Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Institutional Participation of the Individual

In order to properly develop a solid foundation for governance, and especially state governance, it is important to first consider the institutional organizations though which individuals participate. It is through these institutional organizations that the individual joins in corporate relationships with others. While we always maintain our identity as an individual, most of what we do in life in some way involves our corporate relationships with others.

God has established certain fundamental institutions common to all. It is through these institutions that God deals with us as a collection of individual. Not to say that God does not desire a one-on-one relationship with us, but it is to say that, along with our individual relationship with God, we also share a corporate relationship with God through the institutional organizations that He has created.

What Classifies an Institutional Organization?

In order to identify, from the scriptures, the fundamental institutions established by God, we first need to know what we are looking for. Institutions share three things in common.

Order: All in institutions contain order. Order is often represented by a hierarchy of authority. There is a clear delineation of position, responsibility, and the chain of command. The structure is not based upon the worth of a person, but simply the relationship to those with responsibility over them and to those whom they have responsibility over. The value of each person is the same, but their authority and responsibility may differ. In the scriptures, order is often expressed by the individual as subjugation; subjecting ones self under the authority of another.

Duty: Members of an institution share a common duty. Duty deals with the behavior of a person towards other members of the institution, and to the institution itself. This duty may be to a person or to an ideal or common purpose or goal. An individual's duty is often expressed through a written contract, or covenant, and may also be expressed as a set of rules that each member must follow. In the scriptures, duty is expressed by the individual as obedience; obedience to a person, and ideal, a cause, or a set of laws and rules.

Relationships: Institutions function best when individuals recognize and respect the specific roles played by each member of the institution. No one person represents the whole of the organization; all are but parts of a greater whole. In functioning as a whole, the individuals must work together, each performing their own specific role or function, for the benefit of the whole. Renegades and self-seekers can ruin an organization. In the scriptures, relationships among individuals are often express through honor; the preferring and valuing of others.

The three things common to all institutional organizations are order, duty, and relationships. In scriptural terms, these are subjugation, obedience, and honor. These three things may be used as markers to identify the fundamental institutions created by God and established in the scriptures.

The Family as an Institution

The first institution established by God was the family. The family dates back to the garden of Eden where God created man and woman and ordained that they should be “one flesh”. Though the covenant of marriage, God established and perpetuates the family as an institution.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
In marriage, two individuals leave the respective families, and are joined together, thus creating a new family. These families, in turn, form the basic building blocks of our societies.

Order: The scriptures layout a clear order of authority within the family. The order is husband, wife, then children. Again, this order does not reflect on the intrinsic value of the individuals, simply their place in the order of authority as established by God.
And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:51)
Jesus, though He was the Son of God, in His family, he was in subjection to his parents.
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)
Duty: Members of the family have a duty to each other.
Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. (Colossians 3:20-21)
Here we see that the duty of children is to obey their parents, and the duty of fathers is to discipline their children in a way that does not break their heart or spirit.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. (Colossians 3:19)
Relationship: Honor is expressed by all members of the family towards each other.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.” (Exodus 20:12)

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
Honor is incumbent upon all members of an institution. Even, as in the case of the family, though the scriptures state that the husband is the “head” of the family, he still had honor owed to the other members of the family.

The Church as an Institution

The term “church”, as used in the New Testament, comes from the Greek word “ekkleesia”, which means “a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place; an assembly” (Thayer). In the Old Testament, the church was represented by the people of Israel, as they were unified under the priests and the prophets. In the New Testament, Jesus established His church, built “upon the foundation of the Apostles and the Prophets” (Ephesians 2:20).

Order: An order is established for the New Testament church though which spiritual authority flows.
He [Jesus] is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:18)
And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
Duty: Members of the church not only share a common duty to God, but also to each other and to those who have spiritual oversight of their lives.
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Relationship: Honor is central to the relationships between members of a church.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; (Romans 12:10)

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17)

The State as an Institution

Originally, the organization of people into states was tribal in nature. States were originally formed based of family ancestral lines. A “state” was the collection of the extended relationships between related families. These “family states” were ruled by the family elders. Today, state governance is more geographical than tribal. State institutions have jurisdiction and authority over a geographical area. Either way, the state, as an institution, was established by God and shares the common markers with the family and the church.

Order: While the authority structure of states may vary, they all express order.
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. (1 Peter 2:13-14)

which He will bring about at the proper time -- He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, (1 Timothy 6:15)
While God has established rulership on the earth, He himself is the King of kings and Lord of lords. His rulership governs over all earthly rule.

Duty: Duty to the state is often defined by the laws of the state. All members of the state are required to follow and keep these lays.
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, (Titus 3:1)

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)
In this scripture, subjection is linked to the obedience of the individual. To “resist authority” is to disobey the statutes and commands of that authority.

Relationships: It is not enough to simply have a clearly defined order of authority (structure), but the members of the state must also relate to those who have the authority in a way that recognizes and respects the authority they have.
Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)

Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. (Romans 13:7)
David Robison

1 comment:

  1. Carl V. "Sam" Lamb and I served side-by-side as rifle-squad leaders; Fox Company, 'Chesty' Puller's 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division. He wrote a book about our experiences in the Korean conflict, 1950-1951. He included my remarks about an incident in which one of our people threatened to punch-out a fellow squad-leader-guideon who had black skin.
    The page follows:

    + + +

    by Carl V. "Sam" Lamb Page 296 (ref: 1951)

    James Fletcher Baxter

    "Sam" and I had a lot in common. We both resisted evil. After I
    got out of the hospital, Big Jim Causey told of driving along
    in his police cruiser and hitting a black man in his head
    with his pistol. He thought it was funny how the guy sprawled
    into the street. When he made this comment we were in a card
    game. I didn't say anything, but then he said he was going to
    kick the ____ out of Joe Goggins and I had heard enough.

    I said, "If you're going to try that, you'll have to go through
    me to get to him. I'm willing to give my life for a country
    that values each individual. If that isn't true, I don't want
    to fight for that country - but, it is true, so I'm not going
    to let you rob me of the very good reason I may lose my life
    tomorrow or next week. If you attack him, you attack me. I
    may lose, but I guarantee I will make it very expensive for
    you to get to him. Let me know what you decide."

    He got up from our card game and said, "I'll have to think
    about it."

    I said, "Let me know. I'll be here."

    He came back a little later and said, "You're right. I was
    wrong." I thanked him for his manliness.

    Joe Goggins came to me later and thanked me. He had wet eyes.

    + + +

    5/10/07 JFB
    Shortly after the above event, Jim Causey was called home for family
    member medical problems. On his way back to the States, he passed
    through a Naval medical facility. While there, he ran into my brother,
    Sgt. Howard "Barney" Baxter, 5th Marines, who had just been sent
    stateside for his Chosen Reservoir frost-bitten feet.

    Causey told my brother what had happened and said "how much it
    had changed his life." He said Joe and I had forgiven him and he
    would "never go back to the old collective point of view." He was
    really joyful because he was honestly able to forgive himself! He
    became a more manly man - a good Marine - with honor.

    I'm pleased the Rutgers women accepted Imus' apology. They, and
    others, need to forgive. We all need to grow. Good examples are
    always in short supply. God bless my Country and its Individuals.

    vincit veritas
    Jim Baxter
    Sgt. USMC
    WWII and Korean War
    5th Grade Teacher - 30 wonderful years! '57- '87
    semper fidelis


    by James Fletcher Baxter

    The Old World method of measuring human value was,
    and still is, by the group. Whether tribe, clan,
    city-state, color, ethnic, or gender, the Old
    World, ancient and modern, measures by the plural
    unit. Individuals had and have no value of them-
    selves but only as they were and are part of a

    When Y'shua Jesus died on the cross, the veil of
    the Temple at the Holy of Holies parted from the
    top down. The individual believer in the congrega-
    tion had, for the first time, a face-to-face, one-
    on-one relation with his Creator. The Creator,
    Himself, had validated each individual for the
    first time.Thus, the Individual became the corner-
    stone for later human value measuring systems:
    socio-political, philosophical, religious, educa-
    tional, economic, etc., henceforth and forever.
    Western Civilization, America, English Law, civil
    Rights, the 'democratic' process, etc., all sprang
    from that single event. (Greco-Roman 'democracies'
    were 95% slave throughout their entire histories.)
    Biblical principles are still today the foundation
    under Western Civilization and the American way of

    Many social systems attempt to borrow ideas of
    "democracy" without the basic premise in The Indi-
    vidual. Such a system is only superficially and
    temporarily 'democratic.' The cornerstone of the
    democratic process is The Individual and the
    cornerstone of the value of The Individual is
    Y'shua Jesus! It is not possible to have one with-
    out the other. There is only One Source - there is
    no other.

    It is additionally interesting to note that all
    value measuring systems are based on the single
    definitive unit of the system. Ex: Number, Time,
    Distance, Weight, Heat, Money, Angle, Volume, etc.

    Only humanism makes the abusive error of measuring
    human value by the plural unit and attempts to
    build social structures, relations, and institu-
    tions thereon. Such man-made systems can only be
    abusive and oppressive because in reality there
    are only individual persons. Groups or collectives
    are merely convenient verbalizations about indi-
    viduals. They are not reality.

    I have yet to see a 'group.' All I have ever seen
    are individuals.Have you ever seen a group - or is
    it a verbal convenience? Reality is only in the
    individual person. And, such a validation never
    derived from a human source without the initiative
    of the Creator. (The French Rationalists of the
    18th Century favored the fruit - but rejected the
    branch, tree, and root.)

    Today, wherever Y'shua Jesus is rejected, the
    group or collective is still the basic way of
    measuring human value - or human non-value.

    We thank the Lord God for revealing His validation
    of each individual person. We thank Him for creat-
    ing each person uniquely, in His image, and call-
    ing each one to a courageous ascension by Y'shua
    Jesus, who said, "I AM the Way..."

    Praise the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
    His Son of Man, Y'shua Jesus.

    Reference: Exodus 25:30,40 Hebrews 9 Matthew 27:51
    Mark 15:38 Luke 23:45 KJV

    vincit veritas
    Jim Baxter

    Q: ? "How many more Columbines and VA Techs
    before we 'get it?' " jfb

    +++++++++++++++++ + ++++++++++++++++++

    Santa Maria SUN January 11 - January 18, 2002

    Opening Santa Maria's Eyes

    I am sure your readers are as pleased as my wife and I are
    that Andrew Petty and the Sun have recently published
    the article, "Manhood paid with women's tears." [Sun,
    Dec. 28, 2001] Such cowardly, abusive, and oppressive
    behavior by men in the Latino community will never buy
    them manhood, but does purchase contempt from their
    women and children and rejection and earned and deserv-
    ed contempt and ridicule from civilized members of our

    The problem, however, is larger than one ethnic group
    and will not be resolved until the basic cause is recogniz-
    ed and dealt with appropriately. It can be observed through-
    out our city, state, and nation, from the immature over-
    compensating, self-doubting male, exhibiting feelings of
    inadequacy, low self-esteem, and a rampant inferiority
    complex, who seeks a false outlet by way of crimes against
    women and innocent children and their slavish submission
    to his "muscle-mind."

    Gang membership and activity, trendy road-rage, and youth
    violence are all evidence of male feelings of inferiority and
    will not disappear from our society from resulting police
    action alone -- unless and until we successfully educate to
    the prime solution: individual value and individual character.

    Measuring human value by a group is not the American Way.
    Until our males recognize and choose to live lives of unique
    and individual value, we will all be burdened by those whose
    inaccurate, mediocre, and sloppy definitions of manhood
    will require one or more kind of patty-cake baby sitter. Can
    he take the challenge?

    The young ladies of Santa Maria need not focus so much on
    boyfriend's hip-hop "personality," as his self-definition,
    principled intelligence, spirit, and manly virtue. Can she take
    the challenge?

    Jim Baxter
    Santa Maria
    vincit veritas

    + + +

    Individual Value or Collective non-value ????