October 7, 2013

Thoughts from The Family by B. M. Palmer

I am currently reading The Family in its Civil and Churchly Aspects by B. M. Palmer (c. 1870s), and though I'm only in the third chapter, there are many passages I found inspiring and thought-provoking.

Here are a few thoughts from the first three chapters: The Family, a General View; On The Supremacy of the Husband; and On the Submission of the Wife.

On the Family in general, he lists several points, which he expounds upon (you can read the book yourself  online and read his application and supporting points).

I. As The Original Society from which the State emerges, and the Church, and every other Association known amongst men.
...Neither State nor Church could exist, but of materials which the Family affords. 
 II. That the Family is the Normal School In which Subjection to Law is first taught. 
The old theory of the social compact is historically untrue and intrinsically absurd. Apart from other difficulties, it is perfectly clear that no government could be framed strong enough to subdue and control a thousand imperious wills. Even now, with all their training under government and law, men could never be held in check if consolidated in masses. We should be compelled to fall back upon some device like that of the Family for the purposes of discipline. We must invent the Family, if we did not already have it. God's wisdom is conspicuously illustrated in this arrangement... 

~He brings out more points illustrating God's wisdom in creating families, including:

  • 1. The minuteness of the subdivision (making small communities who live and work together).  
  • 2. The harshness of the authority tempered by parental affection, interposing an effectual check to the abuse of power. 
  • 3. Two parties who are the complements of each other, vested with the joint jurisdiction: thus anticipating the most refined arrangements of modern civilization in which, by double legislation in two co-orduiate chambers, the greatest deliberation is secured, and a restraint is imposed upon the absolutism of authority. (So here, in this double executive, two wills are united, the exact counterparts of each other, one supplementing what the other lacks.)
  • Still further, law is presented under every manifestation, and is illustrated by every species of obedience. It is the model state, with its entire machinery at work. Law is at every moment in force, and takes hold upon every relation at once, to which the homage of obedience is at every point rendered. Law, in its actual and diversified outworking: this is the instructive feature. It could not be more happily illustrated, even though its sphere of operation were broader than it is. It is law in the conjugal relation, beautifully reflected in the reverence of the wife. When it passes down into the second relation of the parent, it has been already exemplified to the child, not only in the headship of the husband, but in the wifely obedience which is its commentary.

III. In the Family God Illustrates the Fundamental Principles of His Universal Moral Government.
The great problem of God's sovereign control over the spontaneous will of the creature finds its best illustration within the government of the Family; and we can partly see how power blends with freedom, as the factors of a common product.
 IV. The Family equally reflects the Leading Principles of Grace. 
What shall we say of the great principle of representation, as illustrated in the parental relation? Or that of mediation in suffering and toil, through which the children first live, and afterwards are nourished? Or the mighty power of love,  underlying all sacrifices?  

On the Supremacy of the Husband: 

Although the whole chapter was good, I'm not going to write on husbands.  There are many other places to read those helpful things, and I don't see it as something needed on my blog. But I will say: I agreed with him and I would especially recommend Palmer's explanation of what Paul meant when he compared marriage to the relationship of Christ and the Church.

On the Subordination of the Wife:

     "In this difference of spheres a relief is found from much of the peril arising from conflict of will. So long as the boundaries between them are well defined, and neither party is disposed to invade the province assigned by nature to the other, so long will serious collision be forestalled...Let it be observed now, that this sphere is hers, as she is the wife; and that all her influence and control within it are acquired through her allegiance to the paramount sovereignty which is vested in her "head." Her submission is,therefore, a source of honour. She is not humiliated by it, but exalted. If, in her person freedom is in any degree curtailed, in her office she has gained dominion and power. It is not a sacrifice without compensation.  
In the first, she finds a restful satisfaction in the chnging trust which leans upon a frame stronger than her own. In the second, tliat love of influence and power is gratified, which is often an instinct that is noble and good. With her, too, the possession of authority is not burdened with a sole responsibility, but which she divides with him under whom it is exercised. She enjoys the sweetness of office, without being overwhelmed with its solemnity.
   It is easy thus to see that the submission of the wife, so far from being an act of self-depreciation, is recognized as investing her with special dignity and honour."

 And, a quote I had not read before:
"In the beautiful language of Matthew Henry, she 'was not made out of his head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side, to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.'"

October 5, 2013

Obamacare: Get divorced and save money!

Post image for Massive Marriage Penalties in Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges
Thanks to the new Affordable Care Act, you can save over $7,23o dollars per year if you get divorced, stay single, or simply live with your significant other in sin unmarried.

According to OpenMarket.org

On the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, being married can cost you a lot. Get divorced (or avoid getting married, if you live together), and you save $7,230 per year if you are a fairly typical 40-year-old couple with kids (example: the husband working full-time, and the wife working part time, with the husband making $70,000, and the wife making $23,000). If you are a 60-year-old couple with equal incomes and no kids, and you make $62,041 a year, you save $11,028 a year by getting divorced or remaining unmarried. These are the amounts of money you will lose if you get married, since you will lose this amount of taxpayer subsidies due to Obamacare’s discriminatory treatment of married versus unmarried couples. That’s the reality confirmed by an Obamacare “calculator” provided by the pro-Obamacare Kaiser Family Foundation showing how Obamacare’s “tax credits” work.

The article adds,
As Rep. Thomas Petri (R-Wisc.) has noted, “The decline in marriage and the rise in the number of children born to unmarried mothers are concentrated among lower-income families. One reason is that lower-income couples will often lose money if they get married. Many federal benefits such as food stamps and the earned income tax credit phase out as income rises. Under federal law, if two individuals earning the minimum wage choose to marry, combining their incomes results in the loss of some $7,000 in federal benefits. The result: Fewer marriages, more births outside marriage and reduced prospects for rising into the middle class.”

Please pray that God will stop this act from succeeding, and that He would show the American people a way to stop the tyranny of the federal government.
Pray for those in the lower class, that they would open their eyes and refuse government welfare, and that the local churches would reach out and help them instead.
And don't forget to pray for the president - God can save anyone.