How Should We Then Live? Francis Schaeffer

link to Book on Amazon

How Should We Then Live?


Francis Schaeffer’s book How Should We Then Live? This is one of the modern classics of Christian thought. Schaeffer follows the development of Western thought and our various worldviews from the time of Roman civilization to modern times. He frames this development in the attempt of philosophers to explain our world starting with either absolutes or particulars. He gives dozens of examples of the various philosophic schools of thought playing out in art, music, and architecture.

The Reformation in Northern Europe found freedom for creation under the Bible and in its balance of universals and particulars found true freedom. The Renaissance in Southern Europe adopted the humanistic view with particulars only, and therefore had no basis for transcendent growth. As humanism began to infiltrate into the scientific thinking and philosophy of the 1700s and 1800s and on into today, people were faced with the problem of drawing absolute principles starting with particulars. This turned out to be impossible. Trying to come up with a unified, cohesive philosophy of life starting with human experience takes people nowhere.

As he closes the book, Schaeffer lists several pressures that are facing societies today which could push them to accept authoritarian rule instead of chaos. These pressures include: economic breakdown, war or serious threat of war, the chaos of violence including terrorism, the radical redistribution of the wealth of the world, a shortage of food or other natural resources in the world. As these pressures mount people will feel more compelled to give up freedom so that they can have some measure of peace and order. And as the Christian worldview base evaporates from societies in the West, people will have no basis to argue or think otherwise. A modern example played out in Germany when the people cried out for order from the economic collapse of the Weimar Republic and gave Hitler dictatorial power in their country. Not long after as the Germans rose in power under this dictatorship, Chamberlain signed over Czechoslovakia eventually losing most of Europe in World War II. They were hoping for “peace in our time.” What is the proper response? Do we succumb to the breakdown of society and imposed order, or do we as Christians affirm the Christian base that provided the freedoms upon which our nation was originally founded? This can only happen if individual people discover that Christian base in their own lives and then act to influence the consensus. “Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.” Christians were not in the majority when they changed the entire Western civilization.

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Obama Comes Out

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

On Thursday, 5/10/2012, ABC’s Good Morning America, Barack Obama has made history has the first US president to come out in favor of so-called same-sex marriage. President Obama made remarks that are probably an effort to sway uninformed Christians who aren’t grounded in their faith. President Obama affirmed his Christian beliefs while at the same time affirming so-called same-sex marriage. He said it’s only fair that people be allowed to marry someone of the same sex if that is what they truly want. Although he did specify that the issue should be worked out at the state level. It was funny to hear Robin Roberts insist that it was not being worked out at the state level. She listed the recent defeat of same sex legislation in North Carolina. What Roberts meant was: people are voting it down, working it out means that we get our way…

On the negative side here is the head of state of our country basically taking a stand for sin… calling evil good. At the same time, this stand that Obama has finally been willing to make publicly might give us an additional edge in the November election. The fact is that every time this issue has been put to a vote it has lost. The only time that same-sex marriage has been made law has been by the actions of a legislature, executive, or a judicial overruling of the people. That was the case here in our state of California.

With overwhelming bias in favor of homosexual mores in the media, our incumbent president has some advantages. But the leftist opposition media AKA the mainstream media has never really been critical or biased against Barack Obama because they  read from the same playbook.

Although Obama says he has evolved on this issue, I don’t really believe that. This is where his base has been from the beginning. I think he has kept it unspoken for political reasons. What do you think? Why would the president choose to reveal this belief at this time?

Our Godless Constitution?

Constitution of the United States of America (...

Constitution of the United States of America (page 2) (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Is the Constitution of the United States a godless document? This idea stems from modernism. Modernism is the belief that the way things are now is the way they have always been. Fortunately that is simply fallacious thinking. Here are a few reasons that show the Founders did not write a godless Constitution.

First of all, the Constitution is not our original founding document. It is based on the Declaration of Independence, which clearly acknowledges God. What is the evidence we can use to see that the Declaration of Independence is our original founding document? Besides its historical significance in breaking our ties with the British monarchy, there are 27 grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence as the reasons we were making that break. Each of those grievances are dealt with and resolved by various clauses in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution explained that there was a problem/solution relationship between the two.

Here is an example:

Declaration:  “He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.”

Constitution:  “Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.”

The problem (listed fourth in the Declaration) of King George requiring the colonial legislatures to convene in far away locations is dealt with in Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution. This is just one such example; there are 26 others.

Another reason involves an acknowledgement of God in the text of the Constitution. The attestation clause (VII) reads,

“Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.”

While some might argue that it was simply the convention of the time, the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ (our Lord) in the date, is an example of the intentions of the signers. The numbering of twelve years sets the Declaration as the beginning of the United States; laying the foundation as it were. The Constitution is filling out the form; giving structure to the government of the new nation.

The twelve years mentioned above is another piece of evidence for the Declaration being our founding document. The Declaration of Independence is quite clearly a document that recognizes God’s sovereignty over human governments:

“When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s

God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…” (emphasis mine)

There is more evidence that demonstrates that the Constitution was a document acknowledging God. David Barton explains several more in his teaching: God and the Constitution. Please check it out. Read the Constitution and Declaration of Independence for yourself. There’s an app for that! Become informed on the intended structure of our government.

The Great Recovery

If you are a teacher in California these days, you might be having to live a little leaner these days. My wife and I have been using Dave Ramsey’s financial materials for a few years now. He has a method for handling finances in a practical methodical way. If you are needing help managing your income and expenses I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s program.

I received an article from Dave Ramsey’s The Great Recovery movement entitled What Should You Expect from your Candidates? I appreciate Dave’s usual no-nonsense approach to politics. He emphasizes the fact that I have a lot more to do with what happens in my personal finances than Washington does. I need to vote and participate in our political process to get the best available leaders in office. But if I am waiting around expecting Washington or Sacramento to fix my financial situation, I’m going to be waiting a long time. And their solution will never work as well as something I could have come up with on my own. The thing that will fix my financial situation best is my own paying attention, learning, working hard, living on a budget, etc.

A quick summary of the characteristics includes the following:

  • Integrity
  • Cuts wasteful spending
  • Common sense
  • A good steward of money
  • Someone who listens
  • Strong leadership ability
  • Quick problem solving

If you’d like to read the article in its entirety click on this link What Should You Expect from your Candidates? You can also follow the link to learn more about The Great Recovery: a national recovery program that is guaranteed to be successful because it doesn’t depend on Washington. The Great Recovery appeals up the chain of command from Washington to fix our national financial problem. The Great Recovery appeals to We The People.

Marginalizing Christians in Education

gavel

Image by s_falkow via Flickr

There is an effort to marginalize and eliminate the Christian voice from education and the public square. Liberal groups, though they tout a message of tolerance, are actually quite intolerant of Christians expressing or following their beliefs and ethics in the public square.

If you have felt concerned about getting sued or attacked for your beliefs as a Christian, you might be interested in knowing about a story which transpired recently in Florida. A high school history teacher expressed his view that the legalization of so-called same-sex marriage was wrong on his Facebook page. A complaint was filed by someone (not one of his students) and the teacher was put on administrative leave. The school district and principal was contacted by Matt Staver’s Liberty Counsel. They Informed the superintendent that it was legally clear that teachers do not lose their 1st amendment rights when they take their teaching jobs. The teacher was reinstated with no further punitive action. Click here to hear the WallBuilders episode on this event.

If you as a teacher have felt like your Christian views and practices are unwelcome in the public school setting, you could benefit from the support and encouragement of Christian Educators Association International (CEAI). This association’s goal is to support and encourage Christian teachers in the public school setting. They have conference opportunities to meet and connect with other teachers. They know that many teachers got into public education as an opportunity to be missionaries there. There is a training event coming up in the Los Angeles area in the spring. This month they had an article in their magazine Teachers of Vision. It explains some of the misperceptions and misinformation regarding expressions of faith (especially the Christian faith) of teachers in the classroom. I’ll try to add more information on these CEAI activities in later posts.

Stop SB 48 – Teaching children about homosexual lifestyles is not right

On July 14, 2011, California governor Jerry Brown signed SB 48 into law. Mr. Brown along with the liberal state legislature want to force their views of morality on the good people of this state. This bill amends several educational codes to require teachers to include the sexual orientation of historical figures in lessons. Additionally the contributions and sexuality of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) oriented people must be discussed in a positive manner.

The following day, July 15, Capitol Resource Institute supported by Pacific Justice Institute sought a referendum on the bill. The web front of their effort, StopSB48.com has links to donate, volunteer, follow on Facebook and Twitter, and download the petition to stop SB 48.  This referendum effort allows for 90 days to collect over half a million signatures.  If this signature goal is reached, the voters of California will have another opportunity to let their voice be heard in this cultural debate. The good news is that when we the people have had a chance to vote on similar issues, we the people have voted in favor of traditional family values. In 31 out of 31 states we have voted in favor of traditional marriage. The only states enforcing same sex unions have been pushed there by liberal law-makers, as was the case recently in New York.

One of the possible consequences of SB 48 and the affirmation of homosexual LGBT lifestyles in California education is to push Christians out of education. I know I am unwilling to introduce these sexual concepts to children. Why would liberal thinkers and LGBT activists want to push Christians out of education? Because Christians have a standard outside of culture by which to judge ideas, policies, and movements. This standard is based on the Bible and it stands outside culture, government, politics, law, and media. With it we can determine whether something is right or wrong. The very notion of right or wrong is disputed by liberals and many intellectual academic elite today. Unfortunately, even though they are not in vogue, ignoring rightness or wrongness has negative consequences. Repeatedly harnessing the public school system as an indoctrination mechanism for misguided social policies has weakened it severely. It is no wonder we no longer rank well in education.

Currently enactment of the law is on hold until the referendum either passes or fails. Now is the time for all of us to speak up. Before September 30, 2011, please click on this link to go to the Stop SB 48 website. Download the petition, print it, sign it, and send it in.