Thursday, February 07, 2013

Who’s Your Daddy?


     I’m just here to support the president of the United States. The president of the United States is, you know, our boss. But he’s also, you know, the president and the first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen. And when you don’t, it usually bites you in the ass later on. So, I’m here to support the president.

     Wow! I wonder whether this was meant as a joke. After all, Mr. Rock is a professional jokester who will say or do anything for a laugh.

     Having observed the decline in societal ability to think, however, it seems that he may be serious. For the last hundred years Americans have accepted more and more spoon-fed doctrine from the media, Hollywood, government and so-called education.

     This is actually a very easy sell. The most effective deceptions are those that mimic the truth the most closely.

     Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:2-3)

     From this all authority flows. This is the natural order, ordained by the Lord God from the very beginning. This law, this truth, is written on our hearts and in our consciences. It is taught to us by our generation into this world. It is taught from our conception, gestation, parturition, and rearing. We come into this world by the coming together of our father and mother. We are brought forth into the world entirely dependent upon them for everything. Honoring them is the natural response. In honoring them, we ourselves are blessed. In honoring them we are kept safe by their protection and care and instruction. In honoring them, we are properly fed and clothed and housed. In honoring them, we learn what is good for us. These are undeniable facts, even when the parents are not all that they should be. Even when parents are abusive and evil, many of the blessings that accompany honoring them still manifest themselves.

     So it seems that Mr. Rock is actually right. The President is our boss and the president and his wife are like our dad and mom. It is indeed meet, right, and salutary that we honor them.

     It is sad that very often the full declaration of the Fourth Commandment is not embraced.

     Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
     And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
(Ephesians 6:2-4)

     Parents and those in authority are not to forget the one from whom this special honor is entrusted. They are not to act as though this authority were theirs for their own purposes or glory. Parents and those in authority are given this authority from above. They are specially designated servants of their Father, to rule according to His will for the sake of His family.

     When parents and those in authority forget this, their actions do indeed provoke the children to wrath. Where the love of God is not acknowledged as the source of all good, parents and rulers become abusive of their power and those under their rule eventually rebel. Neither the abuse of power nor the rebelling is good. Neither is of God and His gracious will.

     From the beginning all things were created good. Life was peaceful and harmonious. But the devil tried to raise himself above God and thereby cast away from himself the love of God. Lucifer cut himself off from the good and gracious will of God and led a rebellion in a vain attempt to make himself God. The stupidity of such an attempt is astounding, to think that the creature would seek to overthrow the Creator.

     Once the rule of God’s love was lost to Lucifer, he acted according to his self-made image. He acted hatefully and deceitfully, seeking to overthrow and destroy everything that God had created. Adam fell for the temptation, but the Lord came calling him back into the life of grace with the confrontation of his sinful choice and the promise of the Seed of Woman who would crush the hateful head/ruler of the serpent.

     With this promise, stated as a condemnation of the serpent and its head, flowed the further promise of restoration of the family order. Woman was promised that despite her usurpation of her husband’s rule that she would be moved toward him again so that he would rule over her and that together they would be God’s instruments of life through the promised Seed. Adam was promised that the ground from which he was made would resist his efforts so that he would be continually called to turn from his own efforts and choices to trust the Lord and His Word.

     For those who trusted in the Lord and clung to His Word and promise, no other rule was necessary. It was always the refusal to trust the Lord that led people to appoint rulers for themselves to whom they would be subjected. The chosen people of Israel had only the rule of the Word, taught through their parents, until they chose not to trust the Lord and to demand to be subjected to a king like the other nations had chosen for themselves.

     In the Church, however, we see the Lord’s order restored. In the Church there is only the servant/slave of the Word ordained over the families. This slave is called shepherd, or pastor, or elder, or presbyter/over-seer. His rule over the Lord’s household is strictly defined as the pure preaching and administration of the Word and the Sacraments. From this all the families are restored to the life of grace, mercy, and peace in which parents are honored and obeyed and children are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

     At Pentecost this was manifested with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the conversion of at least 3000 souls. The life in which they shared was a beautiful manifestation of God’s gracious rule amongst His saints. And in every place where the Lord rules through His means of grace, this is the result. It is true today just as it was then.

     Sadly though, it is a rare occurrence today. As with the people of Israel, those professing to be the Church often do not trust the Lord to rule through His means of grace and so they begin to subject themselves to rulers of their own choice. In every case tyranny is the result. The people turn from the Lord and what He has ordained and bind themselves to various forms of tyranny with such devotion that they endure terrible things as if they were necessary. It is as James warns in James 4 and James 5.

     Those who trust in the Lord and walk in His ways do not appoint earthly rulers for themselves. Rather, they subject themselves to the rulers whom the Lord raises up over them. First He gives them parents. Secondly He gives them pastors. He also gives them rulers whom the rebellious have raised up in their rebellion. The saints subject themselves to such rulers for the sake of good order, obeying in all things which do not demand sinful acts on their own part. Wherever the rulers demand what is wrong, the saints peacefully disregard the tyrannical orders and suffer the abuses that result.

     And so Mr. Rock is right, regardless of whether or not he knows why. But does this mean that the president should be supported in disobeying the authority under which he is subjected? When he is placed with an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, is he to be supported when he willfully disobeys the authority under which he is placed?

     The American people have squandered the power given to them to hold such unlawful rulers in check. They have chosen to squander their votes, voting for the lesser of two evils. They have worshiped their false security of the promise of pensions and Social Security checks and voted according to their idolatry. They have voted for a woman’s right to choose death rather than voting to defend life for all. They have voted to support our soldiers, even when the military was being used for wicked and evil agendas. They have voted with selfish and irresponsible motives and so they have elected selfish and irresponsible and even wicked rulers.

     Now they cry out and wonder how this could happen, and worse, many say that they are thankful that the consequences will come after they have departed from this world without genuine care for those who will be left to endure the consequences. What sort of parents and grandparents would speak with such selfish and wicked disregard for their responsibilities? Mr. Rock stood and said that he supports Obama in violating the Constitution. Is this not what the passing generation has done as well? Have they not ignored their responsibilities concerning the younger generations? Those who fear, love, and trust in God above all things do not act in this way. They love their neighbors as themselves. They honor father and mother and they display this honor as loving fathers and mothers. They endure abuse while speaking out for what is right and true and calling for right treatment of their families and neighbors.

     Oh that people understood the holiness of the Lord that is taught to us in the Ten Commandments. Then we would not have wars and rumors of wars but we would fall together on our knees confessing our need for remission of our sins and reconciliation to God and one another. No one who bows the knees and head to God as Father and Redeemer and Savior and Justifier and Sanctifier rises up rebelliously to murder and make war. Rather, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guards their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus forevermore. Where peace rules honor is displayed toward all.

+ + +

No comments: