Articles

Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” Common interpretation of this proverb is disappointing. The last portion of the verse is usually not quoted – probably because it contains that “controlling” L-word. What the interpretation generally comes down to is humanistic, “If people do not have goals, a vision of the big picture, a direction for achievement, or a philosophy or principle to work toward, those people will not be able to hold together, they will not accomplish anything worthwhile and the whole thing will fall apart.” Whatever truth may be attached to that view has nothing to do with Proverbs 29:18 because the wording of the proverb has become victim to equivocation. Equivocation means that one is constructing a meaning by using a definition of a word that is not applicable. In the case of Proverbs 29, the word “vision” is given a definition, a modern one, that is not related to the definition of the word in the text.

I will begin by saying that I do not consider myself to be a prophet in the Old Testament sense, but I will undertake to predict the future in this article. The basis of my prediction is not an inner sense of divine light and revelation, but a rational assessment of the motions of the past along with insights from Scripture that are meant to guide the Church away from the rocks and shoals of humanistic thought.

The church, under Christ her King, is an independent domain, even as the state is.  The church is a separate institution with its own powers, functions and jurisdiction.  The state has its own domain.  Each institution may exercise authority only within the jurisdiction given it by Christ.  Ecclesiastical constitutions have no authority in civil government; and civil constitutions have no authority in ecclesiastical government. To reject this limitation is political, cultural and ecclesiastical suicide.

Historians of generations past and journalists and government school ma’ams today, tend to dismiss the seventeenth century American Puritans as somber cranks and kill-joys who, thankfully, evolved into practical and realistic Unitarian Yankees (“people who believe in one god, at most”). Dressed in black, the Puddleglum snoops peered in their neighbors’ windows to ensure compliance with the rigid and ridiculous ethical pruderies of the Calvinist theology imposed on them by their inquisitional, witchcraft-obsessed ministers. The obdurate cynic H.L. Mencken described Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”[1]

Last weekend I read about two women who have made history. One was on the front page of the newspaper and is of the “I am woman hear me roar” school. She is known and admired by many for her intelligence and aggressive pursuit of power. She is tough and politically savvy.  She will be entering an international arena to help project the policies of the new Presidential administration. No doubt she will eventually get a sentence or two mention in the history books of the 21st century.