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.”
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).
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.
 Maurice Newman, “Bureau of Meteorology needs to Open Records to Audit,” ‘The Australian,’ 1/2/2016.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
 Quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.343.
 Quoted in A. Klonne, “Youth in the Third Reich,” 1982, p.80.
 Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.55.
 Gary North, “Moses and Pharoah,” 1985, p.67.
 See North, “Moses and Pharoah,” ch.4: “Illegitimate State Power.”
 Gary North, “Ethics and Dominion,” 2012, p.237.
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.
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.
solution? Allow students to opt out. Don’t opt out … Get out.
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.
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
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.”2Rushdoony
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
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?
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.4There
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.
First Church of Christian Gnosticism
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.”
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
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
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
the Gnostic, life “must be escaped at any cost.”7But
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
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.
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.(↩)
R. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual
Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross
House Books,  1998), 10.(↩)
Robert L. Dabney, Discussions
of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, ed. C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols.
(Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications, 1994), 4:548.(↩)
David Van Biema, “The Case for
teaching the Bible,” Time (March 22, 2007).(↩)
Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and
the Occult (New York: Dorset Press,  1989), 140–141.(↩)
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
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”
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.
Psalmist wrote that “by them [the judgements of the Lord] Your servant is
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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).
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?
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.’
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.
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
Marx loved Darwin.
Darwin’s work gave Marx’s evil political theories of class warfare, socialism
and communism a great opportunity for propagation.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
2. We must accept God as God. 2. Man is his own god,
He is alone Lord.
determining for himself what constitutes
evil (Gen 3:5).
3. God’s Word and Person is the Truth. 3. Truth is pragmatic and
existential: it is
we find works and is helpful to us.
4. Education is into God’s truth in every 4. Education is the self-realization
development of the child.
5. Education is discipline under a body 5. Education is freedom from
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
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
7. Man’s will, and the child’s will, 7. Society must be broken
must be broken to God’s purpose. to man’s will, and the
child’s will is
Man must be remade, reborn by sacred.
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
The individual or the state is basic.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
 Source: Wikipedia.
 Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.12.
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.
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 18:21, 20:1–5, and
in Deuteronomy 12:29–32, 18:9–10. 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 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
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 16:3; 21:6), and we see the people of Israel following right
along (2 Kings 17:17). Historian Vaux comments,
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 16:3; 21:6].5
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.
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.
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. . . .
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
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.”
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.”
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.
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
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. 6:6–9; Eph.
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:
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
Vaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, trans. John McHugh
(New York, Toronto, and London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1961), 445.()
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.”()
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.()
The Book of
Common Prayer (Reformed Episcopal Church of North America, Third Edition, 2003)
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).(
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
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
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.
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”
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),
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
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.
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?
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”
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
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent (Prov.1:10).
 David R. Carlin, Church History, 9:1, February 1990, quoted in George Grant, “The Third Time,” 1991, p.174-5.
What was Jehoshaphat’s first error, in dealing with
He failed to understand that his enemy (Ahab) was a deeply religious person.
This is the predominant mistake we make today. We have failed to grasp
that all of life is religious. We have also failed to grasp that education and
law are profoundly religious issues, and that the Bible speaks a lot about them.
Let me give you an example. Everyone generally accepts that education is
important in society. We also generally
accept that education is generally based on values. But whose values are we
considering: God’s or man’s? That is what polarises people.
Western Christians for six generations have ignored this: then they have
witnessed the fact that their government confiscates their money through
taxation, giving them compulsory but “free” education in return. So Christians
say to themselves:
“My taxes go towards State
“I’m paying for it, whether
I like it or not.” True.
“My children need
“I may as well get my
monies’ worth for my children.” False.
“I guess I’ll put the
children in the State system.” False.
Why should points d) and e) be rejected?
They are decisions based on economic expediency, not Biblical conviction.
It was expediency that led to Caiaphas directing the chief priests and
Pharisees to get rid of Jesus (Jn.11:47-53), and it was Judas’ economic
expediency to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. But God requires moral
convictions based on His Word, not expediency.
Now there are some who say, “We should try and reform the system.”
Now doesn’t that sound like a good idea? It sounds very laudable, but
that’s not the answer. It’s like trying to reform Baal worship. You will spend
a lot of time and money trying to reform an institution that doesn’t want your
reformation. The best you will get in any reform attempt, is the equivalent of
putting lipstick on a pig.
Most of the church today doesn’t want to know about Jehoshaphat’s error,
when in fact the vast majority of the Church is making the same mistake that he
did. We sign up and send our children off to the West’s predominant pagan
institution-the State school. And as far as the Bible is concerned, there
simply is no justification for placing our children under the control of
One far-seeing believer saw what was happening, nearly a century ago. In
1923, the American J. Gresham Macham wrote
[P]lace the lives of children in their formative years, despite the best convictions of their parents, under the intimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out, and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist. Such a tyranny … used as the instrument of destroying human souls, is certainly far more dangerous than the crude tyrannies of the past.
The State educational system is self-serving. It is kept afloat by our
taxes. It has no time for a sovereign God, the Bible and Jesus Christ, for a
six-day Creation, for absolute moral statements like the Ten Commandments, or
for the authority of parents. The children get twelve years of humanistic
indoctrination. Is that what Christian parents are supposed to give their
Money is the Trojan horse that government uses to infiltrate and infect organizations. Funding that, on the outset, is designed to strengthen and support, will bureaucratize and regulate in the end.
All education is religious, and the State schools do a
wonderful job of teaching humanism to their students. Is it any wonder that 80%
of the children of Christian families sent to Public Schools in the U.S. deny
the faith in their twenties?
But that’s not all.
In the early years of the 20th century, the Fabian Society of England came out strongly in favour of state aid to independent Christian schools. When a board member resigned in protest, George Bernard Shaw rebuked him strongly. Nothing, Shaw held, would more quickly destroy these schools than state aid; their freedom and independence would soon be compromised, and, before long, their faith. Events soon proved Shaw to be right.
The enemies of God know how to compromise foolish Christians. They go for
the points where we (like Jehoshaphat) have weak or undeveloped convictions.
This has been easy for them of late, because the modern Church has generally
struggled to decide what it really believes about many fundamental issues.
We have to look elsewhere in scripture to find out what Jehoshaphat’s
marriage alliance actually was. Jehoshaphat’s firstborn son Jehoram, married
the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, Athaliah. It seems that while Jehoshaphat
lived Athaliah kept a low profile, but as soon as he died her true colours were
really seen. When Jehoram became king, Athaliah conspired with him to kill his six
brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons (II
Chron.21:4). How did they feel about their father’s choice, then?
Thus Jehoram “walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house
of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the sight of
the Lord” (II Chron.21:6). This was just the start of Athaliah’s evil. Her son
Ahaziah “also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his
counselor to do wickedly” (II Chron.22:3), and when he was subsequently
executed by Jehu through the judgment of God, she killed all but one of her
What led Jehoshaphat to his original error? Perhaps he was influenced by
the example of his father Asa who earlier, when Judah was besieged by Israel,
had said to Ben-hadad king of Aram, “Let there be a treaty between you and
me…” (II Chron.16:3).
Or, perhaps he simply deceived himself into thinking, “I know what I’m
doing. This is a good idea. Now, Ahab and Israel will be no threat to us.”
Undoubtedly, Jehoshaphat was a godly man. But godliness today doesn’t
mean that tomorrow I am somehow exempted from error. “Let him who thinks he
stands take heed that he does not fall” (I Cor.10:12). We’re all human and are
prone to sin.
Jehoshaphat’s frightening error in trying to play power politics while setting
up his son with a pagan wife, is a warning of the long-term implications of our
choices today. As one man I respect once said, “If you marry someone who is not
a Christian, you get the devil as your father-in-law.”
Be careful who you marry, who your children choose to marry, who you sign
contracts with, and consider carefully the values of those who are influencing
God commands parents to be responsible for the education of their
children: (see Deut.6 and 11). There is no other legitimate option that honours
The Bible commands us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for we
have been bought with a price. We do not
get a chance to re-wind the tape of life, and God will ultimately face each of
us in judgment.
We must learn from Jehoshaphat, because as Solzhenitsyn said,
If we don’t know our own history, we will simply have to endure all the same mistakes, sacrifices, and absurdities all over again.
(To be continued)
 J. Gresham Macham, “Christianity and Liberalism,” 1923.
 Ron Paul, “Freedom from Government,” Lew Rockwell website, 10/2/2009.
 Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,”1991, p.446.
 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, quoted in George Grant, “The Third Time,” 1991, p.177.
The Bible tells us that Biblical history is very important for us to
learn from. Speaking about the judgments upon the children of Israel under Moses,
Paul tells us that “these things happened to them as an example, and they were
written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (I
The Bible shows us that we are all sinners, and that
“we all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2). Because we have such short memories
and so readily sin, we are commanded to learn from history through examining
the lives of Biblical people, learning from their example. It was Hilaire Belloc who said that
time after time mankind is driven against the rocks of the horrid reality of a fallen creation. And time after time mankind must learn the hard lessons of history; the lessons that for some dangerous and awful reason we can’t seem to keep in our collative memory.
Four chapters of the Bible detail the 25 year reign of Jehoshaphat in
Judah (II Chron.17-20). He came to the throne of Judah around 900 B.C., and the
scripture is initially quite positive about him. It tells us that
the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did. So the Lord established the kingdom in his control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honour (II Chron.17:3-5).
So Jehoshaphat starts off well, and the Bible acknowledges this. But as
Derek Prince used to say, “The greatest test of all, is success.” At the start
of chapter 18, the scripture tells us that “Jehoshaphat had great riches and
honour, and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab.”
What had happened here?
Three generations earlier, God had judged Solomon’s arrogant son Rehoboam
and divided his kingdom, so that out of the twelve tribes of Israel, he only
retained the oversight of Judah (see II Chron. 10). As a result, Judah was
generally governed by godly kings, but Israel was not.
By the time of Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah, Ahab reigned in Israel, but
Ahab was both an idol worshipper and a murderer (I Kings 21). God had commanded
Israel even before they entered the promised land that in relation to the
inhabitants of that land,
…you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them, and show no favour to them. Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods… (Deut.7:2-4).
Why this emphasis on covenant? Because that is how God deals with people.
It’s not “easy come, easy go” with Him. He chooses the individuals, and signs
them up. Forget all this free-will nonsense that the Church has taught for
centuries, because man’s will is fallen, like every other aspect of his being. God
does it all.
Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed
you…” (Jn.15:16). From the first, He has always dealt with people on the
basis of His covenant. It was the covenant that Adam and Eve transgressed in
the garden, bringing them into judgment. It was the covenant that Israel
repeatedly transgressed under Moses, also bringing the nation into judgment.
One aspect of God’s character we don’t speak about much today, is His
jealousy. His jealousy is because of His covenant. Heard any sermons on God’s
jealousy in your time? I haven’t, but God’s jealousy is mentioned about 30
times in the Bible. Perhaps our lack of understanding of His jealousy today,
says something about the state of the Church today.
God doesn’t take kindly to it when His people form alliances with ungodly
people. He views it as a form of treason, because it is spiritual
adultery-unfaithfulness to Him. The First Commandment was “You shall have no
other gods before Me” (Ex.20:3), and God will bring His people into judgment
for this kind of behaviour. If Christians think they can be believers in Christ
and yet sleep around (either literally or spiritually), they should expect
God’s judgment. This was where Jehoshaphat fell down.
From the viewpoint of a foreign king seeking to undermine Israel, an alliance through his daughter’s marriage to an Israelite king was ideal. This was a low-cost strategy of subversion. The Israelite king’s polytheistic example could undermine Israel in all four covenants: personal, ecclesiastical, civil and familial.
The New Testament reiterates the Old Testament prohibition. We are
commanded “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, or what has a believer in common with an
unbeliever?” (II Cor.6:14-15)
(To be continued)
 Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.40.