by Paul Coviello
Nothing arouses my anger more than the phrase “reproductive rights,” or the words “choice,” and “fetus.” As they apply to abortion (more truthfully described as infanticide), they sanitize a disgusting and grisly act of murder.
Feminists and liberals deliberately employ such insidious language to justify their passion for a more licentious, perverted version of American society. Clearly, no man or woman will, in good conscience, approve of the murder of unborn children. When people continuously hear about a woman’s choice to allow the ongoing development of a fetus inside of her body, however, then they are conditioned to accept the unacceptable. Who can deny a woman her reproductive rights!? Her body is her own!
Yeah, right. Let me have sex, but spare me the consequences. It sounds like a Burger King jingle; “pass the condoms and the forceps, hold the fetus (it upsets us), forget your morals, we insist on doing it our way!”
I visited the Planned Parenthood website, and read testimonies that the organization provides to elicit support for abortion. Every entry read the same way: my boyfriend (or one-night stand) and I had unprotected sex, and, except for legalized abortion, we would have been stuck with a child that we did not want; we are grateful for the freedoms that our government guarantees for us.
If that sounds outrageous and unbelievable, then, please, visit the Planned Parenthood website. I was taken aback. Few, if any of the entries described the tortured experience of a rape or incest victim (the scenarios so often created by self indulgent, self righteous feminists and liberals). The testimonies were written by young women who were sexually active, but unwilling to bear children. They were grateful that our government provided the legal means to terminate their pregnancies. One girl wrote that her boyfriend was so supportive during the abortion procedure that they eventually married, and bore children!
Planned parenthood is one of several national organizations (Abortion Access project, Catholics for a Free Choice, National Abortion Rights Action League, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice are some others) that supports the controversial Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision of January 23, 1973. Presented as a challenge to a Texas law that prohibited abortion except in cases where a pregnant woman’s life was in danger, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The Court determined that the Texas law was an infringement on constitutional rights to privacy, struck down the law, and legalized abortion.
Since that ruling, pregnant women have murdered an estimated 1.5 million unborn children per year. Over forty million unborn children have been murdered by their mothers during the past thirty years.
Over forty million innocent children murdered! It conjures up images of Joseph Stalin in pre World War II Russia, Adolph Hitler in Nazi Germany, and Pol Pot in communist Cambodia. It should not be so for America; not for a country that was built upon Christian principles. What happened to the sanctity of human life, chastity, fidelity and honor? How did we fall so far as to legitimize murder?
Roe v. Wade is an undeniable violation of the Court’s limited powers. That is, it has no legitimate authority to legalize abortion. It has circumvented God’s supreme right to create and take life, and has cast aside the commandment “thou shalt not kill." [lit. murder] In so doing, The Supreme Court has overstepped boundaries clearly defined by God in scripture. What gives our Supreme Court justices the right to determine who can take life? On what basis do they assert their authority, using their vain intellect as a means to selectively apply the Word of God? The Court Justices were horribly wrong to place themselves above God.
A phrase over the entry to the Supreme Court reads “Equal justice Under the Law.” Obviously that phrase is pure lip service, because justice does not apply to the unborn in America. It cannot when an unborn child is subject to the murderous intentions of his/her parents, and has no legal recourse. Consider the 1996 murder case of Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson. They were tried for murder in Delaware after killing their newborn infant in a Newark Delaware motel. The child was found in a trash can with multiple skull fractures from blunt trauma and shaking. Had they obtained a partial birth abortion in the days and weeks prior to birth, a procedure during which an unborn child is partially delivered with forceps, and then has it’s brain removed by an incision (made with scissors) and a suction tube, then we would never have known their names or their crime. They would have violated no law.
We declare ourselves to be one nation under God, but a nation that is under the Lordship of God cannot condone the murder of unborn children. Abortion must stop. Never mind the bleating and babbling of the leftist extremists who want us to condone their licentiousness. We cannot condone the continued extermination of unborn children; not for the sake of sexual immorality disguised as freedom, not for “women’s rights,” not for “choice,” or for any other preposterous reason cooked up by leftist extremists. Abortion must stop!
Paul Coviello is a contributing writer for the Institute for Theonomic Reformation and serves as Deacon at the Reformed Bible Church In Central Virginia.
Originally published in 2003
by Paul David Coviello
The weekend "pro-choice" rally in Washington served as a showcase for all that is repugnant with the pro-abortion movement in America. Hundreds of thousands of women marched in support of infanticide, declaring their opposition to President Bush for his support of the partial birth abortion ban, and expressing their outrage at the Unborn Victims of Violence Law, the so-called Laci and Connor law, that extends criminal charges (against those who attack pregnant women) to the harm suffered by the unborn child in the womb.
I never considered pro-abortion advocates to be credible or their arguments defensible, but this past weekend the rhetoric became delusional. They actually insisted that their quest for unregulated freedom to kill their children is similar to the civil rights movement of the 60's!
I have read about the civil rights movement. I cannot recall any book that detailed organized rallies, marches, political pressure and legislative action, or any acts of civil disobedience inspired by such wanton immorality as that which prompts the quest for rights to kill unborn children. Any such comparison then must be viewed as outrageous and insulting black Americans. The right of equal access to education and public services afforded to other citizens, in other words, cannot be linked with a mother's decision to have a doctor kill her child in-utero. Abortion rights advocates cannot equate a struggle for basic human rights and equality under the law with sexual impropriety and murder!
The pro-abortion movement is about sex, and nothing more. Read the Planned Parenthood website testimonials section. It is quite revealing. I did not read one testimonial that focused on health issues, rape or incest. To the contrary the testimonials revolved around consensual sex that resulted in unwanted pregnancies.
"Unwanted" is far from life threatening. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a not for profit sexual and reproductive health research organization, there are roughly 1.37 million abortions are performed in the U.S. annually. 81 percent of abortions are performed on women under 26, and over 80 percent of all abortion patients are unmarried. 93.9 percents of abortions are performed because the mother does not want to disrupt her education or career, she or her partner do not want a child or the couple have relationship issues, the mother wants to postpone child-bearing, the mother is too young and her parents or others object to the pregnancy, or the mother cannot afford a child. 3.3 percent are performed because of fetal health issues. That is, the child is determined to be "unviable," because of mental or physical deformities and handicaps. The remaining 2.8 percent are performed because of maternal health reasons. Only 2.8 percent.
It sounds nice, but the pro-abortion crusade is not akin to civil rights movements. Modern day abortionists lack the moral clarity and courage of their self-declared brethren. Further, the statistics show that they are far from oppressed or down trodden. If anything, they are far too free with their bodies! By contrast they stand out as idiotic, irresponsible, self-indulgent whores who equate freedom and choice with murder.
Paul Coviello is a contributing writer for the Institute for Theonomic Reformation and serves as Deacon at the Reformed Bible Church In Central Virginia.Originally published in 2003
by Paul Coviello
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”
So reads the first clause of amendment one to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Groups on both sides of the issue regarding the secularization of America fight relentlessly over how our government, and by extension our society, should be structured. The battle lines are marked in schools, court houses, civilian and military government buildings, and in institutions funded by taxpayer money. The points of contention are as follows: how should we interpret amendment one to the Constitution, and what were our founders’ intentions? More specifically, what did Thomas Jefferson envision when he wrote to The Danbury (CT.) Baptists Association that a “wall of separation” exists between church and state?
I can assert with abundant evidence that our founders were not secularists, and I charge that people who think otherwise distort history in an effort to suppress the truth. The argument is pedantry, however, because our founders’ beliefs and intentions, while germane to the legal wrangling over the Constitution, are not to be considered infallible, or preeminent.
The Law of God, the Bible, is our sole source for authoritative information regarding all aspects of private and public life. Our arguments, beliefs, decisions, plans and our thoughts must be evaluated in light of what God dictates in the Bible. We must, therefore examine the issue of church and state in light of what the Bible dictates.
The most fundamental principle of scripture is that God himself is sovereign, the supreme power, and is as such “The King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). He sets up and removes kings, granting them kingdoms, power, strength and glory (Daniel 2:21, 37). God rules over men, and metes out honor, power and riches to whomsoever he desires.
God will not, however, allow men to be capricious. Nor will he allow unruly, unscrupulous men to govern without consequence. A cursory read through The Books of The Kings and The Chronicles of the Kings proves that God cuts down the wicked, and establishes the righteous. Biblical history is crystal clear: when wicked kings reigned in Israel and Judah, then the people rebelled against the authority of God, and the nation was cursed. When righteous Kings reigned, then the people chastened themselves, and they were blessed. Examples abound, including that of King Ahab; a man so wicked that God declared that “there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord (1 Kings 21: 25).” His wife Jezebel slew the prophets of God, and established and supported the prophets of Baal. During Ahab’s reign God cursed the land with drought, and the people were so blind that they could not discern good and evil. God also cursed Ahab so that his posterity was cut off. To the contrary, David and Solomon, Kings whose character and conduct were markedly different, were so greatly blessed that God made Israel a kingdom of great might and wealth during their lives.
We must expect the same principles to apply today, because God is immutable. He is the same today as he always was, and ever will be. We must, therefore take heed and act upon what we know thus far.
A government or nation that deviates from the principles of scripture will suffer the condemnation of God, especially when its leaders have no regard for God’s authority. Rulers, according to Romans 13: 1 – 7, are God ordained ministers who administer justice and judgment for the benefit of the people. When they create and enforce laws that are consistent with Biblical principles, then deviant, lawless and perverse elements in society are chastened. When they disregard Biblical principles, then deviant, lawless and perverse people are emboldened, and wickedness takes root in society. God provides no other option; either a nation submits and enjoy God’s blessings, or it rebels and suffers God’s wrath (Deuteronomy 28).
Clearly, our present course (as a nation), places us in great danger. We are systematically eradicating God and Christian principles from public life, and are choosing instead vain belief systems with which to govern ourselves. The fruit is already evident: we have a corrupt and oppressive political system, and homosexuals, feminists, atheists, civil liberties organizations, environmentalists and other Godless groups are seeking to reshape our country into a socialist democracy that is hospitable everyone except Christians. We are moving in the wrong direction!
Separation of church and state is a violation of scripture, so we must return to the Christian foundation upon which our country was built. God is the supreme Lord, and dictates the manner in which we are to live and govern ourselves. He provides no alternative to his authority. We will either live under his authority, or we will perish in rebellion to it.
God be merciful to us.
Paul Coviello is a contributing writer for the Institute for Theonomic Reformation and serves as Deacon at the Reformed Bible Church In Central Virginia.
Originally published in 2003
As a result of man being created in the image of God, and under covenant obligation, all men seek some sort of dominion. Mankind is naturally inclined to overcome, subdue and take dominion over his environment. He is by nature an entrepreneur. Yet, natural man, void of the grace of God, seeks dominion for his own purposes. He sets himself as king over nature and attempts to subdue it according to his own agenda, and solely for his personal gain. Natural man does not desire to glorify God nor show Him reverence, but rather suppresses the knowledge of God in unrighteousness, and seeks credit for all his accomplishments.
Regenerate man, on the other hand, seeks dominion on God's terms, and for God's glory. Unlike natural man, regenerate man has sound priorities. God is always first. His heart is turned upward, toward God, without abandoning his commission upon the earth. He understands his purpose; to Glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Regenerate man seeks dominion God's way, according to God's terms, and only for God's Glory.
If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there. Natural man generally lives life passively. He allows circumstances to direct him and lead him along the path of life. Situations become the guiding force, often turning into harsh taskmasters and dictators. Even those unregenerate souls who seem to have a specific life-long plan are living their lives apart from the purpose to which God created them. At best they are at odds with God even though they seem to be successful and highly regarded in this world. Any vision apart from, or in conflict with God's vision is a truncated view of life. This ultimately leads to a confused and often desperate life. Without a steadfast vision, as the writer of the Proverbs states, "the people perish". Modern people, even many of today's Christian people, are perishing for want of vision.
Without a life vision it is impossible to find the right direction. The Apostles had similar concerns. When Thomas confessed that he did not know the way, the Lord answered that HE was the way. That answer still holds the same weight of truth today as it did during Christ's life upon the earth. The Christian way must conform to God's Way. Our vision must be in direct and perfect harmony with God's vision, and God's vision is revealed to us in His Word.
Since the Resurrection the Kingdom of God has been advancing upon the earth. Coupled with the coronation of Christ after the ascension, and the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, the Lord's Dominion has been advancing in a consistent and bold fashion upon the earth. According to the eternal plan, God's people have been, and forever will be an intricate part of the Kingdom's advancement and ultimate conquest. It is through God's empowered people that the Kingdom is brought to the finality of its comprehensive victory spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:24. This is the mission of each and every Christian; i.e. to so dramatically influence every area of life with Christ-centered doctrine, principles and practice that the culture is subdued under them to the praise of the Glory of God, in Christ.
What the church has failed to realize is that the Lord has established and empowered her for the express purpose of regaining and re-claiming that which was lost in Adam's transgression. Christians are called to re-claim the entire global culture to the Glory of God. Since God claims dominion and ownership over the entire global community, He desires it to be subdued under Him. This means that the Gospel commission is a global, evangelical commission consisting in bringing captive every thought, philosophy and practice to the obedience of God.
This does not mean that all flesh will be redeemed or that every soul will be obedient to God's Law-Word. It does mean however, that overall, there will be an atmosphere of Christ-centered Lawful obedience in every land to a God glorifying high degree. Whereas the world was predominantly pagan before the coming of Christ, it will be predominantly Christian during the New Testament age and will steadily progress until His appearing. If more Christians would embrace the positive and comprehensive nature of the Gospel commission of the Cultural Mandate more of our culture would be righteously influenced.
Sadly, the task of re-claiming the culture has been relinquished to almost every religion, party, person or program. Science, technology, politics, American bankers, international security, presidents, ambassadors, education systems, the military and a host of others have taken center stage with competing bids to become the Supreme Savior of the World. Today's hodge-podge of Deliverers have wearied the public to the extent that they no longer can distinguish between what is authentic and what is cosmetic.
What is so disturbing is that the Church is also confused by the deafening noise of these self proclaimed problem solvers. Instead of properly analyzing the global/national situation from a Biblical vantage point, the church has made a federation with the wisdom of this world, abandoning the wisdom of Christ and His Law. Proclaiming themselves to be wise, they have become fools.
As carbohydrates are to the body so too is humanism to the soul. Carbohydrates are painfully addicting. The more the body indulges in them the more the body craves them. Yet, most carbohydrates only satisfy temporarily, turning to sugar, and then stored as fat. They are not a sufficient source of protein, and an abuse of carbohydrates can result in obesity. In society, individuals who abuse themselves with abusive diets, high in fat and carbohydrates, sometime blame the makers of those foods, shifting the blame from themselves to another. This is synonymous to much of the Christian community today.
Humanism is addicting to the natural, sinful tendency of man. It satisfies with temporary solutions but remains void of real, long term problem solving. In fact, humanism exacerbates the problem while disguising itself as the "answer". It is this human-centered wisdom that the Apostle Paul condemns as carnal and foolish. This wisdom is not from God, but rather from the sinful root of rebellious man, claiming God-like capabilities. David also condemns this in Psalm 1 where he cautions the saint against the sinner and the scornful humanist.
Humanism is man's carnal reason trying to put "Humpty Dumpty" back together with spit. It simply cannot be done. All the king's horses and all the king's men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again because they did not have to tools to do so. It is not in human reason where we find the answers, it is in Revelation - God's Revelation. The Revelation of God's Law is the tool for Biblical Dominion. The application of God's Law to all spheres of life is the road to a God glorifying reclamation of the culture. Through Divine Revelation society can, and must be cultivated to the Glory of God. But it must be done God's way, according to His Law, His plan, His design.
How does one begin the long road back to Biblical Dominion? Where is the staring point? Has it already been initiated? To what degree? Where does the 21st century church fit in? All these questions are simple to answer, but not easy to put into practice.
The Cultural Dominion is a Divine commission, and as with all things Divine, the starting point also must be Divine. The intervention of God, unto the salvation and regeneration of the soul is the starting point for His plan for Global conquest. Reformation always begins with transformation.
As with all military Generals, God too establishes an army and equips them for real battle. It is a battle of a spiritual nature. This does not for a minute mean it is not physically real, nor that it does not manifest itself in historical confrontation between men and men. It simply means that the battle is one of philosophy and presuppositions. It is a battle of World views. It is an epistemological battle - a battle of knowledge, understanding and power often fought through action and policies. It is a battle which has not only temporal consequences but eternal consequences as well. This is what makes this battle more frightening and more severe than any other.
The pre-requisite of this battle is the New Birth. Before battle can be waged successfully, the soul must be regenerated. This regeneration transforms the individual and equips him/her for the battle at hand. The regeneration causes a soul to "think God's thoughts after Him", relying upon the Divine Revelation of the written Word over and above the faulty reason of man-centered Humanism. It is this faithful adherence to the Divine Law of God which ultimately brings victory and dominion to the saints.
Without the intervention of God's Holy Spirit there can be no conquest. This is why the Gospel of salvation is declared. In the hope of recruiting others to the front lines of the battle, the Truth of the Lord Jesus is declared by the saints. The Gospel declared and embraced by individuals, for their personal salvation, is not an end in itself as so many pastors teach. It is a means to an end. It is a means to global reformation. It is a means to Godly reclamation. It is a means to Christ-centered righteous dominion.
It is a misunderstanding to equate intelligence with knowledge. Intelligence is rightly defined as to inform, understand or to collect data. One who is intelligent is one who is widely informed of world events, historical events, economic or political events, et al. Intelligence is that faculty which enables an individual to be well equipped against life's challenges. Intelligence gathering in the National security arena is the collection of information, its proper analysis, and its application to current situations. To know one's enemy is invaluable. God encourages us to know the devices of every and any anti-Christian assault. All the military campaigns of the Old Testament generals were victorious because they were successfully based upon intelligence gathering concerning the enemy. Intel gathering is crucial in the battle for cultural dominion.
According to this definition, therefore, it is incumbent upon the Christian community to be well informed in the affairs of this world's events. The Christian cannot be ignorant of the situations and circumstances surrounding the history in which he lives. To remain willfully ignorant presupposes a mindset of escapism, which is nothing more than covenantal irresponsibility from the Dominion Commission. The Christian must be well informed. In this way he can analyze and critique the popular theology of the day in order to correct or confirm its authenticity.
One method of intelligence gathering is through reliable news sources. To be apprised daily in the affairs of the world from reliable news sources is invaluable. Liberal, anti-Christian news sources too have their worth since by studying them we can glean the opposing argument, and strategy, and gear up for that assault to the Christian advantage. All information, as long as it is filtered through a Biblical World View, is valuable. Every Christian must be well informed. Otherwise the ill informed will be at a loss when they are needed most. The fact of the matter is that God will only call those who are well informed, since being well informed is being well armed. "To be fore-warned, is to be fore-armed."
A practical use of the internet can equip the Christian like never before in the world's history. In the economy of God's providence, the saints can be both locally and globally informed. Moreover, from the comfort of the Christian home, diligent Christians can launch Biblical assaults on the world of humanism without too much effort. In earlier years, the Reformers, Puritans and founders of America did so much with so little. Today, the Christian community does so little with so much.
Networking with faithful organizations and individuals is crucial. The wall of Nehemiah was filled with many saints. They had one goal and one vision, yet they varied in their geographical location and in their duties. Such it is with the saints in the world. Comprehensive conquest and dominion is contingent upon the forming of Godly federations. These can be either long or short term, consistent or intermittent. In any case, no man, nor organization is an island, nor should ever considered as such. Faithful Christians must work together.
The use of Christian networking is a wise strategy. This immediately strengthens all parties involved and is they are diligent and selfless, having the goal Christ-centered, they will fare valiantly for Christ and contribute much in the cause of the Cultural Mandate.
Wicked men are cunning men. They can easily spot the hypocrites in the Camp of Christ. They know who are true and who are the Pharisees. Surprisingly they often know more than those who profess themselves to be Christians. This is why it is so very important to have a spotless, blameless testimony.
Ethical obedience to the Law of God is of utmost importance. This fidelity must be exhibited in every area of life. In personal matters as well as business matters. In our affairs with the public and our testimony in private. In what we say, in where we go, in what we wear, in how we act. Moreover, our testimony is manifested by our family - our husbands, wives and our children. They testify as to our fidelity, influence and control. They also need to be mindful of their behavior and associations.
Covenantal obedience is intimidating to those who hate God and an encouragement to those who love Him. Obedience gives rise to Godly intimidation which translates into respect and holy fear. Men like Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli and the pious Puritans were men of holy obedience who commanded holy awe as a result of the power of the Holy Spirit at work within them. Only a true witness comes with True Grace.
This is the first step in psychological warfare. Remember, this is a spiritual battle. It is a battle of ethics and moral character. It is a matter of Law empowered by the Grace of God. Once a strong, God fearing character testimony is established, the enemy is rendered fearful. They begin to make mistakes. They may manufacture lies as to the moral stability of the saint, but make no mistake, they are worried. They are worried because intuitively they know they are dealing with the real thing. They know they are dealing with a vessel of clay molded by the Master's hand, filled with the Power of His Spirit, the Word of His mouth and the Water of Life and Truth. True saints are as a Rod of Iron in the Lord's hand and arrows of the Mighty Hunter. To this fact, the enemy cannot help but tremble.
This psychological warfare also has another result coupled with the result of "fear"; i.e. anger and frustration. As a result of a Godly testimony coupled with intelligence, wisdom, courage and power, the Godless are also enraged. They are enraged because they know that they are out gunned as well as out smarted. This rage is a tearful rage of frustration since they can offer no concrete or logical argument against the Law of God. It is the Law of God which renders all who oppose it foolish and without the power of a convincing argument.
The second plateau of psychological warfare is waged in another fashion. By consistently and publicly analyzing current events, in the light of the Holy Scriptures, the Christian begins to both establish himself as a watchman and sets in motion a string of events which will root out the enemy. To be silent in the face of sin and iniquity is sin itself. To sin by silence is not only loathsome to God it is also the sin of cowardice. Cowards were always asked to leave the ranks of the brave before going into battle since it would infect the entire camp. cf Deut 20. There is no excuse for cowardice in the assembly of the saints.
One arena to voice our analysis is in the letters to the editor section of the local newspaper. This is a perfect venue for bringing to light the Christian world and life view and placing it smack into the lap of the American populace - whether they like it or not.
Another arena mentioned earlier is the internet. A simple web site can host hundreds of pieces dealing with various topics of interest. Once the site is up and running, the church, or the individual can promote it throughout the community. If done properly, and with the blessing of God, this can be a power tool for cultural change.
Newsletters, flyers, and tracts are just a few ways to launch psychological warfare on any community. Coupled with effective networking, this strategy can be explosive.
The motive behind Christian service is love toward God. All other motives are unacceptable. Wherever the heart is, the mind will follow. The Christian is sensitive both to the obligation he has before God as his Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver and King, as well as the promise of victory given by Christ. Not to act on the promise of victory is to deny faith in the Promise-giver.
Modern Christians have widely misunderstood this promise, or are simply giving lip service to it. The promise of victory is for a time in history. It is not for a time outside of time, nor outside of history. It may be for a time appointed in history which we will not see in our life, but it will be accomplished in time and in history. I the promise of Christian Dominion is not a victory promise in the hereafter. It is a promise for this earth's existence, and it will be the culmination of the New Testament Age.
The Eschatology of the Covenant saint is one of victory not of defeat. Therefore they continue in the fight of faith, here and now, preparing their children to continue that fight after they are gone to be with the Lord.
Christians must also be territorial. They must be jealous over their family first, then their church, then their community, then their nation, then the world. If they stop short of any of these areas, if they fail to be territorial, a vacuum is created. That vacuum allows any idea or policy to fill the void. It is the commission of the Christian not to allow any void whatsoever. It is for them to fill, not some pagan, God-hating humanist. Christians need to be sensitive to these pockets of opportunity and developed the skills to fill them. Areas of law, science, literature, economics, art, history, education, industry, etc. all have pockets which need to be first filled by Christians and then controlled by Christians.
In 1776, as the Declaration of Independence was being signed, Samuel Adams declared his vision of territorial Christian Dominion over the New Republic of America.
"We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come."
If the promise is to us and to our children that we shall inherit the earth, the task must be done diligently and consistently. The call of Christ centered Cultural Dominion is given to the Christian. It is the Christian who alone can accomplish it, by the Grace of God, God helping us. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria
Originally published in 2003
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen 1:28 AV
When God commissioned Adam to till and take dominion over the earth and all its creatures, He was issuing an everlasting cultural mandate. Whenever the Eternal Lawgiver speaks, His word becomes eternally unchangeable. Therefore, Adam's call to dominion continued after his rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Regardless of the fall, the dominion mandate remained in effect. In fact, since all flesh was in the lions of Adam, the elect included, the commission to till and take dominion is still in force today.
If ever there was a practical doctrine of the Holy Scriptures that has been overlooked by the modern church it is the doctrine of the "Cultural Mandate" of Genesis 1:28.
The church has regressed into an arena of blatant ignorance concerning their place in society. Like the Reformationalist monk, Martin Luther, the church embraces the ideology that Christ and the Gospel has nothing to do with the natural life. Luther's view was that the Scriptures, focused only upon the soul and spirit, and omitted the things of the world. While Luther's contribution to reformation Theology cannot go unnoticed, in Luther's view, business, politics, government, science, law, the arts and literature was not to be brought under the authority of the Scriptures. These disciplines, Luther believed, were outside of the interest of the Holy Spirit. With all Christian respect to Luther for his faithful devotion to Christ and the Gospel, on this point he was very wrong.
The modern church has also embraced the "escapism" mentality claiming that the saints are to abandon the world since they are not called to "polish brass on a sinking ship." What they have succumbed to is the notion that there is exists dualistic existence; one of the natural and the other of the spiritual. The natural is cursed and destined for the wrath of God, while the spiritual is blessed, destined for the glory of heaven.
What the modern religionist believes is that there is a secular world and a sacred world - the natural and the spiritual. These are distinct and are not to be confused or interwoven. The Christian, they believe, is only to be interested in the sacred, denying entirely the secular. It is in this way he makes the distinction, and hopes to remain unspotted by the world. Yet, this is not a distinction made by the Scriptures.
The European Reformation of the 16th Century was special because it restored the original Biblical Idea of Cultural Dominion over every sphere of life. The word "secular" means "pertaining to this present world." It is translated as "non-sacred" or "not holy". It also is understood as meaning "not bound by any religious laws, oaths or commands". To be secular therefore, would yield itself to being anarchistic, not being bound by any Divine Law. Again this notion flies in the face of Holy Scripture.
Yet, everything is bound by Divine Law. All mankind is held completely accountable to the Law of God, naturally and spiritually. God remains Sovereign in all legislation, whether it is the Laws of Nature or the Laws of Heaven. God is the God of nature as much as He is the God of Heaven. He is the God of the seen as well as the unseen, and His Laws are structured to be obeyed. This fundamental and essential fact is what the modern church has forsaken to its own hurt.
The Cultural mandate, renewed by the European Reformation rightly understood that Adam's commission to "till" the ground was a commission to "cultivate the earth". Societal cultivation is the focus of the Gospel.
The New Birth is only a portion of the Gospel program. It stands alongside the restoration and reorganization of the culture. It is the essential tool to bring about the reconstruction of the culture in the age of Anno Domino, the New Testament Dominion period of the New Covenant.
The regeneration miracle of the soul is the regeneration of the whole man. Upon the New Birth the elect saints become the army of Christ, dispatched into the realm of the "secular sin cursed world" in an effort to its restoration. As John states by the Holy Ghost, "For God so loved the World...", indicating that God loves His created Cosmos. This cosmos is the natural world which was destroyed by Adam's disobedience. Christ came both to restore His people and His World to Himself. Biblically, there is no distinction between secular and sacred - everything of God's creation is sacred.
This means that as a result of the regeneration of the whole man, the restoration of every sphere of life, in which man lives, must be undertaken. Thus the cultural mandate. This "sphere sovereignty" is what every true Christian labors to achieve. Wisdom compels the saint to bring every aspect of his world under the righteous authority of Christ and His Law. Not only must the Christian's own mind and will be subdued, but every high arrogance of the entire rebellious human race as well.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Cor 10:5 AV
While some would argue that the eschatology of the Christian has little bearing upon "essential" life practices, nothing could be farther from the truth. Eschatology, i.e. the study of the last things, has everything to do with how one lives. The modern church has adopted a "pan-millennial "view of the last things, which by definition means, that everything will "pan out" in the end. In other words, the plan of God for the culmination of history isn't very important.
Yet, eschatology is extremely important for both the present and the future. Eschatology provides a framework for the cultural mandate. If that eschatology is perverted, the approach to the cultural mandate will also be perverted.
To their own ruin, the modern church has adopted the popular rapture fever philosophy, which states that Christ can rapture the church at any moment since the end is at hand. This doctrine also favors the notion that most of the New Testament prophesies, particularly those in Revelation, are future events.
Since these conclusions are based upon faulty exegesis and faulty preconceptions, the church lies shipwrecked upon its own idea of eschatology. The problem with the futurist view is not only that it has concluded erroneously, concerning the last times, but the means by which those conclusions are reached exhibit a gross misunderstanding of basis hermeneutics. The futurists have not allowed God to define His own Word. They have defined it, or rather re-defined it, according to their own idea of how things should turn out.
If the futurists would consider the Bible as its own commentary, letting God speak for Himself, they would then note that most of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, is exactly that; the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The book of Revelation is primarily a re-capping of past events most of which is written in allegorical language, but which can be traced back to many Old Covenant passages.1 It has very little to do with the future. As a matter of fact, Revelation 19:10 defines the spirit of prophesy. It is the testimony of Jesus Christ revealed in the New Testament age, and not the testimony of future events. Christ is the fulfillment of the Prophesy of God. While He was the future event to Old testament prophets, He is also the fulfillment of that event to the New Testament saints. This is called the Preterist view of Scripture.
Futurists, and those with rapture fever, see the end at hand. This view provides an escape route of non-responsibility toward the society as a whole. Yet, the end of the age initially was a term used to identify the end of the Old Testament age. This is what Christ was primarily referring to in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13.
On the other hand the end times, or the end and final age, is that time-period of the New Testament era. There will be no other age after this age. Therefore, God refers to it as the final or the end age. This period is the period of dominion and Kingdom building which can, and must be fully accomplished as a result of the Victory of the Cross.
To teach that there is yet another age yet to come denies the clear teaching of Scripture. Thus, the error of the Pre-millenialists, who teach that Christ will return to earth to set up an earthly Kingdom apart from the final Judgment. What they fail to see is that He has already set up an earthly Kingdom in His saints to bring about a Golden age of subjection of all peoples.
Christ reigns from Jerusalem now! It is simply the New Jerusalem, or the New Testament Jerusalem which are the saints of God. So then Revelation 21, when compared to Hebrews 12, must be seen as past events.
And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. v2
The New Jerusalem which John saw is the New Testament Church. It is adorned beautifully and married to Christ now! It is one with Him now! The consummation is now! There is not to be a marriage supper in the future for the saints, it is a supper of marriage at His resurrected Victory - a past realization.
Furthermore, the resurrection Victory also ushered in the New Age of the New heaven and New earth. All things were made new by the restoration work of the Lord. That includes the new relationship which mankind has with God and which His creation has with Him also. This New heaven and New earth will continue after judgment day, but like the resurrected soul it begins in time and history, after the cross, in the age of His Dominion.
The futurists want an easy fix. If they can manufacture a doctrine that removes them from all cultural responsibility, they have little confrontational work to do. Oh , maybe convert some people here and there, but at least they do not need to confront governments, and school systems, and economic perversion, and so on. If the restoration of the earth is a time to come, in the "by and by", they need not worry about the work involved in bringing it to pass.
The doctrine of the futurist is a doctrine of ignorance, arrogance, irresponsibility and sloth. It is a doctrine of ease and not of Christian warfare. It the perhaps the principle reason for the demise of our American culture since it is the principle reason for apostasy.
Since the mantra of the day is God's Rapture and not God's Sovereignty, those who are called to dominion need to go it alone amidst great "Christian opposition" as well as Humanistic opposition. May God help us in our quest to fulfill His will on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Soli Deo Gloria
Originally published in 2003
1 A careful look at the language of Revelation 13 concerning the beast coming out of the sea and the second beast likened to a lamb should immediately drive the scholar to the language of Daniel and Ezekiel. It is primarily in Ezekiel where God uses the same animal and beast-like descriptions to pattern Himself after and not some monstrous adversarial creature.
Compare this with the fire which the second beast in Revelation 13uses in judgment and it should drive the scholar to the two witnesses in Revelation 11, James and John the sons of thunder and the fire which Elijah brought down to consume the enemies of God. Future clues are gleaned as to the identity of the second beast when the scholar realizes that the fire of destruction is the Lord's power alone as it is also given to the saints. What most self proclaimed Bible teachers have taught concern these passages are simply not well studied out - at least not by using the Bible.
By Paul Coviello
Christians in America are alienated and vilified by the media, and special interest groups whose agendas contradict the holy Word of God. Homosexual activists, in particular, make vehement accusations of bigotry, intolerance, hatred, and homophobia.
Truthfully, such allegations are silly, but homophobia strays so far from reality that it is purely ridiculous.
As a professing Christian, I can state categorically that Christians don’t ponder homosexuality enough to become scared; we simply do not dwell on homosexuality! It is not an inexhaustible topic of conversation in our churches, we don’t flock to our churches to find safety from homosexuals, we don’t compose long anti-gay sermons and studies in an attempt to mask some supposed latent homosexuality within ourselves, and we don’t spend our time together whispering about the sordid lives of gay men and women who we know. We don’t do it, simply because our devotion to Christ precludes us from engaging in frivolous and unprofitable endeavors!
Any fixation then must exist within the minds of homosexuals who have some latent paranoia about Christians!
I think that I know why. Though unregenerate men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness, they are keenly aware of their woeful state of being. They intuitively know that they are accountable to God, our Creator, and quake at the prospect of facing him in judgment. Unsaved men know that they are in trouble, that is, they live with the conviction of their sins!
Conviction draws some men to God, and it ignites persecution in others. In Acts chapter 2 we read that the Apostle Peter preached to about three thousand men whose hearts were pricked, and who cried out “what must we do to be saved?” To the contrary, the Apostle Steven was stoned to death by Jews who could not bear to hear the preaching of God’s word. In the former case God called men to him and they were saved. In the latter, men hardened their hearts and their conviction turned to anger and indignation. Christ preached “if they have called the master of the house baalzebub, how much more then they of his house hold,” “marvel not brethren if the world hate you,” and “this they do, because they know not him that sent me.”
Homosexuality, contrary to the contemporary belief that it is some birth defect that we must accept, is sin. God states clearly in Leviticus chapter 18, that men are not to lay with men as they do with women and vice versa. The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Romans wrote that it is a manifestation of the unregenerate heart of idolatrous men who know God through his work of creation, but choose to worship the creation and not the creator (Romans 1: 18 – 27). Homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God, and those who partake of it have no place in the Kingdom of God .
The fate of Sodom and Gomorrah , a jarring reminder of the wrath of God, is a perfect illustration. The cities were destroyed by fire and brimstone, because God was incensed by the sin of the inhabitants. The sin that God documents as cause for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is homosexuality! It is clear when God links the term “know” (in context) with lot’s protest that they sexually abuse his virgin daughters instead of the men who visited with him.
In Genesis chapters 18 and 19, God appeared before Abraham as three men, declared his intentions for Sodom and Gomorrah , heard the petitions of Abraham for the cities, and departed for the Sodom . They entered Lot ’s house where they were besieged by men, Sodomites, who insisted that they “know” the men who came to visit with him. Lot protested stating, “Nay brethren do not so wickedly, behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes (GE 19: 7,8).” They then assaulted Lot ; God smote the men with blindness, waited for Lot and his family to flee, and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with the inhabitants therein.
In short, God condemns homosexuality as stated clearly in the bible, and gay men and women (whether or not they know scripture) are keenly aware of it, because God gave them consciences to know right from wrong. They mount concerted attacks against Christianity as a way to squelch their malaise. If they silence the messenger, then they will no longer hear the message!
Christians are taught to expect persecution, accepting it with great forbearance as good ambassador’s of Christ’s Kingdom. As such, we demonstrate great tolerance, forgiveness and love. In fact, we are tolerant and forgiving to a fault.
Gay rights activists and their enablers on the political left have continually fought to overturn the political and social order created by our nation’s founders. We have heard about it in the news from court cases and lobbying efforts to legitimize gay marriage, and efforts to include homosexual lifestyle curricula in public schools, to paltry attacks against groups like the Boy Scouts and public figures who dare to make a public stand against homosexuality. Most recently, Senator Rick Santorum (Pennsylvania Republican) has been publicly attacked by homosexual groups and democratic politicians, because he publicly espoused his belief that homosexuality is immoral. They are calling for his resignation as a Republican Party leader, categorizing him as insensitive. Clearly, gay Americans and their supporters have been fighting to legitimize homosexuality.
Christians have not enjoined the battle, much to our discredit. I fear that we have confused forbearance and forgiveness with passive resignation, because we are inactive. We must recognize that homosexuality is no longer an abomination that only threatens the souls of those who are enslaved by it. Our nation is now in peril, because homosexuality has become part of the political and social agenda nationwide. If we as a nation embrace homosexuality as “an alternative lifestyle,” and allow it to become a legitimate and integrated part of out national framework, then we will incur the displeasure and wrath of God.
Old Testament history is crystal clear. God continually rebuked and chastened Israel for their rebellion as a nation, cursing their land and allowing their enemies to overthrow them in battle. It is a biblical pattern that continues today, because God is unchangeable. That is, he will not bestow his blessings upon a nation that abides in open rebellion to him. We cannot expect to be a prosperous and degenerate nation.
Throughout the Old Testament record of history we read about prophets whom God sent to warn Israel and Judah about his wrath. They testified before Kings and priests alike, protesting against their wickedness, and pleading with them to return to God. We Christians bear that same responsibility today.
We too are sent forth to testify before governors and rulers. We are lights in the world, stewards of God’s Word, and Ambassadors whose earthly calling is to be a living example of God and his righteousness. We are to hold men accountable for their actions, particularly those who govern us at all levels. We must, then, confront homosexuality as a sin that ought not to be endorsed by any branch or level of government. Christians as a unified group must speak out and resist homosexual Activists in unwavering opposition to their attempts to redesign America’s political and social framework. If we, whom God has entrusted to be stewards and witnesses of the truth, remain silent, then who will speak out?
Clearly, Christians are anything but intolerant, hateful, bigoted, and homophobic. We are far too tolerant. We must, as Christians, in the name of God, speak out against homosexuality with unwavering conviction. It is our calling as Ambassadors and stewards of God’s word, and our duty to our families, our churches, and our fellow countrymen.
Paul Coviello is a contributing writer for the Institute for Theonomic Reformation and serves as Deacon at the Reformed Bible Church In Central Virginia.
Originally published in 2003
Biblical education is the principle strategy for Christian Dominion. Through the knowledge of God in an understanding of His world, Christians can reclaim the culture. Without a solid Christian foundation, however, which consists of a Biblically grounded world and life view, victory and dominion, even liberty and life itself, cannot be properly established. All life is to be viewed, and understood, through Biblical understanding.
The knowledge of God is not simply a general idea of who God is, or of what His Laws and ordinances command, but rather a specific, well refined, applicable understanding of His purpose in His world. To know God is to be intimately familiar with His Law, which is the perfect revelation of His mind and will. To know God is to also know His purpose and plan for the world, and for the Christian community in general. This intimacy, if it is authentic, always translates into practical obedience which is then applied to every area of life's disciplines. The knowledge of God is the first precept in the acquisition of true, and applicable, wisdom.
Since there can be no sincere love toward God but that which is rightly founded upon a clear and extensive view of the Divine existence and perfection of His works, it is crucial that the Covenant Home be established upon the knowledge of God. It is through the Covenant home that accurate Christian education takes place. Before any academics are taught, the knowledge of God must be taught first. To teach upon any subject, apart from the knowledge of God, is to teach in vain. There is no true knowledge apart from God.
While the knowledge of God is doctrinal and instructional, it is also Reformational in nature. That is to say, the obedient disciple is being reformed by God's Law continually. There is always something new to learn and understand. Instruction and understanding is an ongoing journey. There is always some greater Godly virtue that the individual can strive for as he adds to his faith virtue, and to his virtue knowledge.
The first and greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul." This is the summation of all of the Lord's commands. It is the leading commandment of the Ten Commandments and the under-girding of all other specific Laws which are distilled in the Decalogue. The moral Laws of Scripture are to be applied to all life out of a sincere love toward God. True knowledge cannot exist without a sincere love toward God. Love toward God is the foundation of all knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
A common misunderstanding is that knowledge can exist in a vacuum, apart from God, and apart from an obedient love toward Him. This misunderstanding is just as pervasive in the churches as it is in secular circles. This "vacuum" concept of knowledge is dreadfully false. Motive is everything. For knowledge to be transformed into profitable understanding, and distilled into fruitful application, an obedient love toward God must first be established.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge. All education has as its foundation in some form of knowledge base. All philosophy has an epistemological root. Yet, not all epistemology is true. Not all knowledge is correct. And certainly not all knowledge is beneficial. Neither is all knowledge Theistic in nature. In fact, all knowledge which is outside of the Biblical Epistemological Sphere is humanistic, and therefore, by definition, it is anti-Christian and dangerous. Raw knowledge is insufficient for profitability. It must be based in the knowledge of God. True education must have, as its foundation, a Biblical Epistemology in order for it to be true and beneficial.
In the mid to latter portion of the 20th century the home education movement was almost non-existent. Except for a few faithful pioneers, most children attended government schools. Although the change from Covenant home education to public education began in the early 1800's, it did not mature into Leviathan until later in the 20th century.
The United States government, forgetting their earlier colonial Christian history, and entirely ignoring their federal Constitution, persecuted and prosecuted home schooling families. Children were physically removed from the stewardship of their parents and forced into Government education institutions. Parents were fined and jailed, after being terrorized by the American Gestapo Truant Patrol. All these actions took place under the guise of "child protection laws."
The philosophy behind the removal of children from their homes was not to better their education, nor was it an attempt to protect them from some perceived plague of ignorance. It was not about protecting the children, but rather it was about protecting the state's control over the upcoming generation. Government education is about control. It is all about lordship - who rules.
The government schools had bought into the Messianic complex, thinking themselves to be the divine deliverer. Education would become the new salvation. Secular-humanism would become the state religion. Suddenly, parents were no longer fit to raise their children. Without warning, the state would strike the final blow and dictate education policy. They would ordain themselves as the caretakers of the children. We are now experiencing the new order of education, and it is destroying our culture.
Today, in the beginning of the 21st century, home school education is pandemic. After years of struggle, political, and legal debate, home education is a popular alternative to state run education. In every state there are laws specifically designed to address the home school issue. Most state legislation permits home schooling, yet seeks to maintain oversight and regulatory influence. Some state laws are more favorable to the movement, offering a greater liberty, while others are dreadfully restrictive and oppressive.
One thing is common in all state laws - i.e. the drive to regulate the curriculum of the child. What the state has come to understand, and what the home schooling parent needs to understand, is that curriculum directly influences academic epistemology. If the curriculum is state dictated, and therefore subject to testing by the state educational oversight committee, the student is forced to learn state programs which are epistemologically secular and humanistic. There is no room for a Biblical epistemological foundation if the curriculum is secular-humanistic. The power to test is the power to control. The only solution is to be entirely free from any and all state intervention. The Covenant of the family before God, in the area of education, categorically forbids any other institution, especially the government, from teaching the children. To violate this Covenant Commandment is to rebel against God.
Home schooling often attributes its success to a number of factors. The poor academic standards of the government schools, coupled with the danger of death through crazed student terrorists are only two. For the most part, home schooling families teach for "religious reasons". But what does this mean? Or perhaps a better question is "what should this mean?" What exactly is the religious reason for home schooling?
The only Biblical reason for teaching a Christo-centric view of the world is Covenantal. It is not about how dangerous the schools are or how poor the academic standards are. It is about the Covenant each and every true Christian has with God. It is about an eternal promise, sworn with an oath, and sealed through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ that holds the true basis for home education. The Christian teaches a Biblical epistemology because he is bound by God's eternal decree of Covenant. God holds His people accountable, so as to be responsible in the keeping of His Covenant, especially when it comes to the future generation.
The Christian community needs to contemplate this idea of the Covenant more closely as the only "real" reason for the home schooling endeavor. All other reasons pale in the face of the Covenant obligation to teach the children of the Lord a Biblically based, Christ-centered program of education. The only religious reason for home schooling which will stand the Biblical test of legitimacy, is the Covenant reason.
The answer to the home school question should simply be "Covenant". The answer to the question, "Why do we teach Biblical Epistemology at home?" needs to be answered in Covenantal terms. The Christian household is in a Covenantal relationship with its Lawgiver, God and King. The fact of the matter is that this answer should be the only acceptable answer for any Biblical home-schooler.
Education is not a matter of Covenant or no Covenant. It is a matter of who's covenant. Either the home-schooler educates according to God's Covenant or the home-schooler educates according to man's covenant. It is a question of Theism or Humanism. It cannot be both.
The Covenant binds the Christian, and the Christian household, to an unbreakable oath. This oath, initiated by God, is made between the Lawgiver and His people. The Covenant details Who's in authority, what the nature of the hierarchy is, what are the standards and laws to be followed, what are the consequences for keeping or breaking those laws, and what will be the long term outlook for either obedience or disobedience. In other words, are there long term blessings for Covenant fidelity?
The Covenant is made between God and His people. He is the Supreme authority. He makes the rules. He transcends all other laws and authorities. By His Grace the Covenant is established, and by the obedience to His Law, the Covenant is maintained. The recipients of the Covenant are people of grace and people of law. By the grace of God they hold fast to the Law of God. These are Covenant keepers. Those that forsake the Law are condemned as lawless. These are Covenant breakers. Home education is a Covenantal affair. It is that simple.
Deuteronomy 6 details the manner in which Covenant education is to be accomplished. In simple terms the Lord commands that it is to be done at home.
It is to be done as a family. Both father and mother are to be actively involved in the process of education.
God carefully chooses the words commandment, statute, and judgment to exemplify His desire for the Covenant home. The word commandment, is the Hebrew word mitzvah, which is translated precisely as, to give a command or series of commands. The Hebrew word for statute is choq, which is taken from the Hebrew root for Lawgiver. Choq means to be bound by a code, or a law. The word judgment is a judicial term. It is the act of deciding a situation as to its good or evil. This word conveys the idea of discretion.
Each of these terms are carefully used to instruct the Covenant home in the proper education of the children. These commandments are to regulate, without deviation, the manner and method behind Covenant education.
What is important to understand is that whenever God gives a commandment, statute or judgment, while it is universally binding for all people, He is particularly instructing "fathers". The commandment for the Biblical education of the children falls to the father initially. Mothers are helpers in the process, but the fathers are to be the principle - headship instructors of the home.
Fathers are the Covenantal Headship leaders. They are the "federal heads" of the home. This gender based, providential role, of a husband and father, places full responsibility upon them for the proper instruction of the household. Deuteronomy 6 is a direct commandment to the fathers firstly.
Solomon's instructional proverbs are the example. His instructions are patriarchal in nature, from a father to a son. Since it given to the sons to inherit the leadership role of the home, Solomon first instructs his sons, then the whole of the household. The instruction, therefore, is specific as well as general.
While the instructions come initially from the father, with the commandment of obedience for the son, Solomon is careful to include the importance of obeying the mother's counsel. To obey the "law of thy mother" is as important as giving heed to the instruction of the father. The two are essentially one. Rather than downplaying the law of the mother, he exalts it, and commends it as something to be highly regarded. Although the two parents work together, yet it is the father, as the family head, that holds the greater responsibility to uphold the Covenant. If the family is to be blessed of God, it will hinge upon whether or not the father is a faithful Covenant keeper, or a rebellious Covenant breaker.
When the Divine principles of Covenant education are faithfully practiced, God brings strength and blessing to the family. Covenant fidelity presupposes an educational approach with Christ as the center of all learning. A strict Biblical epistemology is essential. Many home schooling families merely add Christ to academics and call it Christian education. This secularizing of academics is exactly what the government humanistic schools do. The only change is that now it is done at home. Christ must have pre-eminence in order for home schooling to be Biblically faithful.
The faithful execution of Covenant home education is blessed with God's promise of dominion. The family that adheres to a Biblically based world view is promised many days upon the earth. This language infers that the family will be an influential leadership force in the culture with positive results. Furthermore, God promises that the Covenant family will increase mightily, inferring that they will succeed in their mandate to take dominion over their environment.
On the other hand, the opposite is true also. That family which denies the Covenant, and does not execute the commission of a faithful Biblically based program of education, will not be blessed, but will suffer ruin and an eventual cutting off from God's blessing. The rebellious family, by virtue of their rebellion against the Covenant, is in fact showing that they were never part of the Covenant Community to begin with. ("Depart from me ye who work iniquity i.e. lawlessness) I never knew you." Matt 7) To be outside of the Covenant is to be cursed of God. To educate children apart from Biblical Epistemology is to sacrifice them to the gods of the heathen.
The strength of the culture depends upon the Christian community. There is a direct coloration between Covenantal fidelity and cultural blessing. If the Christian community is ever going to regain the culture for the Glory of God, leaving a nation of righteousness for their posterity, then they need to align themselves with the Scriptures. This alignment must be a specific alignment, not merely a whimsical, superficial ascent to the Law of God and the Supremacy of His authority. The Holy Canon must be the regulative, and only regulative, element for faith and practice. Without this mindset, the next generation will be as the last - complacent and ignorant, making them prey for a generation of humanistic vipers.
Vindicae Contra Tyrannos
Soli Deo Gloria
Originally published in 2003
Without a doubt, there exists a crisis in human leadership. True, honest, Christ-entered leadership is at an all time low. While many professors of religion claim to be leaders of the people God-ward, they are often found to be self-seeking liars. These are not leaders, but ravenous wolves - blind leaders of the blind. While they may be charismatic, and profoundly influential, they are not leaders in the truest Biblical sense. What passes for leadership today is not leadership at all, but rather a series of influential actions which have a form of leadership qualities void of the integrity of wisdom.
When Godly leadership is evidenced, however, it is usually found in small, sometimes even obscure segments of the social order. These God fearing leaders are not readily embraced by the common people, therefore they remain hidden. Whenever the wicked rule, often as a result of an ignorant and arrogant culture, those who are righteous, and most capable of productive leadership, are hidden. A society which is kept captive to ignorance, will find themselves inundated with Godless leadership. Ignorance gives way to the flourishing of despotism.
The Christo-centric leadership crisis is both universal and comprehensive. It is also highly indiscriminant. Leadership maladies exist in every area of modern life. It has no favorites nor exclusions. It infects all spheres of life.
Today, leadership has been re-defined to the point of extremism, where even the most reprobate and godless people have come to be known as leaders. This re-definition results in the re-invention of leadership which consequently results in the death of the true meaning of leadership. If leadership role models are re-defined enough, through powerful and consistent means, the re-invention of leadership is inevitable.
One powerful tool used by the godless is the media. Vehicles such as movies, television, music, sports, and journalism have been on the cutting edge of the disintegration of the true leadership meaning. Godless, secular leadership models are being established, and reinforced, through the media like never before in history.
It has been rightly asserted that if people hear the same thing again and again, over an extended period of time, they will accept it as fact. Even in the community of Bible believing Christians, "group think" mentality is prevalent. This truth is multiplied exponentially in our modern day.
The liberal humanistic agenda has been both defined and established through the use of the mass media. Only recently, as a response to this onslaught, has there been a wave of Biblical and Conservative based information available through radio talk programs, TV journalism and the Internet. If true leadership is to be reasserted it will be done so through the use of these technological venues.
In light of the onslaught of liberal, and anti-Christian propaganda permeating our culture, the Christian Home must be insolated from these lies. Whether you are a single man or woman living alone, a married couple without children, grandparents or have a large family, proper, Christ-centered information must permeate your intellect. The atmosphere of your entire household must be carefully monitored.
In order to develop a clear and usable Biblical World view, one must be exposed to information and logic which is based upon a Biblical World view. The liberal media does not provide this - it will not provide this - it cannot provide this. This is why the Covenant Home needs to eradicate all promiscuous media influences from their environment. Counsel and ideology from any ungodly source must be shunned at all costs. While this is true, and needs to be practiced, this does not suggest that there can be no knowledge or needful information gained from secular sources. Facts and figures can be gleaned from a variety of sources provided they are accurate. Biblical counsel, on the other hand, can only be gleaned from the Word of God. Advise upon ethical actions, and/or Biblical decision-making cannot be gained, nor should it be sought, from any secular source whatsoever. The basic world view of all secular humanists is antagonistic against Christ and is of no profit. All things must be decided upon, and viewed from, the foundation of Theonomy - i.e. God's Law.
The first step in developing Christ centered Covenant leadership is through Christ centered Covenant Education. There are many simple ways to do this.
The media influence of TV and music should never be underestimated. Introduce into your home environmental influences that exemplified doctrinal integrity and Biblical truths. If you have a habit of allowing your children to view television without being monitored, you have set yourself up for a series of terrible consequences. Instead, use the VCR or DVD player to regulate and control what your children watch. Even then, be careful, there are many ideas and liberal doctrines which categorically undermine the Christian faith. Beware.
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that a movie is rated G, or that is an animated cartoon. Many G movies, and cartoons, are especially directed toward the re-indoctrination of the child into embracing godless ideas. Remember the rating commission is packed with secularists who do not use the Biblical standard. Watch the carefully selected video with your child. Know what is being shown, and spoken of. Discuss these with the children and turn the attempt to re-indoctrinate them into a lesson in debate and critical thinking in defense of the Christian faith. Use your video player into an educational tool for Biblical dominion. Build a video library which is wholesome and useful. Train and teach your child to spot the wicked and to be able to defend against it in argument and debate. The duty of the parent is to protect and train the child. Unsupervised media influence is a breach of Covenantal duty.
The movie industry can be a good tool for adults to use in establishing a strategy for Biblical argument. Whatever the movie industry is promoting on film, you can be sure the liberal anti-Christian humanists are promoting in Congress and amidst society. A skilled Christian apologist can sometimes use the movie industry to identify the direction of the enemy. They always telegraph their next move. Movies are a social indicator. Those proficient in Biblical thinking can often frustrate anti-Christian agendas before they take root by understanding the thematic direction of Hollywood movies, television shows, music, art and literature.
Equipping the Covenant child with both direction and tools is essential. Every child needs direction. The child also needs tools which will enable him or her to profitably advance in the direction that Providence dictates. Whatever interests the parents usually, at least at first, interests the child. The child is molded after the parent, either directly or indirectly - actively or passively. Do not allow your child to be molded by accident. Be involved! Make no mistake - everything the parent does influences the child. Be careful as to what direction your child is pointed.
Too often, parents do not have a Biblical Vision for their child. How many times have we seen fathers purchase, for their newborn sons, a baseball, bat and glove? Or cars and trucks? Why not books? Why not teach the child to read early so that he may be able to think productively, logically and creatively?
How many parents expose their children to the various disciplines of life? - the arts, sciences, horticulture, agriculture, husbandry, industry, literature, music, logic, etc. Today's modernized parent exposes the child to a barrage of Nintendo games, filled with images of violence, perversion, sexually explicit icons, death and mayhem. The American mind is either typically stagnated or over-stimulated with negative experiences. If it is not sporting events, Nintendo, rock concerts, NASCAR, or the latest movie craze, the American people would be utterly bored with life. It is no wonder why Las Vegas is the second most traveled location in the World, second only to Mecca.
The Covenant home must be established upon God's Word and in God's Created World. They cannot allow themselves to take their direction from the worldly concerns and fads of the ungodly. To do this is to deny both God and His Word's commission for the saints to have Cultural Dominion. Furthermore, a worldly practice will always lead to a worldly family. This, by definition, is idolatry. It is the epitome of Covenant breaking. If leadership is to be True, it must be Biblical. In order for it to be Biblical, it must use the Standard of God's Word alone - then it will be blessed. There is no other way.
Soli Deo Gloria
Originally published in 2003
This is part three in a three part series on leadership defined.
The Institute for Theonomic Reformation (ITR) is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization, which seeks to empower the Christian, and the church, so as to fulfill God’s cultural commission of Christian responsibility.