Saturday, March 13, 2010

Only in the Triune God, Who Himself is Unity in Diversity, can Unity out of Diversity be Achieved

The State of the Union Address demonstrates each year that the state established religion of the American system, Secular Humanism, is impotent to achieve unity out of the diversity that is America. After each major announcement, by the president, one side of the room applauds their approval, while the other side sits stoically, silently shouting their disapproval. The differences of Americans have not always been as polarizing as they are today.

There is a philosophy that is grounded in the unity of diversity. It is the philosophy that this nation was founded upon. It is the philosophy that brought people from the disparate parts of Europe and developed them into the unit that became the most prosperous nation on Earth. The philosophy that starts with the God who is three in one is the philosophy that makes sense out of the diversity of the universe.

True, the mystery of the Trinity cannot be fully comprehended in the human mind. By starting with the fact of the Trinity one has the foundation by which the diversity of the universe can come together in unity. For it is by the Triune God that “all things were created by Him, and for Him; And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” (Col. 1:16, 17).

This is in contrast to Secular Humanism, by which every man creates all things for himself, and each individual is before all things, and all things consist in him. You see how the diversity has no common ground in which a unity can be achieved. On the other hand, if everything is for and by God and consists in Him all of the diversity of the universe has common ground which results in unity.

Outside of the God, who is Himself unity in diversity, ethics, opinions and beliefs cannot be held together for a common purpose. Furthermore, without the Triune God, it is irrational to think that the diverse matter of the universe could be held together in unity. When everyone's ethics, opinions and beliefs are by and for himself, unity can only be found within the individual. If each individual grasps the truth that everything is by and for God, individuals unite to accomplish His purposes.

Outside of God there are purposes that can bring many people together, but even then, the method of achieving that purpose can divide those wishing to achieve the greater purpose. An acceptance of the axiom that the Triune God has created everything, including ethics and beliefs, by and for himself, leads men to God's means in order to accomplish God's ends, all of which can be found in God's revelation – Holy Scripture.

When ninety to ninety-five percent of Americans adhered to Biblical Christianity an unprecedented unity was achieved through the institutions of this country. As more Americans reject Biblical Christianity an inevitable polarization of the population manifests itself in the ugliest of ways. The answer to developing unity out of the diversity of peoples in America is to return to the “God of our fathers”.

America's State Established Religion, Secular Humanism, Cannot Achieve Unity out of Diversity

You see it every year during the State of the Union Address, delivered by the President of the United States. After each major announcement one side of the room applauds their approval, while the other side sits stoically, demonstrating disapproval. This is just one manifestation of the fact that America is a divided nation. The differences of Americans have not always been as polarizing as they are today. So the question is, what has changed, and can unity be regained in such a vast nation of different peoples?

People do not desire disunity. Philosophers have sought the secret of unity out of diversity from the very beginning of recorded history. The university was created to bring unity out of diversity – thus the combining of the two words to give us the word university.

The day after the state of the union address the conversation in the work place went something like this, “do you think the American people want to see their leaders divided like that?” To which a very wise man replied, “Do they not need to see how divided this nation is?”

The philosophers are correct in thinking that a common understanding of life can explain unity in diversity. The dominant philosophy of 21st century America, however, is impotent to accomplish this desired unity. The state-established religion in America today is Secular Humanism. It is taught in the government schools; it rules the court rooms and the halls of the legislature. In the institutions of higher learning, notice, they are not even referred to as universities very often any more. Secular Humanism is not satisfied with dominance. It seeks to kill the philosophy that stands in opposition to it.

With Secular Humanism's devotion to tolerance it may not be readily apparent to those brought up in this system why unity cannot be achieved by it. The Secular Humanist is taught to tolerate all beliefs and opinions as equally valid. On the surface, if everyone would adhere to this principle without exception peace and harmony would reign among a diverse people. However this view of tolerance breaks down both practically and logically. First, on the practical level, no one really holds to this principle without fail. Every one has something that they absolutely will not tolerate, even if the only thing that they wont tolerate is intolerance. Secondly, a complete adherence to this tolerance violates the laws of logic. A belief in and a denial of the existence of God is a logical impossibility. God either exists or doesn't. Both of these views cannot be equally valid.

This nation was not founded upon the philosophy of Secular Humanism. It was founded upon the principles of Biblical Christianity. As long as the American culture was grounded in true Christianity there was a unity among the diverse peoples of this nation. The farther the culture diverts from a Christian worldview the more polarized the people become. So the answer to the question, “What has changed? And can unity be regained in such a vast nation of different peoples?” is that America has rejected the only philosophy that makes sense out of a unity in diversity, and a return to ordering society by a Christian worldview will accomplish the unity that Americans desire.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Noah Webster's Distinctly Christian Education System Shielded the Republic From the Enlightenment

Noah Webster invested his entire life into the task of placing every aspect of life under the authority of Jesus Christ. In his personal and family life he ordered every activity by the principles of the Word of God. Having graduated from Yale at about the same time as the birth of America, he was burdened with the need to maintain America as a Christian Constitutional republic. He believed that in order to maintain liberty all ties with the old world must be severed. It would require a distinctly Christian education system to avoid propagation of foreign philosophies of government that may jeopardize this Christian Constitutional government.

The early life of Noah Webster was dedicated to building an educational system that would impart, “a love of virtue, patriotism, and religion”, based on scripture. These were the three characteristics that he deemed as necessary to maintaining the American Christian republic. He, like most Americans of his time time “affirmed that the principles of republican government have their origins in the Scriptures.”

Noah Webster provided a steady stream of text books that were rooted in Christian morality. In his Moral Catechism he wrote, “God's Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.” Noah Webster published his “Speller” in 1783, followed by a “Grammar” in 1784, and a “Reader” in 1785. These works were shortly followed by his “Elements of Useful Knowledge”, which contained the history and geography of the United States. The crowning glory of all of his works was the Dictionary of the American English Language. All of these works were based in the Christian worldview. Mr. Webster comprehended that only a public educated in this Christian worldview would be equipped to withstand an onslaught from anti-Christian philosophies.

Indeed it was his text books that carried Biblical principles over the American countryside. His “speller”, which became popularly known as the “Blue Backed Speller”, sold over one hundred million copies over a one hundred year period. As a result the American public was prepared to accept Mr. Webster's analysis of the philosophies of the French Revolution when her missionaries launched their attacks on Christianity and republicanism.

Noah Webster took up the pen against these subversive doctrines in his Minerva Magazine during 1790's. He warned that “If...that system of raising a multitude of isolated private clubs over the nation as its guardian – should spread thro the country, we may bid adieu to our Constitution.” The Christian nature of America's education system overcame the attacks of the Jacobins. The Enlightenment thinking of the French Revolution was never able to gain a foothold in the thinking and activities of 18th and early 19th century America. It wasn't until the 20th and 21st centuries, long after Americans began to reject Biblical Christianity, that these anti-Christian and anti-republican philosophies were able to hijack the American system of government.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fisher Ames, Warrior Against Democracy, the Enlightenment, and the Sovereignty of Man

Many know Fisher Ames as the man who moved for the House version of the First Amendment on August 20, 1789. The most important actions by Fisher Ames were his long-standing wars against the destructive philosophies of democracy, the enlightenment and the sovereignty of man. Because of Fisher Ames' power in Congress, in these matters Thomas Jefferson singled him out for defeat in his 3rd run for Congress. Ames received 1,627 votes out of 2,900 votes cast.

Fisher Ames was concerned that the French Revolution would find a foothold in the American mind. His logic and eloquence held audiences spellbound in his defense of the Christian idea of man and government, as against the sovereignty of man espoused by the Democracy and enlightenment movement coming from the French Revolution. His opinion of the destructive nature of the French Revolution is clear. He warned, “The morbid cause of the French Revolution lies deep; it is not a rash on the skin; it is a plague that makes the bones brittle and cankers the marrow.” And, “democracy will kindle its own hell, and consume in it.” Finally, “Liberty has never lasted long in a democracy; nor has it ever ended in any thing better than despotism.”

Ames saw the deep-seated flaw of federalism. It sought, from the very beginning, to dominate the American system of government. He illustrated its flaws by saying,
'Suppose a missionary should go to the Indians and recommend self-denial and the ten commandments, and another should exhort them to drink rum, who would first convert the heathen? Yet we are told, the vox populi is the vox dei; and our demagogues claim a right divine to reign over us.” Fisher Ames recognized what is being revealed in America today; that evil men see themselves as God, and unless bound, they will lord over whomever and whatever they can.

There is a lesson in the way Fisher Ames saw his mission against democracy, the enlightenment, and the sovereignty of man. He believed that a small minority can act as a check against the destructiveness of these systems of thought, until gradually men will become ready to “pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor...” to the cause.

History has never been ruled by majorities but by dedicated, motivated minorities. You have seen the havoc wrought on America by minorities playing their power games, homosexual “rights”, welfarism, and evangelistic atheism, to name just a few. This was not Ames' game. No, he believed that the minority of men of strong faith and Biblical ethics would overcome the lies of the French Revolution.

It is the French Revolution that threatens America today. There may not be enough churchmen dedicated to “pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to deliver America from this evil. The dedicated minority, however, can check the evils being perpetrated by false philosophies.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Augustinian view of history, A Study in Providence

Is God sovereign? If you truly believe that he is then everything must be understood in the light of His revelation. A Christian should have a well rounded education including a knowledge of history and its relationship to God's revealed word. History seems to be an important concept in the Bible. How you understand history is important to how you react toward culture.

If you look up “remember” in the Strong's Concordance you will find almost a full page of references. God constantly commands His people to set up reminders of His marvelous works. He commanded the Children of Israel to set up the Gilgal stones at the crossing of the Jordan, He set up the passover as a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt, He gave to the Christian the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's supper as a remembrance of Him.

Isaiah 46:9,10 reads, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure”. Passages like this one and Isaiah 25:1 inspired the Augustinian, or Christian, view of history. The Christian sees history moving in a linear direction for the purpose of glorifying God and accomplishing His will.

Another label for the Christian view of history is the providential view of history. Providence is a concept found in the fathers of the church and this country that has almost been lost on today's Christian. Tragically, too many Christians have allowed their view of history to be tainted by philosophies of men. If they will reject these false doctrines and view history as having a definitive purpose, the Christian will begin to act differently toward culture.

The first question in the Westminster shorter catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This is a marvelous summation of our purpose in light of God's plan in history. God's plan for this world, man and, yes, all of creation, is being accomplished through history and can be seen in passages such as I Peter 4:11: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracle of God: if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability that God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever.”

Understanding history as God “declaring the end from the beginning” and as Him “do(ing) all (His) pleasure” helps you see all of history, and everything that is happening today in such a way that motivates you to live for His glory. If history is seen as a purposeful creator directing everything to His glory, life then has purpose. You see, it's all about God. Man, even Christian man, tends to want to view everything in the context of 'what's in it for me'. If it is all about God then you can see history as pointing everything to His glory and you will live out I Cor. 10:31, (“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”) with gusto.

The Cyclical View of History

Most Christians are products of the progressive education system developed by John Dewey in the middle of the 19th century. The religion of Secular Humanism has been a controlling force in America since John Dewey and his allies gained control of the education system. Because the religion of Secular Humanism leaves its devotees with no absolute standard or purpose there is an overplus of historical theories vying for public acceptance. The oldest of these views is the cyclical view of history.

The Humanist Manifestos I and II (John Dewey signed Manifesto I) reveals the presuppositions of the religion of Secular Humanism. Consider this admission from these documents, “Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created...We find insufficient evidence for the belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists, we begin with humans, not God, nature not deity...(W)e can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know, humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”

Since history is just an endless cycle of repeating events with no purpose, those who order their life through this grid often become fatalists. Individuals and cultures that are influenced by this pessimism have no reason to better themselves or the culture. All is caught up in this all-powerful cycle of the universe. Many third world cultures are trapped in poverty, with no hope of improvement for their culture, because of their belief in the determinism of the cyclical view of history.

The tragic effects of this philosophy is most drastically seen in the multi-generational dependency on welfare of many families. These people have accepted the idea that they can do nothing to improve their lot in life, and besides, there is no reason to do so because all is meaningless. The sad result of the influence of the cyclical view of history on the Christian theology is seen in its degeneration into pessimism, and the idea that salvation is offered merely to keep man out of hell. To the degree that a Christian has been affected by this view of history, he will shrug off sin in the culture, and in his life. After all, nothing can be done about these problems, because life is an endless cycle of meaninglessness.

To the extent that the Christian has been influenced by the cyclical view of history, his dedication to the dominion mandate and the great commission will suffer. Why should he “subdue” all things for the glory of God, or “teach all nations” to submit to the authority of King Jesus, if the world is degenerating until the next cycle begins and then the cycle starts its degeneration all over again. For the Christian to be relevant to a culture that is trapped in a cycle of meaninglessness, he must grasp the concept that God is sovereignly in control of history, and that He is purposefully moving in the events of history to a glorious climax.

The Existential View of History

How one thinks determines his course of action. Therefore it is relevant to discuss some aberrant views of history. Because the Christian of the 21st century has blended existential thinking into his worldview to such a great extent, it is most relevant to understand what existentialism is and how it has become so prevalent in the Christian's thought processes. Then the Christian needs to cast off the existential component of his worldview.

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the here and now. This philosophy can best be summed up by Ecc. 8:15, “man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry:” The only thing that matters to the adherent of this philosophy is what can be experienced at the moment. The past is irrelevant and the future doesn't matter, live for the moment and 'grab all the gusto that you can'.

Examining the commitment of most Christians to the study of history reveals at least a partial influence of existentialism in their lives. For most it is more of an influence than might initially be thought, as it seems that many have an unbalanced interest in the future. It could be argued though that their understanding of the future is skewed by their lack of knowledge of the past. One cannot really understand the present, much less the future without some knowledge of the past, and this knowledge must be ordered by a correct interpretation of the events of the past. In other words you cannot really understand past, present or future without filtering your knowledge of each through the Christian worldview, and the Christian worldview demands an understanding of history as a study of God's providence.

So how is it that a deficiency of historical knowledge has become so prevalent in the church today? It is partially a vicious cycle that created the downward spiral of historical knowledge, and partially an unbalanced reaction against heresy. First, because of an emphasis on eschatology, Evangelical churchmen have caught rapture fever, and they spend an overabundance of time trying to read 'the signs of the times' in order to predict the future in current events. The interest in the future has overshadowed the study of Christian history. Because of the ignorance of Christian history the average Evangelical Christian has a distorted view of eschatology, or the future. Secondly, Roman Catholics elevate oral tradition to the level of the written revelation of God, and Protestants have reacted against that. Certainly Protestants should reject this practice, but do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Just because oral tradition, or church history, should not be held as on par with scripture does not mean that there is no value in church history. As has already been stated, a Christian worldview demands an understanding of history.

Spurn the influences of existentialism on your thinking. Clutch a thoroughly Christian worldview. Christian Worldview of History and Culture will continue to provide information related to Christian history. It is, after all, in the name. The current culture may be the glamorous part of the mission here, but without a thorough understanding of history it will be difficult to get the culture right.