Judges 13 and Christian Education (2)

Historically, the biggest intruder and violator the family, the church and a free society has confronted, has been the State. It was the State under Pharoah that kidnapped the Hebrews and murdered their babies, and sought to kill Moses (see Exodus 1-2). It was the State that murdered Jesus’ forerunner John, that tried to kill Jesus as a baby (see Mat.2), then murdered Him around AD 33. Not content with this, it then attacked His church (Acts 12:1-3; Rev.13:1-7).

It was the State under Henry VIII in England that opposed the Reformation. He had the great translator of the scriptures into English, William Tyndale, hunted down in Europe, then strangled and burnt in 1536, and Henry’s daughter Mary was named “Bloody Mary” for good reason; she put some 300 Protestants to death.

The twentieth century graphically bore out this homicidal tendency of evil governments.[1] Its tyrants didn’t only kill those of other countries in war, they began and continued with their own.[2]  Any Russian, German or Chinese person under the reigns of Stalin, Hitler or Mao, had very good reason to be afraid for their life, at the hands of their own government.

Thus the care and education of children is not committed to government, but to parents, so it was to Samson’s future parents that the angel spoke. He firstly visited Manoah’s wife (v.3-5), then at Manoah’s request (v.8), he appeared again, to his wife (v.9). When she then hurried to find her husband, and he returned and beheld the angel, he asked,

Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation? (v.12)

The angel does not answer Manoah’s question directly. He merely gives Manoah a summary of his original direction to Manoah’s wife, and twice (v.13-14) directs her to do what he commanded her, in their first meeting. Why is this relevant?                                                             

Jordan’s comment is helpful:

Why did God appear to the woman rather than to her husband? Is it because Manoah was a bad man, so God had to bypass him? Not at all. It is because the theme, again, is the Seed of the Woman. God appears to the mother, to instruct her how to raise up the Seed. Similarly, God appeared to Rebekah, not to Isaac, to give instruction about the primacy of Jacob over Esau (Gen. 25:22f.).[3]

Whilst both parents have the responsibility to raise their children, it is evident that in this case, along with Rebekah (Gen.25:22-23), it is the mother who received the word of the Lord, and in this case, she is to avoid any wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. Matthew Henry wrote,                                                                                                          

Observe from Manoah’s enquiry, [1] In general, that, when God is pleased to bestow any mercy upon us, our great care must be how to use it well, and as we ought, because it is then only a mercy indeed when it is rightly managed. God has given us bodies, souls, estates; how shall we order them, that we may answer the intent of the donor, and give a good account of them?

[2] In particular, those to whom God has given children must be very careful how they order them, and what they do unto them, that they may drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts, form their minds and manners well betimes, and train them in the way wherein they should go. Herein pious parents will beg divine assistance…[4]

In this case, the angel gave Manoah no more information than he’d given his wife. He actually summarised what he’d already said, reinforcing to Manoah, “Let the woman pay attention to all that I said” (v.13).

Manoah’s question to the angel related to his future son’s vocation. But a person’s calling is way more important than their career. In the examples of Samson, John the Baptist and Jesus, all of whom were conceived miraculously, they were all destined to die violently, early in life. None of them had a career, that we know of. Manoah’s question to the angel (“What shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?”) was a legitimate one, but the angel gave him no answer to it.

Was it for this reason? Gary North has defined a calling from God as

the most important thing that you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                              The thing that was uppermost in God’s mind in relation to Samson was his calling, explained by the angel to his mother:

…he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines (Judges 13:5).

If parents are to prepare their children for anything, it is for this: their calling. Vocations are fine, but they must be secondary to the call of God.

Now here’s my question: What has God prepared your children for?  Are you doing anything about it? 


[1] One of the consequences of the First World War, was some 900,000 French children being orphaned.

[2] Hitler ordered the execution of the Christian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1945, weeks before Hitler committed suicide.

[3] James Jordan, “Judges: God’s War against Humanism,” 1985, p.225-226.

[4] Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary, “Joshua to Esther,” p. 204.

Judges 13 and Christian Education (1)

Introduction:                                                                                                                            

Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.” God listened to the voice of Manoah… (Judges 13:8).

The notion perpetrated by some, that the Old Testament is somehow an outdated document and of little use today, has brought immeasurable harm to the church. Furthermore, it is an idea that has no Biblical validity, and thus is a foolish notion that should be rejected out of hand. The scripture plainly tells us that

…whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Ro.15:4).

After His resurrection, when Jesus met up with two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, He reproved them for their unbelief (Luke 24:25). Then

He explained to them the things concerning Him in all the scriptures (v.27).

Later, Paul gave the Corinthians a somewhat lengthy historical lesson on Israel’s history (I Cor.10:1-10), explaining that

…these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (v.11).

Quite simply, the Christian educator must be prepared for instruction from any passage of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation,

…for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (II Tim.3:16-17).

Firstly, we see in this passage from Judges that “the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, so that the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines forty years” (v.1).

This is the seventh time that the scripture records a phrase like this in Judges. (See 2:14; 3:8; 3:12-13; 4:2; 6:1; 10:7). It was nothing new for Israel since coming out of Egypt, led by Moses. Once again, their idolatry led to servitude at the hands of their enemies. The scripture then informs us (v.2) that Manoah’s wife was barren. A nation in idolatry and servitude, and a barren wife! Not such a good start for any husband.

But Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life…” (Jn.11:25). For the repentant individual, family, church or nation, despite a multitude of past failures, there is always hope in the Lord.

And in this bleak family and national situation, God sends an angel, who visited Manoah’s wife, saying,

…Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son… (v.3).

God had visited barren women before (Sarah-Gen.21:1-2; Rebekah-Gen.25:20-22 and Rachel-Gen.30:22-24), and there would be a number more before the closing of the canon, Hannah (I Sam.1:19-20) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-7, 57) being only two. In the case of Rebekah, God had spoken to her while the twins were in her womb (Gen.25:21-23), giving her advance knowledge of the nature of the boys, and by inference, a specific obligation towards them (see Ro.9:10-13). Now He spoke to Manoah’s wife in relation to her duties and obligations concerning this promised son, even while in her womb.

What does this mean?

Parents have serious responsibilities towards God in relation to their children, to prepare them in and for their calling before Him. Manoah’s wife was directed by the angel to take certain steps for Samson, even before she had conceived.

Does the scripture give us an earlier direction in this regard, from even before the patriarchs? Yes, it does.

Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth…” God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen.1:26, 28).

Some theologians have called this passage the Dominion Mandate. Children are the responsibility of their parents, and in emergencies, their families. When Esther was left orphaned, she was adopted by her Uncle Mordecai, who “…took her as his own daughter” (Esther 2:7). Churches also, have a responsibility to care for their own, and to protect the church and family from the intrusions of evildoers.

What may be a surprise for some, would be that the angel visited the woman, not her husband. But in the totality of scripture, this was not so unusual. Probably the most famous case of this, was Mary’s angelic visitation from Gabriel, with the news that she would bear a son (Luke 1:26-38). As “…a helper suitable…” (Gen.2:18) and “as a fellow heir of the grace of life…” (I Pet.3:7), husbands should rejoice in this visitation, and if the word of God should come to a family by this means, we should be glad.

(To be continued)

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (3)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Mat.28:19-20).

From the days of the early church, Christians have recognised that the Great Commission didn’t commence with their government or neighbours, but with themselves and their children, at home.

Furthermore, the Great Commission doesn’t begin and end with the New Testament. How do we know this?  Because Jesus told the Jews, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (Jn.8:58), and “I and My Father are one” (Jn.10:30). Paul also reminds us that “whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction…” (Ro.15:4).

Thus Christian must go back to Genesis to begin to appreciate all of the commands of Jesus, and familiarise themselves with all of scripture as it applies to education. Hezekiah for instance, tells us that “…a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isa.38:19).

Consider Abraham in relation to the subject of education and discipleship. God said of him,

For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:19).

This means that education is a parental responsibility. Aspects of it may be delegated, but if we delegate, we must ensure that those entrusted with this responsibility will hold the same attitudes and philosophy that we do. Otherwise we are merely giving our children over to the godless, and the Bible tells us that “…bad company corrupts good morals” (I Cor.15:33).

Over 100 years ago, Dabney commented,

It is the teaching of the Bible and of sound Political ethics that the education of children belongs to the sphere of the family and is the duty of parents. The theory that the children of the Commonwealth are the charge of the Commonwealth is a pagan one, derived from heathen Sparta and Plato’s heathen republic, and connected by regular, logical sequence with legalized prostitution and the dissolution of the conjugal tie.[1]

All State or Public education, and even education under the authority of an Education Department falls into this category. It is good for a Christian school to employ Christian teachers, but that’s only one aspect of education. What if those that ultimately oversee the curriculum have no time for God and His Word? The integrity of the educational process will quickly be trashed.

Luther observed this 500 years ago. He wrote that

I am very much afraid that the universities and schools will prove to be the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the holy scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount …every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.

But we in the modern Church haven’t taken a lot of notice of this. Our eyes have been on other things like social acceptance, the money and the potential careers for ourselves, and this has led to no end of compromise.

Perhaps because we were educated at Department registered schools, we’ve said to ourselves for a hundred years, “Education means school.” But Departmentally registered schools merely perpetuate a worldly system that has nothing to do with the Bible, so that children continue to be chronically separated from their parents whilst being educated, when parents were the ones charged by God with educational responsibility from the beginning.

The American Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machan recognised this. He wrote in 1926:

I think that when it comes to the training of human beings, you have to be a great deal more careful than you do in other spheres about preservation of the right of individual liberty and the principle of individual responsibility; and I think we ought to be plain about this — that unless we preserve the principles of liberty in this department [of Education] there is no use in trying to preserve them anywhere else. If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.

Moses did not say to the children of Israel after they had left Egypt, “You’ll all have to go back through the Red Sea each day to Egypt to educate your children.” No, concerning education, Moses passed on to them the commands of God (see Deut.6 & 11). That meant direct parental responsibility: no monopolising Department with power over other people’s children, no bureaucracy, no schools, and no taxes used for education.

This would be the foundation for Israel’s godliness, liberty and prosperity. Isn’t it about time we in the Church took our marching orders seriously from the God of heaven and earth, and followed suit?


[1] Robert Dabney, “Discussions,” 4:194 quoted in Gary Demar, “God and Government,” Vol.3, p.272.

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (2)

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood (Ps.106:34-38).

Humanism is a religion which deifies mankind. Of course, it all began in the Garden, when Satan promised Adam and Eve, “you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen.3:5).

The most obvious manifestation of humanism of our era, is Public Education. Julia Gillard is a humanist, and a great believer in Public Education. Public education is a means of indoctrinating the population with values which suit the political rulers of the nation.

Anything intrinsically wrong with that? Think of it this way: all education involves indoctrination. The question is, indoctrination in what? And this is what Christians have been most reluctant to face up to, for four generations. We’ve habitually said to ourselves, “education involves learning how to read and write, and how to relate to others in society. So, the children will go to the State School. We’ll teach them spiritual values at home.”

In the early years of the 20th century, the Fabian Society of England came out strongly in favor of state aid to independent Christian schools. When a board member resigned in protest, George Bernard Shaw rebuked him strongly. Nothing, Shaw held, would more quickly destroy these schools than state aid; their freedom and independence would soon be compromised, and, before long, their faith. Events soon proved Shaw to be right.[1]

 How foolish and disobedient we have been to God’s Word. The Psalmist in the above text (recorded around 1,000 BC) offers a Holy Spirit inspired historical commentary on what the children of Israel had been doing 500 years earlier.

And what has the modern Church done? We have essentially followed the same practices. In sending our children to the public school, we have “mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them.” They were disobedient then, in 1,500 BC. Today, we repeat the process.

Now there would be some who will quickly be saying,

That’s not fair Andrew. We send our children to the Christian school, where the education is so much better.

My response is, “Who is controlling the Christian school?” If you threaten the supply of tax-monies from the Education Department to that school, that school will cross flooded streams and crawl over broken glass to make sure their funding supply is secure. The school’s attitude is, “No funding-no school.” (In some “Christian” schools, government funding accounts for 90% of all of the school’s budget). Everything else is up for negotiation, including the curriculum.

And if the Department (dominated by humanistic bureaucrats) asks hard questions about the school’s 6-day Creation Science course, or school policies about anti-discrimination for homosexual teachers or a host of other things, which way will the school jump? I can pretty well predict. The school will follow whatever path is necessary, to ensure the supply of funding continues.

Even if a school doesn’t come under direct pressure from the Department of Education, there is the implicit kind. Think of it this way. If the school gets all 125 boxes ticked for complete Departmental approval for the next 3 years, everything is hunky-dory. And if you have gone to a great deal of effort to do all the work, and committed the time and resources of the school to that project, what then do you have left, if you want to implement a Christian curriculum?

Chances are, you’ll have had enough. Chances are, you’ll say,

We’re over the line now for the registration and funding. Happy days! Do we really want to be bothered going the extra mile to press for that curriculum improvement? That would mean going back to the Department for a whole new registration process. The School Board doesn’t care. Most of the parents don’t care. The teachers are happy. What’s the problem?

So, the average “Christian” school plays the middle of the road game. The Department is kept happy, along with parents (who were never taught about this from the pulpit), and teachers.

Is this God’s way? If so, show me the scriptural validity of governments ever being involved in the education process. It’s not in the Bible, but parental responsibility is, both in the Old and New Testaments (see Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4).

The notion of taxes being collected for the purpose of educating children, assisting to push the national tax rates over 30-40%, only means two things. Firstly, we are a nation under judgment, and secondly, God’s way for education has been rejected.

This is what God said of Israel in Samuel’s day (see I Sam.8). God said, “…they have rejected Me from being king over them” (v.7), when the tax rate got to 10%.

Rushdoony was right, again:

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage.[2]

Conclusion:                                                                                        

The Body of Christ has a lot of searching of heart to do, today. We will have to think about our faithfulness to Christ, in educating our children. This will require some major changes in how we do things in the future, if we really want to please the Lord of heaven and earth.

Refusing to commit our children to godless institutions and people for their education will be the first step. Are you ready for that?


[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.446.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.20.

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (1)

Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them (Ps.111:2).

We Christians must acknowledge one thing today: the Church has been letting a lot of things slip over the last hundred years or so, and it’s got us into no end of trouble.

Why has this happened? I believe it’s been because the Church has believed things that are not true. For example, Jesus explained to Pilate that “My kingdom is not of this world…” (Jn.18:36).

Does this mean that Christians are never to have a role, or play any part in the affairs of the world that we live in, that we are not to speak with confidence or authority about important issues in the life of the community or nation, and that we should just shut up and watch the world go by, to destruction? The Bible doesn’t teach us that.

Jesus was showing Pilate that the origins of His kingdom are not from this world. Jesus’ authority and kingdom came from God, and are not derived from a human, earthly source. But because God has made the world and all things in it, and He called Adam and Eve (and representatively, us) to “rule and have dominion” (Gen.1:26-28), Christian people are obliged under God to understand how we are to live and serve Him, so that we can give a good account to Him.

This means a lot of things. It means that we are firstly, to see all of life from God’s perspective. There is no subject or area of understanding that ought to be separated from the knowledge of God, or seen apart from scripture, for God has laid out in His Word His commands for life, and they are all encompassing.

Let me give you an example. The Bible teaches us that

You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbour fairly (Lev.19:15).

Government instigated graduated taxation (where high earners pay a higher rate of tax) is in violation of this scripture, because it is “partial to the poor.” If there is to be income tax, it ought to be at a flat rate. But we in the Church have systematically ignored this scripture for all of the twentieth century, and now progressive tax rates are with us, all over the world. The politics of envy have triumphed over godliness, and now it’s hurting.

According to the law of God in Deuteronomy 6, education is a parental responsibility. It’s not a task that God has given to government to perform. But 150 years ago, the Church said, “That’s all right. We’ll let the government look after that. We won’t have to bother.” So now, we have Public Education: the most evil, wasteful and inefficient system of education known to man.

Why did this happen? The modern Church decided that when Paul said, “…you are not under law but under grace” (Ro.6:14), we had a licence to throw all of God’s law out the window.

The results have been catastrophic, both in the Church and in the world.

Paul was not advocating the rejection of God’s law. What he was doing was showing that obeying God’s law has never been and can never be the basis of our justification. Only the substitutionary death of Jesus on our behalf could accomplish that. The law of God teaches us how to live.

So as we think about our children’s education, we’re going to have to go back to God’s law to give us our marching orders.

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth.[1]


[1] Dabney (circa 1890), quoted in Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.356.

Teacher Tells her Child Her Mother is not Her Teacher

By Gary DeMar (www.godfatherpolitics.com), 26/11/2014

Cassidy Vines recently began noticing a change in her daughter’s behavior. The kindergartener began to ‘snap’ at her mother when she tried correcting the little girl’s homework.  ‘She told me that I was her mommy, not her teacher.'”

Cassidy asked her daughter,  “Is somebody telling you this at school?”

“She said, ‘Yes, I’m only allowed to learn from my teacher,'” Vines remarked.

There you have it. It doesn’t matter what you and I know and can find out on our own; it’s only what government-trained, and government-paid teachers are required to teach over any knowledge parents might have.

There are many teachers who want to be good teachers but are not allowed to teach anything but what the curriculum dictates.

When one mother objected how Thanksgiving was being taught, she called the Principal “to point out that Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims thanked God. The principal responded by saying ‘that was her opinion’—the schools could only teach what was in the books!”

If you ever sat through a college history class or even a high school history class, you will most likely be taught that there was a period called the “Dark Ages,” and it was all blamed on evil and ignorant Christians.

Nothing could be further from the truth, but in many cases there is no other view being taught. Art, science, architecture, music, literature, and so much more developed during the period that too many historians describe as “dark.”

The Enlightenment did not burst on the scene fully formed. There was a long development of progress preceding the area of a so-called enlightenment…

Take a look at Rodney Stark’s book How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity.

The perception that there has always been a war between religion and science is of recent vintage. The myth finds its most formal statement in the nineteenth-century works of John William Draper’s History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874) and Andrew Dickson White’s History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896).

White introduces his work with the claim that he is ‘letting the light of historical truth into the decaying mass of outworn thought which attaches the modern world to medieval conceptions of Christianity and which lingers among us—a most serious barrier to religion and morals, and a menace to the whole normal evolution of society.” 

Tom Shachtman writes in his book Gentlemen Scientists and Revolutionaries: The Founding Fathers in the Age of Enlightenment (2014):

“It is also important to note that the Founding Fathers’ science was in no way opposite their religion. The notion that science and religion were antithetical is a nineteen-century construct” falsely popularized by Draper and White. “To split the Founders’ religious beliefs from their scientific ones creates a schism that did not exist in the Founding Fathers’ time. The Founders saw and felt no space between their faith in science and their faith in a Deity.”

And what did Cassidy Vines do? She took her child out of the government school and is teaching her at home. There are many educational opportunities available to parents these days that avoid the government education gatekeepers.

Edging Away from Egypt (3)

Anyone serious about facilitating change in society, must realize that it’s not enough to identify the problems of the status quo. We have to come up with viable alternatives to what we see today, because you can’t replace something with nothing.

How do we replace the socially destructive phenomena of humanistic, atheistic socialism? With the Biblical, essential and responsible alternative: Christian obedience and charity, which the Bible speaks much about.

Where is that?

The Old Testament law laid the foundations for Christian charity. Those whom God said were to be particularly cared for, were the poor, the widows, the orphans and the aliens (or foreigners).

A number of New Testament writers added to this. Paul writes concerning widows,

Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

Now she who is a widow indeed and has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dad even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.

But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed (I Tim.5:3-16).

A number of observations can be made from this text.

Firstly, not all widows were deserving of financial support. They had to be legitimate church members, and wherever possible, their own family members were those that should be caring for them, for they should “…make some return to their parents” (v.4). Charity begins at home. Children were to care for their aged parents and grandparents (v.4). Only in those rare circumstances when there were truly no family members to care, should the church take up the responsibility. And even then, the widow had to be sixty or more (v.9). The church expects all its people to be diligent workers, not idle (v.13). Ideally, widows should get married (v.14) or get a job, or both.

Secondly, widows were to be “put on the list” (ie, worthy of the church’s financial support), only if they fulfilled eight specific criteria (v.9-10). There were to be strict restrictions on the availability of church monies, for “…the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed” (v.16). This meant saying “No,” to a significant proportion of widows, even godly ones.

Thirdly, decisions in relation to the care of the poor must be made locally. Decentralisation is essential. Why? Every place is different. If the locals don’t know what’s going on, they can certainly find out. They just have to ask a few questions, and they must be willing to do so, if church resources are going to be tapped.

Fourth, the church is never to be a place of free handouts without discrimination, because there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything costs, and productive, godly and caring church members don’t want to see their hard-earned resources thrown away on lazy, idle people who have mastered the emotional manipulation of weak people to get what they want. That’s not Christian-it’s evil.

Fifth, this means that every church must have Biblical elders and deacons, who will administer the church’s resources wisely and rigorously, in the fear of God. This was how Stephen began his ministry (Acts 6). For some Christian people this is a new thought, as they have to confront thorny issues, and begin to exercise Biblical discrimination. But it is an essential one.

Sixth, accountability with money and resources is a critical Christian attribute (see Mat.25:14-30). When the world sees the church recovering its capacity to manage resources well in its care of widows and the poor, it will generate the world’s respect, and non-Christian institutions will be willing to make donations. I know this happens, with truckloads of supermarket goods approaching their “Use-By Date,” and other valuable resources, of great value to needy people.

This statement has Biblical validity: Power flows to those that take responsibility.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                               We cannot replace the evil of socialism, with nothing. But as the church accepts and acts on its Biblical convictions, and picks up the responsibility of teaching its members their proper role in caring for widows and others, and becomes confident in this, a great change can come over the church and in the long-term, the community.

It means salt and light are returning to the church, after a long absence. It means we are showing there is a far better way to care for the widows in the community, then just giving them an automatic Social Security category to live how they like, and exploit society’s productive people. This has been part of what has gotten us into the hole we are in today, in the church, and in the world.

And this is a part of the gospel, entrusted to all Christians. Are you ready to participate?

Edging Away from Egypt (2)

  …Out of Egypt I called My Son (Matt.2:15).

Jesus’ parents took him briefly to Egypt. Why? Because an angel told Joseph, “Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him” (Matt.2:13). But Jesus’ normal life was not to be in Egypt, but in Israel. Today, our normal life is never to identify with Egypt either.

Today, Egypt is not so much geography, as a religious and ideological identification opportunity. It can be anywhere in the world, but it is to be much more likely to be found where there is firstly, a weak, submissive and compromised church, and consequently a domineering, humanistic government, ignoring God and His Word. The first generally precedes the second.

The Bible tells us, “you were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men” (I Cor.7:23). Christians must see the writing on the wall, taking all possible steps to be free of the system Egypt has created.  It is a welfare/slavery system that enslaves people all over the world. It is corrupt and destructive to the soul. It works against optimism, responsibility, independence, initiative, faithfulness, productivity, self-discipline and hard work. All of these are vital Christian virtues.

How do I know that?

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either (II Thess.3:10).

It was we in the church who indirectly produced the modern monstrosity called Egypt. How? We said

Let’s have socialism. That’ll mean we don’t have to take the time and money ourselves, to educate our children, to care for our needy and ill.

We departed from responsibility, effectively saying, “bring on the government programs.” It was the church’s unbelief and escapism that has gotten us into this mess now, for over a century, as we failed to provide the leaven of the kingdom of God (Mat.13:33) for the community. Irresponsibility, unbelief and escapism must now be replaced with faithfulness, obedience and accountability; a long-term task.

Paul tells us,

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith (Gal.6:10).

Our first task is the tithe. We must pay 10% of our income for the maintenance of Christian leaders in the church, and some of this tithe will not be used for them. It will be used for the care of the needy, which is initially a family task in the Bible. But not everyone has a family to help them in a crisis, which is where the church has a role in welfare.

Secondly, able bodied people ought to be working-earning a living. All those who can work, should be working. The church should be a productive diligent community, for “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage…” (Prov.21:5). For many mothers, their work will be as home-makers.

Productive people should continue to be productive, earning as much as possible. Of course, the wife at home educating her children may not be working in the conventional sense of the term, but she’s still employed at a vital family task. And even there,

She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard… She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness (Prov.31:16, 26-27).

Thirdly, we ought to be saving for the future, avoiding unproductive debt. People who take the future seriously, are savers.

Why? Because no one knows what tomorrow will bring. We cannot simply assume that because it seems safe today to live from what I earn today, it will be safe to do so, tomorrow. The international uncertainty around the world should warn us to value the job we have, and be the best we can at it.

Egypt is unstable, and will be judged by God. It’s actually self-destructive in every way, because of its humanistic faith, its grandiose and unsustainable promises, and its massive debt structures. It has promised much, but cannot deliver.

This is why, so far as politics is concerned, the believer’s slogan should always be:

Smaller government, less tax, more freedom.

Conclusion:  

Unstable institutions tend to collapse in a crisis, in the same way that unstable buildings do in earthquakes. Christians have to recognise this, and to be quietly setting about building for the kingdom of God. For the institutions of Egypt, of men who have built their structures in contempt of the knowledge of God, are doomed.

And what do we replace these institutions with? The scriptural ones, beginning with the godly and confident family, and the reconstructed church, faithful to God’s Word.

Thirty years ago, Rushdoony was right:

Politics cannot produce character: Christianity must. The decline of faith is a decline of character and a decline of character is the forerunner of political decay and collapse.  Christianity has an obligation to train a people in the fundamentals of God’s grace and law, and to make them active and able champions of true political liberty and order.[1]

Is this what you’re working towards?

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.552.

All Education is Religious

Jun 26, 2020 by Jake Litwin

“The end of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him.” – John Milton

“Above all, the foremost reading for everybody, both in the universities and in the schools, should be Holy Scripture…I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme.” – Martin Luther

There is a modern myth in our day that has been widely accepted and that is the idea that education is neutral. However, nothing in this world is actually neutral. As a matter of fact, neutrality is a by-product of a humanistic thought because it presupposes an autonomous cosmos that is meaningless and purposeless. Education is inherently religious.

When the State takes over the realm of education, declares authority over it, and claims that it does not promote any religion, it is not disowning all religions, but simply eliminating any opposing religions in favor of its own statist humanistic religion.

How should the Christian household respond to education when surrounded by “free” education run by the State? Do Christians really need to give their children a Christian education?

Jesus requires His people to love the Lord with all their minds (Matt. 22:37). If the faculty of our mind must be devoted to God, then can we with a clear conscience send our children to an educational system that is taught to think agnostically? Education either presupposes that Jesus is Lord over every area of life or He isn’t. It either presupposes the belief that all truth comes from God or the belief that there is no objective truth. Every subject, whether it’s math or history, science or English, is taught from an ultimate standard. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for Christian parents to give their children an education that embraces the Lordship of Christ in every class.

In the Old Testament, family was the first educational institution God established among His people.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deut. 6:4–9).

God never assigns the task of education to civil leaders even in a nation like Israel. It is crucial to understand that teaching children the Law of God under the God-given authority of the family is also never limited to only cover “spiritual” matters. The Christian life cannot be compartmentalized into “two kingdoms”: sacred and secular. The outcome of knowing and applying the Word of God is to be educated to have a God-centered worldview in every subject. The Apostle Paul commands, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). The word “training” is the Greek word paideia, referring to the “whole training and education of children.” The Christian household must recognize that the whole training and education of a child must be from a worldview where Jesus is the Lord.

Christian parents also must protect their children from the lie of the statist humanistic religion behind every government system. There is a clear distinction between children learning humanism from a biblical worldview and children learning in a humanistic system as the standard of truth. One of the joys of teaching Integrated Humanities at an online Classical Christian school is teaching some of the most influential worldviews such as Marx, Darwin and Orwell under the authority of Christ and His Word, and why these humanistic worldviews are fundamentally religious and as a result don’t work.

A common objection from Christians to the responsibility of protecting their children from the government educational system is that Christian students can be salt and light in these schools. It is presumptuous to think we are training our children to go into the world, but in reality, we are helping the world go into our children when they are not under an educational system that declares Jesus is Lord.

Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World

Every worldeview opposed to the Christian worldiew knows that for their worldview to stay on top, the education of the children is a priority. Adolf Hitler understood this: “Your child belongs to us . . . What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”       Buy Now

Paul writes, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4–5). The government educational system contains ideologies and philosophies that are against the knowledge of God. As thinking Christians, we are called to pull down these high places and use our minds in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Non-Christian education is by definition an education by another god. Why? Because Jesus Christ is not regarded as Lord and His Word is not the standard of how we are to think about every area of life. Cornelius Van Til states, “Non-Christians believe that insofar as man knows anything, he knows apart from God… Christians believe that everything is dark unless the current of God’s revelation be turned on.”

To be truly educated is when all things are understood in the light of God and His revelation. Jesus powerfully states that “a pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). As Voddie Baucham famously said, “If you send your kids to Caesar for their education, don’t be surprised when they come back as Romans.” God’s Word gives the task to parents as their biblical responsibility to train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The Children of Caesar

For decades, Secular America and Christian America have been engaged in a bitter battle over the minds of our school-age children. The classroom is the mine-field of our century. Humanism, secularism, atheism, rampant sexual perversion and historical revisionism are just a few of the missiles launched daily at our children. Voddie Baucham persuasively argues that Christian parents need to take the initiative in their children’s education and stop turning them over to the anti-God environment of the government school.        Buy Now

 

This view of education is radical to many Christians. Unfortunately, it is because of the loss of preserving our Christian heritage and adopting the progressivist education that makes this view seem abnormal. Christian family, understand the glorious calling to train up your children in the way they should go! Know that the sacrifices you make to give your child an education that makes much of Christ will advance the kingdom of God for His glory.

The government educational system admonishes and teaches the doctrines of their false god. Think of the family as a nuclear powerplant. This powerplant has incredible heat sources and energy to take down the strongholds against the knowledge of God. The world knows this is a threat because whoever controls the schools rules the world.

Appreciating the First Lady (9)

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Mat.11:28-30).

We Christians know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, but He’s much more than that. He is the greatest example of leadership in history, and godly husbands can and must apply His example in caring for their wife and family.

And let us be warned about this: His lessons are not just academic, for they will require that we change. Why is that?

Paul warns each of us “…not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think…” (Ro.12:3). The human heart since Adam, has an infinite capacity for pride, arrogance, vanity and self-deception. Because of the sin of the human heart, all of us are susceptible to these traits.

And let’s face it: there is nothing more Satanic than pride. God said that,

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate (Prov.8:13).

The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of God’s people, is really (among other things) His unceasing war against pride in our hearts. In us husbands, His war against our pride manifests in our relationship with our wife. And this gets messy and painful if we don’t respond to the work of the Holy Spirit.

A husband’s authority over his wife is not a licence to do as he wishes; that quickly becomes a form of tyranny. Rather, we are to “…through love serve one another” (Gal.5:13).

When Rehoboam became king of Israel after his father Solomon, he sought advice from the elders who had served his father, concerning how he should rule. Their advice should ring down through the ages, for every wise leader:

If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever (I Kings 12:7).

But Rehoboam refused to do so. He preferred the arrogant advice of the young men who had grown up with him. Consequently, he lost most of his kingdom (v.16-19), all because of a flawed attitude towards his leadership.

But Rehoboam’s grandfather David, was different. When his wife Michal realised her father Saul wanted to kill him, she said to him,

…If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be put to death (I Sam.19:11).

Did he argue with her? No, he got the message. She let him out through a window, and he escaped (v.12).

If a husband is serious about this, he should ensure that his wife has the freedom to say what she wants to him, regardless of whether it conflicts with his attitudes and decisions. Yes, he’s in charge all right, but the Captain on the bridge needs to know exactly how the stokers down in the boiler-room are going, and what they are really thinking and why, otherwise he might be about to lose command of his boat.

She needs to be able to say what she wants, with No Holds Barred. Could that be rough on his pride and ego? Absolutely, because that’s where God’s sanctification process, His war on this man’s pride, is going to manifest.

This might lead to a lot of things coming out of the wood-work. Suppressed resentment and ill-feeling over decisions that might have been made for decades, all of a sudden spilling out and seeing the light of day.

That could be embarrassing and humbling for a husband, but that’s all part of him loving and caring for his wife, and providing an opportunity for her to say what she wants, without there being recriminations on his part towards her. It’s not destructive, just challenging to his ego and attitude.

And if she decides,

This is my chance to really give him a piece of my mind for all those stupid decisions he’s made…

and turns on him, and it goes on for an hour or so before she decides she’s dished out enough, this might be the best things he’s done, and an opportunity for this couple to begin again, on a proper and honest foundation.

When there is a lot of dirty, rusty water in the bottom of the boiler, the wise engine driver had better open the tap and let it all come out. It won’t do any good in there. Then he can replace it with the fresh.

The facts of life are not always easy or comfortable; truth can be painful, but it is still necessary that we face it, whether we like it or not.

And husbands must lead the way in this. As the family member with the most authority and responsibility, we must be the first in the family to face the painful truth from those we lead, especially if it is unappealing to us.

All of us make mistakes, but not all of us will admit to those mistakes, and if we hide behind a position of authority, saying to our wife,

You can’t tell me that, because you’re only my wife, and you’re supposed to submit to me,

we only make ourselves look fearful, insecure and pathetic. And nothing of that is remotely Christian or God-honouring.

For the Bible has all the answers for us:

Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon my head; do not let my head refuse it… (Ps.141:5).

Conclusion:

Jesus Christ shows us that good leadership is essentially another aspect of godly service. It can be accomplished best by those who are “…gentle and humble of heart…”

If they are wise, husbands will learn from Jesus Christ, giving those under their authority (especially their wife), the freedom and opportunity to speak their mind on any subject. This is not evil on her part, for it provides her with the opportunity to “get some things off her chest,” which he probably needs to pay careful attention to. It is an aspect of loving, serving and caring for her. It might just save his marriage, or even his life.

Fellow husband, is that what you want, too?

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honour and life (Prov.22:4).