Humanism and the Child - RR141B4

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Humanism and the Child
Course: Course - Humanism
Subject: Subject:Humanism
Lesson#: 4
Length: 0:52:02
TapeCode: RR141B4
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Humanism.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


Shortly before our meeting began, I was having again the happy privilege of chatting with a dear friend of some years standing, the Reverend Donald Jones who is with us here this evening. We were discussing old books, and I mentioned one to him which is a particular treasure, Sir Henry Spellman’s The History of Sacrilege. What is the book about? It is written by someone more than two hundred years ago, and the last printing of it I believe was 1832. The man who wrote it was of the English nobility, and what he did was to trace what happens to men who lay their hands on things that belong to God.

Spellman goes through the Old Testament, he gives a number of illustrations from the Scriptures, through the centuries to the time of Henry the 8th, and then concentrates on him. The story he tells is well documented, no one was ever able to shake the validity of what he said.

Henry the 8th seized the holdings of the church of his day. He confiscated its properties and gave them to his favorites, or sold them to enrich himself. Now Spellman is ready to grant, reformation may be one thing, but seizure and confiscation is taking that which belongs to the Lord, and using it for ourselves. It is laying unhallowed hands on the Lords Ark. [00:02:49]

And the punishment for that in the Old Testament was...[edit]

And the punishment for that in the Old Testament was death. He traces the families, together with that of Henry the 8th that participated in this seizure. And they all died out by the third generation, without exception. Some within the first generation. “Well,” Said Sir Henry Spellman: “Men might say that in those days the life expectancy was not very great. Let us look at what the Duke of Norfolk did. He gave to his followers and retainers vast sections of Northern England. But,” He said, “Those men and their descendants had not such judgement as overwhelmed Henry the 8th and his retainers.”

This story is true. As a matter of fact, under Edward the 6th one of the early puritan preachers, (Laver?), in a sermon in one of the great churches of England, called upon the Puritan people of England to make an outpouring of gifts to the Lord. “Because,” He said: “The wrath of the Lord is upon this land for what was recently done to the houses of God, and we will only stay His wrath from this sacrilege by an outpouring of gifts. Give to the Lord what is His due.”

A scholar, W.K. Jordan, by no means a Christian, has said that out of that sermon by Laver, began the great outpouring of evangelical gifts to establish schools and foundations and missions, an outpouring that continued almost to our time, to World War 1. For a century and a half one of the themes of the Puritan clergy was precisely: “See what happened then, what the wrath of God was, when men laid unhallowed hands upon that which belonged to the Lord.”

The story that Spellman told, shook me and moved me deeply, but I realized after I finished reading it with a sense of shame that it should not have surprised me. After all, again and again the scriptures speak concerning this matter. Our Lord Himself declared very plainly, in words that should make parents tremble, in Luke or Matthew 18:6 we read: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Now consider the meaning of that. Our Lord was there speaking of the children that were there, covenant children. What is a covenant child? A covenant child is one whose parents, believing in the Lord, bring their children to the Lord and say: “This child which Thou gavest to me, I give back to Thee for he or she is Thine, and it is the Lords will that must be done to that child.” How dare we then take the Lords child and put that child in the hands of unbelievers? To be educated, for 8-12 years with no mention of the Lords name, unless it be taken blasphemously. [00:07:44]

It would be better for a millstone to be hanged around...[edit]

It would be better for a millstone to be hanged around our neck and to be drowned in the deepest sea than to face the wrath of our Lord for giving a covenant child, His possession, to unbelievers, and to unbelieving schools.

All through the centuries, the ungodly have dreamed of seizing possession of children. Plato’s Republic gives us a program whereby all children are to be taken by the state to be educated in terms of the state. When the Turkish empire seized vast areas of Christendom, at one point going to the very gates of Vienna, what they did was to develop and apply Plato’s ideas. And they said: “Every five years and we will go through and take our pick of all the children, to rear them in terms of the faith of Islam, to be the servants of the state, to be the civil servants in the bureaucracy. To be the military.” So there was a regular harvest of Christian children who were taken at 5, and lost to the faith, to become the tools in the armies of the Turkish Empire.

Much later, humanists, beginning in Prussia, saw that standard, the Turkish and Mohammedan standard as a good ideal. “Why not take all children at the age of 5? All children, and rear them in terms of the doctrines of the enlightenment, in terms of the doctrines of rationalism, to deliver them from the evils of a Biblical faith?” These were missionary minded men, and so they developed first of all in Prussia the standard of state control of all education. And said to say, now countless people who call themselves Christians think there is nothing wrong with sending their children, covenant children given by the Lord, returned to the Lord in Baptism, and giving them into the hands of a system that leaves the word of God out of education. And now of course, they are not satisfied, these people. These statist educators are actually talking about having campus schools. This was first proposed in the 1890’s by Parker, who was the predecessor of Dewey. “We will separate them from their parents, have them in our possession in a campus school, to break the back of the family. Of its faith, and of its control over the child.” [00:11:37]

This is seriously asked for by statist educators...[edit]

This is seriously asked for by statist educators. None of this should surprise us, humanistic sociologists have studied society; they know exactly where the strength of the Christian church is. It is in the family, and in Christian schooling. This is the key to power, control of the children. As a matter of fact, one man, not a Christian, a Psychoanalyst has said and I quote: “marriage is that institution to which man owes his moral perfecting.”

In other words, it’s the family that shapes us and molds us, therefore we must separate the child from the family, we must attack the very institution of the family. The family we are told is incompetent. The family we are told is unfit to be entrusted with the care of its children. At present of course we are seeing trials in a number of places, and I was handed a copy of the Sunday April 27, that was yesterday, 1980 Greenville news, with a story: Parents Win Right to Teach. It has reference to a case I am very familiar with, I was involved in it to a degree, I know the couple, Ruth and Peter Noble in Doran Michigan. They were arrested and put on trial for educating their own children. They live out in the country near a very small town, they are really out in the woods. They felt the public schools were no place for their children, and they did not feel that the Christian school that existed in their area was doctrinally sound, so they began to teach their children at home.

The children were doing remarkably well, far ahead of any child in the public schools, but they were arrested, moreover they were arrested by the Sheriff’s department in the humiliating way possible. They were not merely served a warrant and told to come to court, they were thrown in the back of a car, taken, finger printed, Peter Noble was tossed into a drunk tank and Ruth put with female offenders. Everything to humiliate them. It was ironic in the trial the defense attorney tried to bring out the circumstances of their arrest, and the abusive way they were treated. And the state attorney fought like a tiger to keep the evidence of that from coming into court, and into the records. [00:15:16]

And finally the judge silenced the state attorney and...[edit]

And finally the judge silenced the state attorney and said: “Sit down. Everybody knows what you did.” But there are more parents facing trial. More and more attacks on the integrity of the family. The Sexual revolution is one such attack. The sexual revolution today is part of the curriculum of the public school in one community after another, and a systematically anti Christian morality is taught in these sex education courses. Now note, they are sex education courses, and sex is treated as something recreational, a means of pleasure. They are not family education courses, because the family is the target. And yet it is ironic, the humanists themselves have demonstrated in some of their research the significance of the Biblical, the Christian family.

Some years ago a British scholar, a scientist, did one of the most thorough pieces of research ever undertaken, his whole point was to disprove the idea that morality was important. Sexual morality. He collected all the evidences on sexual practices in every known tribe or people, in every culture of the past and present, going back to ancient historical records. And to his dismay he found that there was a mathematical correlation. That was his own statement. That in a society where you had no premarital chastity, nor any post-marital chastity, where sexual license prevailed, that culture was at a dead level. They could not count beyond the fingers of their hands, and at least one they cannot count beyond three. They were unable to develop tools or any real living structures. They had very little idea about the afterworld beyond a vague belief in spirits.

He found that as you had, some kind of sexual regulation enter in, the cultural and intellectual achievement of the people began to rise. That where you came to the Biblical standard where the only legal activity, sexually, was within marriage and this was practiced, you had the development of a high culture and science, and progress. But he also found that in three generation’s you could go from the top tot the bottom. What was the key to civilization? Why, the key was the Christian family. This was the work of J.D. Unwin, his massive study Sex and Culture was published by the Oxford University press, and immediately regulated ot the back shelves, and even Unwin then spent some years trying to develop some way whereby you could make an end-run around his own data. [00:19:42]

They had demonstrated how important biblical faith...[edit]

They had demonstrated how important biblical faith is to society, and they didn’t like the results of their own work. Humanism wants a society in which man is god. It believes in the first and great humanist manifesto, Genesis 3:5, where the tempter says: “Ye shall be as God,” Every man his own God, “Knowing,” and determining for yourself in other words, “Good and evil.”

But such a society is a demand society. The hippies very eloquently at times set forth the essence of humanism. “I wanna be me.” This is the one law, and “Do your own thing.” No reference to any outer law or standard, meaning or purpose, I want to be me and do my own thing. “Live unto yourself.” And the result is that humanism as it teaches the child in terms of this kind of faith, the centrality of the individual, develops in every child it reaches an ego trip. Creates out of him a person who becomes a part of a demand culture. A demand culture demands that all people and all life bow down and provide the individual with what he wants. The person who is a product of such a culture feels that there is something wrong with the world and with God if they do not have what they want, and they insist on their right to have a tantrum if God somehow does not give them their demands.

Like the student who once told me that he had once tried Christianity, had prayed once, and God hadn’t given him what he wanted. So of what use is God? Now that’s a logical conclusion to humanist education.

One English scientist, a philosopher of humanism, has actually said that we should take the first statement of the west minster shorter catechism and reverse it, to set forth the essence of humanism. “God’s Chief end should be to enjoy man, and to serve him forever.” And so his conclusion was, if there be a God, this is the only valid function he should have. We have all around us today the consequences of such a faith, it is the world that is being created now, or rather it is the kind of faith that is destroying our world today. [00:23:37]

Twenty years ago and twenty five years ago I had read...[edit]

Twenty years ago and twenty five years ago I had read about robberies and rape, I did not know anyone to whom these things had happened. In the past twenty years as I have traveled across country I have talked to people and I have had people call me wherever I have been staying very often to tell me of things that have happened, and to ask in dismay: “What is happening to our country?” I cannot begin to name how many, if I were to choose to name them which I do not, whose homes have been robbed, who have been beaten, who have been raped, and we are seeing a progressive lawlessness that is destroying our society.

There is no answer to that except a Christian faith which begins at the key point with the Christian family and the child and fulfills the covenant promise. Parents who take Gods word seriously, when He says that it is better to have a millstone hung around our neck and to be cast into the deepest sea, than to face Him, when we do not do justice by His covenant children. When we give them over to ungodly hands.

In a very moving plea to Jerusalem and Judah, Jeremiah says in the 10th chapter, the first 3 verses: “Here ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, oh house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.”

And then he goes on to describe the idolatry that ensues, and the deterioration, when a people forsake the way of the Lord and learn the way of the heathen. False education, he says, leads to idolatry, and then to slavery to ungodly customs. So that every man become brutish in his knowledge, and he cries out: “Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” If it is not in man, it is in the Lord. But humanism says it is in man, it gives us an education which leaves out God. [00:27:45]

Some of you may be familiar with the ...[edit]

Some of you may be familiar with the New Republic. It is one of the more Liberal magazines of our time. Back in the teens and twenties in its earliest days it could be better described as radical. The editor, Burke, B U R K E, was all the same a very remarkable man; despite his humanism he saw what was coming. Everyone then was talking about the triumph of Science, and of reason and education, as the key to the enlightenment of all men, and he said: “No, we are going to move into and age of unreason, the revival of occultism, and Satanism, and witchcraft.” Why? Then Burke witnessed against himself. He said: “Man cannot live by reason. Man must live by grace. And if he does not get grace from above he will seek grace from below. And our society will be ruled by demonic grace.”

Last year, 75,000 teachers in the state schools across the country were seriously injured by assaults from students. 75,000. It appears there is some demonic grace at work in the schools, in the students, and in the teaching.

Those of you who have given your children to Christian education have been faithful to your covenant vow. And you have a duty, to make others aware of what a fearful sin it is before God to give their children over to the enemy. We have a task before us; this nation began as a covenant people, the oath of office was taken on an open bible, opened to Deuteronomy 28. The very term oath has reference to the covenant. [00:31:01]

It was a declaration in the name of God that one would...[edit]

It was a declaration in the name of God that one would be faithful the every word of God, to the covenant God. The framers meant the inclusion of the oath in a covenant sense, and we have broken God’s covenant. [Tape skips]

Thy word is truth, and Thou hast commanded us to give our children unto Thee. We thank Thee for this church, and for its school. And we thank Thee for every Christian school throughout the country. Awaken oh Lord the hearts of parents, that they might surrender their children unto Jesus Christ, that Christian schools might grow and flourish across the length and breadth of this land and across the world, and that we might once again be a people whose god is the Lord. May thy blessing oh Lord be upon this congregation, it’s under shepherds, and its members, its parents. We thank Thee for their faithfulness, we pray for Thy richest blessing upon them, that they might be prospered in all their ways. In Jesus Name, amen.

[Audience Member] Mark if you would bring those books up here and, Doctor Rushdoony, if you give just a few sentences about each one, and then if you would be thinking about questions that you would like to ask Doctor Rushdoony about his message, or about Christian education, or about the problems throughout the country in this regard.

[Rushdoony] First of all, these two, Intellectual Schizophrenia, Culture Crisis and education, speaks about the necessity for Christian Schools. This one, the Messianic Character of American education deals with the philosophies of education of the public schools from Horace Mann to the present. I call it Messianic Character because the educators saw education, the state school as the messiah that was going to save mankind through humanism. [00:34:08]

Law and Liberty is a series of, I think 30-33 chapters, these were a series of broadcasts that I gave all over the country, and in fact they were on the BJU station also, and were replayed 2-3 times, dealing with the family, with education, with a number of subjects. They are very short statements.

The Biblical Philosophy of History deals with what God has to say about what is to be accomplished in history, what we are to do.

The Foundations of Christian Scholarship our foundation put out, and this is for scholars and ministers and it deals with what the foundations are in every area of life and thought from the standpoint of scripture.

We also put out the Journal of Reconstruction, and this is a symposium on education, Christian education, which I think you will find of interest.

These are Isaac Watts Divine Psalms for Children, which we reprinted with an essay by a very fine Christian woman who used these songs for poems in the educating of her own children. [00:35:48]

World History Notes, These are a series of talks I gave on world history from the earliest days, through the Reformation, and I taught several adult groups in this course and these are the notes they had to read as a supplement to my lectures.

This is a volume in my series of Studies in Systematic Theology, Infallibility: An Inescapable Concept. If you deny that God’s word is infallible, you are going to give infallibility to man in one way or another. This is a brief study on Van Til, who is the great philosopher of religion in our time.

This is on Freud, Freud has been very influential in our modern world, because Freud is behind the whole mental health movement and psychotherapy. What Freud did, was to say: “We will never get rid of religion, until we can convert the problem of guilt to a scientific instead of a religious question.” “Because”, he said, “As long as men feel guilty, they are going to feel the need for a savior, but if we tell them that guilt is merely a scientific question, we can eliminate the need for the clergy.

Bread Upon the Waters is a series of columns on just about every subject; one of my favorite books, I wrote these as columns for the California Farmer, a farm magazine, and I am still writing a column for them, and I enjoy these very much myself, it is a pleasure to write them.

This is a book by myself and another staff member on Tithing and Dominion. God has given usa a key whereby we can take over one area of life after another; the tithe. It’s God requirement of us.

The Myth of Overpopulation. That’s a myth we are subjected to all the time, but it is a myth. We are not overpopulated. [00:38:24]

The Nature of the American System is about the United States and what our country was intended to be, as well as what humanism has in mind.

This Independent Republic is about our country and the colonial era, and a little later up through the War of Independence, studying what Americans then intended our country to be.

This one, the Politics of Guilt and Pity, our politics today is aimed at making us feel guilty for everybody under the sun, and to pity everybody. Well, Christian, Godly concern is not motivated by guilt and pity, but by grace and love, and that is something very different.

The Foundations of Social Order is my wife’s favorite book, it is a study of the Creeds and counsels of the early church, because the early church had to fight the battle against the humanism of its day, and it is important for us to know how they fought it.

The One and the Many is a study of the basic problem of philosophy, this will appeal to those of you who have an interest in philosophy, and it deals with the basic question of the one and the many, and points out how the basic problem in philosophy is only answered by the doctrine of the Trinity. Doctor Vern Poythress the mathematician took the same concept, and in The Foundations of Christian Scholarship He points out how we cannot have mathematics if we did not have a Triune God. Now that may seem a startling thing, but here is a man who is a P.H.D. In Math at Harvard, who has shown the relationship of a basic article of our faith to mathematics. [00:40:44]

[Audience Member] I’d like to open up the floor for...[edit]

[Audience Member] I’d like to open up the floor for questions at this time, and then at 8:30 we will have a special time to close, but if you would like to stay after that and ask questions…?... Are there any questions that come to mind that you would like to ask Doctor Rushdoony?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Do I what?

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes, do I regard Psalm 1 as such an admonition. I certainly believe it covers the family. One of the things we need to remember is that the psalms were not only the psalms for temple worship, they were used by Levites and mothers to instruct their children. So the psalms have an important part in the instruction of every child, so every child learned psalm 1. Now, if I may say a little further there, one of the most remarkable facts about our Lords crucifixion, His last words, a quotation from the psalm, not the only one of course in his seven words on the cross: “Into thy hands, I commit my Spirit.” Now every child was not only taught the psalms, but that was to be his last sentence every night in his prayers before he went to bed, so that for every Hebrew, those words spoke about home, their parents tucking them into sleep, and them concluding before they slept with those verses: “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”

I am sure it shook everyone there to hear that coming from the mouth of our Lord, because it spoke of the peace of home, and the security of a father’s care and a mother’s love. It’s one of the most amazing uses of the Psalms in all of scripture. [00:43:50]

[Audience Member] ...[edit]

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] The question is with regard to psychotherapy. Now, there are several very fine studies in the past few years that have been written about the myth of mental illness. The interesting fact is that one of the most prominent contemporary psychiatrist’s, who is a humanist, who is emphatically not a Christian, Doctor Thomas Szasz, has written a series of books, one of them entitled the Myth of Mental Illness, in which he says: “Unless it be something with a physical cause, such as (?) or an advanced case of senility, all mental problems are really means of evading reality. They are at root religious. Mowrer of the University of Illinoi, again not a Christian said: “The root of mental problems is a moral problem. It’s not sickness.” And he said: “The sickness model is false. It is a moral problem.”

There is a psychologist in California, in fact both husband and wife, Martin and Drede Bobgan, have written a book: The Psychological Way/ The Spiritual Way, and their whole point is that we as Christians are very foolish if we look to psychiatrists or psychoanalysts or psychologists for answers when we have it in scripture. The root of the so-called mental problems is sin, it’s a moral conflict. The solution therefore is in scripture. If man’s problem is sin, then the solution is in the savior. We have to relate the two.

Now J. Adams has done a great deal in this area also, so our resources as Christians is steadily increasing. Meanwhile, what these mental health people and the psychiatrist are trying to do is to pass legislation making it illegal for any Christian pastor to give counseling, without their approval, their certification, after work at the school of their designation. A very fine Christian attorney and legislator in Florida, Tom Bush, prevented that from happening in Florida. He blocked the Legislation. We are going to face it in a number of states, I know we are going to face an attempt to pass such legislation in California; this would immediately make all ministers guilty of malpractice, like a doctor practicing without a license, if they give any pastoral counseling. We have the only solution to these so-called mental health problems, and we had better stress the power that is ours in the Word of God. [00:48:08]

[Audience Member] ...[edit]

[Audience Member] …?...

[Rushdoony] In virtually every state there are groups attempting to have all kinds of legislation to do with child abuse. The fact is there is not a state that does not already have laws on the book to take care of child abuse. All these new laws would do would be to control you and me, so that all these attempts for new legislation to do with child abuse are a fraud, they are aimed against the godly family, to give powers to control such a family, moreover as child abuse is now being interpreted, actually has been in court that includes requiring the children go to Sunday school in church, and that they participate in family worship, and bow their heads in prayer at the dinner table. Now this is actually the case, it took one minister 14 months to get his daughter back, and those were the charges in terms of which his daughter was taken from him, Pastor Roy in New York. There are numerous cases across the country where there has been no abuse of a child, but because the parents are Christian they have been charged with child abuse.

[Audience Member] Let’s take time for prayer before we are dismissed. Our Lord in heaven, we thank Thee that Thou hast revealed yourself to us by Thy holy word; give us a greater (?) about it, to apply it to our own lives, and then as these speak to minister to us. Cause us to understand these works of the enemy, the devil himself …?... Thank you oh Lord for the promise that greater is He that is with us than he that is in the world. We ask for your blessing on these families here tonight, for your continued help for this Christian school, that we may go forward to serve you. Visit us with your blessing, because we as your children need your blessing; that we might glorify you, and enjoy you. In Jesus name we pray with thanks giving.

[Rushdoony] Amen. [00:51:47]