1. God’s Legacy of Progressive Peace:

The fifth part of a Biblical covenant is a program of inheritance– a lawful transition that mortal men need in order to extend their dominion over creation.

The goal of foreign policy is peace. This means peace on God’s covenantal terms. There is no other basis of lasting peace: personally, locally, nationally, or internationally. God does not offer rebellious mankind peace on any other basis. To be at war with God covenantally is to abandon the only basis of peace on earth.[1]

Almost everybody proclaims that they want peace. The Biblical ideal of swords being hammered into ploughshares (Isa.2:4; Mic.4:3), appeals to most, until they consider their requirement to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So far as true peace is concerned, it is at root an ethical issue for “the righteous nation” (Isa.26:2). International peace has mostly been an illusion, because those who proclaimed that they were seeking it have mostly been at war with God (and thus with others), in their hearts. The individual or nation at war covenantally with God, will never find peace in this life or the next.

Jesus did not come to bring us peace in this world. He brings us peace with God which assures us of conflict with God’s enemies. The search for peace goes on, but Christ alone brings perfect peace through perfect victory. He gives it definitively to His people when they are converted. He brings it progressively in history. He fulfils it finally at the last judgment. (HON, p.122).

Ambassadors or Diplomats?

The problem with Western foreign policy [today] is that it is conducted by diplomats for the sake of those elitists who benefit from continued trade with the enemy. The economic deal-doers have taken control of the policy-making organizations… Diplomats are specialists in softening rival positions, trading with the other side. The result has been a steady retreat by the West in the face of danger for over three generations… An ambassador is to represent the national interests of his country. He is not a professional negotiator. Negotiators are useful professionals, but only when a nation is negotiating with its allies. They should not be let anywhere near a self-identified enemy. We should not trade with the enemy, so we need to keep specialists in trading (that is, economics or politics) completely out of the picture (HON, p.132).

A pre-occupation with commerce has muddied the waters, and weakened the foreign policy of western nations. Thus, as one shrewd observer wrote in 1984, “for both constitutional reasons and reasons connected with the peculiarities of totalitarian politics, the State Department [of the U. S.] is not the proper agency to formulate and execute foreign policy toward the Soviet Union or any other totalitarian state. These states play by different rules and must be dealt with accordingly.”[2]

We need ambassadors who understand the theological nature of the confrontation, and who will press the claims of Christ. Diplomats can negotiate the details with covenanted allies, pagan allies, and even neutrals. They should not be allowed to negotiate with hostile nations. They do not possess the required skills (HON, p.137).

Clearly, the inheritance of the earth by the covenant people of God is a long-term process. It is cumulative. It necessarily involves a transfer of assets from the unjust to the just. Those who obey God’s covenant laws steadily inherit the inheritance of those who disobey God’s covenant laws. Thus, the covenantal process of cumulative inheritance necessarily involves the covenantal process of cumulative disinheritance.[3]

In Summary:

  1. The goal of international relations is peace with God, not peace with Satan.
  2. International relations must face the fact that nations seek to impose their will on other nations, just as God seeks to impose His will on His enemies.
  3. Christian nations must trust in God, not weapons.
  4. We are not to go unarmed into battle, however: David and Goliath.
  5. Christian foreign policy is to seek the surrender of the nations of the world to God through an international covenant.
  6. Peace is the fruit of a previous victory, though not usually a military victory.
  7. Perfect peace comes only at the last judgment.
  8. Perfect peace is a legitimate goal in history, but impossible to attain.
  9. Perfect peace, perfect victory, and perfect humanity are found only in the Person of Christ.
  10. This perfection is imputed to us definitively at the point of conversion.
  11. Peace with God produces conflict with God’s enemies.
  12. Humanists seek their peace through conquest or international agreement.
  13. Swords are turned into ploughshares as the enemies of God surrender covenantally and nationally to God.
  14. If there is no such thing as a Christian nation, there can be no such thing as international peace in this world.
  15. God lures sinful empires to turn ploughshares into swords as preliminary acts of aggression against Christian nations.
  16. This act of rebellion then brings destruction to the rebels.
  17. Tyrants eventually “overplay their hand.”
  18. Arms control is an illegitimate international goal.

Conclusion:

One of the greatest challenges in our era, is convincing Christians how important they could be both in their own nation, and amongst the nations of the world. Christians have been reluctant to believe that their mission could be beyond individuals and families. We have believed the gospel, but we have had difficulty believing that the gospel of Jesus Christ had an application beyond these spheres. This has resulted in a comprehensive lack of effectiveness beyond the realm of the individual.

Until Christians start taking the offensive by preaching the whole counsel of God, the absolute sovereignty of God, and the gospel of comprehensive redemption, they will remain covenantal subordinates to the retreating humanists of the West. They will remain on the side of the losers (HON, p.237).

But all this can change. It will change at some point, when believers wake up to the fact that they have been seriously neglecting their responsibilities before God, and that the promised land of the whole world awaits them. What must we realise?

That Christians are ambassadors of reconciliation: primarily, the reconciliation of man to God, and secondarily, the reconciliation of covenant-keeping men to each other. Christians are assigned the task of announcing to the whole world that the gospel of Christ alone offers hope to the world. God is reconciling the world to Himself in history through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is God’s program for healing the nations. No other program, no other faith, no other plan can work. This is the only basis of permanent peace that God offers to men and nations in history (HON, p.233).

 

 

[1] North, ibid, p.121.

[2] R. Pipes, “Survival is not Enough: Soviet Realities and America’s Future,”1984, p.275.

[3] North, ibid.p.217.

Homosexual Presidential Candidate Quotes The Old Testament To Support The Minimum Wage

Here we go again. A hypocritical Leftist quotes the Bible to support governmental theft. Forcing companies to pay a minimum wage is theft. In addition, noting is said in the Constitution that gives authority to the Federal Government to pass minimum wage legislation.

The President and every member of Congress takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, therefore, passing a law to force companies to pay a certain wage rate is unconstitutional and violates the oath they took.

Here’s what Pete Buttigieg said in the latest debate:

This is so much bigger than a trade fight. This is about a moment when the economy is changing before our eyes. There are people in the economy who go through more jobs in a week than my parents went through in the lifetime. The minimum wage is just too low, and so-called Christian conservative senators right now, in the senate, are blocking a bill to raise to minimum wage.

Buttigieg argued, “scripture says, ‘whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker,’” a reference to Proverbs 14:31: “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

This is the same man who is in a same-sex relationship and claims to be married to a man. Such a relationship denies the God-created order (Gen. 1:26-272:18-24Matt. 19:4-5) and manifestly goes against numerous prohibitions (Lev. 18:2220:13).

Notice the Proverb says “whoever.” The Proverb is not only about employers. It’s all-inclusive and includes civil government. The biggest oppressors of the poor are civil governments. A forced minimum wage hurts the least skilled, the very people who need any job they can get.

The minimum wage also hurts businesses whose profit margins are not that great. A forced increase in the minimum wage (including Social Security and Medicare) often hurts small business owners the most.

Minimum wage legislation is also discriminatory. Walter Williams has made the observation that often “teenage black males are considered undesirables by the general population. In other words, they are discriminated against. They suffer from the stereotypes attached to their particular group. He asked the obvious question: ‘How does someone who is part of a group that is discriminated against find a way to prove to somebody doing the discriminating that his assessment is incorrect?’ It was really this question: ‘How do undesirables break through the discrimination against them?’”1 “Whenever federal minimum wage laws mandate an increase in the minimum wage, within a very short period of time, the unemployment rate for black teenage males increases.”2

By being able to compete with other workers by working for less.

Dr. Gary North writes the following in his commentary on the book of Proverbs:

Verses such as this one [Prov. 14:31] can be misused in the name of God. Promoters of coercion by the State in the name of social justice invoke Old Covenant passages that commend mercy. But their appeal to such passages is a cover for oppression. The heart of mercy is its voluntarism. The fact that a person is not compelled by civil law to lift up another person is what constitutes an act of compassion as merciful. If the person in need of assistance has a legal claim on compassion, then the issue is obedience to the civil law rather than grace.
Coercion goes beyond the undermining of mercy. The State takes money from one group and transfers it to another group. This transforms politics into special-interest competition. Gaining a majority in a civil government allows wealth redistribution by force. This is the essence of judicial oppression. It is common for defenders of the welfare State to justify this because the official targets of State power possess greater wealth than the official recipients. But the issue of economic oppression has to do with the use of the State’s monopoly of violence to extract wealth from a targeted group of voters who did not win elections. (236)

Nothing is said in the Bible about paying a particular wage. The Bible does require that whatever wage for work is promised, it must be paid.

You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the LORD and it become sin in you (Deut. 24:15).

What does Jesus say about the minimum wage? Nothing. Consider the following:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyardAbout nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matt. 20:1-16).

A forced minimum wage is a denial of property rights and the denial of property owners and workers to enter into contracts voluntarily. Employer/employee relationships are contractural. The government becomes the oppressive third party.

  1. Gary North, “How Minimum Wage Laws Promote Racial Discrimination” (July 18, 2014). []
  2. Gary North, “Minimum Wage Laws: a Litmus Test for Economists” (February 24, 2014). []

The Beginnings of Christian Reform (46)

Christianity and International Relations (4)

Nations with Rival Covenants are Always at War- Alliances are not Covenants:

The fourth point of the covenant structure is judgment. God imposes dual sanctions in history: blessings and cursings.

Peace is therefore seen in the Bible as the ability militarily to wage war successfully, if necessary. But what about turning swords into plowshares? If peace really means preparation for war, how can swords be converted into plowshares? They cannot be, until the enemies of God have died on the field of battle, or else have retreated or surrendered. Christian international relations can seek military disarmament only if Christians affirm the legitimacy of, and work toward, national and international covenantal commitment to God. Only if nations as nations affirm the covenant of Christ can international relations progressively attain peace.[1]

The goal of godly foreign policy is to conduct the earthly war of God against enemy nations, but to do so if possible without resorting to armed conflict. The goal is long-term peace through the public covenantal surrender to God of all the nations that are presently enemies of God. Foreign policy is to seek out avenues of long-term peace, but on Christ’s terms: surrender. Only then can swords safely be beaten into ploughshares (HON, p.102-103).

Should Christians be peaceful people? Yes, for the Bible commands us to “seek peace and pursue it” (Ps.34:14). But the previous part of the verse instructs us to “depart from evil and do good.” We also know that while Jesus Christ is “the Prince of Peace” (Isa.9:6), He is also “a warrior” (Ex.15:3). He said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace to the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Mat.10:34). Christians are involved in a spiritual conflict.

Our conflict is not primarily with people (Eph.6:10-12), but it does involve people. People who are at war with God (James 4:4), will generally be in conflict with God’s people, and sometimes this involves physical weapons. People outside Christ have a different understanding of “peace,” to what the Bible teaches. Furthermore, Christians must ensure that they do not unwittingly identify with humanistic schemes of pacifism, which will probably be disastrous.

Thus, Christians can and must claim peace as their goal, but only on God’s terms. It must be the product of covenantal faithfulness throughout the world. If armies are not to cross borders, there must be a covenantal peace offensive. This peace offensive is the preaching of the gospel. It must not be the false promised peace of perpetual coexistence with evil. It is the limited but growing peace that God grants to victors in the spiritual wars of life (HON, p.105).

Diplomatic Relations:

Diplomacy means working out differences. There is no way to work out differences between nations that are ideologically, officially, and continually engaged at war against each other. Only a nation led by fools or knaves maintains diplomatic relations with rival nations that openly intend to destroy them. The standard argument against breaking diplomatic relations goes along these lines:  “We cannot ignore the existence of a superpower like the Communist China.” Nonsense; diplomatic relations have nothing to do with the public acknowledgment of a nation’s existence. During a shooting war, nothing is clearer than a rival nation’s existence, but upon either nation’s declaration of war, diplomatic relations are mutually severed between them.

The issue is pure and simple: formal recognition of a nation means that another nation accepts it as being part of the “family of acceptable nations.”… The idea of permanent ideological warfare until one or the other culture is destroyed or conquered is foreign to those who seek the formal, visible, covenantal unity of mankind. Granting or continuing diplomatic recognition, like breaking recognition and recalling one’s ambassador and consulate officials, is a moral and judicial act, an acknowledgement of another nation’s moral and legal legitimacy among the community of free nations. It has meaning far beyond the mere acknowledgment of a nation’s existence or even its right to exist (HON, p.115-116).

There can never be peace in history outside of Christ. There can be temporary cease-fire agreements, but never a lasting peace. What Christians must understand is that peace is attained through the preaching of the gospel and the discipline of the nations. There is no other way. God will not permit peace on any other terms. War and peace are always covenantal concepts. As long as God and Satan are engaged in a spiritual, historical, and cosmic battle, so their covenanted disciples will be engaged in spiritual, historical, and earthly conflict. Foreign policy must be restructured in every Christian nation to reflect this struggle. It, too, must be reconstructed in terms of the Bible. The goal is international peace, but only on Christ’s terms (HON, p.118-119).

The Old Testament prohibition against covenants with foreign nations referred specifically to covenants between the Israelites and the nations of Canaan: “You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods” (Ex.23:32). By implication, it now prohibits any formally covenanted Christian nation from establishing a covenant with any non-Christian nation (HON, p.197).

The Bible specifically says that Abram’s relationship with his neighbours, was one as with “allies” (Gen.14:13). Why is this an important difference? Firstly, they were his local acquaintances; they were locals, so they shared the legitimate common interests of neighbours. A peaceful locality was in their interests, and Abram was prepared to go along with them to war, if the occasion required it (Gen.14:13-24).

So at different times, it would be practical for them as locals to work together for a specific goal. When Abram went to rescue Lot, and Aner, Eshcol and Aner accompanied him, Abram saw to it that they were reimbursed for their trouble. So, they had a limited but important level of relationship, which meant they could accomplish certain goals together.

The limitations on Abram’s relationship with these men were almost certainly based on the fact that they were not of the same faith of Abraham; thus they were clearly not linked covenantally. Even with Sodom, Abram was prepared to have a temporary defensive alliance, for a specific goal (the release of Lot).

Abram’s godly and practical relationship with his neighbours, is in stark contrast with Jehoshaphat’s foolish relationship with Ahab. Having already allied himself in an evil and destructive alliance by marriage with Ahab’s daughter, Ahab seeks to take this one step further. He puts on a feast for Jehoshaphat, and invites him to join him in making aggressive war against Ramoth-gilead (II Chron.18:1-3). Jehoshaphat’s reply is most illuminating: “I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle.”

This is the language of covenant and of 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 is only saved from battlefield death by a miracle (II Chron.18:30-31), and earns himself a rebuke from the prophet (II Chron.19:1-4). Strangely, Jehoshaphat does not learn from this mistake, but repeats it, and earns another prophet’s rebuke (II Chron.20:35-37). Paul warns 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)

Every aspect of life must come under the public rule of Christ (I Cor.15:24-25). This is why the basis of progressive public peace (though never perfect peace on sinful earth) is the successful waging of spiritual warfare by Christians. Public peace can only be established in history through public covenantal (representative) conquest by Christ the King. All other forms of peace are either temporary cease-fire agreements or deceptions by the enemies of Christ. International relations must be governed by this fundamental Biblical principle of history (HON, p.202).

It is our job as Christians to work constantly to plunder Satan’s house, in every area of life. This is what dominion means. This is what serving as the leaven of God’s kingdom means (Mat. 13:33). It is what it means to be an ambassador for Christ, a disciple of Christ, disciplining the nations. This involves pitting Satan’s less consistent followers against his more consistent followers. In foreign relations, this is the equivalent of exorcising demons. But it necessarily involves exercising good judgment. We must distinguish between friend and foe. This is what the foreign policy of the West, and especially the United States, has failed to do for over two generations (HON, p.210).

Alliances to Spoil Satan’s House:

A Christian nation should distinguish between six types of nations: 1) Christian nations that are covenanted with each other; 2) Christian nations that for some reason are outside the covenanted group or groups; 3) pagan allies that are nonetheless on the side of God’s representative nation or nations if war with pagan empires breaks out; 4) pagan neutral nations that are sitting on the fence, weighing costs and benefits of choosing one side or the other; 5) pagan nations that are aligned with the empire; and 6) pagan empires that are determined to serve as international satanic leaven (HON, p.207).

The Christian nations must be prepared to strengthen their allies in order to weaken our enemies. The principle of “divide and conquer” is Biblical (see Mat.12:24-26, 29). It has been said that “nothing succeeds like success,” but it can also be said that nations like people, are more easily persuaded by success than by shouting. Evangelism by visible success has a clear Biblical precedent (Joshua 2:8-12; 9:22-24; I Kings 10:1-9; Acts 3:9-10) which Christians should be awake to.

 

[1] North, “Healer of the Nations,” p.125.

 

One Of The First Places To Start To Fix The Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will the Koran be next to teach in public schools?

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

Post image

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

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

It’s not the church’s job to educate.

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

My child is a witness for Christ in public schools.

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

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

Our school is different.

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

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

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

Balaam’s Donkey

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

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

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

I Eat Eggs Laid by Caged Chickens

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men. These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence (Col.2:20-23).

People who refuse to worship the God of the Bible are inevitably pagans and idolaters in some form. It’s only natural. As Chesterton said a century ago,

When people reject God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

We’ve seen this recently in Australia, first with chickens, then with dogs; actually greyhounds, whose racing days were over. It’s paganism. As Paul explained,

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Ro.1:25).

In a free market, people can choose what they want. With eggs, there are choices of size, and source: caged or free-range. Free-range chickens require more labour and land on the part of the grower, but there is a proportion of consumers who are happy to pay extra for “free-range eggs.”

Perhaps “free range” chickens are more healthy; they can go outside, walk and flap around, and enjoy fresh air, sunshine and grass to eat. That sounds good. I think it would be better than being stuck in a cage, and they would not be standing permanently on mesh, which I know is hard on their feet. But being in a cage means they don’t stand around in their excrement. Perhaps free-range eggs are better. But how can you measure this?

The Bible does say, “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal…” (Prov.12:10). Anyone’s concern for the welfare of chickens is legitimate, but chicken farmers are concerned for their welfare too. If they weren’t, they’d be out of business, fast. It’s a competitive business.

Australian free-range eggs retail for about 50-100% more than caged eggs. Could my family afford to eat free-range eggs? With four adults in the house, we eat about five dozen eggs a week. We probably could, but we buy eggs from caged chickens.

Why?  I like cheap.

Think of the poor person, for whom setting aside the necessary money for eggs each week is a struggle. The price of eggs is very important to him. For him, cheap is very important, and I’m on the side of the poor man, when it comes to price. If he wants caged eggs, and can’t afford the free range eggs, that’s how it is. Consider this verse:

…He [God] does not forget the cry of the afflicted (Ps.9:12).

I say, “Think of the poor person. Let the free market determine the outcome with eggs.”

Should there be laws requiring free-range eggs? Now this will get messy, very messy. This subject gets emotionally charged, tax-payer funded bureaucrats have a field day, the price of eggs goes up, the free market goes out the door, and the poor suffer. A commodity the poor consider essential is now harder to purchase.

The most important factor of this list above, is this:

When the free market has gone out the door, the poor suffer.

But you thought this was about suffering chickens in cages? No, not now. In the free market, wealthier people may be able to afford free range eggs, if that’s what they want. In a free market, they’ll choose, and the poor will get what they want, too. To my mind, that’s the simplest and best solution to this controversy, because impositions will not help. “…Even the compassion of the wicked is cruel” (Prov.12:10).

Conclusion:

When governments fool around with the free market, it’s not just uneconomic, foolhardy and hurtful to many, it’s also unchristian. It always messes up people’s lives. This applies to everything, including the care of chickens. But when people can choose freely, they’ll get what they want. Is that what you’d like?

…the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever (Ps.9:18).

What’s Love got to Do with It?

               

(Editor’s Note):

This article highlights a great need within Public Schooling, but it has enormous implications for the home schooling family, too. A family’s example, and specifically the example of parents, is probably the prime factor when it comes to the successful education of children. I can endorse nearly all of it.

              What’s Love got to Do with It?

By Sharon Lamberth

A few years ago, while serving as principal of a high-risk elementary school [in the U.S.], a student, whom I will call Jack, was brought to my office. It was not Jack’s first office visit and, as with prior visits, the reason for this one stemmed from an inability to control his anger that led to aggressive behaviours.

On this particular day, while talking with Jack, he suddenly looked at me and said, “Are you married?” After answering that I was, he then asked, “Why?” I could tell by the look on Jack’s face that he was most sincere in his inquiry. He then proceeded to tell me that his mother was living with a man to whom she was not married, and the man was not his father. He went on to say that his mother and biological father were also never married. Seeming to have a need to stay on the subject, Jack proceeded to share that his mother and her current boyfriend “argued all the time” and he wished they would go their separate ways, adding, “but then it probably won’t be long before there will be someone else.”

Jack’s life had been a revolving door of live-in boyfriends, some of whom had told him to call them “Dad,” which he sometimes did hoping that by doing so a father-son relationship might evolve; a relationship that he could count on and hold onto but that never happened.  At best, Jack’s understanding of his own emotions was limited. His teachers and fellow students observed in him an angry student with a chip on his shoulder. On really bad days, when the chip became a log, a visit to my office was inevitable. As I listened to this young boy, it struck me that he had never truly experienced unconditional parental love, critical to healthy development in children.

My 34 years in education taught me many things about children, one being that anger is often a mask for fear – fear of failure, fear of being rejected, fear of being unloved or unlovable, fear of what the future holds, fear of abandonment, and so on and so on and so on. I saw many “Jacks” over the course of my career; children who didn’t know how to give or receive genuine love; children whose lives were so chaotic that what felt like sincere parental love one day was likely destroyed the next in the form of rejection, broken promises, abuse, etc. Classroom teachers regularly observe students showing residual effects of a dysfunctional family life: falling asleep in class, taking on the role of parent in an effort to protect younger siblings, struggling to keep up academically, difficulty focusing on learning due to the weight of their emotional baggage, to name a few.

Throughout this nation, parents and children suffer from a lack of understanding of what healthy love is. As a result, the struggle to raise emotionally stable children is at the root of many, if not most, of the problems that ail our society today. Healthy love embodies the biblical teaching of loving one’s neighbour as oneself. It is kind, respectful, and nurturing. Healthy love manifests itself in actions as well as words, recognizing not only our own needs, but the needs of others. Jack had never known this type of love. As a result, he was not able to engage in healthy relationships with his teachers and peers. Without a healthy love of self, he was also not able to tap into his personal potential. Jack spent his days using anger to help him cope with his feelings of rejection and defeat.

Another one of Jack’s coping mechanisms was playing video games. Some of the most popular children’s video games exploit violence and aggression and can lead children to believe that such behaviours are acceptable and, in fact, normal. A report released by the American Psychological Association (APA) on violent video games concluded that there is a “consistent relation between violent video game use and heightened aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognitions, aggressive affect and reduced prosocial behaviour, empathy, and sensitivity to aggression.” It should be noted that researchers continue to banter back and forth as to how, and the degree to which, violent games impact children. However, from a common-sense standpoint, it was clear to me that seeking solace in video games was problematic for Jack. At age 10, he was already being set up for failure on multiple fronts.

For years, the educational system has tried to fix society’s problems by pouring more money into new programs, revamping curriculums, creating magnet schools, adjusting grading scales, implementing block scheduling, promoting zero suspensions, etc., etc., etc., all with limited success. Resources are being exhausted in attempts to instil motivation in students through external means. External motivation alone, however, is unsustainable if the internal pull that creates a personal desire to succeed is lacking; a pull necessary to achieving sustainable success. Jack seemed to be void of any constructive intrinsic motivation. The motivation to play video games was nothing more than a desire to escape (albeit temporarily) the pain and frustration of his life.

The educational system cannot be expected to singlehandedly fix a problem that it did not create. Fixing the problem lies, primarily, in fixing the family. Emotionally unhealthy families produce emotionally unhealthy children and emotionally unhealthy children struggle to reach their optimal potential. Until parents recognize, accept and resolve to make fundamental changes to ensure that they provide their children with unconditional parental love and effective parental leadership (cornerstone principles for raising children) the current cycle will continue.

Breaking the cycle will require a return to common-sense parenting; on re-educating parents on traditional parenting practices that were the norm before post-modern psychological ideologies took hold in the late 1960’s and attempted to undo the logical parenting practices that served families well for generations. Ideologies that imply that as society changes so too must parenting techniques. The result has been nothing short of disastrous. Society may change, but human development does not. Throughout history, all have gone through the same seasons of life (infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence) that lead to their emancipation from the family (adulthood).

The family is the backbone of any successful society. As such, the ultimate goal for all children is to become respectful, responsible, resourceful adults; a goal that requires parents to make developing strong character in their children the number one priority. Developing strong character is not dependent on academic achievement, sports recognition, popularity, brand names, family social status or income. Character is a by product of parenting that is solidly rooted in love and leadership.

The crisis within the American family must be addressed with a seriousness that hasn’t been seen in almost two generations. If, as a nation, we fail to make this a priority, Jack’s story will live on in yet another generation of children.

Sharon Lamberth

Certified Leadership Parent Coach

ABOUT SHARON

Sharon is an educator whose career has spanned over 30 years. She has served as a home-hospital instructor, elementary school classroom teacher, curriculum facilitator, assistant principal and principal. Married for over 35 years, Sharon is the mother of two adult children and a grandmother. Her approach is both compassionate and forthright, with the goal of helping the next generation parent from a position of love and leadership using a common-sense approach.

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE WEEKLY PARENTING INSIGHTS!

Sign up today to receive ParentGuru’s Weekly Parenting Insights from the coaches at ParentGuru.com (and occasionally John himself!) delivered directly to your inbox!

JOIN PARENTGURU.COM

 

The Beginnings of Christian Reform (45)

Christianity and International Relations (3)

                    God’s World Government Through Biblical Law:

The third aspect of the Biblical covenant is law, specifically Biblical law.[1]

Obeying the laws of God is to become a way of life for all men. The covenant-keeper is supposed to talk about the law from morning to night as he works beside his children. [Deut.6:8] The law governs every aspect of our lives, and so we are to talk about it throughout the day. Our very conversations are to remind us of the comprehensive nature of God’s law. Because God’s law is comprehensive, our discussion of the law is to be comprehensive. Every covenant-keeper is to become an expert in the law of God. He is to think about it, discuss it, and explore its implications every day. Men are to discuss God’s law daily because they are to honour it daily through obedience.[2]

The principle of leaven which Jesus spoke of (Mat.13:33), is this: God’s kingdom progressively replaces Satan’s as the dominant power in world history. Leaven is silent, and it seems unimpressive; but it gets the job done.

After the resurrection, the disciples came to a mountain. Like the mountain Garden of Eden, where God gave the law to Adam, and like Mt. Sinai, where God gave the law to Moses, so was this mountain in Galilee: Christ gave them the law. He gave them His Great Commission. Christians are to make disciples of the nations. They are to bring the nations under the discipline of Christ, through the law of God –“teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mat.28:18).

Christians must discipline the nations. This discipline begins with self-discipline under God’s law. What we must understand, however, is that it does not end with self-discipline. This is what Protestants and traditional conservatives have long ignored (HON, p.82). The universalism of the Great Commission must be recognised by Christians. God requires that nations submit to Him covenantally: legally, formally and publicly, and that they obey His law.

For two thousand years, Christians have resisted this. They have cried, “We’re not under law; we’re under grace,” implying that God’s law is irrelevant in the New Testament context. Then they have wondered why the world around them has been dominated by oppression, tyranny and bloodshed. Is there a correlation? Of course. As a consequence, the church has generally been willing to substitute natural law for God’s law, being unable (or unwilling) to recognise that natural law is a humanistic, pagan substitute that leads directly to oppression, injustice and tyranny.

Man’s problem has never been a lack intellectual ability. Man’s problem has always been sin: a lack of ethics; his unwillingness to submit to God. Biblical ethics, not intellect (beginning with a recognition that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world), is the key to righteousness, whether it be for the individual, the family, the church, the community or the nation.

Christians have understood the universal claims of Jesus on the hearts of men, but they have continued to ignore the universal claims of Christ on the mind, lives, and public allegiances of men. They have not restructured their worldview in terms of the idea that God is King of kings and Lord of lords. God has laid down the law to mankind, yet His disciples have paid very little attention to God’s law, generation after generation, century after century. They think that they can escape the requirement of the Great Commission to discipline the nations (HON, p.96). Where the Bible speaks of “nations,” we have substituted “individuals.”

It is time for Christians to abandon the myth of natural law. It is time for them to declare instead the covenants of God. It is time for them to proclaim the ethical terms of the covenant, God’s revealed law, for God is the Sovereign Creator who governs all of history. It is time to abandon the myth of neutrality. If “natural law” really is a Greek, pagan construction with no absolutes, and no relationship to Biblical law, there is no alternative to a Biblical, bottom-up theocracy.

 

 

[1] For more on this, see Gary North, “Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus,” 1988.

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