|Volume II, Issue 1 |
|As A Book That Is Sealed |
Lawrence R. Blades
O Theophilus is the Quarterly Journal of The Center For Biblical Literacy
As A Book That Is Sealed
“And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed.
“And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men…therefore the wisdom or their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”
The American English language has deteriorated rapidly in recent years due to deconstructionist and transfor-mationist agendas in higher education linguistics.1 Not only has a relativistic philosophy furthered the societal acceptance of Orwellian Newspeak, the dominance of the whole language teaching method (whole word, sight reading) in the public education arena has ensured the working reality of Orwells memory hole.2 The ensuing rise of illiteracy has resulted in an increasing inability to com-municate within our society, a historical revisionism that expedites a totalitarian government, and the eventual collapse of Western civilization.
Our nation is no longer at risk educationallyit is hopelessly lost. No other civilization has spent as much time, money and snake-oil fanfare to produce a society more literary bereft. What state educrats fail to do in regular classes, and pretend to remedy in special-ed programs, they turn over to private and business concerns for re-education, all at unnecessarily excessive costs. One wonders if government education should step out of the way all together (a heretical thought for sure).
In the deafening clamor for education reform, few see a need for defining the terms, such as: What is education? What are its goals? How is education accomplished? Such questioning is left to an educational priestcraft by an apathetic and gullible populace.
One such term needing clari-fication is the term literacy. Until recently, a literate person was recognized as a person well versed in the essential history, literature and science of his culture. Scholars once acknowledged a unified body of knowledge necessary to produce an educated person.
Today, the grandest goal of secondary education is to produce a functionally literate studentone that can navigate a McDonalds menu and recognize a Stop sign. Such a student can “function” in society without the unnecessary baggage of comprehensive intellectual skills.
A functionally literate populace has a woefully limited vocabulary, and even that is blurred and indefinite. Important words have lost their original, universal meanings and have taken on insular relevencies within sub-culture groups engendering an intolerant inability to commun-icate; hence, a rising tide of bigotry and racism in our countryperhaps Babel revisited?
Functional literacy” is simply Orwellian double-talk for illiteracyan attempt to make it an acceptable norm. Illiteracy is a powerful tool enabling a totalitarian government to enslave the masses (one reason our government schools refuse to teach phonics). A literate person cannot be easily controlled; he reads and listens to more than the monolithic news of major media spin doctors. But a functionally literate populace is content with bread and circuses; it is programmed to forget quickly and is ripe for media manipulation having a careless disregard for truth (witness the 1992 presidential election).
Associated with illiteracy is the recent mandate for multi-culturalism and political can i over the counter correctness in American schoolsa malicious and intentional assault on Western civilization.3 Multi-culturalism is the antichristian memory hole into which our Christian knowledge and heritage are being expunged.
Cultural literacy extends far beyond functional literacy to embrace the recorded wisdom and knowledge of the civilized world. A humanities course in Western civilization was once an assumed requirement for freshmen in almost all American universities. But to understand most of Western civilization, another prerequisite must be assumed, that is, a certain amount of Biblical literacy. At the root of Western civilization, with all of its accomplishments and failures, is a fundamentally Christian culture that can only be understood within the context of a Biblical worldview.
I took some college literature courses a few years ago which I found most inspiring and delightful, but I was perplexed at the disinterest, boredom, and thoughtlessness of the rest of the class. The reason was apparentno one had read or knew anything about the Bible! The greatest works of English and American literature cannot be understood without a knowledge of the scriptures, for the authors wrote concerning Biblical themes and thought from a Biblical perspective. Truly, to be culturally literate, one first must be Biblically literate.
But what is more disturb-ing than the disaster in Americas classrooms is the Laodecian condition of Bible believing churches filled with “functional” Christians. America has more printed Bibles per capita than any nation in the world, yet for most people it is a book that is sealed. A pastors greatest frustration today is a congregation that doesnt (and wont) read the Bible. His best hermeneutical efforts are wasted on an assemblage of ears that hear only.
Certainly, many believers are handicapped by a government education that made them functional instead of readers. Others arent concerned with the entirety of Gods Word; they are pacified with a few promises that cater to personal desires. Still others are simply lazy; they would rather leave serious Bible study to a Nicolaitane clergy and settle for a lukewarm spiritual pablum at regular feedings.
The whelming tide of illiteracy signals a relapse to the Dark Ages and a return of barbarism. The Psalmist asked, If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The answer can only be to restore thefoundations! And the first stone to be laid must be Gods Word, the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. In this age of irresponsibility, dont blame the politicians, the humanists, or even the devil for the decline of Western civilization. The fault lies with individual Christians that profess a book they dont read, families that prefer television and games over substantive reading, and churches that proselyte Biblically illiterate believers. End Notes
1. See Samuel L. Blumenfeld, “Whole Language: Deconstruction in the Primary School,” and David Gundlach, “Remember Rome!,” Chalcedon Report, 327, Oct. 1992: 15-18.
2. George Orwell wrote his novel, 1984, in 1949 depicting what the world would be like if it followed its totalitarian direction. Newspeak was a political language carefully sculpted by inventing new words and eliminating undesirable words, stripping them of unorthodox meanings with the purpose of making other modes of thought impossible. Memory Holes were pneumatic tubes into which facts contradictory to the present regime were destroyed to revise history. Doublethink meant the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, while accepting both of them.
3. See Samuel L. Blumenfeld, “Multiculturalism,” Chalcedon Report, 336, July 1993: 16-21.
All materials on the O Theophilus Journal are Copyright by CBL. They may be copied for personal use only. They may be republished with permission from The Center.