Establishing the Boundaries of a Biblical Worldview


What is the relationship between man and the ‘helper’ God gave him?

I did not have to be married for very long to realize that married life was going to present its challenges. I had a wife who was not only a source of comfort and encouragement, but one who often opposed some of my most cherished ideas. Such activity did not sit well with my idea of good wifely behavior. Whatever happened to submission?

Submission, as it is generally understood, means a person hands over his/her will to the will of another. He/She is to align his/her will with the will of another in perfect union. Thus, in the illustration of St. Paul, there is mutual submission of husbands and wives. But as he explains this in detail he describes the husband’s submission as love for his wife as Christ loves his church. A wife, on the other hand, is to submit to her husband in the same way the church is to submit to Christ. (Eph. 5:21ff)

However, it is possible to read too much into these texts if they are abstracted from everything else Scripture teaches you about man-woman relationships. And the Bible starts in Genesis 2:18 with a recognition that although God created everything ‘good’, it was not good for man to be alone. So God made him a helper. The word in the older English translations is helpmeet. But neither ‘helper’ nor ‘helpmeet’ capture the not-so-subtle connotation of the Hebrew, `ezer kenegdo (עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ). This literally means ‘help against’, or ‘the help that opposes’, and has also been translated ‘the helpmate opposite him’. Or, in many translations, it appears as ‘helper suitable’ for him.

You can immediately see why ‘helpmeet’ and ‘helper’ are really inadequate translations, neither of which capture the “opposition” contained in the word kenegdo which means against, or opposite. It is suggested by some scholars that the ‘opposition’ can be likened to left hand be opposite to right hand. This connotes some kind of complementary relationship, but I don’t think ‘kenegdo’ in the sense of ‘opposition’ denies the complementary relationship. It seems to be tring to sharpen the meaning of the relationship.

And if the answer is negative, then men have substituted repression for love.

But you can also see why so many husbands get opposition from their wives. They were designed by God to oppose him. But their opposition is to be when he strays from the Word of God and begins to falter in carrying out the God-mandated activities in his life. “Have dominion”, said God. And here’s your helper to oppose you every time you steer away from this.

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A posting in Facebook was a rant against Calvinism. As part of the disparagement of Calvinism, the writer threw out this challenge to Calvinist parents to teach the following to their children:

Little Johnny, God has predestined the minority of people to be saved and go to heaven forever, and He has predestined the majority of people to be eternally damned and burn in the fires of hell. We have no idea, little Johnny, if God has predestined you to be forever damned or forever saved. We love you, little Johnny, but we accept the fact that God might not love you, and that He may have plans to send you to hell for your future sins. If you do find yourself one day burning in hell because He hasn’t elected to save you, just remember that we will always love you, even if God hates you. Take comfort knowing that we are not like God.

“We will be in heaven forever only because we were unconditionally chosen for salvation before we were born. That would be the only reason that we won’t be in hell with you if you find yourself there. It won’t be because of anything we did. So also take comfort in knowing that. It may not seem fair, but who are we to judge God? So again, if you find yourself in hell, remember that we will always love you as we forever worship the God who loved us but who hated you, the God who sent His Son to die for us but not for you. Please, we ask, don’t let it bother you—if you find yourself in hell—that we love the God who hated you and showed you no mercy. We must accept the fact that God is sovereign, and He does what He pleases.”

I thought a response in order to help readers understand what Calvinistic parents might actually teach their children. His caricature and misrepresentation of Calvinism in the OP is an admiral attempt to disparage what he does not understand. Here’s what this Calvinistic parent (i.e., me) told — and continues to tell — his children:

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R.J. Rushdoony left this life in February, 2001, just 10 years ago. At that time I wrote a tribute to a remarkable man, a friend, and a mentor. Here’s my updated version of that tribute.

It is with sadness, yet a spirit of hope, that the tribute was written to acknowledge a great man, Rousas John Rushdoony. His greatness, however, remains one of the best kept secrets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, except for a relatively small devoted and loyal following that Dr. Rushdoony accumulated in his lifetime.

“Rush”, as he was fondly called by his friends, was a unique man. I did not have the opportunity to meet him more than a dozen times during the 21 years of our association. But I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with him.

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Dr. Francis Nigel Lee passed away December 23, 2011. He turned 77 years of age on December 5, and two days later he and his wife, Nellie, celebrated 48 years of marriage. In September of 2011 he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, alias Amytropic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. My older sister succumbed to this illness 12 months earlier, so I know the debilitating effect and how this disease slowly shuts down the human body. There is no known cure.

I first met Dr. Lee in 1981, soon after he arrived in Australia. We became instant friends. Over the past 30 years, he was always a friend, a mentor, and a great encourager. It was Dr. Lee who encouraged me to begin writing. He did not always agree with my views, but he never let that affect our friendship. Dr.Lee was a regular speaker at conferences I organized in Australia during the 1980’s.

On our first meeting, one of his questions to me was the topic of family worship. We had our first child at the time, and he wanted to know if I was conducting family worship. “Yes,” I replied. He then wanted to know how often I did this. “Every day,” I replied. But I missed the point. He wanted to know how often each day I conducted family worship, and when I told him we did it once a day, he encouraged me to do it twice each day – morning and night. There is no shortage of advice from everyone on just about every topic, but this advice still stands out as being the best advice I have ever received. When you visited his home, this was his practice: family worship morning and evening, a Scripture reading, a short monologue from him, then each person was questioned what they might have learned from the passage. You were expected to pay attention. Singing of psalms/hymns and prayer completed the family worship time.

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I was talking with someone about King David from the Bible. We talked about his adulterous affair with Bathsheba, the “murder” of her husband and the death of the newborn. Then we went on to talk about the violence and deception that you find among David’s offspring. They were a wild bunch.

I have often talked about the Biblical curses being more about learned behavior and attitudes that are passed down than any actual “curse”. This discussion drove the point home even stronger to me.

God didn’t come down to David and say, “Because of what you did, I am now going to curse your children.” Nor, in all likelihood, was there a gene for violence that was passed down. What David demonstrated and did with his own life was passed down. It was something the children learned from the father’s behavior patterns.

We teach our children how to deal with situations not necessarily through our words but through our actions. An alcoholic has a much higher percentage of alcoholic children than a non-alcoholic. The visual evidence of the addiction is most of the time nothing more than how an addict deals with and avoids life, including emotions and feelings. This same avoidance behavior is what the children learn.

What we teach our children though our actions is important. Typically it is so subtle we don’t even realize we are doing it.

The good news is it works both ways, healthy and unhealthy behaviors. We can influence our children with good behavior just as much as we can influence them with bad behavior.

So what are you teaching your children?

Why is atheism so prominent among the children of Christian parents?

In an earlier article Government Schools and the Scorched Earth Policy of Atheism, I outlined how the government school system, designed to be secular, was no more than an engine of atheism. This is the only possible outcome of a secular education system.

In contrast, the biblical idea of knowledge is action—doing God’s commandments as a life of righteousness and holiness.

I quoted comments from the past that explained it is the government ‘secular’ schools that account for the rapid rise of atheism in our time and its broad acceptance through the community.

But that alone does not count for the fact that over 60% of kids will leave the church before they have finished high school. Ken Ham puts it like this:

We are losing many more people by middle school and many more by high school than we will ever lose in college. . . . They were lost while still in the fold. They were disengaging while they were still sitting in the pews. They were preparing their exit while they were faithfully attending youth groups and Sunday School.”[1]

They have, in effect, departed from the faith. Prof. Mark Hamilton, a teacher of philosophy in a conservative Christian college in mid-Ohio explains that the children who come to the college, even the ones from Christian homes and who had attended Christian schools, arrived with Nietzschean ideas and values firmly entrenched in their minds and hearts. Frederick Nietzsche (1844 -1900) maintained that historical research had shown the core teachings of Christianity to be false. So he gave up his religious upbringing, pronounced the death of God, and promoted nihilism as a way of life.

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Footnotes    (↵back returns to text)
  1. Ken Ham, Brit Beemer, Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do to Stop It (Green Forest, AR, 2009), Kindle Edition Loc. 227.↵back

Woman, Predator or Lamb?

Bramble, at home with her herd

Bramble, at home with her herd

She slipped off her glove and reached over the fence to pet Bramble. In the cow’s mind, her hand was a white claw coming down on her from the fence. The fear in her dark, wide eyes told me she was envisioning a mountain lion dropping off a cliff or out of a tree, to land on her back. Death would be instantaneous, the cat taking her at the neck and biting it with a pressure equaling 400 pounds per square inch.

The cow backed away, snorting. Ms. F____ nervously drew back her hand and exclaimed, “See? She just does not like me!”

Now Ms. F____ had confused the cow.  First, Ms. F____ had behaved as a predator, but now she was comporting herself as a beta member of the herd, the one everybody butts around. And butt, Bramble had tried to do ever since the men had left her with Ms. F____. She and her daughter had been unable to enter the pen without Bramble acting like an angry bull, snorting, kicking up dirt, lowering her head and charging after them. The cow-solution, in her mind, to such fickle and unpredictable creatures as Ms. F____ and her daughter, would be simply to keep them both out of the pen, whatever that should take.

Not knowing what we had to face with this cow, but certain we must rescue Ms. F____, before the cow injured her or someone else, I had called on my sons to help us. They are big, strapping, muscular men who know livestock and have wrestled down cows before. If Bramble became too agitated, they would be able to handle her.

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[Originally published January 24, 2003.]

Copyright has come under the spotlight with recent applications by Disney and Gershwin heirs to extend copyright on original concepts such as Mickey Mouse, or, in the case of Gershwin, music compositions. The Federal Government has decided to extend copyright by a further 20 years, giving Disney, for example, the chance to have another 20-year monopoly over the production and use of Mickey Mouse.

Copyright is an attempt to establish ownership in ideas and concepts. It is an extension of the idea of ownership of goods and chattels, and grants the originator of a book or a piece of music, for example, the right to exclusive use for a period of 70 years. In some parts of the world it is only 50 years, creating a legal nightmare now that borders are crossed so easily with published material on the Internet.

In some instances, copyright is used by publishers to create market share arrangements. A book might be published in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom publisher will have distribution rights in a countries such as UK, Australia and New Zealand. Australia retailers will be unable to choose between the US or the UK publication, and they will be forced to take from the publisher who has the distribution rights for the region. Often, when the book is unavailable from the “official” publisher, it is still illegal for a retailer to purchase from another publisher. Copyright, in this instance, is used to protect markets.

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If you only read ONE history book in your lifetime, read this one.

You cannot understand how far we’ve come away from Christian culture until you realize what had to change to get non-Christian culture. And this little book helps explain the necessary steps to abolish freedom and Christian culture.

Since the time of Magna Carta individuals have been in disagreement with their rulers over the issues of power and control, especially control over money. It took centuries for property rights in money to be abolished, eventually in the 19th century. See Debt and the Bankers for an overview.

The modern nation-state, with its claim to total jurisdiction is a return to the concepts of the Roman Empire. Thus currency debasement, high taxes, and a belief that that the empire-nation can be unified by political means are evident. But it was not always like this. There was an interlude between the Empire and us.

There was, for a while, an alternative in the middle between the Empire and the nation-state. It brought low taxes, local government, and an individual liberty rare in the history of mankind. This period shaped the modern world, both good and bad. Magna Charta, for example is a product of the period, representing the local government’s attempt to control the power of the monarch. But it also indicates the issues that transformed local government into the nation-state. See How Magna Charta Was Used To Destroy Property Rights

Joseph Strayer, Professor of History at Princeton University, and a part time CIA employee, has described the three steps necessary for the modern nation-state. These were:

1. Control of money — taxation and eventually a monopoly on the creation of currency;

2. Control of the courts — that way, the people could not use the courts to have legislation declared “illegal”;

3. And finally the population needed to accept that the nation-state was a higher priority than either church or family.

These were pretty much in place by the seventeenth century, and once the parliaments and the congresses of this world controlled the monarchy and the Church, the anti-God, democratic nation-state was the outcome with its relentless march toward totalitarian control. It’s an important study on why we’re in the mess we’re in.

Read it! Then get to work to change something.

[The following essay was written in 1991 by Matthew Hodge, then aged 13. The essay was the winning entry in an American essay competition sponsored by “Families for Life” and “Kids for Life.” The competition
was open to all ages under 18, and the topic was chosen by the sponsors. Matthew is the eldest of five children, and the son of Ian and Jessie Hodge. He is now married and has three children of his own to teach these principles.]

Society is facing many problems. We have dilemmas such as violence, juvenile delinquency, bad education, unemployment, inflation, debt, abortion, and other issues like this. Many of these could be solved if we had good Christian families doing what the Bible says to do.

For example, education is one area that we are having a lot of trouble with. Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld, author of “Alpha-Phonics” and “How to Tutor” was a guest in our home recently. He was telling me about the high rate of illiteracy in the public schools. That is because there is no phonics-based teaching program. In public schools they teach children to read by looking at the picture and trying to guess. There are other problems, too, such as drugs, violence, and humanistic teaching.

All these bad situations could be prevented if parents would do what the Bible says and teach their children God’s law. The Bible teaches us how we should live each day, and what we should and should not do.

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