Appreciating the First Lady (6)

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

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

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

A woman’s work is never done,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appreciating the First Lady (2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should wives obey this verse?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Every husband has to ask himself this question:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

Shouldn’t every godly husband want this?

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

The Catastrophe of Fatherless America

Jun 19, 2020 by Jerry Newcombe

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Family 101: Getting Our House in Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under Whose Shadow?

The Bible says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps.91:1). This is reassuring for the Christian person, to know that as we trust and obey Jesus Christ, He will protect us from evil.

Recently as I’ve been reading history, I have been examining how Christians over many hundreds of years, have handled evil governments. And the overwhelming evidence from history, is that we’ve handled them very poorly.

Why? The most common problem we have faced, is our own naivety. We somehow ignore the fact that our enemies are religious people, with anti-God motivations. We console ourselves with optimism.

He can’t really be that bad, and if he gets into government, he’ll want to get re-elected again, so he won’t push that strange agenda he seems to have.

Many times, Christians have finally understood the truth about their enemies too late, and their tardiness has cost them their lives. Of the Protestants of Germany, Hitler said:

 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.[1]

The Dutch had some concerns about Hitler in the 1930’s, but they consoled themselves too.

The Dutch government tried to ignore the signs, assuring the people they did not need to worry because Holland’s desire for neutrality would be respected. At the end of 1939 the prime minister assured the people in a radio broadcast that there was absolutely no cause for alarm. He quoted an old Dutch poem…

“People often suffer the most by anticipating suffering that never happens.

They, therefore, have more to bear than God gives them to bear.” [2]

But in May 1940, Germany invaded Holland, and the Dutch surrendered after five days.

What is your attitude towards political leaders? Do you trust them? Remember that the Bible’s warning is, “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps.146:3).

Have the West’s politicians been any different to Hitler, in terms of their attitudes towards the Church? I don’t think so. People seem to come and go, but naivete amongst believers in relation to political leaders, seems to remain the same. Political leaders want us to think that they can be trusted, so they will get our votes.

Where have we commonly fallen down in this? When we have been offered tax-payers’ money to do something that did not require tax-payers’ money, such as the education of our children. Or when we have believed that the public education of children is “free.”

Christians will employ every intel­lectual artifice imaginable in order to justify public education. And yet, what is government education based on except a wealth-redistri­bution scheme? Likewise, what is Social Security except a gargantuan behemoth of a wealth-redistribution scheme? What is the authoriza­tion of billions to prosecute unnecessary war except a wealth redis­tribution scheme? Christians will fight to the end for these things as morally right, and yet the funding for these things is based on insti­tutionalized theft.[3]

Christians excuse this. We say, ‘Well, everybody else gets taxpayers’ money to educate their children. Why shouldn’t we?”

But in saying this, we reveal that we have tacitly accepted the confiscation of monies for the education of the community, as though it was a legitimate government practice. We like the idea of access to a “free” service. We say, “It’s free, so I’ll take it,” forgetting that everything of value comes at a price. We are really saying, “Yes, we believe in the shadow of the Almighty, but there’s another shadow, we can walk and trust in.”

God has some pretty blunt words for those who deceive themselves into thinking they can trust godless people.

Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord… “who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharoah and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharoah will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation (Isa.30:1-3).

Here’s a question: does God in His Word authorise the government confiscation of money from the taxpayer, so the government can then be responsible for the education of the community? (You should answer this question “No.”) The education of children is a parental responsibility.

Abram had a different attitude to receiving “grants.” He said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal or anything that is yours, for fear you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’ ” (Gen.14:22-23). God’s next statement to Abram, is “Do not hear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your reward shall be very great” (Gen.15:1).

What happens when Christian institutions receive large amounts of tax-payers’ money? They say to themselves,

Isn’t this great! We know there’s plenty more where that came from. All we have to do is continue this happy relationship, and everything will be fine.

But in doing so, they become indifferent to God, His Word and His standards, and become dependent on the government that only had the money to spend because it confiscated it from tax-payers in the first place. The institution has entered into a relationship that can only have one outcome:

There was a young lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger,
They returned from the ride, with the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

What is the only responsible choice for the believer? “‘Come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord…” (II Cor.6:17).

Whose shadow are you walking in today? Make sure it’s the Almighty’s, because every other shadow is a counterfeit-a continuation of that original lie in the Garden: “You shall not die…”

 

 

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

[2] Moore, P., “Life Lessons From The Hiding Place,” 2004, p.92.

[3] Joel McDurmon, “God Verses Socialism,” 2009, p.34.

2

Rebuilding the Godly Foundations (3)

                   Conviction vs. Preference

…Let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up (Dan.3:18).

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The men who uttered these statements, held Biblical convictions about how they ought to behave. Holding Biblical convictions and acting on them got them into trouble. They knew it would get them into trouble, but they acted on those convictions, anyway.

This is what men and women in the Bible did. When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been kidnapped, he acted on his convictions. He took his life in his hands, and went and fought, and rescued Lot (Gen.14:12-16).

But there was a lot more to Abram’s convictions, than just being willing to put his life on the line for a relative. That was physical courage, but God requires of us much more than that. When the king of Sodom said to him, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself” (Gen.14:21), Abram responded with a statement that the modern church steadfastly ignored:

I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich’ (Gen.14:22-23).

Refusing money or property that shouldn’t be taken requires convictions, and a clear sense of priorities. Moses did similarly. When Moses saw one of his brethren being beaten by an Egyptian, he killed the Egyptian (Ex.2:11-12). But once again, this was more than a case of physical courage. The Bible tells us of Moses, that he

refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward (Heb.11:24-26).

When shepherds came to drive away the daughters of the priest of Midian when they were preparing to water their flock, Moses “stood up and helped them [the daughters]” (Ex.2:15-21).  When Jesus witnessed the corruption of the temple of His era,

He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables (Jn.2:15).

I’ve walked out of jobs three times, the first time being 1986. I was working in a really good Christian school in the Blue Mountains of NSW, where I’d been since 1981. But through the course of the year, I formed the conviction that my days there were coming to an end, that something else was coming up and I needed to leave. The school closed at the end of 1987.

In 1987, 900 hundred kilometres to the west, in Mildura, Victoria, I walked out of a service station job, when the boss wanted his staff to sell cigarette lighters with a naked girl on them. I left, and God provided another job immediately.

In 2005, I walked out of a well-paid educational position in Brisbane, because I’d formed the attitude that the management had become disingenuous with clients, compromising Biblical ethics in their pursuit of the vast sums of government money available.

Did those decisions cost me? Sometimes they cost me a lot. Am I sorry about any of those decisions, now? No.

Political leaders have sought to control the church, at least from Abram’s day. Little has really changed much. Political leaders want to extend and secure their power, and they don’t appreciate community rivals, whoever they may be.

When confronted by Moses and Aaron, Pharoah declared,

Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and besides, I will not let Israel go (Ex.5:2).

But the modern church is a confused church. It’s been that way for well over a hundred years. It’s confused, firstly because of its dreadful theology, leading to all manner of false doctrine, ideological aberration and practical shallowness. These four things have led directly to one significant, deadly outcome: the church has been easy game for political manipulators. It’s forgotten it’s supposed to hold Biblical convictions, and act on them.

Like most successful twentieth century political leaders, Hitler was a master political manipulator. He knew how to get around the church of Germany. In fact, the church made it easy for him, because the Lutheran and Catholic churches (which were predominant in Germany), were State churches, funded from taxes. They didn’t understand that conviction and preference are two, vastly different things; thus they were compliant. They only knew this:

He who takes the king’s shilling, does the king’s bidding.

Hitler despised them, but he was politically shrewd and wanted their support. Of the German Protestants, Hitler said to one of his aides,

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.[1]

Anyone who thinks that this was merely an aberration of Nazism is making a mistake. Hitler in his manipulation of the German church merely followed on from Bismarck, 50 years earlier. It’s normal now, all over the West.

The fact is, the church wants money, and it wants its people to get money. Where it comes from is rarely the point. So, if governments hold out wads of cash for Christian families in the form of some kind of Social Security payment or educational grants for “Christian” schools, what could be wrong with that? This short-sighted attitude leads directly to the political manipulation that Hitler utilised.

Money is not evil, but where it comes from is the critical factor. Modern governments want to control the electorate with money in the form of electoral bribes, and everyone’s used to it. It’s the new normal, but it’s manipulative and evil.

In the mid-1940s, the Labor Party in Britain decided to create a system of State-financed national health care. They knew that they would not readily gain cooperation from the private physicians of Britain. So the Labor Party created a plan. First, they made it illegal for non-participating physicians to sell their practices upon retirement, thereby extracting a major capital tax from the physicians. Second, they offered relatively high salaries (for the post-war years) to all participating physicians. Third, they offered high positions in the new, compulsory system to the leaders of the British Medical Association. Nye Bevan, the Labor Party’s master political strategist, who served as Minister of Health, promised Party leaders that the Party would gain the support of the medical profession’s leadership. “How?” he was asked. His answer shall ring down through the ages: “We shall stuff their mouths with gold.” So the Labor Party did, and the medical leadership capitulated, just as Bevan had predicted.1

Whenever the church becomes ambivalent about money, it has exposed itself to compromise and corruption, and this has always been deadly. A compromised church is a silent church, and a silent church is always ripe for judgment. Can you imagine Moses accepting a golden payoff from Pharoah, Elijah being paid by Ahab, or John the Baptist being silenced by Herod with gold?

Political leaders think, “This is how you do it. Throw money in front of them. That’ll fix ‘em.” But as The Animals sang, fifty years ago,

We gotta get outa this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do. We gotta get outa this place, girl there’s a better life for me and you.

The answer is not (generally) to leave the country. It is to understand that a game of cat and mouse is being played, and we’d best stay out of it. We have to do what godly people have been doing for thousands of years, when political leaders seem to hold all the political and legal aces: we hold to our Biblical convictions, and follow our own plan.

We must be careful to adopt the long-term strategy of the early church. They did not rise up against the Roman legions. They did not become guerillas. The Jews did, and they were scattered, becoming an identifiable minority to be persecuted throughout the Roman Empire. The Christians adopted a different strategy, although suffering intermittent persecutions-a strategy of avoiding a frontal assault on Rome. By 313 A. D., the Christians triumphed; a non-pagan Emperor came to power. [2]

Conclusion:

Money in the hands of evil people is sometimes a lure dangled before believers. It’s especially challenging when those evil people are political leaders. But Abram didn’t fall for it, neither did Moses, and neither did Jesus.

One of the ways the godly foundations of the church must be re-laid, will be by the church asserting its independence again, turning away from all forms of illegitimate taxpayer funding. And when we renounce his thirty pieces of silver, Caesar won’t be able to control, manipulate and silence us.

Perhaps then by God’s grace, light will begin to shine on our path, again.

One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts (Ps.145:4).

 

[1] Quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.329.

 

1 Gary North, (Ed.,) “Tactics of Christian Resistance,” 1983, p.146-147.

[2]  Gary North, (Ed.,) “Theology of Christian Resistance,” 1983, p.xvi.

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (4)

Watch yourself 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 sacred altars and cut down their Asherim- for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God (Ex.34:12-14).

People have always tended to live out their religious beliefs. Pharoah was a humanist, and he lived out his. He saw that the Hebrew population was rapidly expanding and could be a threat, so he said to 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 the same.

…when Herod saw that he had been  tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under…(Mat.2:16).

Hitler was a humanist. He commanded that

All of the German youth in the Reich is to be organized within the Hitler Youth. The German youth, besides being reared within the family and schools, shall be educated physically, intellectually, and morally in the spirit of National Socialism…through the Hitler Youth.[1]

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, what’s that got to do with us, today in Australia?” Our previous humanist, feminist, pro-abortion Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whilst the Federal Minister for Education in 2008, said in Parliament in August 2008, that

               parents of school-aged children are obligated to send them to school.

Why was school so important for Julia? Because this granted government teachers the power for humanistic indoctrination. She was utterly indifferent to the wishes of parents. Gillard was reflecting the attitude of all socialists, historically. In 1918, a Congress of Soviet educators was told that

We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them.[2]

There is something Christians have been slow to understand. To our lasting shame, our enemies have understood the power of governmental educational indoctrination, far more than we have. And if you have fallen for the old and tired idea that we could teach them godly principles at home whilst they went to the State School, you haven’t realised how quickly this foolish notion falls down in practice.

Why?  Parents don’t recognise the religious war being waged against their children through Public Education. As North commented,

The modern State seeks to steal the legacy of the faithful: the hearts and minds of children. The educational bureaucrats today have imposed a massive system of ideological kidnapping on the voters. This is the inherent nature of all compulsory education, regulated education, and tax-funded education. Education is not neutral. The bureaucrats have built a gigantic system of humanist indoctrination with funds extracted from all local residents in the name of common-ground education.[3]

Religious neutrality in education is a fraud, because all education is religious. Why?

All education is based on values. The question is, “Whose values?” Someone dictates the values communicated in public schools, and over the last couple of generations those values have been progressively secular; God doesn’t get a mention. Almost every text book in public education reflects this fact.

God gave the responsibility for education to parents, because all education is religious. They would be on the spot. Parents love their children, and they have a vested interest in what their children are believing and why, for it is their children who will be at least playing a role in caring for them, in their old age.

The scripture commands us,

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (II Cor.6:14)

When you send your child to a State school, you implicitly bind your child to the ideology of that school; its curriculum, its staff and its peer-group pressure. You may not want to, but that’s what enrolment really means. Is it any wonder that in our era, such a high proportion of children from Christian families depart from the faith? In our folly and naivete, we have taken our children’s hands and walked into the lion’s den of public education, and seen them over time, religiously mauled.

If we want to be faithful to God, obeying the implications of the New Covenant, this will have to stop, now.

 

 

[1] Hitler, December 1, 1936, quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.349.

[2] Quoted in “Separating School and State: How to Liberate America’s Families,” Sheldon Richman, p.xv.

[3] Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999. Ch.28.

The Day Solzhenitsyn Chickened Out

Gary North – December 12, 2019

Alexander Solzhenitsyn did not fear the Soviet establishment. But he feared a humanist twerp educator, so he remained silent in the face of petty tyranny.
I learned of this only this week. I was astounded at what I’m about report.
This much is well known. In 1978, Solzhenitsyn gave a lecture at Harvard against the humanism of the West and specifically the United States: A World Split Apart. He accused the West of a loss of courage.
Maybe the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. . . . Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?
He then said this:
In today’s Western society, the inequality has been revealed of freedom for good deeds and freedom for evil deeds. A statesman who wants to achieve something important and highly constructive for his country has to move cautiously and even timidly; there are thousands of hasty and irresponsible critics around him, parliament and the press keep rebuffing him. As he moves ahead, he has to prove that every single step of his is well-founded and absolutely flawless. Actually an outstanding and particularly gifted person who has unusual and unexpected initiatives in mind hardly gets a chance to assert himself; from the very beginning, dozens of traps will be set out for him. Thus mediocrity triumphs with the excuse of restrictions imposed by democracy.
Two years later, he faced a test. He then imitated the weak-willed, frightened bureaucrats whom he had criticized at Harvard.
In November 1980, Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the presidential election. The following brief story was published in The New York Times almost a quarter century later. It was reprinted on the Free Republic site the next day.
A Cold Morning in Vermont
By JOHN TIERNEY
Published: June 13, 2004
IGNAT SOLZHENITSYN understands why so many people have warm thoughts of Ronald Reagan, but one of his earliest memories is on the frigid side.
In 1980, Ignat was an 8-year-old transplanted to Vermont by his father, the famous chronicler of Siberia’s gulags. As Ignat tells the story, on the morning after the presidential election he got a taste of American political re-education at the progressive private school he and his brothers attended.
In response to the Reagan victory, the school’s flag was lowered to half-staff, and the morning assembly was devoted to what today would be called grief counseling. The headmaster mourned “what America would become once the dark night of fascism descended under the B-movie actor,” recalled Mr. Solzhenitsyn, who is now the music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. “At one point he interrupted himself to inquire if anyone present did not share his gloomy view of the Reagan victory.”
The only students to raise their hands were Ignat and his two brothers, Yermolai and Stephan. After a stony silence, he recalled, they were sent outside, without their coats, to meditate on the error of their ways underneath the lowered flag. Vermont in November was hardly Siberia, but there was frost on the ground, and they spent an hour shivering and exercising to stay warm. Still, Ignat said, their political exile was a relief from sitting in the auditorium listening to the party line.
The American education system from kindergarten through graduate school is dominated by narrow-minded, arrogant, gutless little twerps like the headmaster of that unnamed academy in Vermont. They have run the show since about 1950, and they have behaved, on occasion, just like the petty fondling headmaster. They are gutless wonders, but in dealing with subordinates who are completely under their jurisdiction, they like to push people around. This is nothing new.
What was new was this: the father of these boys remained mute. This story did not reach the public until 2004. Solzhenitsyn died in 2008.
If he had had an ounce of courage in the face of that spineless headmaster, he would have called a press conference. From around the nation, reporters would have come. He then would have told them the story of what the twerp did to his sons. The story would have been reprinted in every major newspaper in the country. I suspect that the TV networks would have been there, too. Then they would have gone to the spineless twerp for an explanation. The spineless twerp, half chameleon and half jellyfish, would have folded. He would have apologized. He would have crawled on his belly in front of the media. If the Board of Trustees had recognized the threat to donations, they would have fired him. But he got away with it. He got away with it because Solzhenitsyn chickened out. Solzhenitsyn crawled on his belly in private. He ran for cover. He would not defend his sons.
He had not buckled to the threat of the Gulag Archipelago, but he buckled in the face of a spineless twerp who was in charge of some unknown, overpriced educational safe haven for rich liberals in Vermont.
If you refuse to defend your young sons, you are lacking in courage. If you can take on the American establishment in a paid speech at Harvard, but you can’t take on a spineless twerp who treats your sons like this, there is something missing in your worldview.
Why didn’t he pull his sons out of that school?
I regard him as probably the greatest single voice of prophetic courage in the 20th century. More than any other individual, he was responsible for undermining the reputation of the Soviet Union in the West, putting the lie to half a century of mild-mannered, halfhearted criticism of the USSR by the American intellectual establishment. Yet when push came to shove where it mattered in the lives of his sons, he ran for cover. He huddled in the corner afraid to say anything.
How can this happen?
It happens because people really are afraid of the American intellectual establishment, whose authority extends downward into the school systems. Parents learn early to shut up, buckle down, and fork over the money. This is true of the public schools; it is also true of elite private schools. People send their children to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, where their own worldviews are undermined by the faculties. They keep doing it, generation after generation. It began at Harvard in 1805, when Congregational Calvinists sent their children to be educated in moral philosophy by the newly appointed Unitarian who held the position. The practice is still in force.
He ended his Harvard speech with this call to action.
Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?
If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.
Yet when push came to shove, he buckled. He paid a small fortune to send his three children to be educated by humanists, and his children paid the price early.
Christians should stop paying this price. They should stop paying humanists to educate their children.
In 2018, a literary magazine financed by the U.S. government published this article: “A Tiny Village in Vermont Was the Perfect Spot to Hide Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.” It may have been perfect for him, but it was not perfect for his sons.

Christianity and the Academy (4)

Education must be Independent

Place 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.[1]

I have found that one of the hardest things to do, is to convince Christians that the State will only harm their children’s education. It is a matter that most Christians are reluctant to consider, and find even more difficult to accept. Why? It is linked to the fact that we have all grown up with State controlled education. It has been part of our culture for about 150 years, and thus is considered to have de facto legitimacy. It is one of those things that, because of the compromise of the church in the nineteenth century, has come about with the passing of time, and seems to be here to stay.

But it is essential that Christian people submit to the Word of God, and allow it to direct them in all things. In the case of education, there is no Biblical warrant to permit the State to have any responsibility, as education is a parental responsibility (Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4).

Where responsibility rests, authority lies. To permit the State’s participation in the task of education, immediately leads to a shift in authority from parents to the State. The State then immediately requires taxation to carry out its responsibility, and it has to set up a massive bureaucracy, purchase land and buildings, employ staff, etc. But this is just the beginning of the problems.[2]

The Bible speaks very firmly to people who undertake a task, independent of the Word of God: “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord, “who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharoah and seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharoah will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation” (Isa.30:1-3).

The question can be asked, “What happens when the State controls education?” Putting aside for the moment the obvious issues of inefficiency and huge expense in all State systems, there is an even more important issue: indoctrination. A child spends some 14,000 hours over 12 years, being indoctrinated in a hostile world-view which is communicated through the curriculum, through teachers and by other children. This has been admitted by humanists for a long, long time. Charles Potter, a signatory of the Humanist Manifesto in 1930, wrote 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? [3]

Education departments and their schools are not religiously neutral, benevolent institutions. They are always involved (implicitly or explicitly) in the process of indoctrination. Because all education is founded on a religious foundation, this will be humanistic, because the premise of State controlled education is itself humanistic. Christians who think they will be able to “reform the system,” are deluded. The “system” only exists because of the negligence and disobedience of Christians, and fiercely resists real reform. Parents should take responsibility for everything. They may home educate their child, or delegate the task of education to others, but pay themselves for whatever they choose.

The modern State seeks to steal the legacy of the faithful: the hearts and minds of children. The educational bureaucrats today have imposed a massive system of ideological kidnapping on the voters. This is the inherent nature of all compulsory education, regulated education, and tax-funded education. Education is not neutral. The bureaucrats have built a gigantic system of humanist indoctrination with funds extracted from all local residents in the name of common-ground education. This justification has always been a lie, from Horace Mann’s public schools in Massachusetts in the 1830’s until today. From the late nineteenth century until today, leading American educators have been forthright in their public pronouncements of their agenda. This agenda is deeply religious. John Dewey, the “father” of progressive education, dedicated humanist, and philosopher stated his position plainly: “Our schools, in bringing together those of different nationalities, languages, traditions, and creeds, in assimilating them together upon the basis of what is common and public in endeavour and achievement, are performing an infinitely significant religious work.” [4]

The humanists know exactly what they are doing, while Christians are confused about what they really want. Christians would like to inherit the promises of God in relation to their children, but unlike Joshua and Caleb of old, they are ill-prepared to face the conflict that is therefore inevitable, and so they procrastinate or excuse themselves. This has been an indictment on the leadership of the church for over a century. We have been procrastinating and excusing ourselves on this matter, ever since State education was established in Australia in the 1850’s, and our situation has only got steadily worse.

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 Shaw to be right.[5]

What has been evident for generations, is that State accreditation for education, along with funding by the State, leads to control by the State. “He that takes the king’s shilling, does the kings bidding.”

 

This unconscionable compromise by Christians must end, if Christians hope to have any substantial influence in their society.

Parental control of child rearing, especially education, is one of the bulwarks of liberty. No nation can remain free when the state has greater influence over the knowledge and values transmitted to children than the family…The best way to improve education is to return control to the parents who know best what their children need.[6]

 

[1] J. Gresham Macham,“Christianity and Liberalism,” 1923.

[2] An excellent resource on this, is Bruce Shortt’s “The Harsh Truth about Public Schools,” 2004.

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

[4] Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.28.

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

[6] Dr Ron Paul, U.S. Senator, (www.lewrockwell.com), 2007.

 

 

Beginning with Homeschooling (14)

What is Christian Education?

Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will be a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim (Ex.34:12-13).

The scripture makes this clear: no man on the face of the earth is religiously neutral. He is either with Jesus Christ, or against Him. And government departments are no different.

In 2015, I had the opportunity as a part of my employment, to travel with a leading Australian Christian scientist, who has become over many years now, a well-known spokesman and leader in the Six Day Creation movement in Australia, the US, and other parts of the world.

He is asked to speak on occasions at schools, and in various other Christian forums, and has done this now for over 30 years. Over a meal, he discussed with my wife and I what he’d observed over the years.

He confirmed to me some things that I already knew: Christian education in Australia is  changing. Why? It’s the lure of the dollars from the Department of Education. It’s been a pressure from the beginning.

A modest Christian school has a budget now of 2 million dollars, and perhaps a quarter of this will come directly from parents. The other three quarters comes from the Department, but it order to secure that funding, every school needs to be approved.

The Christian school that wants approval and subsequent funding, had best be careful what it says and how it says it, because it dares not alienate or offend the Department, which has the power to turn off the money tap.

This means one thing. Christian schools want to maintain the illusion that they are Christian. That may mean a cross outside the school, or on the buildings, or having weekly devotions with the Bible, or other symbols that denote the Christian faith.

But, let’s go explore the curriculum. Let’s see evidences of Christian understanding. Let’s examine the texts chosen, that are used by hundreds of impressionable young minds.

What do we see? Pressure to compromise, to lower the profile, to become “acceptable” to the Department. Does the school teach that the God of the Bible made the world in six days, and that evolution is a myth perpetrated by a nineteenth century fool, named Charles Darwin? Rarely.

I have a friend aged about 30, who attended a “Christian school” in Brisbane for 12 years, which now has an enrolment of 1,300 children. He never heard from his teachers, that God created the world in 6 days, as taught in Genesis. Why would that be?

What about staffing? You see, it’s easy to maintain the pretence of a “Christian” school, but along with the curriculum, the type of staff employed says a lot about the real values of a school. It’s where the rubber meets the road.

My learned scientist friend said to me, “Where is the evidence of the Christian teachers?” Some “Christian” schools don’t insist any more on this as a prerequisite. Something is failing, terribly.

The Bible says,

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work (I Cor.3:12-13).

The fact is, fire inevitably comes. Why is that?

God sends it. It is one of the predictabilities of the Christian faith. Every Christian school is going to be tested on its faithfulness to God. And this is the test they’ll face, and probably are now:

               Compromise, or lose your funding.

The school with 1,300 students enrolled, has an annual budget (I guess), in excess of $10 million. Would you like to be the Principal that said to families, “We’ll have to close the school folks, because the Department wants us to compromise our Christian convictions, and we won’t.” He’s out of a job. That wasn’t quite his career plan!

Being a Christian school Principal could rapidly become a poisoned chalice. Who’d want that job? It’s like the German soldier in 1943, being sent to the Eastern Front. And now, the Federal government offers schools extra money to endorse the homosexual lifestyle. Oops!

So, you really want your child to have a truly Christian education? Good.

But here’s the question. Will you be able to get one, outside your home?

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and turmoil with it (Prov.15:16).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                          When Christian education began to be pursued in Australia around 1980, it seemed to most to be a laudable step in the right direction. But almost from the first, it had an Achilles heel. The Christian school movement wanted State funding, which had to be preceded by a certification process from State education departments.

And these Departments had no love for Christian education. So, it was a case of,

         You take the king’s shilling-you’ll do the king’s bidding.

And the thumb screws of the Department have progressively been applied. That should lead Christian schools to re-evaluate their overall position, with this thought in mind: do we stay dependent on the State, like Israel was in Egypt, or do we get out, once and for all?

 

Beginning with Homeschooling (12)

Watch yourselves that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will be 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, and you take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons to play the harlot with their gods (Ex.34:12-16).

All educators accept that values are at the center of education. The question is, whose values? If we are serious about a Christian education for our children, we have to take Biblical values very seriously.

This will be confronting for some parents and many children, especially those who have spent time in public education. It requires changes of attitude in many ways. Education begins with how we think.

Truly effective education means helping to form the values of children. This will include influencing the kind of person they will marry, because religion really does affect values. This all begins with taking this Biblical command very seriously: “…no covenant with the inhabitants of the land in which you are going.”

A lady with three primary school aged children, once wrote to me, saying

We have a local (small) country school that is willing to allow homeschooling students to participate once a week (for either PE or Music, and be invited to Sports Days etc the school holds). They already have one homeschooled boy who comes once a week on Wednesdays, as his interest is in PE/Sports, and it works out quite well. Is this an option we could utilise?

 As a Christian educator, I’m not unbiased in this. I have a vested interest in this family continuing to utilise Christian education, because I get paid through it, so I plan to acknowledge this with this lady. But setting this aside, as a fellow believer in Jesus Christ, I have a concern for her children’s education and future too.

What’s happening with this lady? I believe she’s in the early stages of a religious and educational seduction. If this doesn’t change soon, this could be disastrous for her family.

Why should I use such strong language? North makes this point:

The modern State seeks to steal the legacy of the faithful: the hearts and minds of children. The educational bureaucrats today have imposed a massive system of ideological kidnapping on the voters. This is the inherent nature of all compulsory education, regulated education, and tax-funded education. Education is not neutral. The bureaucrats have built a gigantic system of humanist indoctrination with funds extracted from all local residents in the name of common-ground education… This agenda is deeply religious.[1]

This lady probably doesn’t understand what she’s getting into, but in my opinion she’s jeopardising the future of her children, just so they can enjoy some free sports days. But what will be the outcome?

One of them could be this:

Mum, can we go to that school all the time? Those kids there are really nice…

Then there’s this one:

  Mum, all my friends think that a 6 Day Creation is really funny…

And:

Mum, what’s really so wrong with two people living together? Hardly any of my friend’s parents at school are married…

I was able to visit this family, and I discovered more. Mum’s under pressure from children who won’t always do as they’re told, so she’s been having real doubts about herself and her ability to educate them at home, leading to struggles with depression. I encouraged her husband (who was there for the interview) to take a lot more responsibility for what’s taking place, to check himself on how the goals for each day were completed, and to take an interest in how they are progressing as individuals. That way, children become much more accountable to him. That should change things!

Unequal yokes with unbelievers (see II Cor.6:14-18) means just that. Twelve years of education (which equates to 14,400 hours) will either prepare a child for a godly Christian life of work, dominion and godly confidence, or it will hamper him. What will it be with your children?

Conclusion:

Give your children the best and only true education: one that is steeped in scripture, so they are equipped to handle the challenges of life, and can face life with legitimate confidence.

Mark Twain wasn’t a believer, but he understood one thing well. He said

Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.

 

[1] Gary North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.28.