Copyright © 1997 AFLM
May/June, 1997 Volume XII Number 6 - COMMENTARY
Family values and godly standards
by Pual deParrie
Half a good is worse than all of a bad.
The problem with half a good, is that it disguises itself as an actual good and usually satisfies the less-than-zealous seeker of good. If you have a complete bad, it is much easier to rouse good people to fight it.
Such a half-good is what has become known as "family values." Each word is separately and purposefully vague in today's world. For instance, what does "family" mean any more? Doesn't the "family values" party -- the Republican Party -- have within it a openly accepted homosexual contingent. Are they a "family?" Hillary Milhous Clinton gave a definition which could include a man and his sheep. Is this a family? And just whose "family" is determining the "values?" Even Boy Clinton himself appeals to "family values" when he calls for socialized medicine, socialized education, and socialized police-enforced thought control by the politically correct anti-hate squad.
And "values?" This term is straight out of the updated-for-the-1970s situation ethics philosophy called Values Clarification in which there are "no right and wrong" just whatever "values" each person chooses to hang on to. Some families used to "value" having the father give the daughters their first sexual experience. "No right or wrong" there, I guess. Just a "value" shared by the whole demented "family." Pro-lifers "value" the child's life while pro-aborts merely differ by "valuing" only the woman's life.
But the phrase "family values" is not the same thing as, say, "godly standards." First of all, "godly" indicates an ultimate Source of the standards outside of human will and human institutions, and "standards" indicate something fixed, uniform, and applicable universally. Nothing of the kind is implied by "family values."
Nor does adding the modifying phrase "old fashioned" in front of family values help. How old? Back to Rome's pater familias? Nordic tribalism? Druid paganism?
If we are going to aim to return righteousness to our families and to our nation, let's try to be clear in what we say.
Can you say, "Ten commandments," boys and girls?
Yeah, just ten commandments and you have the God-given basis for the godly standards which should be what comprise family values -- but so often, don't.
So why have Christians been suckered into substituting family values for godly standards? I believe it has to do with the desire to "get along" with people around us and to have them not see us as completely radical. In other words, the fear of men and of a bad "public image" lies at the bottom of our softening of the terms of debate. It is the same fear that is the foundation of the so-called Common Ground movement where pro-lifers go light on abortion and join the teen-pregnancy prevention agenda of the Left in exchange for the Left continuing to be as shrill as ever about "abortion rights" and surrendering nothing.
It is born out of that frustration we have when nobody likes us.
Well, guess what? For all of us who are looking to lay hold of "every promise in the Book," Jesus promised that all who lived godly would suffer persecution. All who preached the truth would be hated because, after all, Jesus said, He was hated.
So when the UN starts redefining the family and pressing for "reproductive health" guaranteed to all the world's women as part of "family values," we shouldn't be using that same perverted rhetoric. We should be preaching the Law of God and proclaiming His unchanging standards of righteousness -- and call them that!
The half-goods we have been representing have lulled us into complacency and apathy. As Leonard Ravenhill said, "The good has again become the enemy of the best." We hear Bill Clinton using "our language" and rejoice, when we should mourn that he has taken our phoney euphemism and made it to represent his evil agenda.
Let's stop with the half good and stake our claim on the whole good.