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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Worldview 2

Today I think we need to set some foundations on some basic issues before we continue with this blog series on worldviews and their effect on education. First I would like to say that governments are Gods idea, as are families and the church. He established them, and He has a proper order for them. When they are in order they are beautiful and fully functioning. Like the universe, they are meant to be harmonious.

Rom 13:1
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God

When these areas of responsibility are out of order they rip and tear at the fabric of society. It behooves us to know what is proper and what is not. But how can we know? Opinions abound. Even highly educated Christians disagree. As a matter of fact, it seems like the more educated Christians are, the further they are from the simple truths established in the word of God.

In each area of responsibility or government God has established authority. Authority in kingdom understanding is responsibility. Authority without responsibility is not a kingdom mindset. It is a fallen, or worldly mindset.

Contrary to popular opinion, the smallest unit of government is not the precinct. The smallest unit is the individual. If the individual does not have an internal government that works in harmony with the principles of Gods word, he will never be able to be helped no matter how much external government is applied to his life. This I will call the principle of the internal to the external.
This is why we have begun to call some societies "pre-democratic" societies. No amount of external government can make a society of out-of-control individuals who have no internal government bigger than themselves, behave and be good citizens. Dictatorships are better than democracies for a society without internal and eternal values. Relative values will also bring down a democracy over time.

Relative values, in street level understanding, come down to "who has the power." If you have the power, you determine the values. If I have the power, I determine them. There are no absolutes. Only relative opinions. Thus the street gansta' becomes a law unto himself. He gets a gun and becomes his own government. He forms into clans and then gangs and eventually armies to establish his values which he sees as equal to anybody else's. It takes a strong oppressive government to hold back this will to power.

But if all authorities established by God are godly and honoring and respectful of each others authority then the different "spheres" of government work harmoniously with each other and complement each other and actually strengthen the whole of the society. Thus it is necessary today to identify three these "spheres" and establish boundaries and recognize their work. Here is a diagram I developed for this.

Notice that the different areas of responsibility/authority/government overlap in a few places.
In these areas of overlap, much caution should be shown in administration of justice. But yet, in my diagram, I show how the larger area of responsibility is relegated to the sovereign that is in authority in that sphere. This is because that sovereign is answerable to God and not to man for his performance in these areas. The US government does not rule over the family any more than it rules over the church. And the church does not rule over the government or the family either. Curiously, I don't think I have to remind most of you about how the family does not rule over the government or the church because those two authorities (government and church) already overstep their boundaries and are out of order.

And it does no good to argue that they are too strong over the family necessarily because the family is out of order. This argument is as spurious as the argument that, if a husband doesn't do his job in the family then the wife has to do it and so this is why she dominates the family.
If the wife does the husbands responsibility, then she simply facilitates his irresponsibility. She has to be willing to let him fall. A failed family is not the responsibility of the government or the church either. The responsibility rests solely on the family.

Well this is just a foundational teaching but I can already feel the crowd gathering stones. I think I will stop here tonight and see if I can add some more tomorrow. I would appreciate your comments, good or bad. You probably won't be able to change me but at least you will give me a chance to correct myself if I said something in a confusing way or if I just lost my head for a moment. We will talk more about the different biblical charges to the spheres of authority in the next blog.


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