Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by expiated, Nov 24, 2020.
The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Futility of Global Summits
One of the most basic principles of the scripture, but one that many Christians don't think about very often, is what we define as subsidiarity. It is the principle that in creation God has established basic orders and anything beyond these basic orders becomes more diffuse.
If that sounds abstract, it simply means this: God created marriage and the family for the first function of civilization, which is the procreation and raising of children. Once you get beyond the unit of the family, competence in raising children becomes significantly reduced.
Now, at times, others have to step in. Grandparents, extended family, kin, church, neighborhood, sometimes even the government has to step in. But the principle of subsidiarity reminds us that any abstraction from the most basic fundamental unit assigned in creation leads to a basic incompetence.
Accordingly, the word subsidiarity communicates that truth, authority and reality subside in the most basic unit. So, when it comes to government, a city is in one sense an abstraction, whereas marriage and family are concrete. Taken into the arena of the economy or politics, the same principles apply, which is to say, your neighborhood is going to be more concerned about one of your neighbors than the city government will be. The city government will be more concerned than the county commission. The county commission will be even less competent to deal with a broken family situation, and so on as you go outward to the state, and on to the federal government.
Now, the left would have you believe that all of society’s problems would be solved if we only had a global one world government. But, Christians have a natural allergy to that conception. In fact, most people around the world also have a very natural allergic reaction to that kind of proposal. Just think about the hard lessons of the 20th century.
The century began with what many people declared was a season of perpetual peace, that turned out to be an illusion. And instead the world, or at least much of the world, was at war by 1914. And a war that was so horrifying that it brought empires to an end and basically broke the idea of progress that had become so popular in the 19th century.
That idea of perpetual moral and political progress, the killing fields, the deadly trenches of the first World War, then known as the Great War, put to the lie, those kinds of optimistic assessments of human nature and the potential of government.
You'll recall that at the end of World War I, there were calls for the creation of what would then be called the League of Nations. And the League of Nations was supposed to be a forum of world governments in which there would be an agreement that war would happen no more. And there would be another regime of perpetual peace, which by the way, was the promise of the enlightenment.
The first person to really articulate this vision of perpetual peace was Immanuel Kant, the major philosopher of the enlightenment age. But then of course, everything falls apart again, and we're even skipping over the fact that major Western nations signed a treaty saying they would never go to war again. The Kellogg-Briand Pact, actually outlawed war, a fairly ridiculous assumption as we look backwards now.
But then came World War II, then came the Cold War. And again, after the second World War, where the League of Nations was judged to be a complete failure, even the United States Senate would not ratify the treaty and join the League of Nations, the United States took the lead in creating what became known as the United Nations. But the United Nations from the beginning has been toothless because in order to create the political consensus to start or to found the United Nations, major world powers, including in the beginning, nations such as the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union were given a veto power.
If you're giving that kind of veto power in the security council, the United Nations is not going to be able to have any concerted effort when it comes to any particular issue. And the United Nations has basically been shown over time to be largely a toothless giant. Where you do have multinational agreements that come into play such as in the European Union, the big headlines in recent years have been retreats from that union.
Most importantly, the Brexit vote undertaken by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, that vote taken in 2016. And then right now the rebellion of many nations in Western Europe, in particular, Hungary and Poland, against the moral dictates of the European Union.
But we're now talking about the Climate Conference, we're talking about what's going on in Glasgow, but you come to understand why there are those who believe that everything could be solved if there just could be a global government.
The global government would be efficient, all these problems would be solved, there would be a global enforcement mechanism. There would be a global police force. And of course, this is where Christians understand that that is taking the understanding based in scripture of subsidiarity and completely rejecting it.
The idea here is that the global government would be a competent government. And of course that's not only extremely unlikely, it's impossible. In fact, the greatest fear should be that a global government might at least at times be competent because the problem is, and Christians understand this because of the doctrine of sin. If you concentrate all that authority in a very restricted elite, there is every evidence throughout human history and every evidence of scripture to believe that that will end in a very deadly blood bath.
The simple principle is this: The larger the government, the larger the regime, the more concentrated the power, the greater is the danger of deadly effect and the use of state sponsored violence.
(Pasted and paraphrased from an article by Dr. Albert Mohler.)
Right now Google is featuring the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, which made me cognizant of the fact that if I wish to share my favorite artists with my students at some point, I'm going to leave some of them out unless I have a list of them somewhere, so I will begin the list here...
Leonardo da Vinci
Look into the veracity of this history...
You left out Georges Seurat. And you should probably include Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, even though you don't particularly care for their works.
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART I
It is customary to list nine gifts of the Holly Spirit, and to divide them into three categories…
The three revelation gifts (the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, and the discerning of spirits);
Three power gifts (the gifts of healings, the working of miracles, and the gift of special faith); and
The three vocal gifts (prophecy, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues).
word of knowledge: a supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit of certain facts in the mind of God (most generally deals with persons, places and/or things)
word of wisdom: a supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit of the mind, purpose and will of God (dealing with the future)
the discerning of spirits: sight or insight into the spirit realm (visual perception [perceiving] of spirits) for the purpose of identifying the origin of certain spiritual activity or the motivating force behind certain individuals
The Holy Spirit gives these gifts according to His will (and they work as He wills).
One of the functions of the gifts of the Spirit (e.g., signs, wonders, miracles, etc.) is to bear witness to the preaching of the Gospel. (Hebrews 2:2-4, Mark 16:15-20)
Again, the gifts of the Holy Spirit operate as the Spirit wills—not in accordance with the intentions of believers. Nonetheless, believers are to earnestly desire "the best gifts" for the profit of all (others).
So then, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not given merely in response to need, nor simply because of maturity. Rather, it is in the presence of both need and a zealous longing for them that brings these gifts into manifestation.
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART II
The Holy Spirit is over the gifts
The Messiah is over the ministry.
Directions from 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 lists the following instructions:
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise prophecies.
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Again, the gifts are initiated by the Holy Spirit—not by believers, though Yeshua’s followers can cooperate with Holy Spirit by earnestly desiring these gifts.
The Vocal Gifts:
prophecy: a supernatural utterance in a known tongue (bubbles forth from your spirit under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, supernaturally, by the Spirit of God, conveying a message from God)
1 Corinthians 14:1-3 states that the purpose of prophecy is to: (1) edify; (2) exhort, which is to say, call near to God; and (3) comfort. It is not for guidance. On the contrary, the Holy Spirit guides believers individually.
diverse kinds of tongues: a supernatural utterance given through the Holy Spirit in languages never learned and not understood by the speaker (and not necessarily understood by the hearer either)
the interpretation of tongues: the showing forth in a known language the meaning of an utterance in tongues (for edification of the believer, or believers, or the church as a whole)
Tongues in its simplest and most basic application is a devotional gift used to assist a believer in prayer, praise and worship to God. As stated in 1 Corinthians 14:4, he who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
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What do you do with small children on the question of Santa Claus?
By R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
My understanding of this has changed a little bit, my strategy, you might say, that I recommend over the last several years. It is because if you just put the question, "Do we talk about Santa Claus or do we not, do we acknowledge Santa Claus or do we not," this can lead, I think, to a lot of confusion in the child.
If you just talk about who's real and who's not real, there might be a better way to handle this. So, my suggestion is that when your children ask about Santa Claus, you do not speak of Santa Claus as an imaginary figure. You speak of Santa Claus as going back to the story of Saint Nicholas in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries, a very early Christian who has been called by the Catholic Church as a saint, also Eastern Orthodoxy. And it was he and the legend that he gave children gifts that has come down throughout history and has been transformed, it's been commercialized, it's been consumerized, it has been...well...you name it. Santa Claus is now a major figure. But the reality is that there is something you're able to say to a child which is, "You know, there was an early Christian who lived long ago who was very kind to children and gave gifts."
And there are all kinds of stories told about him now. But we don't believe that it's Saint Nicholas. And by the way, that's where old Saint Nick Santa Claus. And when you look at all the different languages and booting, especially by the way, the Germanic influences here, many of the names come in, much of the romanticism that comes with a Victorian Christmas during the 19th century, that's come in as well. But the reality is, you don't have to say there never was a Santa Claus, you just have to say, "Our attention at Christmas isn't towards any particular human being at all." And by the way, all this about riding a sleigh, and reindeer, and coming down chimneys, all of that is just a story. But we believe in the true story of Jesus Christ. Christmas is about the baby born in Bethlehem's manger and that is something that took place, not just as a story but is true.
Just as true as you were born [and your brother was born, and baby brother was born] Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. The reason I suggest it that way is just my experience as a father and now as a grandfather. I think it might not be most helpful just to say Santa Claus is not real and Jesus is real because you really need to start backing that up with some arguments and talking about the consequences of whether or not Jesus is real or Santa Claus is real.
The point is, we need to speak of Jesus always, as real, eternally real, incarnate in Bethlehem, our real Savior and Lord. And when it comes to any number of figures, we put them in their play simply by saying, "The world is just too fixated on Santa Claus, and the world's built up all kinds of stories about him which, frankly, aren't even true."
But, the reality is that Christians need to be generous. The reality is that Christians need to love children. And so, we don't have to go around talking about how much we don't believe in Santa Claus, we go around talking about how much we do believe in Jesus.
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