Re: Social Problems (was Social Problems--Part A)

Charles Cairns (
Mon, 23 Feb 1998 20:34:49 -0500

Hello Russell,

On Monday, February 23, 1998 8:03 PM you wrote re polygamy:

>Of course I agree that God suffers along with us as we disappoint him from
>day to day. But my point was a larger one: Over thousands of years, he
>leads us along to acknowledge what he laid down in the beginning. No
>slaves. No autocratic form of government. And, marriage should be what it
>was for Adam and Eve before they sinned--covenantal and one-to-one. Each of
>the pair helps the other.

I like larger points too, Russ. They sometimes help us see the big details
we miss when looking at the little ones, but some of the examples you cite
are not supported by scripture. I don't think you'll find a verse that
prohibits slavery. It was a familiar element to the patriarchs, and they
never would have thought to condemn it. Instead the bible offers advice on
how to live with it. Of course I'm not suggesting that slavery is right--I
don't believe it is--but I am suggesting that it never even occurred to the
biblical writers to look at it like we do today.

Similarly with autocratic government. All forms of government can work. Some
work better than others, but none are wrong. And each of them in principle
has the welfare of the state as their purpose for existence. It is their
perversion by man that leads them to ruin, a violation of the social
contract that created them.

And marriage? I guess I'd call that a domestic government. Any kind can
work. It's that covenantal relationship you mention that is the key. Same
for city councils and Cub Scouts and churches and Rotary Club. You might
guess, then, that I would also put homosexual relationships in this
category, but that's another discussion altogether, and one I think I'd just
as soon skirt for now.

I guess, Russ, in the end, just when and where do we decide to pursue an
ideal that the fathers of the faith themselves did not see?