Appreciating the First Lady (7)

Christians really ought to be authoritative people as they operate in their sphere in life. The Christian mother ought to be able to complete her tasks competently and quickly, and with her husband be able to train and oversee her children in the home, so that their necessary tasks are completed well, on time and happily. This is the woman Proverbs 31 describes. When this is something we’ve mastered, God can add more responsibility to us, and He probably will.

But being authoritative and being authoritarian are different things, and the difference always begins in attitude. You can be authoritative in your sphere without being the boss, but you may be! It’s always pleasant working with someone who knows what they are doing, and who can include others in the process in an enjoyable way. Whether it’s changing a wheel on the tractor or preparing a fruit-salad for twenty people to enjoy, it’s no problem.

But the authoritarian person wants to be in charge, and he (or she) really likes giving the orders. He has a problem with power: he loves it! And he’ll use it, but not with the best interests at heart of those around him, but with a self-centred, ulterior motive.

This always creates problems and ill-feeling. People know there is something wrong, even if they can’t quite put their finger on it.

The problem is not power, but how it’s used. Power can be used in a constructive, helpful way to assist and serve people, or it can be used to hurt and harm. This is the way that tyrants work. “Put me in charge, and I’ll fix everything!”

But their real focus is typified by Adonijah, who wanted to usurp the throne from his half-brother, Solomon. Adonijah was an upstart who exalted himself, saying “I will be king” (I Kings 1:5).

Around 700 BC, the Bible predicted through Isaiah concerning Jesus, that “…the government will rest upon His shoulders…” (Isa.9:6). Why is this not a threat or a problem to us? Because of the kind of man Jesus was and is. This is why the Bible commands us in relation to others, to

…have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil.2:5).

The Bible says that Jesus today has “all authority…” (Mat.28:18). Why is that?

He was more concerned to responsibly and faithfully serve His Heavenly Father on earth, than to grasp authority. He said “…I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (Jn.8:29). So He is absolutely authoritative, but He was never authoritarian. Jesus’ treatment of women in the gospels especially exemplifies this.

Every Christian husband ought to be afraid to ever be authoritarian in his home. It is abusive, and utterly inconsistent with the kingdom of God. We should flee from it.

Does this mean that Christian men become a sanitised bunch of milk-sops, weak, indecisive and unwilling to fight and confront evil? Not at all. That’s what some foolish and irresponsible preachers have taught now for generations, but in doing so, they’ve rejected the Bible, which says

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion (Prov.28:1).

It also says,

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (I Cor.16:13).

Four hundred years ago, preachers didn’t teach that kind of unbiblical, feminised nonsense.

Sue and I had first-hand experience with an authoritarian leader. He was the pastor of our church for 17 years, till 1990. In that year, he was exposed as a serial adulterer, forced by the elders to resign, and died of a brain tumour a year later. We later discovered he’d been a misogynist; he thought men were superior to women, which the Bible nowhere teaches. His resignation gave us the opportunity to reflect on what constitutes true, godly leadership, as opposed to the false and ungodly.

The Bible shows us that the church is like a woman, as it is typified as the bride of Christ. She is the ultimate First Lady. And as such, it can easily be abused and taken advantage of, if its members do not stand up and reject the hirelings, thieves and wolves that frequently appear in its midst, that want to enslave and prey upon God’s people. Pharoah wanted Sarai for his wife (Gen.12:14-20), as did Abimelech (Gen.20:1-18), and Abimelech wanted Rebekah (Gen.26:6-11).

These Genesis accounts serve as forerunners to the Exodus, which is a glorious account of God dealing with and ultimately drowning an abusive, authoritarian tyrant who had stolen and enslaved God’s bride, Israel.[1] Scoundrels have been around since Cain, and nothing is going to change in that regard, anytime soon.

Conclusion:

Jesus Christ shows us that power can be used in a God-honouring, responsible and constructive way, which is what Christians should always try to achieve. And in the context of the home, the family, the church and even civil government, this can and should have a satisfying and joyful result, which Jesus also indirectly predicted: “…You will find rest for your souls” (Mat.11:29).

Is that what you want, too?

 

 

[1] God’s deliverance of His bride from Egyptian “rape” is the theme of Exodus. (Ex.1:16, 22. Compare the previous exoduses of Abraham from Egypt and Philistia, and of Isaac from Philistia: in each case, the bride was under attack; Gen. 12, 20, 26.) James Jordan, “Covenant Sequence in Leviticus and Deuteronomy,” 1989, p.12.

 

Why the Lockdowns Are Vital to America’s Future: Closed Public Schools

Gary North – July 18, 2020

Across the nation, school districts are closing the public schools. We have never seen anything like this before. It is magnificent.

The most sacred church of America is being closed in city after city.

The public school system has been the established church of the United States for well over a century. To see the priests of the church confined to their living rooms by means of Zoom and Skype is a delight.

Nothing that any conservative group has ever planned will have the disruptive effects of the closure of the public schools. It is going to force the teachers to use online education. This is going to make it much easier for online schools that are not run by the government to find users.

President Trump has threatened to withhold federal money from any district that does not reopen. I do not think he has the power to do this. If he does, I hope he does it. We would then have closed districts with no federal money. They would really be in crisis mode.

The great thing about all this is that it is not necessary to closing the schools. School-aged children are virtually immune to the coronavirus. So, being virtually immune, they are now going to be virtually educated. This is the best of both possible worlds. The shutdowns are unnecessary from the point of view of epidemiology, yet they are taking place.

I wish this could be attributed to a conspiracy by the conservatives. What a great thing it would be if conservatives had enough coordination, long-term planning, and courage to find a way to bamboozle the school boards of America to lock the doors. But there is no conspiracy here. There is simply the coronavirus.

In any case, conservatives are great supporters of the public school system. They think it’s a bad thing that the public schools are being closed.

Most school districts at this point are ready to reopen. So, this is not a total victory. But it is a great symbolic victory. The school districts that are not going to reopen are proving, day by day, that it is not necessary for students to be hauled by school buses into distant buildings, to be confined there for eight hours a day.

We are also seeing that it is not necessary for teachers to spend time dealing with disciplinary problems. Disciplinary problems are the parents’ responsibility, not the teacher’s responsibility. Thugs, bullies, and classroom troublemakers are being kept at home, where they belong. Teachers can then devote their time to teaching. What a concept!

If there is a resurgence of the coronavirus in the fall, schools across the nation will be closed again. I don’t know if the school districts are afraid of the coronavirus, but they are certainly afraid of lawyers and class-action suits against the districts for keeping schools open when juries will decide that they should have been closed.

Every school district that refuses to reopen is affirming the legitimacy of online education. That is a tremendous benefit to me as a seller of online education. But it’s also a great benefit to parents. They are finding out just how bad the public school teachers are at conveying information to their children. Some parents don’t like online education. But the problem is not online education. The problem is the inefficiency of the public school system and the poor quality of the teachers. Any teacher should be able to do a great job with online education. I speak from experience. The teachers I hired for the Ron Paul Curriculum did a great job. They are doing great jobs daily, except they aren’t there. They did their work years ago, and their work remains online.

With new online platforms, it’s possible for teachers to interact with students, give consultation, and benefit the educational progress of their students. This is all cheap. It is effective. It doesn’t take a school building.

The parents are upset because they want free babysitting. I understand this. People like to have free services supplied by the government. Babysitting is a big one. But it’s only good for eight months of the year. In the other four months, the parents have to do something with the children. That’s why we have latchkey children.

With online teaching, parents could legally hire retired couples to set up half a dozen desks and inexpensive Chromebook computers. The couples can monitor the children. The children can be educated effectively in their homes. The retired couples could charge $500 a month per child and thereby gain an extra $36,000 a year, but parents would have to pay for this. They don’t want to pay for it.

Parents in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Atlanta are now learning about the responsibilities of parenthood. This is a good thing.

I hope other school districts will panic in August and September and refuse to reopen. This is the greatest news for the conservative movement in my lifetime. The public schools are being undermined, day by day. Faith in the public schools is being undermined, day by day.

Appreciating the First Lady (6)

Every household and every person needs help to get things done. I agree with the statement that

A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, but he needs his wife to help him,

but it’s only a part of the story. It’s also been said that

A woman’s work is never done,

and this is just as relevant. Where am I going with this?

Husbands need the help of their wife, but busy wives may need the help of their husband too, to get their tasks completed. Marriage is a two–way street, whereby each assists the other.

We’re having visitors for lunch today, and I’ve got things I want to do, in terms of some writing. I think these are important, and I need to do these. So far, so good.

But what about what my wife needs to do, too? Is she able to cope with the house and food preparations, by herself?

Let’s be practical. Sue works part-time with me, and this can be between two and five days a week. When its five, there is more to be done to ensure the household tasks get done, and nothing gets omitted, so she needs my help.

I think a man ought to be willing to help his wife in her tasks, and never think it is somehow beneath him. That’s pride, not godliness. Yes, he has a role to lead and direct his home, but her work sometimes needs his assistance to take a load off her, so that she isn’t floundering.

Thirty years ago, a friend of mine claimed that he didn’t believe in doing “women’s work,” whatever that is. He never did marry, though he had an opportunity. Was there a connection?

Christianity is highly service oriented. Jesus Christ is called “My servant…” by God (Isa.42:1). Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, and later went and died for them all. Paul instructed us, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Phil.2:5). So, wise husbands (like all good leaders) are happy to lead through service.

The smooth functioning of any household requires the participation of every member, to get things done efficiently, and there can be overlap of responsibility. I don’t think of myself as superior to Sue, as though all help should be directed to me, only. That’s how tyrants and abusers operate, and I don’t want to be in that company.

She is not to be my slave or door-mat, but all of us need to bear in mind the Biblical command,

…through love serve another (Gal.5:13).

My fellow husband, is that what you do, too? It’s the servants who get honoured in the kingdom of God.

Suicidal Conservatives: “Open the Public Schools!”

Gary North – July 16, 2020

The American political system is a Punch and Judy show. It’s there for entertainment. If you don’t enjoy a laugh, you won’t enjoy politics.

President Trump keeps yelling about the need to open the public schools this fall. Yet the public schools are where the worldview of the Democrats is taught. They are leftist. They are collectivist. They are in favor of Roosevelt’s New Deal. They are Keynesian. If there is any institution that conservatives should be in favor of shutting down permanently tomorrow, it is the public school system. But, no, conservatives love it. They’re making a political issue out of it.

On the other side of the fence are the Democrats who insist that the public schools should not be reopened until the coronavirus is gone. That would be a case for the coronavirus never going away. “Hooray for the coronavirus. Let’s hear it for the coronavirus. Coronavirus forever!”

The Republicans are suicidal. The Democrats are suicidal. Neither side recognizes the centrality of the public school system in extending the rule of the messianic American state, both domestically and internationally.

The public schools are the established church of the United States, and they have been for over a century and a half. They promote salvation by politics. They promote salvation by government spending. That’s what keeps them going. That’s what keeps the doors open. The bureaucrats who teach in the schools have come up through a system of constant regulation, subsidies, and propaganda through textbooks.

The conservative movement worships in the church of compulsory education. It has done so for at least a century. Conservatives believe that Americanism is taught in the public schools. They believe that the state has a moral obligation to extract wealth from people who don’t believe in the ideas taught in the public school in order to indoctrinate the children of these people with the New Deal’s worldview. They think this is patriotic. They think this is what state power is all about. It’s about badges and guns and confessions of faith, and the confession of faith in the public schools is that religion — especially Christianity — has no place in the public schools.

Conservatives can’t figure out why they keep losing the war even when they win the elections. They can’t figure out why “their” Supreme Court nominees vote with the Left. They really are dumber than dirt. It starts with their own educations. They were sent for 12 years into the propaganda machine created by the Left. Then they went off to college, where the indoctrination gets really self-conscious.

It gets worse. When they make a lot of money, they send their children off to private schools that are just as liberal as the public schools, and sometimes even worse. Trump doesn’t have his son in a public school. He sends him to a $45,000 a year enclave of rich kids. His wife wants her child educated by Trump’s enemies. The Trumps don’t have common sense. They ought to have signed up Barron for the Ron Paul Curriculum. There would be a problem, since I favour low tariffs. But they should still have done it. Their son would be safer ideologically. He would not be rubbing shoulders with the children of the superrich. He would not be taught by politically liberal teachers. But Trump and his wife are big on social positioning. Sending their son to a liberal school is their idea of family inheritance.

Conservatives want free babysitting. They figure that if their grade school children are required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written by a socialist, this will preserve their children from the big bad wolf of the Keynesian New Deal. No, it won’t.

Christian schools force children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If they don’t, conservative Christian parents will send their kids into the public schools. I have seen this for years. This starts in Christian day cares. It’s that bad.

Conservatives are amazed and astounded that Billy Bob and Jenny Sue turn out to be liberals after 16 years of indoctrination in public schools. “How could this have happened? I just don’t understand it. If only we could have done something.” Well, they could have done something. But they would have had to pay for their kids’ education. They sure were not going to do that.

Badges and guns, pledges of allegiance, compulsory education, tax-funded indoctrination: that’s what conservatives love.

I prefer the coronavirus.

 

 

Appreciating the First Lady (5)

In chapter 7 of Luke’s Gospel, beginning at verse 36, Luke records a set of events that took place at the home of Simon the Pharisee, whom Jesus visited and dined with.

And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume (v.37-38).

The Bible doesn’t record anything this lady said during her visit to Simon’s home. Clearly, she is deeply appreciative of Jesus, as a result of some previous contact they’ve had. Near the end of the account Jesus said of her, that her actions showed that “…she loved much…” (v.47).

The Bible describes the woman as “a sinner” (v.37), and that is Simon’s inner opinion about her, too (v.39). It appears that she’d previously been a prostitute, but through an earlier conversation with Jesus, she became one of the few people in the gospels of whom Jesus said, “Your sins have been forgiven” (v.48). Her actions in Simon’s home were an outcome of this.

Why should this Gospel account be particularly important to husbands? Paul explains:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing… (Eph.5:25-27).

Let’s be perfectly clear: there can only ever be one Saviour of the world-Jesus Christ. But husbands are to follow His example, in treating their wife in the same way that our Lord did this woman. In relation to His church, Christ “gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her…” He concluded it was better to do this, than to leave her in her present state of sin. And in relation to this woman, Jesus’ care for her had changed her life.

A husband’s first responsibility towards his wife therefore, is to put her protection, welfare and care before his own desires. This requires that husbands submit themselves to God’s will. They are to effectively say to God concerning their wife, “Not my will but Your’s be done” (Luke 22:42).

Paul expands on this thought in another passage:

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbour for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself… (Ro.15:1-3).

For a husband to “not please himself,” means that he must treat his wife as though she is more important than himself. His wishes in life are to be secondary to what is right and best for her. If this is what Jesus has done for His bride, shouldn’t we do the same?

Taking a lead from Jesus’ example, a very big part of a husband’s care and love for his wife, is centred around his use of words. Paul, speaking of Christ’s example, refers to “…the washing of water by the word…”

Apart from His death on the cross, Jesus’ ministry was primarily through His use of words. Therefore, in order to minister to their wife, husbands must:

  1. Become familiar with the Word of God.
  2. Lovingly teach and instruct their wife in that Word.

Peter encourages us that “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God…” (I Pet.4:11).

After ministering to the Samaritan woman, Jesus was invited by the Samaritans to visit them. He stayed there two days, and

many more believed because of His word, and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Saviour of the world” (Jn.4:41-42).

The Bible tells us that husbands are to “live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker…” (I Pet.3:7). Being weak is not sinful, but it shows that a person is vulnerable, and it is always Christian to strengthen the weak.

The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple (Isa.50:4).

Conclusion:

We husbands are to strengthen and encourage our wives, from scripture. That requires our time, our patience and love, just as it did with Jesus, with the woman who visited Him at Simon’s house.

Her life had been turned around, through a conversation. Could your wife’s life be turned around too through her relationship with you, as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ?

 

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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?