Appreciating the First Lady (4)

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either one of them falls, one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they can keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him (Ecc.4:9-12).

Individual responsibility is a godly thing, and it has to mesh or coordinate with our obligation to work with others. This needs to take place everywhere in the church, the community, at work and it has to begin in marriage.

Within marriage, everyone has to learn to work with their spouse, and there are often challenges with this. Working with your spouse can actually take a long time to work out, which can seem to be depressing. “Why all these problems?”

Well, there are lots of mistakes because some of us are slow to learn, slow to give up old habits of individualism that don’t help.

Eve was his “helpmeet,” to use a common term (Genesis 2:20). Actually, the King James Version never uses “helpmeet.” That is a word which developed from the King James phrase, “an help meet for him.” What the phrase really meant was “a helper fit for him,” or better yet, “designed for him.” Eve was designed to complement Adam and make his work more efficient. Adam was limited from the start, an incomplete creation, just as the earth was an incomplete creation. Adam needed Eve. He needed her to work better, enjoy life better, procreate children, and most important of all, better reflect God’s image.[1]

Men ought to always appreciate their wife. Of course she isn’t perfect. Are you? It’s a foolish thing to take her for granted. Firstly, she’ll notice it, and won’t appreciate it. Secondly, if you had to do without her for a month, how would you go?

In September 2007, Dr Thomas Kossman, a German trauma surgeon working at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia since 2001, was told by the hospital’s CEO, that he was under investigation for shoddy surgery, and for rorting the public purse. The allegations nearly destroyed him, and his career. He said,

I was on my knees. I broke down twice, which is something I don’t do. I had depression, sleeping pills, weight loss-you name it, I had it. The stress was so great my wife thought I wouldn’t make it.

Thomas had one great person on his side-his wife, Cristina. He said of her,

I was struggling; my wife kept me alive. She fed me, she loved me, she invited me to lunch with her…and every day she has continued to walk into that place with her head held high.

Cristina said at the time, “I am sure the sun will shine again on our family.”[2]

Not every husband is accused or faces public ignominy like Thomas Kossman. But over the life of a marriage there are generally enough challenges, for a prudent man to realise just how much his wife can be a help to him.

Do you?

 

 

[1] Gary North, “Unconditional Surrender,” 2010, p.29-30.

[2] “The Weekend Australian Magazine,” August 16-17, 2008, p.18. Kossman was later exonerated.

Appreciating the First Lady (3)

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honour as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered (I Pet.3:7).

This passage is clear: when husbands show their wife honour as a “fellow heir,” it leads to improvement in their relationship, and blessing in the home.

What is it that stops husbands honouring their wife? When they neglect to love her, and focus on their own status and power, rather than integrity, responsibility, faithfulness and being a team player. Status and power are not wrong in themselves, but the single-minded pursuit of them always leads to distortions in people’s behaviour: sin.

 Fallen man’s exercise of power is demonic (Rushdoony).

The Bible gives us a different approach.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus… (Phil.2:3-5).

Jesus described Israel in the 1st century as an “evil and adulterous generation…” (Mat.16:4). Consider the occasions in the Gospels when Jesus, in this unbiblical, misogynist culture, spoke (directly or indirectly) to women. His mother Mary at the wedding in Cana (Jn.2:1-5), when she comes to visit Him (Mk.3:31-35), from the cross (Jn.19:25-27), the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn.4:7-42),  the woman caught in adultery (Jn.8:1-11), Mary and Martha, when Martha was frustrated with Mary (Luke 10:38-42), when Lazarus died (Jn.11:1-46), and at Jesus’ tomb (Jn.20:9-18), the woman with a haemorrhage (Mat.9:20-22); the Syrophoenician woman (Matt.15:21-28); and the daughters of Jerusalem (Luke 23:26-31).

Jesus endorsed their faith in God. On one occasion when a dead man was resurrected, he was the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-17). He invariably looked after the best interests of these women. The man’s resurrection had huge economic implications for his mother.

Status and power seemed immaterial to Jesus. As the Son of God they were His, and He would receive much more at His enthronement. But He made it clear:

…The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves (Luke 22:26-27).

What should always govern husband and wife relationships, is the motivation of godly service. The idea that this relationship should ever degenerate into some kind of power struggle, has no place in scripture. People locked into a power struggle will never serve one another.

How should we view the scriptural role of women, especially when we consider the popular notions of equality? Firstly, neither males or females are superior to one another. As the Bible says,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave or free man, there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal.3:28).

Equality of worth is not the same as equality of role, or function. Just as the Son is subject to the Father, and the Father sent the Son, the husband is responsible as the head of the family. Paul explained that “…Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ” (I Cor.11:3).

Paul, in alluding to the relationship within the Trinity, uses that relationship to explain how a husband and wife should operate. Just as there is equality of worth within the Trinity, there is equality of worth or dignity, between the husband and wife. Men are not superior to women, but in God’s chain of command, He has placed husbands in authority over their wives.

As one helpful minister said:

Women are redemptively equal, functionally different.

You don’t need a degree in biology to know that a man cannot fulfil a woman’s role in reproduction, and neither can a woman fulfil a man’s. But our differences go much deeper than that.

These differences can be frustrating to us. But what was it like for Adam and Eve in the Garden? Seeing the differences from God’s perspective should lead us to understand that different does not mean wrong. On the contrary, differences challenge us to harmonise.

If the members of the orchestra cannot accept that they all have a different but valuable contribution in the performance, how will they ever produce a harmonious sound? We must learn to respect and appreciate gender differences as God designed, and not war against them as though they are some kind of evil conspiracy against our sex.

The recognition that our God-given makeups are entirely different should lead to greater understanding and appreciation for our spouse, and to this conclusion: consultation and harmony between husband and wife is the name of the game. And the Bible speaks of this:

Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance (Prov.20:18).

Consultation requires a number of things, beginning with setting aside our pride and individualism. And there are other things required like time, patience and understanding of one another. But it pays off. When a couple are unified and of one mind, it elevates the role of both husband and wife, so that

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life (Prov.31:11-12).

And there’s more:

House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord (Prov.19:14).

       He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord (Prov.18:22).

Conclusion:

So, you really want to make headway with your wife?

Do what the Bible says, and live with her “…in an understanding way.” Then you’ll really be able to make some good music!

Appreciating the First Lady (2)

Is God’s leadership authoritarian? No.  How do I know that?

Authoritarian leaders like all tyrants, are moral cowards. What matters to them is the maintenance of their authority, not the truth, or what is best for those they are supposed to be serving. This is always a highly destructive attitude for any leader to hold, in a family, a business, a church or a nation.

Nabal (I Sam.25) was an authoritarian leader of his household. The Bible says he was “…harsh and evil in his dealings” (v.3). When his servant observed how rudely he rejected a request from David’s servants for material assistance, the servant pointed out to Nabal’s wife Abigail, that “…he is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him” (v.17).

In his folly, Nabal destroyed himself (vs.37-38). If it hadn’t been for Abigail’s wise and brave intercession with David, Nabal would’ve brought destruction upon his whole household.

Authoritarian husbands in the church hide behind Bible verses that suit their argument, like Ephesians 5:24:

But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be subject to their husbands in everything.

Should wives obey this verse?

Of course, but husbands are foolish if they view this text in a one-dimensional manner. A wife’s help towards her husband has many facets to it, that some husbands don’t understand. It’s taken me a long time to understood all the ways my wife can help me.

On many occasions we’ve been out somewhere, and when we got home, my wife had some observations to make about what had taken place. Sometimes, it was because she thought my comments to others were excessive, or I had come across as extreme, or arrogant, or I needed to tone down the rhetoric. Sometimes she thought I’d shown too much attention to another female, and she said so.

Those sorts of comments are blunt and confronting. They are not designed to stroke and comfort my ego, and it’s only a fool who thinks his wife should be there to comfort his ego, because the Bible says, “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). And I’ve had to reflect upon what I’d said and done, and also consider verses like these:

A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool (Prov.17:10).

Reproofs for discipline are the way of life (Prov.6:23).

He who regards reproof will be honoured (Prov.13:18).

Faithful are the wounds of a friend… (Prov.27:6).

Every husband has to ask himself this question:

Which is better: to love, accept and submit to the truth (regardless of who gave it to you, or the consequences), or be an egotistical fool? You don’t need a lot of Bible knowledge to answer that question.

Naaman in the Bible shows us what a difference this can make. Twice (see II Kings 5:2-3, 13) he took advice from people who were under his authority, one of these being a captured little girl from Israel. On both occasions, taking advice from someone under his authority, propelled him towards his healing from leprosy.

It’s easy for a husband to say to his wife,

God put me in authority, and I’m not taking no advice from you.

But all he proves in the process, is that he’s getting dangerously like Nabal.

There is a lot more on this subject in the Bible, if husbands (who can be proud and arrogant), will care to pay any attention. Like,

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life (Prov.31:10-12).

Conclusion:

If husbands understand the Biblical role of their wife, it will lead to them appreciating her. It will lead to them making greater room for her opinions and attitudes, and all the household members will benefit from the greater harmony and richness of relationship this will bring.

Shouldn’t every godly husband want this?

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

The Catastrophe of Fatherless America

Jun 19, 2020 by Jerry Newcombe

Much of the mayhem we see today is linked to fatherlessness.

Around this time we celebrate Father’s Day. But fathers in our culture have not recently appeared very important—at least according to Hollywood and other culture-shapers.

We used to have programs like “Father Knows Best” or “Leave It to Beaver” with a respectable father figure. Then we devolved to Archie Bunker on “All in the Family.” He was the stereotypical bigoted, benighted patriarch who was not worthy of emulation.

Then we devolved to Homer Simpson, the buffoonish dad, who was anything but a role model.

Of course, in many households today, there is no dad. And that’s a serious problem. So many of the children in fatherless homes begin life at a serious disadvantage. The breakdown of the family at large has caused a huge crisis in our society. For instance, statistics show that the majority of prison inmates come from broken families.

Fatherlessness is a serious blight on American life. As the family goes, so goes society. And, contrary to what the left says (who spend much of their energy diminishing traditional gender roles and arguing that whatever “family you choose” is just as good as the real thing), fathers are integral to the life of a child.

 

00

Family 101: Getting Our House in Order

Family 101 is a much-needed course designed to help Christians understand covenant life. The student will learn not only about the family, but about the important role of education—both our own and that of our children. The videos, audios, and printed works found in Family 101 will provide the encouragement and the education necessary to live faithfully to both God and neighbor.

Buy Now

 

Take an example. What is it that is devastating the black community today? Many in our current climate would say the main issue is racism. But sociologically, cultural pathologies are linked closely to poverty. And poverty is linked closely to the structure of the family. Government subsidies (by which the left buys votes) has created a permanent underclass of people by subsidizing fatherlessness and unemployment.

Prior to the Great Society, the rate of illegitimacy in the black community was relatively low and families were intact. And as economist Thomas Sowell points out, the poverty rate for African-Americans fell by 40 percent from 1940 to 1960—just before the “Great Society” welfare programs. Today, the illegitimacy rate is over 75%, which is devastating—by virtually all accounts.

00

I remember many years ago when I attended an “evangelical church” in Chicago that was a little on the liberal side. One of the lay leaders, a man, got up and prayed, and he said, “Our Father, Our Mother….”

I was thinking, “What?!?” So I asked him after the service about the unorthodox prayer.

His response was that that church was in the shadow of the most notorious housing project in the city, Cabrini-Green. Fatherlessness was a huge problem there. Most people growing up there had a negative feeling about their earthly father because he was absent or drunk or abusive. Cabrini-Green was such a disaster that it has since been torn down.

In his book, Hearts of the Fathers, Charles Crismier notes that many American children today lack the “God-ordered earthly anchor for soul security” because dad is not in the home. He notes, “It is well known but seldom discussed, whether in the church house or the White House, that fatherlessness lies at the root of nearly all of the most glaring problems that plague our modern, now post-Christian life.”

For example, take the issue of poverty. Says Crismier, “Children living in female-headed homes have a poverty rate of 48 percent, more than four times the rate for children living in homes with their fathers and mothers.”

He points out that fathers are so important in the Bible, beginning with God the Father, that the words “father,” “fathers,” and “forefathers” appear 1,573 times.

Obviously, children in fatherless homes can survive and even thrive despite that handicap. But what a better thing it is to follow God’s design for the family.

There’s also a link between fatherlessness and unbelief. About 20 years ago, when he was a professor at New York University, Dr. Paul Vitz wrote a book, The Faith of the Fatherless. In that book he showed how famous atheists and skeptics in history had virtually no father figure in their life or a very negative father.

As examples, he cites Voltaire, Bertrand Russell, H. G. Wells, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Paul Sartre, Thomas Hobbs, and Sigmund Freud, among others.

Conversely, Vitz found that strong believers often had positive fathers or father figures. In an interview for Christian television, he told me, “I would say the biggest problem in the country is the breakdown of the family, and the biggest problem in the breakdown in the family is the absence of the father. Our answer is to recover the faith, particularly for men, and we’ll recover fatherhood. And if we recover fatherhood, we’ll recover the family. If we recover the family, we’ll recover our society.”

If you’re a father and you stay with your children and you love your wife, you’re a real hero and role model. Keep it up—our nation is counting on you.

###

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is the senior producer and an on-air host for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 32 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy), and the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

The Greatest Rollback of Statism in American History Has Just Occurred.

Gary North – May 14, 2020

I am here to remind you about what should be obvious to every conservative and every libertarian in the United States.

The greatest enemy of freedom in American history has been the public school system. From the middle of the 19th century, beginning in Massachusetts, the public schools have been used to remove the authority of education from parents. This project was begun at taxpayer’s expense. By the end of the 19th century, it was beginning to be made compulsory across America. This was social control on a level never seen before in America. The model was Prussian education, which was statist to the core.

The philosophy of the statists who designed America’s public schools was messianic. R. J. Rushdoony’s 1963 book, The Messianic Character of American Education, goes through the primary sources of three dozen of these social experimenters. The footnotes are detailed. These men were open about what they were attempting to do: reform the American people and American society through tax-funded education. They disagreed with each other on the proper pedagogical methods, but they were unified in their agreement that the state, not parents, should be in charge of the education of all children. The state would then become the redeeming agent of society. It would replace churches and families as agents of redemption.

THE GREAT REVERSAL

We have seen a shutdown of the public schools since mid-March. Nothing in American history can compare with this as a direct assault on the messianic statism of American humanism. The parents have accepted it. The teachers have moved to online education. There has been no protest.

What hard-core libertarians and hard-core conservatives and hard-core Christian parents have been calling for ever since the early 1960’s has been achieved by fiat executive orders by governors. They did it. We didn’t do it. They have received voter support for this. We were laughed at.

The teachers still control the content and pedagogy of education. What they have lost is social control. But the heart of the public schools has always been social control.

The yellow school buses no longer cruise in the mornings and afternoons through American towns and cities. Back in 2004, I wrote about the yellow school bus as a symbol of social control. You can read my article here.

The school bells no longer ring. Students are not forced to go from class to class in high schools.

The teachers are no longer disciplinarians. Students are not forced to line up in an orderly fashion. The students are not forced to play together outside.

For the first time, parents can see exactly what is being taught to their children. They can see the quality of the teachers. They can learn about the content of the educational materials. This has never happened before.

They have another option. They can substitute homeschooling. This can be online homeschooling free of charge. They can switch to the Khan Academy. Overnight, the quality of the educational program will rise. At that point, they don’t need the teachers anymore. Khan’s program rests on structured testing. Students can be taught all year round, so they can graduate at age 16 or 17 if they start young enough in the program.

Parents could switch to the Ron Paul Curriculum, but not many parents are aware of this. Also, the parents would have to pay. That eliminates most of them.

It doesn’t matter. The parents are now in full control. The schools cannot send out truant officers, if truant officers even exist anymore. There are no means of judicial control over what parents allow to be taught in their own homes.

This has transferred more power to the people than any single event in American history.

This is historically unprecedented. It could not have been foreseen on February 29. Yet here it is.

I don’t think that the educators recognize what is taking place. They don’t recognize the degree of authority over education that they have lost in the last eight weeks.

What amazes me is that libertarians, conservatives, and Christians also do not perceive the extent of the setback that has been suffered by the entire public school system, including its underlying ideology. Social control over education has now shifted from the state to parents. Some of these parents are never going to surrender it back to the state.

Nobody is talking about this in the mainstream media. Everybody thinks it’s temporary. But, for millions of students, it is not going to be temporary. The parents are going to switch. There are about 55 million students enrolled in K-12 schools in America, and only about 2 million of them are homeschooled. That figure is going to go up faster in the next 12 months than it has ever gone up before.

Classroom-based education is based on state-regulated social controls, but online education isn’t.

ATTITUDES TOWARD HOMESCHOOLING

The public’s attitude towards homeschooling has switched dramatically. A recent poll indicates that over half of Americans are now favorable towards homeschooling.

Parents who had never considered the possibility of homeschooling have been forced to adopt it. Parents who thought it was radical or inefficient have been forced to adopt it. The teachers are now proving in full public view that online education is as good as classroom-based education.

From this point on, the educrats will not seriously be able to argue that online education is inferior to classroom-based education. Parents will know better.

The governors did it. That is the magnificent fact. They closed the most important institutional system of long-term social control in America. They didn’t ask permission of the legislatures. They just did it.

If things go really well, the governors will not reopen the public schools in fall. They will reopen everything else, but not the public schools.

I can dream, can’t I?

But even if they do reopen the schools, the schools will never be the same. The governors will not reopen the schools in such a way that they will ever get back to what they were in February. Post-February 2020 will go down in American history as the era in which the public schools were finally reformed. If the projected reforms are carried out, we will see either the bankrupting of school districts across America or the defeat of the teachers’ union.

I can dream, can’t I?

Appreciating the First Lady (1)

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18).

The most important relationship married men have, is with their wife. Wives are like their husbands; they are not perfect. But they’ve had a calling from God since Genesis, to help their husbands. Christian husbands generally believe this. But, how do we define “helper?”

This is where life can get interesting. The point is, it is God who defines the nature and extent of what a wife’s help should be, not the husband. But that doesn’t stop some husbands from trying!

Every husband has to determine what sort of husband he will be, and how he will discharge his God-given authority. Husbands have to make this decision: will my leadership of the home and family be authoritative, or authoritarian? The difference is of vital importance. It can make or destroy a marriage. Google tells us that

An authoritarian leadership style is being used when a leader dictates policies and procedures, decides what goals are to be achieved, and directs and controls all activities without any meaningful participation by the subordinates.

If God wanted husbands to be authoritarian, we’d see it in how God deals with people. But we don’t. In fact, we see just the opposite, in so many examples.

Numbers 11 tells us of one of the tougher times Moses was having leading the children of Israel. Moses wasn’t happy, and he complained to the Lord,

Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favour in your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which you swore to their fathers’? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favour in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness (Nu.11:11-15).

What is God’s response? God doesn’t rebuke Moses for his complaint. God understands Moses’ situation perfectly. He cares for Moses, and His people.

Firstly, He commands Moses to gather seventy men from the elders of Israel, and promises to come down and take of the Spirit that is upon Moses, and put it on these men, so Moses will not have to bear the burden of two to three million people alone. Then, He tells Moses that He will come tomorrow, and send a meat supply that will be more than enough for the people.

Is this a mean authoritarian figure in heaven, angry with a struggling delegate? Hardly.

Secondly, we read in Numbers 27 that the five daughters of Zelophehad came to Moses with a complaint, relating to the law God had given concerning the distribution of inheritances. Their father had died and they had no brothers, and it was sons who normally received the inheritance. So they complained to Moses, “Why should the name of our father be withdrawn because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers” (Nu.27:4).

Now it could be argued that these women were finding fault with God’s law. They were certainly drawing attention to an injustice that they would suffer, if the Mosaic law as it stood was followed inflexibly.

But observe God’s response to Moses’ query. God did not say,

Well, that’s the way it is girls. The law’s been decided now, don’t you know? Get with the plan. Life can be tough, and you’ll have to live with this. Don’t bring your legal anomaly problems to me, because I can’t be bothered.

No. He said to Moses,

The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them (v.7).

God dealt with these women with perfect understanding of their situation, and perfect justice. Their legitimate complaint led to God instructing Moses to change His law (v.8-11).

Conclusion:

The Bible says,

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

The notion of authoritarian leadership is alien to God. It should be to all husbands and fathers. Is it alien to you?

Oh, the Games Parents Play

By Cyndy Shoemaker

Oh, the games people play now. Every night and every day now. Never meaning what they say now. Never saying what they mean.

1968 is probably ancient history to most of you, but I was nine when Joe South wrote this song about adult relationships, but this section of the lyrics holds true in the parent-child relationship, as well. Do we as parents really say what we mean and mean what we say when we engage in conversation with our children? What games are we playing to get our wishes met in parenting?

We all wish our children would obey like in the old days when they would say “yes, ma’am” and “yes, sir,” and then actually (most of the time) obey. When told by their parents to do something today, the typical American child does not display a willing, cooperative attitude. Instead, he ignores, whines argues, gets mad, or talks back. How did we get into this sorry state of affairs? Is it the child’s fault? No, it’s ours. We play the game of “here we go round the mulberry bush” by playing “beat around the obedience bush.” In this rendition of the game, we parents are afraid to disturb any of its supposedly delicate leaves lest we damage (according to psychology) the child’s supposedly delicate psyche. We truly don’t expect our children to obey, we just wish they would, so we bribe, bargain, threaten, give second chances, and try to reason with them. There are more physically active signs in this game, such as when we get red in the face, pound the table, and threaten a spanking. Ultimately, there are no winners in this game. The child has a momentary victory which leads to winning major battles that lead to a narcissistic child and a neurotic guilt-ridden parent. Let’s not play “beat around the obedience bush.”
Another game we play with our children is “Battleship.” What? I used to love that game. This Battleship game is played when we argue with our children. Here are the rules: We make a decision (player one). Player two, the child, hates that decision and verbally vomits. We pick up the verbal vomit, thinking we can clean it up with reasoning, and the battle begins. The usual outcome in this game is that everyone’s verbal battleship is sunk. There are no real winners. The best way to play this game is not to open the box. We only have arguments when we open the box by giving a reason for our decision, which by the way doesn’t comfort player two because he wants to change our mind not to hear our reasons. If we choose to open the box, our only safe move is to say, “Because I said so” or it will be a long-drawn-out Battleship game. Warning: Don’t open the box.

Let’s now play “Please?” or “Okay?”. This game is an epidemic today in parenting lingo. It involves the parent asking a child to do something not realizing by saying “Please?” and “Okay?” we have opened the door for the child to say “no.” Parents are hoping to avoid conflict when in fact this game swings the door wide open. Don’t ask your child to do something you expect them to do, tell them. Children need to be told what to do by parents who aren’t afraid or embarrassed by an occasional showdown, even in public. Children feel more secure and comfortable with parents who know where they stand.

The aforementioned games need to be avoided at all costs. The happiest children are those who have parents that don’t play these games. Why, because that type of disciplinary style (game playing) creates and perpetuates an atmosphere of uncertainty and tension in the parent-child relationship. Instead, mean what you say and say what you mean by being commanding, concise, and concrete.

Cyndy Shoemaker, Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

Married for forty years with three home-educated grown sons and eight grandchildren, Cyndy has had the privilege of ministering to families across the US and in a variety of venues for most of those forty years as a classical and Christian private school educator and marriage and family counselor. Adding John’s methods and philosophy has enhanced her capabilities with his practical no-nonsense approach to helping today’s families find parenting a joyful, though difficult at times, journey. The truths that she has had the privilege to share with others has truly transformed many families and helped them experience “joy in the journey.” She looks forward to ministering to your family and families in your community.

Homeschooling: the Greatest Educational Option

My wife and I homeschooled our children for thirteen years beginning in 1990, and for eight years (1998-2005) I worked as an Academic Consultant at Australian Christian Academy in Brisbane, assisting many hundreds of homeschooling families in that time. This was a very fulfilling experience for me.

From the beginning, we heard a lot of false ideas being perpetrated by critics of homeschooling, which many ignorant and naive people found confusing. Here are some of them:

a)“Homeschooled children won’t get a well-rounded education. Rubbish. If you think that consistent sexual innuendo, perversion, bullying, drug availability, indoctrination in political correctness (including evolution, global warming, socialism, environmentalism and feminism) constitute a well-rounded education, well you go right ahead. For example, in 2004 a mother explained to me that she had withdrawn her teenage daughter from their local NSW State High School, when her back was nearly broken in a school bullying incident.

When schools declare, “we have strong anti-bullying policies,” I say, “A policy is one thing: successfully enforcing it’s another.” Schools may have a policy document that no one could fault, but the classroom, playground or bus behaviour often displays a school’s total failure to enforce that policy. So much for “a well-rounded education.”

  1. b) “Homeschoolers won’t be well socialised.The research[1] indicates that they will be socialised better, at home. Children in a State School spend some twelve years (about 14,400 hours) amongst their peers. The Bible warns us: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fool will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20). Would those State School peers be mostly wise or foolish? If they are foolish, to send Christian children amongst them is an exercise in irresponsibility and disobedience to God.
  2. c) “Homeschooled children can’t get into university. I know plenty of homeschooling children who have gone on to university. Universities want capable, disciplined students who possess the diligence to complete a degree. The SAT and the STAT tests are available for students who want to go to university, and homeschoolers frequently do well at these.

Public schools are utilised for about 18% of  a year’s hours (eight hours a day, five days a week, for forty weeks) but homes are used 24 hours a day! Homeschooled children do not cost the taxpayer $15,000 annually in school fees (which is the cost of educating a child in an Australian State school), nor do they sacrifice precious time travelling to and fro from school, permitting an enormous saving to the taxpayer in bus, train and ferry travel.

Homeschooling tends to bring families together, rather than splitting them up daily, permitting the parents to teach their children the things they really believe are important. And when the process is over, a 17 year old homeschooling graduate is more likely to be an employee that every boss wants: honest, polite, well-mannered, ready to work hard.

Have you decided how your children will be educated this year? Homeschooling represents an excellent and legitimate opportunity to educate your children, as you extend the kingdom of God in your home. You can start now!

 

[1] Some of the best homeschooling research can be found at: www.nheri.org

 

Whoever Defines the Family Controls It

email sharing button
print sharing button

Two articles appeared some time ago about monkeys and their supposed similarity to humans. In the first article, we learned that when monkeys were given keyboards and computers, they made a mess. Based on testing the Infinite Monkey Theorem, researchers at Plymouth University in England reported that monkeys left alone with a computer attacked it and failed to produce a single word. They seemed to like or dislike the letter “s.” [1]

Maybe it looked like a snake, which might explain the actions of the lead male. He showed quite a bit of tool-making ingenuity by using a rock for a hammer, possibly to pound the snake to death.

Eventually the six monkeys—named Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe, and Rowan—did produce five pages of “text.” However, that “text” was composed primarily of the letter S, with the letters A, J, L, and M added on rare occasions. Mike Phillips noted, “They pressed a lot of S’s.” He went on to state, “obviously, English isn’t their first language.” [2]

Monkeys and Typewriters | Sophismata
The Infinite Monkey Theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. 

Or maybe it was a display of humanness. How many of us have wanted to pound our computer with a rock after we got the “blue screen of death” or a message that told us we had just performed an “illegal operation”? A very human trait indeed.

It was the evolutionist Thomas Huxley is said to have believed, given enough time, monkeys would produce literature. But alas, the computer monkeys were just being monkeys. The scientists were most disappointed when our simian “relatives” viewed the computers as indoor toilets. It seems that they spent most of their time defecating and urinating all over the keyboards.

The scientists have not given up on the monkeys. One of the observing scientists said that the experiment showed that monkeys “are not random generators; they’re more complex than that. They were quite interested in the screen, and they saw that when they typed a letter, something happened. There was a level of intention there.” A scientific observation meant to imply that research dollars will continue to flow.

In the second article, we were told that “chimpanzees are closer to humans than gorillas and other apes—so close that scientists say they should be sharing space on the same branch of the family tree.” [3] The genetic similarities are said to be around 97 percent. Apparently, the scientists who came to this conclusion had not read about the defecating and urinating computer monkeys.

If Evolution is Right, Can Anything be Wrong?

Atheistic evolutionists express moral outrage against murder and rape, but if evolution is true, how can there be moral outrage since it was killing and rape that got us where we are today as a species?

 

No doubt there is some correspondence. But it is the three percent difference that makes all the difference. We should expect to find similarities among living things since they were designed by the same Designer.

But do chimpanzees act 97 percent like humans? Where are their houses, libraries, hospitals, charitable organizations, roads, various forms of locomotion, grocery stores, or Kwik-E-Marts? Where is chimpanzee art and music? The 97-percent homo sapiens have not even figured out indoor plumbing or the concept of an outhouse. For them, the world is their toilet.

It is not that chimpanzees have created some of what humans have created; they haven’t created anything that resembles civilization.

There are only two operating starting points on the origin and definition of what constitutes a family. Either the family is a God-ordained covenant between a man and woman and their children or it’s an ever-evolving social contract.

In terms of modern-day evolutionary science that predominates in our nation’s universities, the family is not a God-ordained covenant structure:

Early scholars of family history applied Darwin’s biological theory of evolution in their theory of the evolution of family systems. American anthropologist, Lewis H. Morgan, published Ancient Society in 1877, based on his theory of the three stages of human progress, from savagery through barbarism to civilization.

Given the operating assumptions of evolutionary theory, the family, like evolution in general, came into being via savage struggle: “when the young male grows up, a contest takes place for mastery, and the strongest, by killing and driving out the others, establishes himself as the head of the community.”

Of course, this is not the origin of the family. “In classic Christian social thought,” Nancy Pearcey writes, “it was God who established marriage, family, church, and state, and who defined their essential nature—their tasks, responsibilities, and moral norms.” [4]

With Darwinism, the classic biblical definition of the family has been discarded for a more “scientific” definition that is pure materialism. According to science, following Newtonian physics, “[c]ivil society was pictured as so many human ‘atoms’ who came together and ‘bond’ in various social relationships.” [5] There is no purposeful design in something from nothing evolutionary theory.

Atoms don’t care about such things. They just are. Plow deep in an atom’s structure and you will not find a moral code, love, compassion, hope, or any of the qualities that are attributed to human beings. German paleontologist Günter Bechly, former curator of the Stuttgart State Museum of Natural History, commented, “If humans originated from the animal realm by a purely unguided process, there is no real reason in nature to treat humans differently from stones. It’s just a different aggregate of atoms.” [6]

As a result, like matter, the family can be shaped into any form by those doing the manipulating. Because there is no fixed definition of something we call “family,” we are seeing its near-complete disintegration through redefinition. Traditional sexual roles based on creation norms no longer exist. Men are marrying men and women marrying women. Sex roles have become fluid. There are now more than 60 manufactured genders. We are seeing everything redefined and protected by the State to force compliance to every redefinition.

This is not a new development. There are, what Alvin Toffler in 1980 called, “a bewildering array of family forms: homosexual marriages, communes, groups of elderly people banding together to share expenses (and sometimes sex), tribal grouping among certain ethnic minorities, and many other forms coexist as never before.” [7]

These counterfeit families attempt to restructure the creational family around an evolving order rather than a biblical model. Whoever defines the family controls it. The State is in the definition business.

Transgenderism is growing. Parents are raising their children as “gender neutral theybies.” For example, Charlie Arrowood does not identify as male or female…. When a New York City law took effect in January of 2019, they plan to modify the sex recorded on their birth certificate to one that fits: “X,” a gender-neutral option.

You might be confused about the use of the pronouns “they” and “their.” You see, Charlie Arrowood, who is transgender, “uses the pronoun ‘they’ and the courtesy title ‘Mx.,’ a gender-neutral alternative to Ms. and Mr.” [8] This is all logical considering an atomistic understanding of reality. The conglomeration of atoms (an evolved human being) determine their own identity.

Instead of being in covenant with God, conglomerations of atoms randomly joined together in any way they please because that is their materialistic origin. “In the beginning was the atomistic individual. [Thomas] Hobbes even asks us to ‘look at men as if they had just emerged from the earth like mushrooms and grown up without any obligation to each other.’ Like Newton’s atoms, individuals come together and bond in various arrangements when they find that doing so advances their interest.” [9]

This is nihilism, as depicted in the second installment of Love, Death, and Robots, titled “Three Robots.” Three robots traverse a post-apocalyptic world trying to determine how humans ended it all. The first robot, an Xbot 4000 asks: “Who even designed them?”

Robot number two, “Little Bot,” responds, “It’s unclear. We checked their code … no creator serial number.”

The third bot offers an explanation that’s typical of where we are academically and philosophically:

That’s because they were made by an “unfathomable” deity that created them for no apparent reason out of dust. Just kidding. They came from a very warm soup.

By “warm soup,” it means the impossibility of unguided chemical evolution. This is not science; it’s science wishful-thinking fiction.

The late R.C. Sproul (1939–2017) wrote, “God’s existence is the chief element in constructing any worldview. To deny this chief premise is to set one’s sails for the island of nihilism. This is the darkest continent of the darkened mind — the ultimate paradise of the fool.” [10]

The determiner of new family relationships is civil government (the State), that is becoming less civil as it attacks the biblical family. Richard Page, formerly a magistrate in the United Kingdom, was blocked from returning to a non-executive director role at a National Health Service because he “expressed his view that, wherever possible, children do best with a mother and a father.”

Despite having served as a magistrate in Kent for 15 years with an exemplary record, Richard was reported for his comments, and, following an investigation, was disciplined by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice. He was told that his views about family life were “discriminatory against same-sex couples” and was barred from sitting as a magistrate until he had received “equality training.” [11]

David Brooks,  a New York Times Op-Ed columnist who writes about politics, culture and the social sciences, declared in The Atlantic that the “nuclear family was a mistake.” [12] Not to be outdone, there’s Sophie Lewis’ book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminist Against Family, “a polemic that calls for abolishing the family” [13] and “open-sourced, fully collaborative gestation.” How would this be accomplished? Reproduction would be controlled by the State.

  1. “Monkeys Don’t Write Shakespeare,” Associated Press at WIRED (May 9, 2003).[]
  2. Brad Harrub, “Monkeys, Typewriters, and Shakespeare,” Apologetics Press (2003): https://bit.ly/2Tc1HNl[]
  3. Mike Toner, “Welcome Chimps into the Family of Man,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (May 2003).[]
  4. Nancy R. Pearcey, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2018), 233.[]
  5. Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 233.[]
  6. Quoted in Jenny Lind Schmitt, “If Rocks Could Talk,” World Magazine (March 2, 2019), 29.[]
  7. Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave (New York: William Morrow, 1980), 212.[]
  8. Andy Newman, “Male, Female or ‘X’: The Push for a Third Choice on Official Forms,’ The New York Times (September 27, 2018): https://nyti.ms/2CdMKSx[]
  9. Pearcey, Love Thy Body, 234.[]
  10. R. C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts That Shaped Our World (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2000), 171.[]
  11. “Judge appeals punishment for saying children do best with mom and dad,” WND (March 10, 2019): http://bit.ly/2TteJIw[]
  12. David, Brooks “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake,” The Atlantic (March 2020): https://bit.ly/3cICHVx []
  13. Marie Solis, “We Can’t Have a Feminist Future Without Abolishing the Family,” Vice.com (February 21, 2020): https://bit.ly/2yZF0VT[]

Come Out of Her, My People (Part 3)

The intensely powerful religious force of humanism, with all its hatred of God and God’s world of law and order, can never be defeated by people whose ground of operation is vaguely Christian and largely humanistic… Christians are too often trying to defend their realm on humanistic grounds, with Saul’s armour, and as a result, they are steadily in retreat. Often, they are actually fighting for the enemy without knowing it.[1]

By 1880, Archbishop Vaughn saw exactly what was happening in Australia. He predicted  that government education would be

lawless education” and “plots of immorality, infidelity and lawlessness, being calculated to debase the standard of human excellence, and to corrupt the political, social and individual life of future citizens.[2]

He was right. Parental wishes and standards today are more or less pushed aside, and the State-employed teacher becomes the paramount authority in the life of the child. That means that Darwinistic evolution is taught as fact (“forget that stupid creation fairy-story,”) there is to be no discrimination in “sexual preferences,” and there is drug abuse, bullying and a thousand other perversions, in the name of “a good education.”

And then a well-meaning chaplain is supposed to come along at taxpayer’s expense to that State school to try and help. Where does he start, and what does he do? He tries to put lip-stick on a grubby, muddy pig.

This is why the Bible commands us to “not be bound together with unbelievers” (II Cor.6:14). Whenever we believers try to work alongside unbelievers, they quickly recognise our religious differences, and they want to call the shots. That was what Lot found in Sodom. The Sodomites said of him, “this one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge…” (Gen.19:9). The sooner he departed, the better.

It’s one thing to befriend an individual. It’s another to be implicitly committed to a demonically empowered, pagan institution that is committed to eradicating the knowledge of God. The Bible says,

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself to be an enemy of God (James 4:4).

Public education is itself an implicit violation of at least the first four commandments. Why? Because it implicitly and practically eliminates God from the child’s curriculum, substituting something else.

Isn’t that a recipe for idolatry for that child? Nature abhors a vacuum.

Why would Christian parents put their children in a State school? Because they are ignorant, blind or misguided. Or worse: they don’t really care about their children’s education, and like drowning people, they grasp at public education because it’s “free.”

But the Bible tells us that “children are a gift of the Lord…” (Ps.127:3a). God will require accountability for those He has given to us. Can we afford to give them anything but our best?

The Bible says,

How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you, I will make my words known to you (Prov.1:22-23).

I suppose all of these dear people pressing for a continuation of Commonwealth funding for chaplains would want to disown me, and call me extreme; a radical, with views “not in the main stream.” Well, they are right. I’m certainly not in the main stream. But then, Jesus did say,

enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it (Mat.7:13).

We Christians have been the original dumb bunnies. We haven’t really thought through the decisions we were making when we sent our children to a State school: the school of the Canaanites. We haven’t submitted those decisions to the Word of God.

U.S. statistics indicate that over 80% of Christian children that attend a public school will have denied the faith by age twenty five. Has the institution they have attended, where they’ve had a complete indoctrination in humanism for twelve years, contributed to their denial of the faith?

Now someone will point out: “Andrew, correlation is not causation.” That’s true. But do  parents really have the right to play a perverse form of Russian roulette with their children’s lives?

The people spending a lot of money fighting to ensure their chaplains can continue to be employed at taxpayers’ expense, have been poorly taught in church for over one hundred years since the Church progressively gave in, rolled over and accepted State control of education in Australia around 1870. To some degree, you can’t blame them.

But all they are doing is perpetuating the same old evil system, throwing a thimble-full of Christianity into the back of the humanist’s semi-trailer. That semi-trailer just goes on its evil, destructive destination, regardless of them. They would do well to listen to another radical, John the Baptist, who said

the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear fruit is cut down and throne into the fire (Mat.3:10).

Now the parents who desperately want the chaplains to be able to continue may be saying in protest, “but Andrew, we can’t take our kids out of the system, because it needs them there to evangelise. It would collapse without them.”

They should bear in mind this fact:

It is of critical importance that we equip our children to be Christian before we demand of them that they change the world. It is a violation of both Deuteronomy 6:1-6 and Ephesians 6:4 to commit children to an ungodly structure.[3]

Getting the children out would be the best thing. Like Lot getting out of Sodom with his family, Christians would be finally waking up to themselves and ending their evil compromise with public schooling, those synagogues of Satan which Christians in their ignorance and naivete have foolishly supported in this country for six generations. It’s time to stop.

Mark Twain was correct when he said, “don’t let schooling get in the way of a good education.”

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                         Any Christian parent serious about obeying God’s commandments, and seeing that their child receives a godly education should consider the State school in this light:

will twelve years of humanistic indoctrination in this deliberately godless institution which denies the commands of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, in the company of an evil peer-group that is hostile to God, really prepare my child for a life of godly service and dominion in the Name of Jesus Christ?

You don’t need a university degree to know the answer to that.

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.596.

[2] Quoted in Alan Roberts, “Australia’s First Hundred Years: the Era of Christian Schools,” 1984, p.16.

[3] L. Oswalt, in “The Theory of Resistance,” Gary North, (Ed), 1983, p.339.