Christianity and the Academy (1)

(Editor’s Note): I completed a series entitled “The Great Christian Revolution” in about 2012, of which “Christianity and the Academy” was a part. I’m dividing this up into a number of weekly installments. A Mc)

By Andrew McColl, 12th November, 2019

  Introduction:

The sovereignty of the self-contained God is the key to every field, in that only the God of Scripture makes all things possible and explicable and is thus the basic premise not only of theology, but of philosophy, science and indeed all knowledge. In that God is the Creator of all things, He is their only valid principle of interpretation, in that they derive both their existence and meaning from His creative act.[1]

All intellectual studies must begin with God; they must have a theological base. If they do not, they will inevitably be based on the shifting sands of human reason. That will never be honouring to God, will not result in us pleasing Him, and will be to our loss. As education is a vital aspect of the Great Commission (Mat.28:18-20), Christian people must apply themselves to this task seriously, as a duty before God.

Education is plainly linked to what one believes about God. If God “made the heavens and the earth” (Gen.1:1), “upholds all things by the Word of His power” (Heb.1:3), and has made man in His image, then God is inescapably the prime fact of life in the universe, with man as the pinnacle of His creation (Ps.8:3-8). Because he has been created by God, man has meaning, purpose and responsibility.

Theology must be applied to education, because “it is impossible to understand the educational process apart from God Himself. The Christian begins with God as the Creator and Source of all true education. He believes that the God Who made us has not left man alone in his pursuit of knowledge, but in His lovingkindness has given to man a revelation of Himself and His plans in the person of Jesus Christ and in the Bible.” [2] The Bible says of God, “who teaches like Him?” (Job 36:22).

Applying theology to education will challenge us, that man was endowed with the ability and duty to find both the meaning of life and his own purpose on earth, within the will of God.[3] Thus man through Christ must begin by submitting to God and seeking first His kingdom (Mat.6:33), be trained and educated (Prov.22:6; Heb.5:14), grow in Christian maturity, be “neither corrupt or negligent…” (Dan.6:4), learn to work diligently “as for the Lord” (Col.3:23), and view all of life as a task of Christian service.

Man will recognise his total depravity outside the redemptive work of Christ, but realise that in Christ, he is “a new creation” (II Cor.5:17), obeying the law of God (Ps.119), accepting the command to be an “ambassador of Christ” (II Cor.5:20), as an “heir of the world” (Ro.4:13), with the task to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen.1:28).

Man in subjection to Jesus Christ must understand that our historical problem from the beginning, has been in relation to the source and acquisition of knowledge. This revolt against knowledge should warn us, that if one does not begin with the truth about God, he cannot conclude his argumentation with either God or truth.[4] Apostate man’s claim to total intellectual autonomy, away from the knowledge of God, has driven him to a series of irreconcilable intellectual dilemmas.[5]

Human knowledge must be utterly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man.[6] God alone is an utterly self-explanatory person: “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord (Jer.23:24). If He alone is self-explanatory, then He must be the first and final point in human predication. The Bible as the voice of God must be the central orientating principle around which all knowledge is knowable and understood. When this is done, the teacher makes God the final reference point in all things.[7]

Believers must therefore examine themselves, in our beliefs and acceptance of knowledge, to ensure that we are “in the faith” (II Cor.13:5), and not being carried along in education by forms of secular knowledge with faulty assumptions, constructed upon foundations of epistemological sand.[8]

The Bible says that Christ is the One, “…in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:3). This logically means that God cannot be God, if He is not the absolute sovereign, the governing presupposition and ground of all knowledge.[9] The command that we are to be “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (II Cor.10:5), requires the total intellectual submission of the believer to Jesus Christ, not just the giving up of occasional parts, on the basis of convenience or preference.

 Christian education… must renounce once and for all the false separation between secular and sacred truth. It must see that truth in science, and history, in mathematics, art, literature and music belong just as much to God as truth in religion. While it recognises the primacy of the spiritual truth revealed in the Bible and incarnate in Christ, it acknowledges that all truth, wherever it is found, is of God. For Christian education there can be no discontinuity in truth, but every aspect of truth must find its unity in the God of truth. [10]

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “By What Standard?” 1995, Foreward.

[2] A. Kienel (Ed), “The Philosophy of Christian School Education,” 1986, p.7

[3] Gary North (Ed), “The Foundations of Christian Scholarship,” 1979, p.64.

[4] Greg Bahnsen, quoted in North, above, p.217.

[5] North, “Foundations,” p.vii.

[6] Cornelius Van Til, quoted in Rousas Rushdoony, “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1983, p.177.

[7] Blake, in North, “Foundations,” p.108.

[8] North, “Foundations,” p.vii. Epistemology is the study of how knowledge is acquired.

[9] Rousas Rushdoony, “Revolt against Maturity,” 1987, p.330.

[10] Frank Gaebelein, quoted in Kienel, p.32.

Beginning with Home Schooling (23)

One Of The First Places To Start To Fix The Nation

The elephant in the room is the public school system. It’s filling our nation with cultural toxicity. Public schools have added same-sex sexuality and transgenderism into the curriculum. Some will say, “but not in our schools.” California is the biggest consumer of textbooks. When textbook manufacturers are told to include these topics in future editions of their textbooks, they will comply. Other states will have to purchase these textbooks out of necessity.

It’s long past time to make a clean break from this idol. For decades Christians have been trying to save the public schools. It isn’t working.

While Christians try to “save” their beloved public schools, another generation of young people is seduced by the anti-Christian worldview of public education. This view is not popular with the majority of Christians. Criticizing public education in America is akin to blaspheming all that is holy and good.

Some Christians want to have the Bible taught in Public Schools hoping this will fix a lot that’s wrong with them. Here’s my opinion on that:

In order to justify the continued support of public education, the following reasons are often given.

Young people need to know about the Bible to “understand the English language, English literature, history, art, music or culture.”

There is truth to this. “For example, there are over 1,200 documented references to the Bible in Shakespeare’s 36 plays. If you don’t know the Bible, you really can’t understand Shakespeare. You can’t get past the first sentence of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick — ‘Call me Ishmael’ — if you don’t understand who Ishmael was in the Bible. Of the allusions that a student needs to know for Advanced Placement in English Composition and Literature, approximately two-thirds are Biblical allusions, according to AP Literature and Composition. If you don’t know the Bible, you won’t do well on this part of the Advanced Placement test.” (Fox News)

As many of you already know, public schools are getting pressure to get away from teaching a Eurocentric-based curriculum. It’s good to teach the impact the Bible has had on our world, but do we really want this done by people who detest the Bible?

Will the Koran be next to teach in public schools?

Opposition for teaching the Bible in public schools has a long history because the nation was relatively Christian, and teaching the Bible was seen as a threat to secularism. The Bible is no longer perceived as a threat as long as the secularists control its message.

We can’t afford to send our children to private schools.

If Christians pulled their children out of public schools, voted down every tax increase having anything to do with education, voted to repeal the education portion of the property tax, and voted for candidates who would cut every dollar from education funding, then most families could afford the costs involved. The money spent on trying to save the public schools would go a long way in establishing scholarship funds for children whose parents cannot afford a private-school education. Yes, it may even take some sacrificing on the part of parents. Of course, home-schooling is always an option. Children can help out by working. When your children get older, have them work to share the financial load.

It’s not the church’s job to educate.

I heard this one recently. Christian school critics balk at turning over the church’s facilities for educational purposes because the tithe is designed to support the church’s work, not the education of children. That’s why we pay taxes. So the church building is vacant six days a week while Christians complain that it’s too expensive to start a Christian school. The Sunday school classrooms are used for forty-five minutes a week! What a waste of God’s money. So we send our children to public schools where they are indoctrinated for thirty hours a week in the latest non-Christian propaganda. To combat secularized education, Christian school critics develop “youth programs” for Wednesday and Sunday evenings and lament the fact that parents don’t take advantage of them. These kids are getting at most two hours of weekly instruction, while a child in a Christian school receives thirty hours of training from a biblical perspective. There’s no comparison. Most of these “youth programs” are weak entertainment times with a “devotional” to give them legitimacy. There are exceptions, but not many.

My child is a witness for Christ in public schools.

He or she may be. But I wonder how much witnessing really takes place in public schools. Most of the time children are sitting behind desks listening to a teacher lecture. From the time I entered public school no one ever presented the gospel to me. It’s the friendships that are developed after school that lead to witnessing opportunities: the neighborhood, playground, ball field. Witnessing can take place anywhere. Jesus met people at work and in their homes. He even went into the temple. If you want to follow Jesus’ example, then go witness to Jews in their local temples.

While there are few opportunities to witness in the public schools, students are captive to an anti-Christian worldview for at least six hours every day. This says nothing of the worldview promoted by a child’s peers from pagan homes.

Our school is different.

Maybe in degree. My guess is that most parents have no idea what’s going on in their child’s school. If they don’t hear any bad news, they assume that all is well. Keep in mind that public school children are not comparing their education with the public school education that was prominent forty years ago. And it wasn’t that great back then. The education students are receiving right now is normal for them. It’s the only standard they know, and it’s not a very good one. Anyway, a school that does not teach from a Christian perspective is at best third-rate.

I want my child to be exposed to the ‘real’ world.

What is the “real world”? The real world is where Christ dwells and where His Word is taught. Christianity is not unreal. If it is, then why not worship with pagans since their domain is the “real world.” Remember, Adam and Eve “fell” from what was normal, that is, from a world where they were in intimate fellowship with their Creator. A world without Christ is an insane and irrational world. A Christian school is a place of re-creation, a redemptive attempt to get back to the original design. Schools that Christians establish should act as magnets for unbelievers to be brought back to the garden. Christians should be setting the agenda for what’s real, honest, and good so as to be a light for those who are in darkness.

Balaam’s Donkey

I believe God has been giving us a very clear message through the modern-day equivalent of Balaam’s donkey: the court system. Balaam was called on by Balak to prophesy against Israel. God had warned Balaam to stay away from Moab. Balaam refused. The Angel of the LORD met Balaam on the road as he was going down to meet Balak, the king of Moab. Balaam’s donkey refused to confront the Angel of the LORD. Balaam struck his donkey three times to force him ahead. Finally, Balaam realized that it was the LORD who was directing him to turn around.

Repeatedly the courts have ruled against Christians and their attempts to bring Christianity back to the classroom. Like Balaam, they refuse to heed the message that God is giving through the Court. God is telling parents to seek a different route.

Prayers at sporting events and around flag poles do not constitute a Christian education. The entire curriculum must be Christ-centered. Saying a prayer at the beginning of the school day does not sanctify the secularization of education that takes place for the next six hours. The prayer ritual only gives unjustified validity to what is inherently corrupt.

Why Education must be Christian 1.

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

 Ask people why education is important, and you’ll get lots of reasons. Some of them I would agree with, but many I won’t. Why?

Because educational lies have been with us since the first one in the Garden: “…you will be like God…” (Gen.3:5). We know where lies originate.

Now I’m a firm believer that education is of great assistance to individuals, families, churches and society. But it has to be education in the truth, as defined by scripture. The Psalmist said,

I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked (Ps.26:4).

Any society has to be careful what it accepts as true. We Christians especially, had better be very fussy about what we choose to believe and why, because deceit and pretension are works of the wicked.

But there’s more. People without a thorough commitment to the truth are very susceptible to being manipulated. Money, sex and power are not evil of themselves, but history shows a great number of people have been very easily manipulated by them.

Some other issues that have been used to manipulate people are fear and guilt, and no doubt there are others. When Jesus spoke about the truth, and Pilate asked Him “What is truth?” (Jn.18:38), implying it was of little significance to him, he was very soon afterwards politically manipulated by the Jews. They warned him, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar” (Jn.19:12).

Pilate really did want to free Jesus, but he also wanted to preserve his reputation and career. Which was it to be? Four verses later, “…He handed Him over to them to be crucified.”

Since Charles Darwin, the church has got very wobbly about the issue of 6 Day Creation, because it was deeply challenged over Biblical inerrancy. A significant proportion of Church leaders then and now have preferred to hide under the blankets, wishing the issue would go away. It won’t. If Christian leaders have gone AWOL on inerrancy and a 6 Day Creation, is it any wonder that the church’s moral authority has been shredded in the modern era?

I have a friend aged about 30, who attended a large, local “Christian” school for 12 years. In those 14,400 hours of education, was he ever told (either verbally or in print) that the Lord our God made the world in 6 days? He can’t ever remember it. Yes, lots of other things like devotions, worship, prayer with and for the children, but a clear statement of Creationism?

Sorry, we don’t do that kind of thing. As Jesus said in another context, “…these are the things you should have done, without neglecting the others” (Mat.23:23).

When we give up on such fundamental issues, no one can tell what will be the next piece of territory lost. Maurice Newman in “The Australian” recently explained,

When then prime minister Tony Abbott wanted to establish a taskforce to investigate the bureau’s [of Meteorology’s] temperature dataset and other related records, the cabinet, Environment Minister Greg Hunt and his department all came to the bureau’s aid by watering down the proposal and setting up a panel approved by the BoM to “strengthen governance oversight”.

Hunt said: “In doing this, it is important to note that public trust in the bureau’s data and forecasts, particularly as they relate to bushfires and cyclones, is paramount.”[1]

Greg Hunt doesn’t want unpleasant questions being asked about the accuracy of the Bureau of Meteorology’s data. Why would that be, Greg?

Well, it might bring into public focus further questions about “Climate Change,” and what government departments do with taxpayers’ money. So, the Mega-dollar Bureau is asked to monitor itself. Won’t that be a joy? The truth is sacrificed for a bag of bureaucratic sweet talk.

To change the future for the nation, we really have to begin with the children of the nation, beginning with the children of the church. This is why the consistent education of Christian children remains a controversial subject in the Christian community.

You thought that you’d be popular and everyone would like, understand and appreciate you when you decided to home school your children? Not at the moment because of the state of the church, and this may take a long time to change.

The Lord spoke much about education through Moses in books like Deuteronomy, and Moses gives us a wonderful example about how he handled the temptations to compromise. The New Testament says,

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing to rather endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ better than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen (Heb.11:24-27).

Conclusion:

Your radical decision to home school your children using a Christian curriculum will not be appreciated by all, in the same way that Moses’ decisions weren’t appreciated by all. But in exposing them daily to God’s Word, without the corrupting influences of humanist curriculum, teachers and peer-group, you are preparing them for something: a faithful, uncompromising life, and eternity in the presence of the God of truth.

 

 

[1] Maurice Newman, “Bureau of Meteorology needs to Open Records to Audit,” ‘The Australian,’ 1/2/2016.

Beginning with Home Schooling (5)

God has ordained various institutions in society: the family, the Church and the State. The wise person wants to honour the things God has designed and made, to ensure he’s in harmony with God’s plan for all of creation and His people. As Gamaliel advised (Acts 5:38-39), the wise person doesn’t want to end up fighting against God.

But life gets challenging when institutions refuse to acknowledge the God-ordained limits on their authority. This has been a common thing historically.

Pharoah believed he was a god, and could take innocent lives. He told the Hebrew midwives, “when you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live” (Ex.1:16).

Herod was similar. He was threatened by the news of another king in Israel. His solution? Kill the child (Mat.2:16). Hitler said in 1937,

This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.[1]

In the context of the Hitler Youth, he also said in 1938,

These boys join our organisation at the age of ten…and they will not be free again for the rest of their lives.[2]

What was he doing? Violating God’s order, by usurping the role of the German family. But as Shortt said,

Nowhere in the Bible does God delegate the education of children to the state or to the disciples of other religions.[3]  

Education Departments are not in the Bible, but parental responsibility most certainly is. The sentiments of Education Departments around Australia are not the same as Hitler’s, but there is a similarity: they treat families as commodities for the Department’s good, and they lord it over them, rather than viewing themselves as being employed by taxpayers to assist families in their childrens’ education. This difference in attitude has important consequences.

What else do Pharoah, Herod, Hitler and Australian Education Departments have in common? They are all humanistic. They all concur with Pharoah. “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?” (Ex.5:2)

From Genesis onwards, God’s people have had to conclude that when governments move out of their God-appointed roles and become abusive and tyrannical, this requires great shrewdness and flexibility on the part of God’s people.

What strategy did Moses’ mother and his elder sister Miriam employ to protect Moses? (See Ex.2:1-10). The Bible tells us that Moses’ parents “…were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Heb.11:23), and you could only call theirs’ a sophisticated strategy of subterfuge. Jochebed even deceived Pharoah’s daughter into believing she was in no way related to the child (v.7-9), and she finished up being paid to breast-feed him.

When the Hebrew mid-wives (see Exodus 1) knew they were dealing with a baby-murderer, they were quite content to utilise deception, and lie to him.                  

Was this right on their part? Yes, because the Bible says that “you shall not murder” (Ex.20:13). It says that seven things are an abomination to God, and one of these is “…the shedding of innocent blood” (Prov.6:16-17).

The essential issue is this:

The illegitimate laws of a civil government may be legitimately skirted when they come into direct conflict with a fundamental Biblical principle.[4]

The Bible makes it very clear that the mid-wives “feared God” (Ex.1:17, 21), and that God subsequently “was good to the mid-wives… [and] established households for them” (v.20, 21). They preferred to lie to a murderous Pharoah (whom God later drowned in the Red Sea-Ex.14-15), than to kill innocent Hebrew babies, and God honoured their obedience and faithfulness to Him in giving them families of their own.[5]

Christians must conclude this fact: when government officials move beyond their God-given tasks and attempt to usurp the role of the family (as they have frequently done since Genesis), we need to know who we are dealing with, and determine how to respond. For a Department to implicitly claim that “We are responsible for the education of your child,” is a usurpation of parental responsibility that requires wisdom, prayer and initiative on our part.

In this, the Bible encourages us. It says that “When the wicked rise, men hide themselves…” (Prov.28:28), and that “a wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust” (Prov.21:22).

What about today?

The New Testament’s position is replacement, not conquest. With this perspective, Christians in the fourth century captured the Roman Empire. Yet that empire had persecuted them for three centuries.[6]


[1] Quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.343.

[2] Quoted in A. Klonne, “Youth in the Third Reich,” 1982, p.80.

[3] Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.55.

[4] Gary North, “Moses and Pharoah,” 1985, p.67.

[5] See North, “Moses and Pharoah,” ch.4: “Illegitimate State Power.”

[6] Gary North, “Ethics and Dominion,” 2012, p.237.

STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT!

By Gary DeMar, May 3, 2019 

The films Get Out (2017) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) are disturbing but not as disturbing as today’s government schools. Public schools are corrupting the minds of the next generation of voters and leaders and it seems that a majority of Christians don’t care. They continue to send their children to the schools of their enemies.

Then there’s this:

The state of California is poised to adopt a no-holds-barred K-12 health curriculum that teaches children as young as kindergarten about gender identity issues and talks explicitly with high school students about every imaginable sex act.

The solution? Allow students to opt out. Don’t opt out … Get out.

Others claim a form of factual neutrality where some subjects—science, geography, politics, mathematics—can be taught without any regard to religion since “facts speak for themselves.” This is most evident in education where a self-conscious sacred-secular divide is maintained and supported by Christians. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to government schools. Since these parents believe that math is math and history is history, the religious stuff can be made up at church.

But one hour of Sunday school and an hour at Youth Meeting each week and maybe a mission trip in the summer can’t make up for five days a week, six hours each day, 10 months of the year, 12+ years of a government-developed curriculum that is humanistic to the core. The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?1

Rousas J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in Intellectual Schizophrenia (1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education (1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be moulded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.”2 Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 100 years ago:

[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!3

What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives?

The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and pass laws to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in Georgia.4 There will be pressure groups in some cities to teach the Koran. Then there’s the question of how the Bible will be taught. Will the Old Testament be taught as myth? Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming? There is the larger issue of funding. Public schools are tax-payer funded. People who have no children are taxed to pay for the education of other children.

The First Church of Christian Gnosticism

Not long ago, I received an email from a woman who asked me if I could direct her to some information that refutes Gnosticism. She wrote that a friend of hers “claims to be on an extraordinarily intense spiritual ‘pilgrimage’ of ‘really pressing in to know God intimately’—but this guy has in effect divorced himself from the material world and from all relationships (including his wife and 10 children) which he views as a hindrance to his spiritual growth.”

Gnostics claim to have special knowledge (gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge”) on how to live the Christian life that is not revealed to “ordinary Christians.” God’s revelation in Scripture is not good enough or sufficient to give direction on how to live the Christian life. Of course, this refutes what the Bible says when it states that Scripture is “adequate” and equips the Christian “for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). She went on to say that this friend, a farmer, “was putting up hay recently and needed to get it in as they were expecting rain. Before he finished, he remembered that he had scheduled a Bible study, so he left his hay in order to keep the ‘spiritual’ duty. The rain came and the hay was lost, but he felt justified that he had chosen the higher calling.”

Another feature of Gnosticism is the belief that there are two separate realms — “one spiritual, the other material. The spiritual realm, created by God, [is] all good; the material realm, created by the demiurge, all evil. Man [needs] to be saved, not from Original Sin, but from enslavement to matter.”5

A further expression of Gnosticism was expressed by someone who “doesn’t believe in voting because that is a ‘worldly affair,’ and he wants only to be engaged in truly spiritual activities.” For the Gnostic, the material world is on a lower plane. Only “spiritual things” are useful and profitable. A Gnostic-like belief might forbid marriage while advocating “abstaining from foods” even though “God has created these things “to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3). Godliness for the Gnostic is defined as a retreat from the world and despising the things of the world.

[The Gnostics] devised a dualistic cosmology to set against the teachings of the early Christian Church, which, they claimed, were only common deceptions, unsuited for the wise. The truth was esoteric. Only the properly initiated could appreciate it. It belonged to a secret tradition which had come down through certain mystery schools. The truth was, God could never become man. The Gnostic secret is that the spirit is trapped in matter, and to free it, the world must be rejected.6

For the Gnostic, life “must be escaped at any cost.”7 But if there can be no immediate material escape, then a spiritual escape is a good enough substitute. The Gnostic escapes from the responsibilities of history. But for the Christian, history is the realm of decision making, and, therefore, is anti-Gnostic. If we are not responsible for history, then we are not responsible for decision making. Even a casual reading of the Bible will show that our faith is to be lived out in the world so that “fruit,” good works, are manifested for the world to see and for Christians to judge (Matt. 7:15–23). No restrictions are placed on where this fruit is to mature.

One of the central issues that divided gnostics and orthodox Christians in the early Church was their understanding of the relationship between religion and politics. The Church Fathers accepted the political worldliness of the Jewish faith, contending that religion and politics are interconnected and inseparable. The early Puritans and even Jonathan Edwards, following classical Calvinism, would have been clearly orthodox in this regard. The world of politics, of human institutions, was for them an essential locus of God’s redemptive work.8

What is contemporary Gnosticism like? While it might not manifest itself in ascetic practices like pole sitting, it does reveal itself in an institutional escape. Institutional escape is not in the Protestant tradition, however. Our nation’s earliest Christian citizens did not view escape, eschatologically, ascetically, or institutionally, as being biblical. Education, publishing, law, science, medicine, and politics, to take just some areas, were to be governed by the Word of God as were ecclesiastical affairs. Modern-day Gnosticism thrives in a climate of escapism which means a retreat from this world and responsibility to do anything to change any part of it. If this world means nothing, then I am not responsible for its evils.

  1. Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi.()
  2. R. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1961] 1998), 10.()
  3. Robert L. Dabney, Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, ed. C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications, 1994), 4:548.()
  4. David Van Biema, “The Case for teaching the Bible,” Time (March 22, 2007).()
  5. Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult (New York: Dorset Press, [1977] 1989), 140–141.()
  6. Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 147.()
  7. Philip Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 122.()
  8. Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics, 123–124.()

Beginning with Home Schooling (3a)

When families decide they wish to home school their children, they frequently find some opposition to the idea. Here’s a common one: “Your children won’t be well socialised.”

I respond to this superficial observation with this scripture: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20).

This text plainly teaches that people really are influenced by those around them, for good or for evil, and the bluntness of the text is a warning: “…the companion of fools will suffer harm.” This prediction is non-negotiable, so we’d better not argue with it, but accept and be warned by it.

The Psalmist wrote that “by them [the judgements of the Lord] Your servant is warned…” (Ps.19:9-11).

Thus the Christian parent is challenged to surround his children with wise people, with wise ideas. He should not let them have fools for their companions, or the results will be painful. Nor should he expose them to foolish educational material. It will harm them.

The Public School is essentially a place of foolish people; therefore it is not to be the place where the godly should be, for the bad company will harm them. This is not rocket science, but the plain teaching of scripture which the godly must obey, or be held accountable by God.

Separation is necessary, and there is nothing new about that. In order to teach and disciple someone, you have to have their full and undivided attention.  This is what God does. At the beginning,

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness (Gen.1:4).

God separated Noah and his family from the ungodly with a flood, He separated Abraham from his family, then Israel from Egypt at the Exodus. Israel was responsible to have a separated life, unto the Lord.

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations (Deut.18:9).

The scripture makes it plain that Lot was a godly man (II Pet.2:7-8), but when he went down to Sodom and stayed there, he failed to ensure his family retained a godly separation, with disastrous consequences for his family (Gen.19).

This proved to be a common problem for Israel. Later, the Psalmist commented that

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them (Ps.106:34-36).

Many believers in Australia have taken the step of enrolling their children in a Christian school. This is clearly a step forward from the State School, but how much?

Once again, it depends on the morality of the children’s peers, the quality of the teachers, and the curriculum. And in all three cases, nothing should be taken for granted. I have a student whose parents I’m assisting, who was bullied by a teacher in a “Christian” school in 2018, before he was removed. That was not good.

An acquaintance of mine attended a “Christian” school for 12 years, but claims he never heard there, that God made the world in 6 days, some 6,000 years ago.

Twelve years of education, at 30 hours a week for 40 weeks a year, equates to 14,400 hours. This is a long time to influence a child, for good or for bad.

Most parents have some reservations about their ability to educate their children at home. Certainly, excessive self-confidence can get people into a lot of trouble. Parents need to think carefully and prayerfully about how they are going to do this, because this is a significant, long-term task to fulfil competently by both of them. Just like building a house, they have to have a plan.

But like any God given task, parents should embrace this responsibility willingly and confidently, knowing that “…He that began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil.1:6).

Later in this same passage, Paul encourages the Philippians, in a passage that has direct relevance to the education of children:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil.1:9-11).

Conclusion:

For most of us, accepting the responsibility to educate our children was a new thing for our generation. But it’s not a new thing, Biblically. It’s what God’s people have been doing since Adam and Eve had children. Will they do a perfect job? No, but it’s a task that believing parents should accept, as a task given them by God. Will you accept it?

Beginning with Home Schooling (3)

                 A History of Educational Humanism

Humanism is the world’s second oldest religion. Its origins were in Satan’s heart, described in Isaiah 14:12-14:

…you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

The simple definition of humanism? A life apart from God, with the associated pride and self-exaltation; its all about me.

In the garden of Eden, Satan wanted his first human converts. He attracted them with the original humanistic promise – a lie: “you shall be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen.3:5).

The message of the Old Testament prophets to Israel was always to abandon humanism’s lies and to return to godly obedience according to the Word of the Lord. Elijah’s confronting message to Israel on Mount Carmel was at root a religious and ethical issue: “How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, follow him” (I Kings 18). Elijah also “repaired the altar of the Lord that had been torn down” (v.30-32).

When Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness temptations, true to form he wanted Jesus to behave humanistically, defying God’s Word.  In the final temptation, Satan promised Jesus, “all these things I will give You, if you fall down and worship me” (Mat.4:9).

To serve God we are not called to choose self-denial or sacrifice, rather are we called to fulfill God’s purpose. The basic principle is not to choose the cross but to obey God’s will. Should the principle on which we work and serve include rebellion, then Satan will obtain and enjoy glory even through our sacrifices. Saul might offer sheep and oxen [I Sam.15], yet God never accepted them as sacrifices to Himself because there was a Satanic principle involved… man’s action… should be motivated by a sense of obedience.[1]

God directed in Deuteronomy that education was a responsibility of parents, not the state: “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them…” (Deut.6:6-7). But Christian parents have effectively resigned from this duty today, to our great loss.

While the Church slumbered in the nineteenth century, the enemies of God worked. Enter Charles Darwin and The Origin of the Species. Darwin’s book sold out to a Victorian intellectual population clearly impacted by Christian thought, but eager to live apart from God.  Darwin’s work not only seemed relevant in terms of human origins and biology; it was quickly applied to theology, ethics, politics, law, sociology and many other disciplines. The  Church had no real answer, and began to flounder.

Marx loved Darwin. Darwin’s work gave Marx’s evil political theories of class warfare, socialism and communism a great opportunity for propagation.

Marx’s legacy today?  Think of the deaths of 100 million people in the twentieth century throughout Soviet Russia, Communist China and Cambodia. When people who hate God gain influence in the world, the world is in for a sorry time.

I could go on to discuss Freud (who taught psychoanalysis), Dewey (who gave us an ideological blueprint for state education) and Keynes (the homosexual, child-abusing teacher of perverse economics). They all illustrated that a world opposed to God will gladly rush after almost any intellectual but persuasive Pied Piper.[2]

And where were we in the Church? With very few exceptions, we hardly knew what to make of all these, and so we thought it easier to bury our heads in the sand and hope the trouble would all go away. It didn’t.

History shows us that Christians over the centuries, have consistently under-estimated the religious intentions of our enemies. We have made the fundamental error for instance, of trusting in government and in bureaucracy, and found out the hard way, how political and bureaucratic power can be used against God’s people. This foolishness and naivete has been our fault, and to our shame. Hitler said of the German Protestants:

                                                                                                                                     You can do anything you want with them…they will submit…they are insignificant little people, submissive as dogs, and they sweat with embarrassment when you talk to them.[3]

This attitude of naïve trust on the part of Christians has consistently been reflected in our attitude towards State education. As early as 1930, humanists realised that education and in particular public education, would be a means of alienating students from Christianity. In that year, Charles F. Potter, a signatory of the first Humanist Manifesto,indicated that

education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday School, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teachings?[4]

Dewey had his way.

At present humanism has brought all things, including most churches, under the sway of man the lord. The purpose of state schools…was twofold: first, to establish centralism, the priority of the state over every area of life, and second, to eliminate Biblical faith. The founders of statist education in the United States were Unitarians.[5]

So what is the difference between Christian and humanistic education? Rousas Rushdoony (1915-2001) was a ground-breaker in exposing the humanism of state education. He had some excellent insights. The following chart from his book, “The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum” (p.172-173) begins to lay it out:

               Christianity                                                           Humanism

1. The sovereignty of the triune                          1. The sovereignty of man and the state

God is the starting point, and                              is the starting point, and it is the word of

this God speaks through His                               scientific, elite man which we must heed.

infallible Word.

2. We must accept God as God.                         2. Man is his own god, choosing or

He is alone Lord.                                                determining for himself what constitutes

                                                                            good and evil (Gen 3:5).

3. God’s Word and Person is the Truth.             3. Truth is pragmatic and existential: it is                                                                                  

                                                                           what we find works and is helpful to us.

4. Education is into God’s truth in every           4. Education is the self-realization and self-

realm.                                                                 development of the child.

5. Education is discipline under a body             5. Education is freedom from restraint and

of truth.  This body of truth grows with             from any idea of truth outside of us.  We are

research and study, but truth is objective           the standard, not something outside of man.

and God-given. We begin by pre-

supposing God and His Word.

6. Godly standards grade us.  We must             6. The school and the world must measure up

measure up to them. The teacher grades           to the pupil’s needs.  The pupil grades the

the pupil.                                                            teacher.

7. Man’s will, and the child’s will,                    7. Society must be broken and remade

must be broken to God’s purpose.                     to man’s will, and the child’s will is

Man must be remade, reborn by                        sacred.

God’s grace.

8. Man’s problem is sin.                                     8. Man’s problem is society.

Man must be recreated by God.                         Society must be recreated by man.

9. The family is God’s basic                               9. The family is obsolete.

institution.                                                          The individual or the state is basic.

 Education in the hands of the state is coercive, compulsory, and a form of              humanistic predestination. In every sphere, the state is coercive because it is anti-God, anti-Christ. It insists on playing the potter with the lives of the people. But nothing is more evil or more deadly than a non-god playing god. We then have the triumph of the demonic.[6]

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                  

Believers must understand what it means to obey God in terms of education. We have given up a vast amount of territory, and it is no wonder that we find ourselves in the midst of societies in the western world that are generally indifferent or even hostile to God. All this must change if God is going to be truly glorified through Christian education. The present woeful state of the Church has come about over at least six generations, and it may take a long time to be turned around.

But without repentance and a picking up of educational responsibility amongst believers in obedience to God, the Church will continue to be an ineffective and stunted institution, prone to abuse by evildoers.

Repentance is the first bit of firm ground underfoot… Repentance is the only starting point for spiritual growth. For each and every individual. And every trend of social thought.[7]

Jesus promised us that “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn.8:36). Believers must lead the way for the world out of the morass of humanistic education, in pursuit of God’s truth for His people and for the nations.

It’s time for the foundations of godly education to be laid again, right back where they should be laid: in the family and in the Church, in obedience to God. Yes, it will take time, and it may also require our blood, sweat, tears and court cases.

But now it’s commenced, it’s exciting to behold.


[1] Watchman Nee, “Spiritual Authority,” 1972, p.15, 21.

[2] See David Breese, “Seven Men who Rule the World from the Grave,” 1990.

[3] Found in Rauschning, “The Voice of Destruction,” p.54, quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.329.

[4] Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.54.

[5] Rushdoony, R., “The Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum,” 1985, p.172.

[6] Rousas Rushdoony, “Romans and Galatians,” 1997, p.178.

[7] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, ‘Repentance and Self-limitation on the Life of Nations,’ in “From Under the Rubble,” 1974, p.108-9.

Lessons from a Great Man’s Failures (4)

Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord?” (II Chron.19:2)

One of the mistakes we in the Church have made in the modern era, is that we have tended to view the Bible’s teaching in an intensely personal context, without considering the broader implications beyond ourselves and the Church, to the nation.

How do we know there are “broader implications?”  The Bible is an “all of life” document, because the God Who created us, is an “all of life” Person. No one can say with any legitimacy, “this area of my life is not important to God.”

Jehoshaphat in God’s eyes as Judah’s lawful king, represented Judah. Jehoshaphat had covenanted himself and Judah to an evil king and people who were in rebellion against God, saying “I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle” (II Chron.18:3b).

This is something God had expressly forbidden:

Watch that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim –for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God- otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice… (Ex.34:12-15).

Let me make an application of this to our present day, beginning with some historical background:

Immediately after the Second World War, it was obvious to Australia’s political leaders that Great Britain could no longer be relied on to protect Australia in the event of invasion. The British Empire was essentially closing down, and Britain after two world wars, was broke. So our leaders decided to look around for a suitable ally, and they came up with the United States, who had already come to our aid in 1942-1945.

As a result, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. signed the ANZUS treaty in San Francisco in September 1951. The parties agreed to “consult together whenever in the opinion of any of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened in the Pacific.”[1]

Because of ANZUS, Australia has been willing to follow the U.S. into Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan. We have an extensive military relationship. We wanted to be perceived as a faithful ally, willing to do our bit for the sake of the alliance in case our turn came and we needed someone to do some heavy lifting on our behalf.  As a result, the lives of many hundreds of Australian soldiers overseas have been lost since 1951, and we’re still losing them.

And what’s been achieved?

In 1966, the U.S. President was Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt emphatically declared that as far as he was concerned, it was “all the way with LBJ.” But this was not a foreign policy of independence. It was one of dependence, but worst of all, subservience. Since then successive Australian governments have not used Holt’s language, but the attitude has generally remained the same.

And now there’s another problem. Increasingly since World War II, the U.S. has used threatening behaviour towards other nations. Furthermore, it has interfered in the internal affairs of other nations which have not attacked the U.S. It has utilised bombings, murders and many other acts of violence, through such groups as the CIA, and others.

Can’t think of any examples?

a) The Me Lai massacre in 1968 of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians. The officer responsible (William Calley), was court-martialled and found guilty of the murder of 109 Vietnamese civilians-mainly women, children and old people. What happened to Calley? When found guilty in a court martial, he was pardoned and released by the US President, Richard Nixon.

b) Between 1969-1973, the United States was not even at war with Cambodia, but on Nixon’s directions 600-800,000 Cambodian civilians were killed by indiscriminate U.S. bombing.                 

c) The deliberate destruction of water and sewerage infrastructure by the U.S. in Iraq, leading to the deaths of around half a million Iraqi children from untreated affluent and water carried diseases.

d) The 2007 helicopter gunship attack in Baghdad, shooting 18 peaceable, unarmed, innocent civilians in broad daylight using a .50 calibre machine-gun. (This can be witnessed on U-tube.) What was this? Not “collateral damage,” or “unintended consequences of war.” It was State sanctioned murder.

e) Drone attacks for years in Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing hundreds of innocent people on “suspicion.”

These instances raise a problem for Australians. Do we ignore the murderous behaviour of our ally the U.S., saying “Well, that’s the way they do things sometimes,” or do we say, “That’s awful and evil. We cannot be associated with that kind of behaviour. We won’t continue in this alliance.”

The Bible specifically commands that God’s people are not to make covenants with ungodly people. Why? Because God’s people are bound in covenant to God, through Jesus Christ, and He is a jealous God. He is jealous for the love, affections and the obedience of His people; He wants their hearts. There are many texts dealing with this, such as Deut.7:1-6; 12:1-4; 20:16-18, Num.33:50-56; Judges 2:1-4. Every time God’s people disobeyed him in this context in the Bible, God said the results would be disastrous. (Joshua 23:11-13 is a good example.)

Now this has suddenly gotten very serious, hasn’t it? That’s because God considers covenant to be a very serious issue for His people to contemplate, whether it’s for Jehoshaphat in 900 B.C., or for us today. The Australian Constitution’s Preamble mentions that we are “humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God…”

Now some would say, “Now Andrew, this is getting a bit too radical for me.” But then, what would you prefer: taking inconvenient and radical steps of obedience to God Almighty, or have Him send an angry prophet to rebuke you for your disobedience, as happened to Jehoshaphat? Or worse, see your nation overrun by an evil nation, sent by God as a means of His judgment?

You may say, “I can’t see that happening,” but consider these statistics: the Australian Army has 30,000 soldiers, with 16,900 reservists, while the Chinese Army has 2.25 million soldiers. That’s a ratio of one Australian to forty-seven Chinese soldiers. I don’t find that to be a particularly reassuring statistic.

The Bible commands us, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial…” (II Cor.6:14-15a). George Washington in his farewell address to the Americans, was right in warning his nation of the potential danger of “entangling alliances.”

Why? Because alliances are like a rope around your neck; they can take you places you never wanted to go.

Does America take any notice of George Washington anymore? Of course not. His wise and godly advice to his fellow Americans has been ignored now for a century.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                              

The Christian capital of the West is rapidly disappearing. Unless it is replenished, the West has no future and has nothing to give the nations other than death.[2]

Let’s learn from Jehoshaphat’s errors, with all the legitimate applications. If Australia is going to follow Jesus Christ in the future, we will have to think carefully about who we are allied to in future.

Our faithfulness to Jesus Christ means a lot of things, including how we think about the defence of our nation, and the influence we will bring to see change come about, in all the affairs of our nation.

Isn’t that what Christians are here for?


[1] Source: Wikipedia.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.12.

Who is King? The Total Sacrifice of Humanism

By Dr. Joel McDurmon (American vision.com), Feb 26, 2019  

Kings and Total Sacrifice

In the 1 Samuel 8 passage we just covered, the Hebrew uses the standard word for “king”—mlk, or melech. This common word appears all through the Old Testament, but when referring to a particular practice of neighbouring pagan divine-king States, the Hebrew scribes replaced the vowels with those from the Hebrew word boseth, “shame.” The resulting name “Molech” refers to the pagan total-State, the great tyrannies incurred where the civil State usurped the place of God and worship in society and demanded ultimate sacrifice.

The symbols of these tyrannies are perpetual servitude to the State in both person and property, and the unforgettable legacy of child sacrifice. For this reason the Hebrew scribes distinguished between “kings” (melech) and “king-mandated human sacrifice” (molech). The commands forbidding child-sacrifice appear in Leviticus 18:2120:1–5, and in Deuteronomy 12:29–3218:9–10. These commands appear among sections of God’s law that forbid divination, false prophecy, and other attempts to control the future. In other words, God’s law recognized the propensity of kings and the State to attempt total control of its people, capital, environment, and future (as a god would do), and that same law condemned these actions. “The Moloch state simply represents the supreme effort of man to command the future, to predestine the world, and to be as God.… Moloch worship was thus state worship. The state was the true and ultimate order.… The state claimed total jurisdiction over man; it was therefore entitled to total sacrifice.”1

And sacrifice it was: The “Molech sacrifices” of children were widespread in Mediterranean culture.2  Archeologists have uncovered—from Tyre in the Middle East to Carthage in North Africa, and even in Italy and Sicily—thousands of urns and burials containing the charred remains of infants and small children. One find notably uncovered inscriptions of mlk ’mr and mlk ’dm—“molech amar” and “molech adam”—meaning “king-sacrifices of lamb,” and “king-sacrifices of man.” Ancient historians as well attest to pagan rituals of rolling children into an idol-furnace shaped like a god with horns, whose hollowed midsection belched fire—sacrifices by the hundreds, even thousands.3  A fairly recent site near modern-day Tyre uncovered so many cinerary jars and urns that the number “cannot even be approximated.”4

Despite a clear mandate from God Almighty, the community of the “faithful” could not refrain from acting “like all the nations.” It was not immune from even these barbarous practices. We find Judah’s kings Ahaz and Manasseh leading the country in pagan worship and even in the fires of Molech (2 Kings 16:321:6), and we see the people of Israel following right along (2 Kings 17:17). Historian Vaux comments,

The sacrifice of children, then, by burning them to death probably made its way into Israel from Phoenicia during a period of religious syncretism. The Bible mentions only two specific instances, and they were motivated by the same exceptional circumstances as the Phoenician sacrifices [see 2 Kings 16:321:6].5

“Exceptional circumstances” allegedly being the portents of invasion and war, for which the sacrifice of children expected to gain the pagan god’s favour for salvation and victory. Whatever the circumstance may have been, the fact of human sacrifice is what concerns us. Formerly faithful people adopted the practice, following the God-denying, State-worshiping cultures around them.

During this time of social decline, the Valley of Hinnom—just outside the city of Jerusalem—became a center of such worship, including the erection of a “tophet,” or furnace for sacrifice. Jeremiah decried judgment upon the “tophet” which the children of Judah had built in order “to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire” (Jer. 7:31–32). It took the reform efforts under good king Josiah (contemporary with Jeremiah) to destroy the shrine-furnace “that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech” (2 Kings 23:10). In other words, it took a return to God’s word, and correction of the doctrine of God, a concurrent correction of the doctrine of king, and civil action in society to overcome the total sacrifice demanded by a pagan view of society and State.

Consent of the Civilized

Do not make the mistake of believing this total sacrifice existed only among ancient primitive peoples or particularly bloodthirsty tribes. The aforementioned Tyre was part of ancient Phoenicia, the people who pioneered maritime trading across the Mediterranean and who also invented the alphabet. The Phoenician colony Carthage practiced child sacrifice extensively, while growing rich through international trade, and requiring three Punic Wars before finally succumbing to the power of Rome. And Rome! The great civilizer of the known world, the paver of Europe, and the benevolent dictator behind the Pax Romana! Even great civilized Rome sacrificed humans in order to control her State gods. Despite the fact that early Rome had “officially” outlawed human sacrifice for the people, the State practiced it widely. The great historian Lord Acton elaborates:

But in Rome, where religion was more real, the awe of the gods greater, the view of life more earnest and gloomy, the morals more severe, human sacrifice was less hateful to the popular mind. . . . The deification of the State made every sacrifice which it exacted seem as nothing in comparison to the fortune of Rome; and the perils which menaced it from Carthage or Gaul, Epirus or Pontus, Parthia, Spain, or Germany, each demanded its human victims. . . .

In every generation of the four centuries from the fall of the Republic to the establishment of Christianity, human victims were sacrificed by the emperors. In the year 46 B.C. Julius Caesar, after suppressing a mutiny, caused one soldier to be executed, while at the same time two others were sacrificed by the flamen of Mars on the altar in the Campus Martius. . . . Five years later, when Perugia was taken, Octavian sacrificed three hundred senators and knights to his deified predecessor; and the altars of Perugia became a proverb. In the same age Sextus Pompeius flung captives into the sea, as a sacrifice to his father Neptune. . . . When Germanicus died, his house was found to be lined with charms, images, and bones of men whom Tiberius had sacrificed to the infernal gods to hasten his end.… Nero, by the advice of the astrologers, put many nobles to death, to avert himself from the evils with which a comet threatened him. . . . Didus Julianus offered sacrifices of children. . . . At the beginning of the fourth century Maxentius divined the future by sacrificing infants, and opening the bodies of pregnant women. . . . Children were publicly sacrificed to Moloch in [Roman] Africa until the middle of the second century. . . .6

I have omitted many of the instances Acton lists. The practice was widespread, and accepted by many if not most of the most civilized nations in the world. It took the advance of Christianity to end it for the most part (it still survived in some small pockets). The reader should see now what even the most civilized and well-intentioned States can do when made complete arbiters of life and death. The cradle-to-grave Nanny State is the replacement of God, and will just as easily end your life as sustain it when it so deems it beneficial to its agenda, or “the whole.”

The sacrifice of children and humans in general can only occur where an earthly power has total control, and (excepting the possibility of kidnapping, which does not appear to be in play) where parents are brainwashed into handing their children over to an earthly king for some ungodly cause, even to the point of mindless murder in case of “national emergency” or for “the common good.”

Human Sacrifice Today

What goes unstated or unnoticed is that human sacrifice continues openly today despite the advance of every measure of religion, science, and reason. In fact, we could say that the butchery is often aided and promoted by the march of both science and what passes as science. Likewise, human sacrifice in the “open society” is carried out by the most prosperous and self-appointed rational people on earth: most of Western Civilization. The massacres continue under two main guises: abortion and unnecessary war.

The practice of abortion, from a pro-life perspective anyway, stands as an obvious modern counterpart to the ancient Moloch worship of sacrificing infants, only today done for human convenience, money, or social status, rather than religion. But don’t assume the difference is so great. The ancient pagans ritually killed infants as propitiation of a false god that didn’t exist. Today, it is done for the propitiation of a false god called man, humanity, society, woman’s rights, choice—this demon is legion. As a result, nothing has changed but the object of worship: society has exchanged a non-existent false god, Moloch, for an existent false god, man.

The case of war is no less controversial, but no less clear. Without any intended reference to current wars (though it may apply), it should be obvious that if any war is waged unjustly, and troops are killed in that battle for an ungodly cause, then the perpetrators of that war have offered human blood as an agent of social change, rather than relying on godly principles. This is human sacrifice pure and simple. Christians should not be afraid to oppose war, to oppose it vigorously, and to oppose hasty wars especially. Well does the Anglican prayer book include in its military prayer, “Ever spare them from being ordered into a war of aggression or oppression.”7

Even when modern States do not engage in blood sacrifice outright, they nevertheless call for total sacrifice—the full offering of one’s all to its mandates. When the State makes claim to your service, your children’s service, your property, your wealth, and meddles in the medical and “end of life” care you get, then there is no other name for it than total sacrifice.

On top of this, most Christian parents today unquestioningly pass their children through the fire of Molech education; they have offered their children up to the tophet-furnace of the king’s public schools, funded by the God-rejecting State’s property taxes and divine-State multiple-tithes. These arms of the State’s power teach—at every opportunity, for hours per day, from every angle—every idea that contradicts the law of God and supports the State’s power. It is child sacrifice to the gods of the State, and a rejection of God’s command for families, not the State, to educate their children in the ways of God (Deut. 6:6–9Eph. 6:4).

In this matter, Christians have failed, and secular humanists (who believe the State is the highest expression and guardian of man, and thus god) have consciously accepted Christian children as sacrifices toward advancing their social agenda. This was their plan from early on, as Charles Potter, as signer of the first Humanist Manifesto clearly stated:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?8

The schools are humanistic because the system of socialism in which the State taxes other people to pay for other people’s kids’ education is humanistic and deifies the State. The secular Molech has increased his power, and the Christians have fed the beast!

This failure repeats the sad, recurring legacy of people of faith—a pattern we see in 1 Samuel as well. The priesthood grew corrupt (1 Sam. 2:12–36), and a generation arose without proper education in the ways of God. Even Samuel’s two sons departed from God’s ways even though Samuel had appointed them to judge over Israel (1 Sam. 8:1–3). As Samuel grew old the people sensed his decline and began to fret about leadership. Instead of falling back on God’s word and trusting in God, they appealed to Samuel to give them their king “like all the nations.” This was a failure of national faith. It led to the national tyranny outlined above.

The cycle repeats itself today. Christians have accepted humanistic ways of doing things “like all the nations.” In the health care debate, in education, in other public programs, and in economics, Christians have sacrificed their lives and the lives of their children in exchange for the protection and security offered promised by the humanistic State. Unless we return quickly to God’s ways, we will enter the period of God refusing to hear our prayers for some time.

Conclusion

Some Christians ask me why I write so much about “politics.” The answer goes far beyond the simple idea that we should apply God’s Word to every area of life. The answer must include the fact that if we don’t apply God’s Word to every area of life, the forces of darkness will push their word in the neglected areas. There is no neutrality. Either God reigns and His law is honoured, or the enemy rules and humanists carry out their will in law, politics, and ethics. The reason for Christians in politics—and all other areas—begins with the answer to question, “Who is King?”

Most, if not all, of the problems we face in society stem from the State’s transgression of Christ’s Kingship. This does not mean that Christ ceases to rule in these areas; rather, the State interferes in areas Christ has not decreed for it to manage. As a result, the State sets itself up in the place of God in these areas. This is false kingship, and with it comes judgment for idolatry and for worshiping a false god. Society progresses into the judgment of its own making.

The progression into a sin-dominated culture happens slowly, and Christians tend to accept the drift unless sudden changes drastically strike at obvious issues. Thus, Christians speak out against abortion and homosexual marriage. Meanwhile, more subtle things creep in: Social Security, public education, Medicare, welfare, multiple taxes, etc, and possibly compulsory national service. Each of these programs violate biblical principles of property and life, and strike just as severely at the biblical idea of family as do homosexual marriage and abortion, yet Christians accept and even applaud them. The applause comes for many reasons—apparent benefits, self-interest, the programs appear moral, sustainable, and they are already established by our parents and grandparents. What gets lost in the whole process is a consistent, biblical assessment of the God-determined boundaries for Family, Church, and State.

We must constantly return to Scripture and ask “Who is King?” over these areas. To the extent that Christians let the State usurp the God-given roles of family and church, we have accepted the legitimacy of a false god. The fires of Molech will continue to consume and grow until Christians lose the ability to withdraw. Withdraw from your interest in the tophet schools and the false-prophet State systems of Molech while you still can. Ask yourself the question “Who is King?”

A lot depends on your answer.

Get the full book at God versus Socialism: A Biblical Critique of the New Social Gospel.

Notes:

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Rushdoony, Institutes, 35, 33.()

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  1. Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, trans. John McHugh (New York, Toronto, and London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1961), 445.()
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  • Vaux, Ancient Israel, 445.()
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  • Helga Seeden, “A Tophet In Tyre?,” BERYTUS 39 (1991); (accessed August 26, 2009). Despite acknowledging that “probable human bone” was found among the urns’ contents, and that some of these fragments “consisted of shaft bone a few millimeters of diameter,” the report naïvely concludes that “their size was not consistent with them being remains of small infants.”()
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  • Vaux, Ancient Israel, 446.()
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  • J. E. E. D. Acton, “Human Sacrifice,”Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality: Selected Writings of Lord Acton, 3 vols. ed. J. Rufus Fears (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1988), 3:413, 415–7.()
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  • The Book of Common Prayer (Reformed Episcopal Church of North America, Third Edition, 2003) 63.()

Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi. I have taken this from Gary DeMar, “Why Creation and Prophecy Can’t Be Separated,” (accessed August 27, 2009).(

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Lessons From a Great Man’s Failures (3)

The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps (Prov.14:15).

The Bible tells us that after Jehoshaphat had allied himself by marriage with Ahab, “some years later he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria” (II Chron.18:2). Ahab prepared a feast for him and those with him.

What is happening here? It is a foolish person indeed who thinks Ahab is being neighbourly. Ahab is an idolater and political manipulator, giving his godly neighbour a very warm welcome, for a reason. Having taken advantage of Jehoshaphat’s naivete once before by shrewdly arranging a political marriage, Ahab now says to himself, “Let’s go one step further with this dumb bunny.”

He puts on a feast for Jehoshaphat, and “slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him…” This must be understood religiously too. Paul’s instruction that “you cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons (I Cor.11:21), is a challenge to us that all of life is religious. Jehoshaphat should have known this too. The feast he was participating in may not have seemed to him to be a table of demons, but that only reveals how gullible he was.

Jehoshaphat ignores Solomon’s directions:

When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man of great appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for it is deceptive food (Prov.23:1-3).

The modern Church too, is gullible and naive. It doesn’t see the scriptural writing on the wall, doesn’t take note of the fact that there are many modern political manipulators just like Ahab, and it has ignored Paul’s comments about Satan, that “…we are not ignorant of his schemes” (II Cor.2:11). So, the Church wants to “improve” State education with tax-payer funded Chaplains, and today many well-meaning Christians in Australia have fought a High Court challenge to show that Christians mean business. They want to Christianise things that God never wanted Christianised.

But there’s more. When the Federal government decides to fund Moslem education and “Moslem awareness” programs, Christians get upset about this, saying “We don’t want this sort of thing happening.”  But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If we can put the hard word on the Federal government and get monies for chaplains and for Christian schools, why can’t Moslems as well? If we want it, and get it, why can’t they? We should never have gone to governments for money in the first place for education, one hundred and fifty years ago.

Ahab knows what he wants. He’d know that Jehoshaphat had hundreds of thousands of soldiers (Jehoshaphat actually had over 1.1 million under arms- see II Chron.17:12-19) who could be a great resource for Ahab in a time of war.

Jehoshaphat is hooked: line and sinker. Having set him up with a sumptuous feast, Ahab now puts the hard word on him. He invites him to join him in making aggressive war against Ramoth-gilead (II Chron.18:1-3). Jehoshaphat has been softened up by Ahab, and now he is thoroughly seduced. His reply is most illuminating:“I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle” (II Chron.18:3).

This is the language of covenant and marriage, reflected in Adam’s initial description of his relationship with Eve (Gen.2:23-24) and in Ruth’s commitment to Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17).  Jehoshaphat knows this. He covenants for Judah to go into battle alongside an evil king against a pagan king, failing to realise that “a man who flatters his neighbour is spreading a net for his steps” (Prov.29:5), and “…deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov.27:6).

Ahab says the Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes”  (II Chron.18:29). It looks as though Ahab had a plan. If he can entice Jehoshaphat into battle and he is killed, Ahab will be able to indirectly control events in Judah through his daughter Athaliah, and his foolish, evil son in law, Jehoram (II Chron.21:1-6), Jehoshaphat’s son.

Mercifully, Ahab’s devious scheme blows up in his face and he is killed, and Jehoshaphat is only saved from battlefield death by a miracle (II Chron.18:30-31). When he returns to Jerusalem, Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him.

Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God (II Chron.19:1-4).

Now it’s no shame to be reproved; we all need reproof from time to time. The Bible tells us that “…reproofs for discipline are the way of life…” (Prov.6:23). But has Jehoshaphat learnt anything?

He goes back to what he does best, and what he is called to: reforming the nation, appointing judges, and turning the people back to the God of their fathers.

But before too long, there is another incident. Jehoshaphat “…allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly in so doing” (II Chron.20:35). This seems to have been a commercial proposition that Jehoshaphat was engaging in, and once again he is confronted by a prophet: “‘because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.’ So, the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish” (II Chron.20:37).

Jehoshaphat has gone back to his old routine, and once again God sends a prophet to confront him.

His error?

A propensity to trust in, and make covenant with evil people or institutions.

God blows on the idea, again.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                         We stand in the midst of many generations. If we are indifferent to those who went before us and actually existed, how can we expect to be concerned for the well-being of those who come after us and only potentially exist?[1]

What is evident from the life of Jehoshaphat is that God’s enemies try to ensnare believers into covenanting with them. As Solomon warned us around 950 BC, their seduction comes in this form: “Throw in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse” (Prov.1:14).

Every one of us can be as gullible as Jehoshaphat, and we need to be guided by the scriptures, so that people of a hostile religious faith do not deceive and take advantage of us. This danger is especially in the area of education.

Why could this happen? Because we in the Church have often underestimated the religious intentions of our enemies, and our naivete has cost us dearly over the centuries.

The tragic consequences of Jehoshaphat’s initial errors in his family were not all evident for at least thirty years. May we learn from his errors, and make better choices based on God’s Word, His wisdom and understanding.

My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent (Prov.1:10).


[1] David R. Carlin, Church History, 9:1, February 1990, quoted in George Grant, “The Third Time,” 1991, p.174-5.