipse his own pathetic existence and hence defiles his nation in a bloody holocaust of the innocents.
This was not the first time the battle over “the image of God” was fought. In fact, it is a battle that still rages across all spheres of government whether these conflicts be found in self, familial, ecclesiastical or in civil forms.
IN THE BEGINNING
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
In the creation, God makes man in His image. Immediately connected to this act rests the idea of mans dominion over every aspect of life. Authority and earthly governance is exhibited by the image of God upon man. In Genesis 3:1-6; Satan tempts man with the offer of even greater power. No longer contented with the status of “image bearer”, a delegated administration, Adam succumbs to the offer of becoming as a god himself. Adam attempts to breech the creator-creation distinction resulting in the annulment of the perfect communion between God and His created “image bearer.”
Nonetheless, in Genesis 3:15; God initiates a war that will reestablish “ the image of God” through successive generations of faithful people or “the seed of the woman” culminating in the new Adam; Jesus Christ, the definitive “image bearer.” Theologically termed the “protoevangelium” its promise ordains the crushing of the serpents power and the complete suppression of his seed. Herein the conflict is fixed. God’s image resting upon His people, exercising authority in terms of His inscripturated will against the minions of Satan and their maniacal quest to extirpate the witness of godly rule in the earth.
THE ORDER OF BATTLE
The narrative of Genesis 4:1-2 renders a tragic accounting of this battle on a familial level. Cain and Abel offer their sacrifices before God. Abel’s devotedness and love for God marks his sacrifice as superior to that of Cain. Undergirded with the vitality of faith toward God, Abel presents the greater testimony, exhibits the greater favor of God and with it, a greater authority that according to Hebrews 11:4 speaks even to this day. Cain is eclipsed and provoked to jealousy. He singles out his brother for murder in order to remove his righteously provocative deportment. The way of Cain is alive and well in the hearts of men. Such lives are marked by bitterness, envy, slanderous mischief and blame-shifting, and when the lust for illegitimate power is at full song, are more than capable of murder. Suppression of the “image of God” can and often does become very personal and familial resulting in whole households being thrown into chaos.
This familial fury is again illustrated in Genesis 37 as Joseph’s brothers seek to silence “the dreamer” first by leaving him for dead in a pit and then by selling him to the “Ishmaelites.” The image of God upon a man signified in earthly dominion is again the pivotal issue around which these heinous acts of envious suppression revolve. Genesis 37:8; and his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. Unlike Abel, Joseph’s testimony is not destined for martyrdom, but instead rises to administrate Pharaoh’s Egypt, and subsequently, exercises rule and authority over his less than admirable brothers
Less dramatic, but perhaps more typical, is the narrative of Hannah found in I Samuel 1:1-14. Hannah, desirous of a son wholly dedicated to God, entreats the Lord with an indomitable spirit and strong crying and tears. She will not be comforted. She is zealous for the testimony of God. Yet, she is faced with continual harassment and cruel mocking both from within her family and the current ecclesiastical regime. Hannah’s husband Elkanah, was married also to Peninnah, who had born his only children. Of Peninnah, the Scriptures tell that she set herself against Hannah and “… provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.” Elkanah, though he loved Hannah added absurdity to Penniniah’s cruelty when he exclaimed “… Hannah, why weepest thou? And why eatest thou not? And why is thy heart grieved? Am not I better to thee than ten sons? (In a contemporary sense it is shocking to see just how many “churchmen” have the same arrogant, immature attitude about their wives and children ),Then, it follows that Eli the priest of the Lord, apparently unaccustomed to such inspired, passionate, and purposeful praying as demonstrated by Hannah, adds insult to injury as he observes Hannah’s intercession. And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
While no violence is done to Hannah, her testimony and her desire for a greater testimony through her son is scorned, undermined, and lampooned, both by her husband and the priest From a ministry perspective: I have observed, rather commonly, the insanely jealous behavior of husbands who have threatened their wives for “praying too much” or because they have gained satisfaction from being used of the Lord. The lesson of Hannah teaches that at the end of the day, all those who would compete with the Lord for attention have lost the race before it starts. All who mock or seek to efface the image of God upon redeemed humanity are destined to declension and final destruction.
GOVERNMENT AND THE USURPATION OF THE IMAGE OF GOD
While it has been explained that unregenerate men, and even regenerate, but obstinate men, strive against the “image of God”, such conflicts are not confined to personal relationships. The spirit of tyranny exemplified by Herod against Christ, has always found fertile ground in civil government.
Governmental wars against the authority of Christ and His image bearers generally fall into two hellish stratagems. The first, hinges upon blatant tyranny and persecution. Biblically, this is best portrayed by Pharaoh’s oppression of the Hebrews as found in Exodus 1:7-22. Persecution, enslavement, and the murder of innocents are all driven by Pharaoh’s fear of the might, power, and multiplication of God’s chosen and blessed image bearers.
Again, at the civil level, this same madness is demonstrated in I Samuel with King Saul’s ever increasing jealousies and hatred for David. Political machinations against the anointed man of God abound including attempted murder, as Saul seeks to hold on to power. Machiavellian political thought undoubtedly benefited greatly from Saul’s example.
As our theme anthem from St Matthew’s Gospel declares, Herod was driven by the same devilish designs as Pharaoh even adopting the tactic of generational genocide though, in his case, such designs were forged against his own people. The spirit of Herod is the spirit of tyrannical totalitarianism and has been manifest in the civil realm throughout world history. Whether this took on the form of Roman Imperial persecutions, various dictatorships and pagan empires warring against Christianity, or the modern exemplifications of such evil; Fascism and Communism, all sought the eradication of the image of God in order to establish their rebel claims to ultimate authority.
However, it is the second stratagem which poses the greater threat to God’s people. That being the power of governmental coercion based upon false doctrines pertaining to man and his perceived sense of autonomy from God. No better example of this can be found then in the building of the tower of Babel as found in Genesis 11:1-6. Mankind is of one voice, collectively banded together, blinded by the lust to make themselves a name in the highest places of heaven, so as to dethrone God and place man in His stead. The desire to be as God brings contempt for the mantle of “image bearer” and hence man; corporately repeats the singular original transgression of Adam. This is the rationale of President Obama.
In a contemporary sense, this motif replicates the anthem of Humanism. Humanism, replete with its own manifesto is a full orbed religion that aspires to the deification of man through statist, pagan and occultic influences. In repudiating Christian orthodoxy, principally the notion of God’s transcendence, Humanism becomes an amply articulated antichristian worldview. The humanistic notion elevates the state to the place of God and positions it as the author and protector of life. Ergo, from beginning to end, man is to be dependent on the state.
The world-life-view of Humanism can be depicted as a scientific-intellectual elite who has through time, reinvented God and ethics in man’s image; the antithesis of the Biblical record. Thus man as a god engineers a “superior secular culture,” ever evolving into a forced egalitarian cooperative society: theoretically resulting in an utopian ideal. The progress of the state is akin to divinity itself and therefore any religion that would impede such progress, or would attempt to decentralize its power is regarded as retrograde, fit for marginalization and eventual eradication. This was the anthem of the French Revolution and all other utopian social-political movements.
Humanistic thought wars against the image of God in the political realm through coercion. Such states erode or confiscate private wealth so as to take away the power of dominion and governance from individuals and transfer the same to the state. Less personal liberty means more political license for the state. The state places itself as the final defining authority over life and death and thus seeks to take on god-like transcendent qualities. Such regimes redefine ethics, and wars against the immutable truth of God’s will subsequently moving to expunge all reference to the God of the Scriptures and the “image bearers” who follow in His name.
Luke 11:29-33 This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
The Incarnation addresses how we are to then live. To be an “image bearer” practically means we cannot hide our testimony “under a bushel.” We must know Christ as greater than Jonah. Meaning we are to know the power of the forgiveness of sins, of victory over death and the fear of the same. (Jonah is a prophetic symbol of life from death especially as displayed in the finished work of Christ) We must know Christ as greater than Solomon. Meaning, we are to know and have confidence in His imperial reign demonstrated on earth as it is in heaven. (Solomon’s kingdom was used here as an example of the pinnacle of earthly power and to show the superiority of Christ’s authority and reign)
We must resist those who would seek to destroy the image of God upon man in whatever sphere they may be found. We must not heed the siren song of humanism. But we dare not retreat into the cultural ghettos of anti-intellectual, anti-cultural, semi-agrarian, naively nativistic forms of monasteries. We must embrace the “protoevangelium” delineated in Genesis 3:15, subsequently ratified and ennobled in Christ’s finished work (Romans 5:17) and applied to His glorious church (Ephesians 1:22-23). Anything less, denies the Incarnation in time and history and allows the way of Cain and the spirit of Herod to ply its wicked trade in the earth. Christmas 2010 MUST be the demonstration of the Incarnation in power!
Seduction and The Brass Ring
Jeffrey A. Ziegler: President SGI
In light of our last elections; it is paramount to note that the career minded “politician” who esteems the accolades of man, and thinks of himself as an indispensable element in the grand scheme of the history, is a man most dangerous to all things pertaining to the life and greatness of the Republic. Such “public servants” are susceptible to the “brass ring syndrome” or the “offer” of intrigue and self-aggrandizement.
The true statesman can ill-afford such dangerous thinking even though the idea of statecraft itself is a message at odds both with popular political culture and the dazed ranks of the media. Most “offers” or quick “promotions” will come at the expense of a robust accounting to the Constitution and the spirit of its framers. The temptation to “tone down” immutable moral positions, to wink at disloyalty to the nation, or to be “bought” by money or fame are constant, real, and present dangers. On the national scale, this moral plight is evidenced by the breach of our national security by Red China in exchange for political donations to the Democratic Party. Also, President Obama’s placating of 911 terrorists as a means to accrue leftist favor, strikes at the very core of justice and moral political leadership. Local politicos, desiring to be esteemed, respected, and loved, will often trample under colleagues in their own party, or make league with their opposite number in a rival party just for personal advantage and gain. They arrogantly view the electorate as the “great unwashed,” fodder for their own selfish ambition. These tricksters are the chief reason for perennial low voter turnout now taken as a given throughout America. Since the Quixote like efforts of Perot in 1992, political editorials have marked the rise and fall of marginal “third party” forays. Yet, that the notion of a third party is talked about at all, is a sign of the moral corruptions rife within American political life.
For the young people who desire the challenge of public service, remember, the desire to be liked is a snare! When you are engaged in a political reformation, or you are advancing a return to Constitutional norms in the civic sphere, don’t expect to be “loved” by all! Such thoughts are historically ignorant and naively foolhardy. The statesman seduced by the siren song of popularity and the whims of the pollster, leaves his constituency at the mercy of wolves bent on their destruction. The more desperate a politician is to be liked, the more willing he is to sell-out, in order to prop up the illusion of success and progress.
The true Christian statesman cannot be bought! Oh, he may have times weakness. He may grope and stumble as a blind man through seasons of arid personal trial. But even through these manifold tests, he would not consider infidelity to the sacred trust of public office. Only those who consciously accept “the deal” could be marked as political prostitutes. Naiveté may be “cute” in a child, but it is deadly for the statesman. Is it any wonder why a novice should not be considered for public life? A true politician must eschew childish thinking. He must be aware, alert and have a mature acuity for his surroundings. His discernment must be properly exercised by reason of use and circumscribed by a sound understanding of biblical orthodox thinking. He must develop the capacity for strategic thought so as to define the battlefield rather than allowing his ideological enemies to define it for him. He must have an overarching, unflinching political social theory undergirded by a biblical worldview. If he enters into the public arena without one, corrupted political paradigms, or some special interest, will provide one for him!
At minimum the seduction of the brass ring makes for obnoxiously arrogant public servants. When played out to its furthest extent, such machinations lead to the reinforcement of the strong by the weak, the socialization of the unsociable by the antisocial, and the suppression of individualism by individualists. In other words; the creation of a great chasm between the rulers and the ruled. Such corruptions are the bedrock for tyranny.
Defying Existentialism for Biblical Education
A most prominently utilized scholastic philosophy in contemporary academia explicitly deems the child the central determiner of actuality. Perception into the classroom of this persuasion would reveal that pupils are encouraged to seek academic and personal liberation through the means of internal discovery, experimentation, and self-reliance—hence resurrecting the supposedly idealistic premise, “Man becomes as he lives.” Accordingly, varying views and perspectives may be presented the youngster; he alone, however—without adult supervision of influence—must conclusively decide for himself whether or not the offered material represents truth harmonious with his personal preference. Based upon the principle that the greatest ambition of humanity is to recognize and cultivate one’s individuality within the world, the theory of existentialism predictably frowns upon methods which seek to frame and mold the child—and which endorse moral absolutism at any level (Clark, p.17). Such is strikingly resonant of some recent attempts professedly intent upon manifesting the “best interests” of national youth. Introduced to America’s Congress in 1989, the UN Convention On the Rights Of the Child seemingly proclaims adolescents’ rights in areas of religion and conscience (Farris, p.489). Planned Parenthood also similarly of late insisted that children “try” varying forms of sexuality in order to decide which is right for them, re-echoing the 60s mentality, “Do what feels good.” What is not usually predicted in adopting the presuppositions of such a theory, however, is the moral anarchy inevitably awaiting its unfolding. Frustration ensues as every man resolves upon a set of facts to himself founded solely upon circumstance, emotional whim, and common agreement; legal chaos is inescapable for the simple fact that man has historically proven himself erroneous, inconsistent, and prone to greed. A less foreseen yet characteristic result of humanism is a consistent disregard for law. An integrated curriculum approach which denies the philosophical goal of existentialism in the biblical denotation of knowledge and divine and parental authority, in contrast, is alone able to effectuate a society of liberation, beginning with moral and spiritual redemption, and concluding in the external permeation of governmental restoration.
The founding thesis of the existentialism movement declares the absence of any fore-present meaning within the universe (Stanford). Accordingly, no certain purpose or significance lies within surrounding matter or order except for that which man imputes it. Resembling the naturalistic autonomy pronounced by prominent philosophers of the age, this mindset denies fixed presuppositions of any kind. Consequently, man himself is understood as retaining little meaning outside of personal progression and development. He is not regarded as he inherently is, but as he may become through exposure to varying influences. Contrary to common perception, philosophical precepts have great influence upon a society’s mindset. It can only be blindly deduced that disclosure of a certain worldview is received in indifference. The child who believes his individual existence is resolved solely by himself will also act accordingly. No authority, hence, will bear application to his circumstance, and no universal coherence will subsist; value will be viewed only in relation to personal gratification. Morality and the concept of life itself will degenerate into insignificancy as every man becomes his own judge. Nothing is consistent or congruous, and original value is refuted.
Regarding the theory as a type of hopeful breakthrough in the history of civil rights, intellectual institutions are progressively incorporating existentialist principles within curricula. Systems of grading are discarded for fear of stereotyping the child. Options of child-centered curriculums are becoming increasingly customary which cater expressly to the desired direction of the student; the end, rather than the means, is accentuated. Stuart Hart, Deputy Director of Canada’s International Institute for Child Rights and Development, proposed a symbiotic connection between the terms “internal voice” and “child’s rights.” The hypothesis followed that true education necessitates the securing of certain freedoms towards the ambition of self-discovery and expression; implied therein is the bereavement of all imposing authorities contrary to the individual will, assuming exclusively the moral ability of man. Hedonism and utilitarianism hence come in to play as a system of ethics is chosen based upon the “greater good” of society, and the pleasure of the individual personality. False democracy surfaces to recognition in a vain attempt to secure equality without responsibility or pronounced absolutes. Rationalism, moreover, is opposed as people consequently embrace a morality through which truth is discerned in accordance to what satisfies them sensually and specially. Resultantly, education is signified by a comprehension of pluralism in which the materialistic and supernatural are simultaneously recognized, but in which the concrete is always exalted as superior. The thorn of man rests therefore not in any internal conflict, but in the failure to expand as a human being whether it be academically, sexually, or psychologically. The relatively correlating end of all instruction is that every youngster seeks to define himself by reducing the reality of his surrounding atmosphere to whatever understanding suits him. Such demands a venture of learning through experience, and as little enforcement or authoritative imposition as possible. Presupposed is an evolutionary view of man; concluded is the usurpation of authority, including that which is most basic and relevant to national prosperity: parenthood.
As is the case with nearly every human deduction, existentialism is an interweaving of truth and falsity. Accordingly, the child is treated as a citizen whose civic expectations signify little more than options, but whose conscientious freedoms are boundless. It emphasizes the responsibility of man, and commendably encourages his betterment most typically through the instruments of moral revival and genuine undertakings; however, a Scriptural understanding of the nature of man and a biblical apprehension of knowledge would reveal that neither of these ambitions can be achieved apart from the acceptance of divine sovereignty and moral objectivity. While child-centered education correctly proposes the little one a moral creature and opposes the blank slate mentality supported by conspicuous thinkers of the recent past, it nevertheless erroneously overestimates the youngster’s ability to discern.
Statistics reveal irrefutable benefits concerning parental involvement and child-welfare. Children who do not experience active participation from parents in their lives later experience emotional, academic, and spiritual imbalance. Clearly, parental authority is a vital and inseparable element to the child’s well-being. Parenthood is a natural right, ordained by God from the institution of the family for one main purpose: to glorify and manifest Him. It was divinely designated in God’s command to be fruitful and multiply, and to assume dominion over the whole created world (Genesis 1:26). It is innately related to the cultural mandate in both verbal text as well as social order. Parentage, the cornerstone of the family and foundation of society, leads the nation as the smallest and most common unit of influential power. The parent incomparably signifies the initial restraining hand of evil in the life of the following generation, and essentially represents the child’s earthly manifestation of God. Subservience and respect for parental authority typifies a responsibility to God from the smallest among us. It is biblically intended that this early training so permeate the child as to secure the proverb of his never “departing” from it (Proverbs 22:6).” Such, in turn, pervades the remainder of the offspring’s subsequent choices as an adolescent and then as an adult.
It is erroneous to restrict knowledge to the devising of man. John 20:31 expresses the fact that it is through the facets of both natural revelation and special revelation by which we know and love Him. Unregenerate man may experience the tangible universe and thereby deduce knowledge, but he is confined to the mere experiential; following is an acceptance of reductionism and utilitarianism in which information is analyzed restrictedly. Knowledge, in truth, constitutes so much more than what is commonly acknowledged; empiricism, reason, and even some amounts of mysticism do not judicially delineate the scope and purpose of factuality. This is partly due to the fact that understanding is not often recognized in its varying forms, and because it is exclusively viewed only temporally. The biblically integrated-curriculum, in contrast, approaches data in the foundational conviction that Scripture is its ultimate Standard; As Creator, God has ultimate authority and patent over all of His creation. While diversities do undoubtedly endure, they do so appropriately united under a common Sovereign for a common purpose. Intellectual studies of the sciences and languages are all observed in subservience to a common hermeneutical presupposition: mainly, that the end of all is to glorify Him, and that all in creation directs explicitly back to Him. History is not a social science beginning with man and determined by him, but is an aspect tied essentially in nature with the studies of mathematics, logic, and even grammar. Data is not discerned by how it may benefit the person, but is rigid and objective. Should one fail to apply certain hermeneutical principles in interpreting it, the fault lies with the interpreter, and not with the interpreted material.
While some of the philosophical goals of existentialism seem beneficial, it is critically important to remember that unless the nature of man is considered within biblical light, every seemingly noble ambition ends consistently in oppression. It is noteworthy to consider that some of the most recognized existentialist advocates were also initially and progressively influenced by the creeds of Karl Marx. In Marx’s perception, the State distinctly possessed the highest potential for providence; not surprisingly, it was also regarded with superior esteem to every life-aspect. State parties correspondingly possessed the greatest potential in improving society, and assumed the authoritative role in moral and social issues. Obviously, existentialism is not without its deifications.
As Dr. Rushdoony and true Biblicists have confirmed, there is no possible state of “neutrality.” Two primary ends of education exist. Every humanistic worldview deems man the originator, furtherer, and consummator of knowledge. A theocratic-dominion worldview conversely perceives God the Derivation of all information. Rather than denying all but that which can be tested or comprehended by the human mind, believers recognize God’s infinite sovereignty and omniscience in the abstract and concrete, the tangible and intangible. Every aspect and nook of actuality subsists to be acknowledged by man in perception of God’s original intention and purpose. Following submission to this view is a sensible perception of the world. Information is scanned inevitably by inherently biased perspectives: humanistic or biblical. Scripture clearly asserts that every man has inherited Adam’s curse, was conceived in original sin—and is fully capable of effectuating his own, as well. Scripture affirms the fact that no one can counter evil in and of himself, for he knows and desires nothing else (Romans 3:23). The biblical doctrine of total depravity teaches the innermost ravishments of sin. Man’s ability to reason logically, morally, and emotionally were all sorely damaged by original sin. Though alone in creation in retaining some sense of rationality, man has nonetheless been impregnated by a spiritual darkness devastating to his formerly perfect ability to reason.
Unity is manifested as God is recognized as Lord and King. Fixed truths and order were manifested the moment He breathed the words “Let there be…” Time and space were effectuated “In the beginning (Genesis 1:1).” All natural laws were suspended as were His ethical expectations, represented first in the Law of Grace and then by the covenantal statutes. No divisive pluralism exists, then, as all is the Lord’s—no dichotomous responsibility to God and to fellow man. As revealed in the Law itself, right conduct towards God signified a similar, balanced consideration for fellow man. In addressing the greatest commandment, love for God preceded yet enabled love for humanity. Though the world may continue to hope in a democratic system of government and ethics, such idealism is simply not possible wherever humanism reigns; an informative inspection would prove that every man-generated regime has succeeded in producing only tyranny and chaotic anarchy.
Every secular government which has in the past arisen and fallen has done so at the hand of pure humanism. Judeo-Christian standards have historically proven to be the primary choice for orderly, liberating governmental principles and structures. Documents such as the Magna Charta, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution all directed to a common Source in reflection: the Bible. Benjamin Franklin has been cited for founding America’s tri-branched governmental structuring upon a Levitical passage. Numerous Founding Fathers unanimously agreed upon biblical virtues as deterrents to moral anarchy. It was once observed that without the existence of government, men would degenerate into brutish behavior; for without accountability, he would exercise his “free will” to the expansion of worldwide transgression. In the same way, a child without some form of authoritative liability will also succumb to lawlessness. To do so would only be an inclination of his nature. The impeding and consistent result of existentialism in both the classroom and the municipal sphere are inescapable legal hostility and moral nihilism.
Discipline initializes with the mind (Romans 12:2). Biblically depicted as the seat of reason and emotion—at times even including reference to the heart—the mind is denoted the seat of spiritual warfare, and the determiner of spiritual growth. It is singularly through the command to dwell upon that which is good and pure—to resist the conformity of the lusts and wiles of this world—by which we are enabled to “put off” the old man and the satanic inclinations of his ways. Contrary to the sensual constitution of the existential philosophy, Scripture exhorts first a wisdom based on trust and internal acceptance. Experience is not precedent to understanding. Action is a natural consequence of knowledge properly imbibed—a response rather than an antecedent. It emphasizes the will over emotions, and logic above passions. Scripture confirms that the heart above all things is desperately wicked, that its discernment alone cannot be trusted. Though God has most certainly inscribed His Word upon the hearts of men and left them without excuse, they are nonetheless crippled by a wicked nature. It is only through a fear of the Lord—a compliant trust and reverence for God as Truth alone (John 14:6)—by which we may attain the smallest glimmer of hope in acquiring an education which not only improves the academic mind, but society, as well.
A definite relation binds true knowledge and morality. Education is, in essence, a discipline surpassing mere factuality. It involves every aspect of the human whole: body, spirit, soul, and mind, and postulates subjugating them to the revealed character and will of God. Accentuated is a restoration and re-training which initializes with spiritual redemption, and proceeds externally. Discipleship is synonymous with learning. Additionally implied is a need for correction or re-channeling from unruly to orderly; presupposed is a natural inclination towards rebelliousness, and a lacking of generally presumed virtues. Human nature evidences a need for authority. God ordained several figures as earthly representatives of His unlimited domain. In the realm of civics, governmental justices and figures of royalty were commissioned; in the religious scope, priests were delegated. Within the family, parents were distinctly designated the roles of “teacher” and “disciplinarian” in which divine obligation consisted of training the offspring dispensed to their care, imparting to them wisdom and correction, and providing them with model examples. Children, in turn, were to respect these figures in the understanding that they were divinely appropriated for the origination of wisdom. Contrary to the dominating opinion of the time, independence is not achieved at the removal of legality of authority. On the contrary, statistics reveal an increase in immorality and crime where legality is not present. The notion of learning “hands on” is simply not applicable nor advisable for every area of life. It is necessary that everyone perceive the significance of impartial standards
SALUTE AND CONGRATULATIONS!
To Ronald E. Young for winning elected office as Ohio State Representative! Friend of 30 years and SGI board member we look forward to Ron’s service!
ORDER “REPUBLIC RESTORED”