Thursday, 10 November 2016

Where Now, Brown Bear?

Lights in Dark Places

The received wisdom in the West is that the family is nothing more than a social convention--and out of date, at that.  There appears to  be nothing sacred or sacrosanct about the family per se.  Other arrangements or conventions are seen as equally valid, equally valuable, and equally applicable to man's wellbeing.  

This is just another example of Unbelief trying to shake off the shackles of God and His created order.  Marriage is the primary social institution according to Christian doctrine.  The Word of God puts marriage and family as more fundamental to humanity and to human society than any other social bond or arrangement--certainly more fundamental than the state.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.  [Genesis 1: 21-25]
Since Unbelief presupposes from the get-go that the above Word is false, every alternative is up for grabs--and, implicitly, equally valid.
  The Christian, however, knows that this is not the case.  Every alternative is a false canard.  So there is a double jeopardy here.  Not only are the alternatives false, but they cause society and civilisation to fall apart over time.
But what is a family?  Today, there is considerable objection even to defining the family in natural terms: as the union of a man and a woman that normally produces children.  The alternative definition is conventional: A family is any group of individuals who live together with some degree of intimacy and commitment.  . . . About a generation ago, new laws and other signals from on high began trying to mold society according to the notion that neither man, woman, nor child had any particular obligation to anyone else.  [Angelo Codevilla, The Character of National: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility (New York: Basic Books, 1997), p. 74.]

Hence we come to the notion that families are passe, but it takes a village to raise a child.  This is one of Hillary Clinton's favorite reformulations.  In New Zealand, we are awash with claims that whanau (extended family) is more important than actual birth parents  when it comes to raising a child.  Maori have denied the sacrosanct nature of a husband and wife, and a mother and father.  It has been replaced by tribalism, taking shape as the extended family.  On the other hand, non-Maori Unbelievers don't go on about whanau: they live in arrangements of temporary convenience.  They have little or no commitment to whanau or to anyone beyond themselves.

But the original creation order, reality, and commands remain.  A thousand generations of "evolution" cannot change these bedrock realities.  Instead, the alternatives to the biblical family become jagged rocks upon which human beings dash themselves and others.  Meanwhile the alternatives and proposals become more desperate, more ragged, more extreme: homosexualism, trans-genderism, polygamy, along with serial, perpetual chains of non-emotional "hook ups".  If we pause to ask ourselves what kind of society grows out of such rebellion the answer is obvious: society disintegrates.  Its bonds and obligations, its oaths and vows, its loyalties and commitments fade.  Honour dissipates.  Truth telling becomes an inconvenience.

There is no centre that holds.  It all started when Western Unbelief decided that marriage and family was an old fashioned, inconvenient, and primitive restriction.  And so the West gave up on one of the greatest blessings ever given by God to human beings.

Thank God that we Christians have been saved from such dark folly--by His mercy and grace.  More than ever before just living out the basics of life--living according to the fundamental creation ordinances--makes us lights shining in dark places.

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