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Voting: Marriage, Family, Government, and Nations
Decision Making in the Voting Booth Lesson #05
October 28, 2008
“Father, we’re so thankful that You have given us the heritage that You have given us that is rooted in men who were students of Your Word, men who were committed to the truth of Your Word, men who let the study of Your Word radically change and transform their understanding of how governments should function, how nations should be run, and they understood the key principles of Godly leadership.
Now Father, as we study tonight, we continue our study on how we should make decisions when picking leaders, how we should make decisions in the voting booth. We pray that You would guide and direct our thinking that we might accurately reflect Your Word that we might be ready to submit to Your Word and that we might clearly understand the implications of the patterns and principles that You’ve laid out in Your Word.
We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”
As we’ve gone through this series, I’ve laid out three basic principles that sort of under gird everything that I’m talking about:
The first is that all Christians who are citizens of the United States should vote wisely and intelligently. It’s part of our responsibility as a citizen to do a good job of being citizens.
As Christians we should do it even more conscientiously because everything that we do should be done to the glory of God. So that we should do all we can to vote wisely and intelligently to preserve and defend the Constitution, for this glorifies God.
Secondly, that in light of that, the U.S. citizen, and in order to vote intelligently, the citizen should understand the thinking that’s embodied in the U.S. Constitution, which unfortunately most of us weren’t educated on as we were coming up through public schools. So if we’re going to perpetuate the Constitution we must appreciate and understand the thinking that went into it, and then we need to vote in leaders who are going to perpetuate that system, because all the blessings that we have are the fruit of that kind of thinking.
And then going to the last conclusion, that by understanding this Biblical framework that informed the founding fathers we can perpetuate that same system. So we start off with three basic ideas related to this.
The first is the concept of values. As I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again and again because somebody always wakes up about the fifteenth time, is that whenever we make a decision we’re always deciding something that’s good or better, bad or worse, or something in between good and bad. But it always necessitates a value system; some sort of structure or thought that gives us the categories, the norms and standards, the values that we need in order to make those kinds of judgment. So that implies some sort of broader, all-encompassing, system of thought that we can then use to apply to these kinds of decisions.
The Bible provides such a framework coming out of the thinking of Christ, as it’s called in 1 Corinthians 2, that God, as the Creator of all things, has given us enough information where we can begin to wrestle with the Scripture, put things together, and develop an understanding, a framework for every area of life.
This necessitates, as I pointed out, these values. The one question that has to be addressed that is never addressed as we have moved more and more into a “secular society,” and there has been the attempt to divest and fence off any kind of religious thought outside of the sphere of civil government, is the question, “Are there still values that are being taught and promoted within the framework of government? Where do those values come from? Are the values that are going to dominate in the civil arena, values that are consistent with the Word of God?”
That’s the question Christians have to ask. They’re either going to be Biblical values or they’re going to be non-Biblical values. And to expect a Christian to somehow divorce himself from his Christianity, to compartmentalize it to Sunday morning only, and not use that framework of doctrine to evaluate candidates.
If you are a candidate, and if you are in office, to use that Biblical framework as the basis for legislation. It’s absurd but we’ve created, coming out of the 19th century and the influence of the epistemological, philosophical shifts that took place in the history of ideas in the 19th century, part of what happened in the attack against Christianity and against the thinking that’s at the foundation of this nation was the idea of compartmentalization and separating the religious from everyday life.
That’s been very effective because most of us have grown up in a culture where the ideas about God that we derive from the Scripture, theology is not thought to be at the foundation for everything else that is in society.
Very few of us, if any, I think there may be one or two here who may have attended a Bible College or university at one time or another, but very few of us thought in terms of Biblical thought when we went to college or university.
Whatever the field is that you are studying, whether it has to do with finance, or economics, or science, or business, how many times did you sit down and think, “Okay, what does the Bible say, what does the Bible teach about the general field of study that I’m going into; and what are the parameters, what’s the framework, what are the guidelines that the Word of God gives for this area of life?” That just shows that we had already become brainwashed by this distinction between the secular and the biblical.
So as we begin this and as we continue, we looked at the idea of values which led to the idea of framework, and then coming to the application of that framework to specific situations. And so I have always used this system based on the divine institutions plus Israel as a way of evaluating candidates.
In fact, not too long ago when I was telling my good friend, Tommy Ice, about this, he said, “You know when I was a happy hippie holy roller ...” You didn’t know that’s what Tommy was. He was a charismatic liberal back in the early ’70s, and he got hold of some of Charlie Clough’s material on the divine institutions (http://www.bibleframework.com). He said, “I listened to that tape on the divine institutions once, and I became a diehard conservative because I understood what the Bible taught.”
And by the way, I mentioned in prayer meeting earlier, you can pray for Tommy. Tommy is preparing right now for a debate. He’s been invited to debate the topic of “Are We in the End Times?” at the Oxford Debating Club at Oxford University in England. And usually it’s people who are presidents and secretaries of state and heads of federal reserve banks, things like that that get invited to that sort of thing. There are three in the debate.
I don’t know the third man Tommy is debating, and he’s just going to, they don’t know where he’s coming from, and he’s just going to probably totally flip them out because he’s going to come from a totally Biblical framework. But one of the others who is presenting is the editor of the Economist, which is a rather liberal publication, so this should be very interesting. So pray for Tommy.
This week, Charlie Clough was to have flown down today to Virginia to start coaching, grilling, training, Tommy to get him ready for his trip. I think the debate is somewhere around the 20th or 21st of November.
Anyway, so we have the divine institutions and the divine institutions synthesize what theologians have believed and taught, Bible believers have held about the early chapters of Genesis for centuries. And that is, that God built certain social structures within the very framework of the makeup of mankind, as being in the image and likeness of God.
And I pointed out that this is fundamental to understanding this because in the Trinity, you can look at the Trinity in terms of God’s social relationships between the three Persons of the Trinity and His economic relationship, or how they work, what their different responsibilities and roles are. And yet they’re interconnected.
You can’t divorce the economic from the social. And we see the same thing happen when God creates Adam and the woman and He places them in the Garden, that there is an economic responsibility,
But there’s the social; Adam is first alone. He needs a wife as an ezer and so the role of the wife is ezer to help the husband; she is the assistant, the helper, the one who comes along aside to help him fulfill his God-given role.
I pointed out, as man is created in the image of God, God puts into him these divine institutions. They’re not changeable. They’re basic, social structures for establishment principles that God embeds within the human race. Modern paganism thinks they’re just developed secondarily or pragmatically, as man faces certain situations he decides, “Well, this is basically a good way to go, and this will solve a problem.”
So they are non-changeable which means once we start getting into different kinds of social engineering experiments, then they are always going to fall apart, and they’re going to have a range of unintended consequences and eventually cause collapse in a culture.
I think one of the ways in which we’ve seen that that’s tangential to this is in this whole collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market and its relationship to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and how all of that works, going back to the social agenda of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the New Deal back in 1933 when he first had Fannie Mae established.
You can trace through the whole history. There are various articles out there on the Internet that you can look at that led to different changes that were made by Lyndon Johnson as part of his “war against poverty”. There were other changes that took place with the Community Reinvestment Act that was signed by President Carter in 1977. Other changes that took place in the 80s and 90s under Clinton.
All along the way you had conservative economists, conservatives in both parties at the early stage, I believe, who were sounding the alarm that there were things that were done that weren’t right, as they were trying to manipulate the mortgage market, and numbers just don’t bend.
I tried to do that all the way through high school in algebra and could never convince any of my math teachers that there was flexibility in the numbers. And eventually, when you’re trying to make those numbers fit this social agenda, it’s eventually going to come back and fall apart, which is exactly what has happened.
So when you get away from the way God has structured things, it’s not going to work. It may take years before we see the collapse, and there’s continued arrogance on the part of government, thinking that they can prop this up.
So we looked at these divine institutions. The first three: individual responsibility, marriage, and family are pre-Fall.
The second group includes government, which is primarily judicial. The whole structure of government flows out of the judiciary, which is why it’s such an important aspect related to this upcoming election, and the development of nations.
The first three were developed before the Fall and are designed to promote productivity and advance civilization. Because of sin and because of the collapse that takes place before the Flood in terms of man’s rebelliousness toward God, after the Flood God establishes two more institutions: government and nations. One of the roles that you have for government is to protect those three divine institutions.
That’s why I spent so much time the other night on individual responsibility. I added some things on Sunday a little bit. I’ll add some more things tonight why there’s this connection because once you get in a culture that shifts away from enforcing and emphasizing individual responsibility somebody has to pick up the pieces.
When people stop being responsible, then what happens is that government moves into that vacuum, and people start looking to government to do what individuals should be doing, and so there’s a flip-flop that occurs, and people begin to look to government as the solution to all the problems, and once that happens, then government becomes the problem.
I pointed out when talking about the first divine institution that this emphasizes three things:
First of all, spiritual accountability of man to his Creator, God. Secondly, man was given responsibilities of fulfilling certain responsibilities which we would classify as labor, although it’s not toilsome at that point. He has work to do. He has a job to do. He is to classify the animals, he is to work in the garden, he is to protect the garden indicating the importance of self-defense, and he has the right to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
So he can accumulate wealth and that wealth is his because he has worked for it, he has earned it. Throughout Scripture we see that fact that God reinforces and rewards those who work and produce, and God punishes and takes away from those who do not work.
Now what has happened in the last 150 years is that we have seen a major shift occur in western European culture and American culture that has changed the way in which we look at these things, and how we look at the role of government in relationship to people and in relationship to property. It’s the result of the rise of liberal thinking which came out of the European universities in the late 1800s. I’m specifically thinking of Emmanuel Kant and the early 19th century, the early 1800s, as a result of their rejection of God.
Once they rejected God, once God is removed, then that creates a vacuum, and something’s got to get sucked into that vacuum. What got sucked into the vacuum is man. Once man takes God out, then man became the center of all things, and the ultimate determiner of truth.
So they were beginning with a mentality that man was basically good, because they’ve rejected what the Bible says that man is basically evil. So now they think of man as basically good, but he is now a product of his environment, because God is removed and man isn’t a creature created in the image of God, he is now the product of chance. He is just a biological accident, man’s make-up is determined by his environment, by his social environment, by his economic environment, his education, his religious. And so that’s what shapes people.
It rejects the whole concept of personal responsibility, that you are the result of the decisions you make. This meant that man was viewed more and more, within certain systems, as a victim of forces in the environment, rather than one who was volitionally responsible shaping his environment. That had a lot of implications for how they viewed labor and laborers, how they viewed wealth creation, prosperity, the transfer of wealth from one generation to another, the whole idea of taking care of the poor, providing for man’s needs and so this gets shifted from the individual to government.
That’s where we’re going tonight, eventually, to look the role of government and how the Bible sees the role of government. But to do that we have to go back and show again these connections in terms of the first divine institutions.
Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. If people are not responsible, then they will abuse their freedom and the freedom will turn into anarchy. So people have to have a system of ethics and accountability; otherwise, they won’t behave responsibly unless, of course, they’re inherently good.
So the way a culture views people as being inherently bad or inherently good is going to affect their view of what government does. And Thomas Sowell, as I mentioned before in his book, Conflict of Vision points this out in his introduction. This is basically what separates liberalism from conservative thought, that liberalism can be traced back, and one thing that all liberals hold in common is a high view of man, that man is basically good, and conservatives recognize that man is basically evil.
If we think about these two categories, these two concepts of freedom and responsibility, the more the individual is responsible for his life, for his future, for his finances, for his planning, for his prosperity, the more that the responsibility ends up with the individual, the more freedom he is going to have. The more you take that responsibility away from him and shift it to someone else or something else, for example, government, then the less freedom he’s going to have. So the degree of freedom then is going to be directly related to his freedom to succeed or fail.
Now if he can fail, but there aren’t really any negative consequences, then the only reason you can put that cushion under him financially so that if he fails, the government’s going to come along and the big nanny state just pick him up, then carry him along, is if he gets the resources to do that from somebody who has produced something.
And that production comes from those who have worked, and those who have succeeded. So those who are out there working are then going to have to have some of the things that they produce taken away from them and given to those who are non-producers in order to protect them in the midst of the failure. This is why freedom is directly, the freedom to succeed is directly related to the freedom to fail.
When a government steps in to limit the consequences of failure, then it must also limit the positives of what an individual can enjoy through success. Thus, the freedom to succeed which entails risk and reward is directly proportionate to the freedom to fail.
When the government steps in and seeks to wipe out all these negatives, then it’s going to borrow from the wealthy, from the achievers, from those who work, those who risk, those who labor, and is going to give it to those who don’t have anything. This is called socialism today, although in earlier eras, it wasn’t necessarily called socialism.
But we can think back to our study in Genesis a few years ago. In Genesis chapters, about, 45, 46, 47, when you have the famine in Egypt, Joseph had the dreams of the seven good years and the seven lean years. He told the Pharaoh for the seven good years to store up a percentage of the crops and resources every year so that they would have resources to survive the seven bad years.
Toward the end of the seven bad years, they were running out of resources and the people in Egypt were going hungry, and they were going to the Pharaoh to feed us and take care of us. The Pharaoh then began to buy their land. And when it was all over with, the Pharaoh owned all the land in Egypt. He owned all the means of production. At that point all the people become servants or slaves.
That’s what happens under socialism and Marxism. When the means of production is owned by the government, then the people become slaves. That’s why socialism is always a move towards less freedom and greater slavery of people to the government. But there’s greater security because the government promises to take care of everything, which is why they call it the nanny state.
It’s amazing today that a lot people really don’t understand what socialism is. I don’t know if it’s because they were never taught that as they were coming up through government-owned schools, because they didn’t want them to know what socialism was so they couldn’t identify it. It must be so, because we have a senator running for president right now, and he sat under a Marxist pastor for twenty years and couldn’t identify what Marxism was. So we are going to have a president who can’t identify Marxism. No different from people in the country who can’t identify socialism.
I’ve had a couple of cartoons that illustrate the principle of socialism. Here’s the first one:
It’s Halloween so this has a certain timeliness to it. Kids come up to the house. The man says, “Look how much candy you have. I’m going to take half and give it to the kids too lazy to go trick-or-treating for themselves.” And one of the little kids says, “Oh darn it. A Democrat.”
See these kids were going out and they were working hard; they had put on their costumes, they go from house to house and they get all this candy. When it’s over, somebody wants to come along and says, “Okay, you can’t have all that candy you went out and got. There are some kids here who just were too lazy to go out, and so we’re going to give them half your candy.”
Now how does that work? It doesn’t work very well. That’s a good illustration to use with children if you want to communicate to them what socialism is as opposed to free market economics.
Now there’s another e-mail that came across my desk today that I thought also illustrates this and does it well for those who are a little bit older. This is a notice to all employees:
“As of November 5, 2008, when President Obama is officially elected into office, our company will instill a few new policies in keeping with his new inspiring issues of change and fairness:
“Number one: All sales people will be pooling their sales and bonuses into a common pool that will be divided equally between all of you. This will serve to give those of you who are underachieving a fair shake.
“Number two: All low-level workers will be pooling their wages, including over time into a common pool, dividing it equally amongst yourselves. This will help those who are too busy for overtime to reap the rewards of overtime from those who have more spare time and can work extra hours.
“Third, all top management will now be referred to as the government. We will not participate in this pooling experience because the law doesn’t apply to us.
“Fourth, the government will give eloquent speeches to all employees every week, encouraging its workers to continue to work hard for the good of all.
“Fifth, the employees will be thrilled with these new policies because it’s good to spread the wealth. Those of you who have underachieved will finally get an opportunity. Those of you who have worked hard and had success will feel more patriotic.
“Sixth, the last few people who were hired should clean out their desks. Don’t feel bad, though, because President Obama will give you free healthcare, free handouts, free oil for heating your home, free food stamps, and he’ll let you stay in your home for as long as you want even if you can’t pay your mortgage. If you appeal directly to our Democratic Congress, you might even get a free flat-screen TV and a coupon for free haircuts.” A little humor there.
What’s interesting is to recognize that what is happening today has been clearly seen to be precisely what is needed to be done to ruin and destroy the United States. Back in 1963, the goals of the Communist Party for destroying America were read into the Congressional Record. They listed 45 different tactics that the Communist Party in America thought were necessary in order to wipe out and destroy the nation. Some of these are pertinent today.
Number 25 was, “break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.”
Number 26: “present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as normal natural and healthy.” This was in 1963. It’s helpful to look back, isn’t it?
Number 27: “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with social religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a religious crutch.”
Number 28: “Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of separation of church and state.”
Number 29: “Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.”
Now I didn’t want to play it tonight. If you haven’t heard it, I would encourage you to get with somebody who has a computer and listen to the interview that Senator Obama gave to a radio station in 2001 where he then in that interview he clearly stated that his agenda he believed that the basic flaw of the Warren Court, which was the radical court back in the 60s, and the basic flaw of this civil rights movement was that they didn’t try to redistribute the wealth and to pass the wealth along.
He goes back and he says some extremely damaging things related to his view of the Constitution. He thinks the Constitution is basically flawed. Now how a man who is running for the highest office in the land who has to swear that he’s going to preserve and defend the Constitution can question the Constitution at its core is beyond me. That’s what happens as a result of post-modernism.
So he has already made statements along with numerous other liberals who are discrediting the Constitution.
Number 30: “Discredit the American founding fathers. Present them as selfish, aristocrats who had no concern for the common man.”
Number 31 was to, “Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the big picture. Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
And Number 32: “Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture: education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.”
This is all part of the plan.
Now I have something that relates to this that was handed to me on Sunday. This is from the Wall Street Journal on Friday, October 24, 2008. It’s on their editorial page. This was in section A18 on their Opinion Page and the headline, it’s down toward the bottom reads,
“Big Labor Does Gay Marriage”. Here’s a pop quiz. Who’s donated the most money toward an effort in California to defeat Proposition 8?”
If you pass Proposition 8, then you’re supporting traditional marriage. If you defeat Proposition 8, then you’re, they’ve got the wording backwords, that what’s confusing, but if you defeat the proposition, then you are in favor of homosexual marriage. So to defeat Proposition 8 initiative on the November 4 ballot that would define marriage as between a man and a woman in the state.
Is it a) gay advocacy organizations b) civil rights groups or c) the California teachers association? Which group has given the most money? c) the California teachers association.
So back to this point 32, “Support any socialized movement—remember that goes back to a couple of points back, point 26, to promoting the homosexual agenda—Support any socialized movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture, education, social agencies, etc.”
Here we have education promoting homosexual marriage and the breakdown there. So you can read that editorial later. They make some very important points.
What we have today in the modern equivalents to what the ancient world had under certain kinds of monarchy and totalitarian governments in the ancient world is our modern form of socialism and Marxism. And at its core all these systems of government, socialism and Marxism, have this idea that there is a ruling elite that has the wisdom to determine how much money, affluence, or success a person ought to have. How much is too much?
What will happen, we’ve already seen it this year with their bringing, most people didn’t realize that wealthy was only $250,000. Most people thought wealthy was five million, ten million, twenty million, fifty million. But now it’s getting closer and closer and it’s breaching into the middle class. Who has the right, who can determine how much money, affluence, or success a person should have, and then tell them that they have to give the vast majority of what they make after that to somebody else?
What gives the government that right to be that tyrannical and that domineering? Well that’s what’s at the essence of socialism and Marxism, to take freedom away. These systems always emphasize something about security and providing security for people, and that they need to give up their freedom and their options for true success in order to have real security. Then those who are achievers, they’re going to take what they make, what they produce, and they are going to transfer it to those who aren’t willing to work and aren’t willing to succeed.
Remember the parable of the talents. When Jesus got to the third one who didn’t do anything, he said, “You lazy and wicked servant.” But in socialism that’s not politically correct, so Jesus is just a bad, evil capitalist. So what happens is the wealthy become demonized and class warfare is encouraged.
All of this begins with taking away an emphasis on the individual, and individual rights and individual responsibility and the right of the individual to work and enjoy the benefits of his own work.
Then from there we went to the second divine institution—we’re going to come back and look at government again as the two intersect in just a minute—Marriage is defined biblically as between one man and one woman.
Polygamy was never endorsed by God. The few instances of polygamy in the Old Testament were never approved by God or endorsed by God. In fact, He warned kings against that in Deuteronomy 17:17. It was never something that was normative in Israel.
Both Old and New Testaments condemn homosexuality along with numerous other sins: adultery, and false witness, arrogance, pride, gossip, slander. All of these are prohibited because they are destructive; first of all because they violate God’s character and secondly, because they are destructive to social relations. But they also bring about a tremendous economic price when they are allowed to run rampant—and I will look at that, some figures on that in just a minute.
All the founding fathers recognized that this was true, that you couldn’t separate ethics from the social and the economic. They were all interconnected. This was true up until the early part of the 20th century. A lot of things begin to change.
In the mid-60s, there was a rise of political influence from the homosexual lobby, and this has become more and more dominant as they have raised more and more money over the last forty years. We’ve seen a tremendous change take place in our culture. And this has been part of the pattern of assault on the founding vision of this nation.
We have all been effectively propagandized by the media in relationship to homosexuality. Here are some facts you may not be aware of:
In a 2008 poll by Hunter College in New York, only 3% of the population is homosexual. You didn’t know that did you? You thought it was much greater than that.
Second, traditional marriages last for twenty years or longer. The average sodomite relationship is a year and a half. There’s no stability there. Most married couples are faithful to one another but a study in Holland among homosexual “marriages” there found that committed homosexual couples had an average of eight sexual partners a year—that’s among the committed couples. Also, homosexual and lesbian couples had the highest level of partner violence. Lesbians are four times more likely to be the victims of violence in a domestic relationship than married women in a traditional marriage.
And a study in Scandinavia where they’ve recognized same sex marriage for over ten years, marriage is virtually disappearing. The vast majority of children are born out of wedlock, and there’s just a complete breakdown within the home.
The same trend is happening in the United States, as we’ve gone through the whole transition coming out of the 60s where people don’t get married or they just live together; those born to unwed parents are seven times more likely to end up in poverty. That’s the economic consequence of not having a law addressing the social, ethical issue.
They are seven times more likely to end up in poverty and they also represent 70% of the prison population. So when we get our laws away from ethics and righteousness, and when we allow these things to be shaped by a social agenda, there are horrific economic consequences.
You can’t separate the social policies, the economic agendas, into two distinct areas. One hundred and twelve million dollars is spent on dealing with problems caused by out-of-wedlock births. Social policies result in economic consequences.
Now we have to remember that homosexuality is not being singled out by Christians as something to target and to focus on. It is the homosexuals who have come out of the closet and made an issue out of everything. What Christians are doing is standing up for the traditional law of the land embedded in the Constitution and for the divine viewpoint standard of God as represented in the Scripture.
But see part of what is driving the homosexual agenda is that they understand something that most Christian couples don’t understand, and that is that the family is the engine of education. This is what the Word of God teaches. In the Psalms, that children are a blessing of the Lord, and blessed the man whose quiver is full of them.
The image there is of a warrior who is shooting his arrows into an enemy. That the more arrows you have, the more effect you’re going to have on the enemy. That is analogous to a family, parent, who have children raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and then send them out to do battle in the human viewpoint pagan culture.
But too many Christian parents over the last generations have just shuttled their kids off to public, government schools to be educated and brainwashed in secular humanism, and they have completely failed in their job as parents to teach and train these kids to think biblically and interact with the culture on a divine viewpoint framework.
You go back into the Old Testament and you see this is one of the primary emphases in the Mosaic Law for families. The family is the training arena for children. These homosexuals understand that, because they want to have legitimate marriages, so they can adopt these children, and then they can instill their values into their children and send them out into the society and the culture in order to change and affect the culture.
As a result of that, they want to redefine marriage, they want to redefine the family, and they want to portray traditional families as aberrations, that “Ozzie and Harriet” were nut jobs, and the “Cleavers” were psychotic, and that’s just isn’t anything normal. So we want to go back and change everything, and it’s really more normal to have two men or two women raising kids than a man and a woman.
Now let’s look at a couple of things in Scripture. The reason I go to the Law is because in Deuteronomy 4:5–7 as I pointed out Sunday morning, is that the Law is righteous. It’s not that we’re trying to take the Mosaic Law as a pattern for every other nation or to impose that on the United States. But that in the Mosaic Law we see one instantiation, one example of how God’s character is worked out within a human government structure.
It is stated in Deuteronomy 4, Moses says that as they obey and implement the Mosaic Law, then the peoples around them (in the second half of verse 6), as you keep them, that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear these statutes and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”
Now most people today in our culture look at the Mosaic Law today and say, “how restrictive, how domineering, how it destroys liberty or freedom; it’s just this moral straitjacket.”
But what God says is that if you implement this, it produces a prosperous culture. And so the nations would look at them and say, “This is a wise and understanding people. Oh what great nation is there that has such statutes and judgments and as righteous as this whole law which I’m setting before you today.”
Now, as related to families, Deuteronomy 6:6, 7, give us a core mandate within Deuteronomy.
“These words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Now that doesn’t mean you’re giving a Bible class 24/7. But this is a mandate to parents that you are supposed to have your soul so saturated with the Word of God, that as you go through life, you go to the grocery store, you’re working out in the garden somewhere, or you’re going to school or the kids come home and say, “You know what I heard in school today?” that you’re able to sit down at that moment, while you’re cooking in the kitchen or whatever and just talk about whatever the issue is from a Biblical viewpoint.
I’ll never forget the first time I ever was exposed to evolution. I think I was in the sixth grade. I had a wonderful teacher, loved that teacher, my favorite teacher of all the teachers I ever had in school was that teacher, and she was a believer. She was Episcopal or something, but she was reading this story one day. It was about how the moon basically evolved, how the solar system evolved, how the moon came out of the earth.
I came home and told my mother about it. And my mother said, “Well, let’s sit down and read Genesis 1. Is that what Genesis 1 says?” See that’s just a great example of how Deuteronomy 6 is supposed to operate in the lives of parents and children. Parent’s primary task is to train children to think biblically. Not to give them twenty options.
I’ve heard parents say, “Well, I’m not going to teach my kids about religion, or I’m not going to teach my kids about politics. When they get old I want them to have the freedom to do what they want to do.” Okay, so you don’t really believe anything is worth holding on to, is it, or passing on? What idiots! Parents’ job is to instill doctrine into those kids from the time they first come out of the womb. That is the role of the family.
Another passage that’s always an interesting passage to deal with in Deuteronomy is Deuteronomy 21, a passage that deals with parents and rebellious teenagers.
Now remember the idea of a teenager or an adolescent is basically a construct that came up after the Great Depression. It’s a 20th century American phenomena. Through most of world history, you were a child, and then you became an adult. There wasn’t this transition period when you got to be irresponsible and follow your hormones wherever they led you. This is a uniquely American phenomenon. So what they’re talking about here is a child that’s passed bar mitzvah, older than thirteen. It’s no longer a child and is rebellious.
Now a child who has not learned to respect authority in the home will not respect authority in the state, and so this is a child that has grown up, reached adulthood and is incorrigible; has demonstrated time and time again a complete failure to be oriented to authority.
Therefore, the parents recognize that if this child is released onto society, it’s just going to be horrendous. This child is going to turn into a psychotic serial killer or serial rapist or something. So they bring this child before the assembly. And they accuse the child, and then the child is to be stoned and the parents forgiven.
It is something that is extremely serious. But it was designed to protect what? To protect the nation and to preserve the family. Once these things would break down, then it would just have a domino effect through the entire culture. The emphasis here that we see from the Bible is that the parents are accountable. They are responsible, divine institution number one, for training children.
Well, as most of you know, we have various bills that are always passed by edu-crats and their influence in Austin and their influence in Washington, that constantly break down the rights that parents have to oversee the education of their kids.
When we look at these two presidential campaigns, Senator McCain supports parental rights in education, that parents have a right to supervise and to permit or not permit certain things to be taught to their children. Obama, on the other hand, opposes parental rights. So he is in violation of divine institution number three at this point.
Now another type of legislation that affects this is that Senator McCain has recently proposed a, I think it was possibly a, $7,000 tax credit per child.
Right after World War II, one of the things that contributed to the prosperity of the baby boom period in the fifties was that the Congress passed a $600 per child credit. Now $600 per child doesn’t sound like much today, but that was a lot of money back in the 40s. If you were parents and you had two or three kids, then you could get $1,200 or $1,800 tax credit.
In 1946 or 1947 when this was passed, the average income of a family was probably about $8,000 or $9,000. So that was a tremendous amount of money and resulted in the fact that most families did not have to pay any income tax in the period of the 1950s when perhaps many of us were growing up. That’s why our moms were able to stay at home. They didn’t have to go out and get a job, and so it was laws like that that promoted a strong family and encouraged a strong family.
But by the 1970s that had deteriorated. It hadn’t changed, it hadn’t kept up with inflation, so that the inflation at the end of the 70s, a lot of mothers, even though they were perhaps completely against working outside the home, were forced by the economics of government policy to work outside the home, and we’re now at a point where over 50% of kids in America are born to single parent households. Once you get the vast number of women working outside the home that just contributed to an already rising divorce rate, breakdown of the family. So you begin to see how all the systems begin to break down, and you get into a cultural collapse.
Another area that’s related to family and wealth goes back to the inheritance tax.
Proverbs 13:22 says that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”
The Bible values passing on an inheritance. In fact, it was illegal under the Mosaic Law to have an inheritance tax, so that wealth could be accumulated generationally through the families.
This is reiterated in 2 Corinthians 12:14 where Paul says children are not to lay up for the parents but the parents should lay up for the children. Parents should accumulate wealth so that it can be passed on to the next generation, so that wealth can accumulate. This comes out of a proper view of divine institution number one and divine institution number three.
Now the fourth divine institution is government, which is established in Genesis 9, and the fifth divine institution is nations, which is established coming out of the episode at the Tower of Babel.
They are distinguished because they are separated in time but the way we experience them they work together. These two divine institutions were both formed after the Fall and after the Flood in order to restrain evil, in order to prevent evil from attacking the first three divine institutions.
So, that one of the roles of government is to protect individual responsibility, protect individual ownership of property, protect the accumulation of wealth, and to protect the spiritual accountability of every individual, so that they have the freedom to decide what they’re going to do in terms of their relationship with God.
What we see also from Scripture, comparing Romans 12 to passages in the Old Testament is that government is considered righteous. Those who are in the government are ministers of God. They have a role and that is to preserve righteousness within the society, that is they have to protect the society internally from enemies from within that would take away from our righteousness, that would attack the divine institutions and also to protect the nation from external enemies, from evil men who would seek to take power, steal land, steal property, and destroy the nation.
Now the basis for government is laid down in the Noahic Covenant with the death penalty. And this is seen in Genesis 9:5–6. In that covenant, God says to Noah,
“Surely I will require your life blood from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother, I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”
The purpose for the death penalty is not to prevent crime. It’s not a prevention mechanism. It is a protection mechanism. Look at the analogy:
If a wild animal kills a human being, what do we do to this day? If a bear or lion or tiger gets loose and attacks and kills a human being, what do we do? We kill it. Why do we do that? Because we know that once it crosses that border, that boundary, and it attacks and kills a human being that it’s going to do it again.
God is laying down the same principle here in regards to murder. Once a human being crosses that boundary and kills another human being where there’s no longer a sense of restraint, a sense of respect for other human beings because they’re created in the image of God, then that person needs to be executed to protect other individuals—divine institution number one—from this individual who has become so perverted in his soul that he can no longer exercise self-discipline, self-control, and self-restraint.
So this becomes the basis not only for government but primarily for the judiciary, because once man has been delegated this responsibility, then he has to decide how he’s going to implement this responsibility. How is he going to properly evaluate the circumstances of someone’s death? How is he going to develop lines and rules of evidence to determine whether a murder has taken place or whether it was simply an accident? Who’s going to be the ultimate decider, who’s going to be the ultimate arbiter, who’s going to be the judge, who is going to implement the penalty? All of these things come to bear.
So it looks like it’s just a very simple command, but in order to implement it, man had to think about that and develop all these other structures related to government. That then develops the whole systems of laws and the legal requirements that are related to bringing about these judgments.
Well, if it’s not murder, but it’s manslaughter, what kind of penalty are we going to have? Well, if it wasn’t manslaughter, if it was an accident, well, is there any kind of accountability? And you see how that eventually leads to judicial decisions in every area of life. So this becomes the foundation of the whole principle of judicial accountability within man’s environment.
Then when you come to Genesis, chapter eleven, in the construction of the Tower of Babel, God breaks down the languages, the language barrier by confusing the languages, and this is going to force the human race to divide up into tribes and clans and these will eventually develop into nations. God has established these boundaries.
In Acts 17:26 Paul mentions this and says that:
“… God has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitations.”
The inference from this is that there are nations that have legitimate boundaries, that God has established these, and that these nations have a right to protect their sovereignty, and that these nations need to maintain their national identity and their national distinctions, and they have the right of self-protection against any other nations that may be attacking them.
This is something that is going to play into the last principle we’ll look at on our relationship to Israel and the nation’s relationship to Israel, because this brings in this whole issue of Zionism. And what role is Zionism? Correct? Incorrect? What is Zionism? Is it legitimate for Israel to have a state, and is it legitimate for Israel to do whatever it takes to protect their national identity? I would say yes it is, and it flows out of this same principle for every nation, that every nation has the right to protect their national sovereignty.
So when we come to this last part with government we’ll see some very interesting things when it comes to examining our candidates. So we’ll wait and finish this up on Thursday night.
“Father, we thank You for this opportunity to look at these things this evening and to recognize Your Word clearly addresses all these different dimensions of life, and that as we look at them, and have a biblical framework, we can then evaluate each of the candidates, each of the parties, each of the platforms to see which comes closest to Your Word.
Unfortunately, many times many elements of individuals’ positions or their platforms and parties are far removed from Your Word, and we have to make very difficult choices, so we pray that You would give us wisdom.
And Father, we pray that in this election process that, we pray that You would still protect this nation, that You would protect our freedoms, that no matter what happens that this would be an opportunity for You to be glorified and for Christians to be unified around the truth of Your Word, and that ultimately it would be an opportunity for the Gospel to be proclaimed and for it to proclaimed not only by each of us through words, but also in our lives as we learn to relax in the midst of whatever crises or calamities come our way.
And Father, we’re thankful that You control history, and therefore, we can rest and relax in You. We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”