Counsel of Chalcedon
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1990 Issue 5

I spent a restless night trying to find a comfortable position to ease the pain in my shoulder and neck. I guess the long trip is finally catching up with me. Four extra strength excedrin later it isn't much better. Today, I'm exhausted and still in a lot of pain. All the precious "mothers" who look after me here insist that I go to a chiropractor. There's one in Petermaritzberg, one and one-half hours away, and at this point, I'll try anything.

Emmett Kelly was one of the most famous clowns in history. My sister painted a picture of him in his famous clown make-up and I have it with me here today. The striking thing about this picture is the sadness in Mr. Kelly's face. We are captivated by the contrast. Clowns are supposed to be funny. They dress up in ludicrous clothing and make-up and we are able to laugh. But Emmett Kelly's trademark is this woebegone look, this exquisite sadness in a funny costume. And so we laugh, and yet he strikes a chord in our souls, a chord of mournfulness. You can be laughing on the outside and crying on the inside.

Emmett Kelly died some years ago. His son took over his clown personality. I don't know if the son is still living or not, but the picture of Emmett the Clown will never die. It registers something so true to life. Clowns can put on a happy face, like Bozo the Clown, but you and I know that even Bozo the Clown must have times when he doesn't feel like laughing.

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Ex. 20:3). This is the first of the Ten Commandments spoken by God. It cannot stand in any position other than the first. Not only does it form the basis on which the whole structure of the Law of God is built, but it is also the foundation of every sphere of created life. In keeping with the principle of beginning with God, stated in the first article of this series, it is necessary to consider the speaker.

Most of us are familiar with R. J. Rushdoony, the theologian, and his very important and instructive writing and commentaries. The Counsel asked Mr. Rushdoony to allow a small glimpse into his life behind his reputation - his daily work and the support of his wife, Dorothy. Married couples and individuals reading this interview will be encouraged in their own efforts to honor God and advance His Kingdom in their daily living.

Growing bigotry is seen in such films as THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST; THE HANDMAID'S TALE, and JESUS OF MONTREAL with a growing attack on Jesus and His Body by some of the media elite who run the entertainment industry. Christians have every right to be alarmed, since we are well aware of the religious persecution suffered throughout the ages by the church, especially in this century in countries such as: Uganda -- where Idi Amin tortured and killed thousands of Christians; Russia -- where millions of Christians have died in the Gulag and in Stalin's purges and famines; Germany -- where millions of Christians died along with the Jews in the concentration camps; Eastern Europe -- where thousands of Christians have been tortured for their faith; and, Indonesia -- where Christians are being slaughtered for their faith even as you read this article.

It happened less than a month ago, even as I write. On the evening of April 20, 1990, our thirty two year old knelt before a chair placed at the front of the room, while fifteen right hands pressed down on his head.

As I prayed the eternally significant words, I was conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit: "We do hereby set you apart to the office of elder, and ordain and install you as a ruling elder in the Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ, King and Head of the Church and the State." It was an eventful evening: a congregation was organized, one other man besides our son was elected, ordained and installed, a third elected and installed, and a pastor elected and installed. Our son is the precentor for congregational acappella Psalm-singing.

What are we to think of lotteries and gambling? Should we think more highly of them because their tax proceeds might support schools, prisons, or balance State and Federal budgets? Similar logic currently promotes research on the remains of aborted babies. If we can cure or relieve those with Alzheimers disease, so the logic goes then the brains of mutilated infants should be fair game for medical and drug research. This is scientific cannibalism. Are we now to turn our dead relatives into food to serve the hungry and starving (Soilent Green)? I expect New Age "progressive" scientists to recommend this for starving nations before long. When we as a culture decide that, "the ends justify the means," barbaric cannibalism, rather than being repulsive, becomes a solution.

FORBIDDEN ALLIANCES, George Gillespie, Presbyterian Heritage Publications, P. O. Box 180922, Dallas, Texas 75218, $2.50.

TRUE AND FALSE WORSHIP; John Knox. Presbyterian Heritage Publications, P. O. Box 180822, Dallas, TX 75218, $2.50.