Cycles of Human Government

Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee glorifies ancient Greece and replicates original in Athens, Greece.
Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee glorifies ancient Greece and replicates original in Athens, Greece.

“Those whom Jupiter would destroy, he first makes mad” is an ancient Greek proverb quoted in various forms by later Greek and Western authors. It seems to have the meaning that whom the gods would destroy, they first relieve of their common sense. This is very close to a Greek sentence in the play, Antigone, by Sophocles (497-405 BC):

"Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom [the] gods lead to destruction."

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s2smodern

A long time ago (actually in 1956, my second year in university), I took a public speaking class.  I really enjoyed that semester, and I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking since those days, an activity that I do enjoy.  One of the class assignments was to come up with a “proposal” to accomplish something unusual or difficult, or both.  Searching for a suitable topic, I suddenly came up with a “eureka--I have found it” moment.  I had recently been reading, for my very first time, about the loss of the passenger liner, Titanic.  What better “unusual” topic could there be, in those halcyon days of 1956, then to come up with a proposal to “RAISE THE TITANIC,” which became my talk’s title? 

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s2smodern

He’s standing in the self-check-out line at Walmart plugging pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters from his children’s piggy banks into the cash register just to buy a few groceries. He has no job and has not been able to get one, but he doesn’t qualify for government programs and would not, on principle, take that support even if it were available. Where is the church?

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s2smodern

In Numbers 22 – 24, the children of Israel, beginning to grow under the blessing of God, were being perceived as a threat to the surrounding nations. So Balak, king of Moab, sent for Balaam (the son of Beor, the soothsayer [Joshua 13:22], so soothsaying, the practice of blessing or cursing another in exchange for payment, may have been presumptively the family trade?) to curse Israel and, thus, eliminate Israel’s threat to Moab. Balak knew that Balaam had a connection with God and, with it, the power to effectively bless or curse anyone. So Balaam told the Moabite princes that he would do whatever God told him to do concerning Israel.

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s2smodern

May Face Huge Red Tide in November

Harper Lee’s 1964 fictional novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, cites Alabama and Southern folklore that to kill a mockingbird is bad luck, and the consequences can result in misfortune for an entire community. The main plot-line of Harper Lee’s famous fiction work involves an innocent black man, Tom Robinson, being accused by a white woman of attempted rape. Despite convincing evidence of his innocence presented by his small town lawyer, Atticus Finch, a prejudiced small-town jury finds him guilty. Tom Robinson is later shot dead trying to escape from prison.

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s2smodern

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic elements of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

For many Christian homeschooling families, this verse illustrates the most important reason why they homeschool. They don’t want their children taken captive by the world’s education system.

The philosophy that undergirds most of “public education” today has totally rejected Christ. Instead it is centered on man. The emphasis is on what mankind thinks and feels, on what mankind has done and is doing, and on relationships between people. An excellent way to describe it is the phrase the apostle Paul used in Colossians, “human tradition and the basic elements of this world.”

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s2smodern

The first two lines of James Lowell’s (1819-1891) epic poem, “The Present Crisis”, remind us that: “When a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth’s aching breast, Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west.”

Various people throughout the world may have a different perception of “freedom” -- i.e. what it means to them – how they define it.  The Oxford Dictionary includes what I consider to be pertinent definitions:

  • The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants;
  • The absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government;
  • The power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.

 

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s2smodern
Mike Scruggs