Saturday, September 10, 2005


A CommonThread

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, speaking on the morning radio show found at on Sept. 9 (see show archives), revealed some trinkets from his book, It Takes a Family. One idea in particular was the obligation and responsibility of free citizens to serve the common good. I am told the connotations of those two words can send shivers up spines because of the communist/totalitarian mandate to serve the State's "common good". I suppose this is why Christians are so terrifying to those in the dark?! Common good is the Christian pledge and could certainly be misunderstood! More on this but continuing in my morning...

Later, I had the honor of listening to an open forum at Geneva College with Nancy Pearcey (Total Truth author) leading. Social contract theory was introduced in opposition to covenant relationship. The difference? Nancy explained, the contract is an autonomously made agreement of exchange. It is about sharing goods and services. Covenant, learned from the Trinity and Biblical institutions, is a commitment of self so that at least part of your identity is absorbed into the relationship.

I started to recognize a common thread between the two thinkers. Sen. Santorum had also been talking about selfless caring and responsibility to community. What if, in a free society, everyone is out for himself (h-hmm), the autonomous nature of social contract? Where does this leave society? A frigidly cold, chaotic and often harmful existence!

In my own words, there needs to be some give: Selfless covenant-making. Commitment to a purpose. Under totalitarian rule, this purpose would be the State and the obligation forced. In a free Christian society, the social structures are held together by covenant. The purpose permeating society is God's divine plan to redeem the earth; to make it a better place. It is self-motivated because of the understanding of Biblical relationship. People freely choose to selflessly care for family, church, community and nation. Libertarians take heed. The Christian component is crucial. Even non-believers are taught a Christian worldview in a Christian society--knowing right and wrong, without believing the faith. Clearly, it is for the common good. Force is never an issue. The covenant is not coerced; citizens only need to have an understanding of their purpose...covenant relationship. The Triune God is our example and guide.

Marriage is not an exchange of goods and services, as Mrs. Pearcey explained--it is selfless obligation to the purpose and common cause. What cause? The good of the family, be it rearing the children in God's precepts, uniting in effort to redeem the earth and spread the gospel, or for the non-Christian, simply promoting strong values, right and wrong based on Judeo-Christian teaching. Making each other happy? A nice outcome of working together for Good.

Joining the church is not an exchange of goods and services either. It is not a social contract. The relationship in a covenant pledge is likened to a living organism, operating as one being under the Head of Jesus Christ. We know the verses well about the importance of each part of the body, down to the little toe! Every part is essential to the Body's functioning--because of the selfless clinging to the Church's purpose and the variety of gifts (in secular language, that's diversity)

Jumping up the chain, the first settlers to America pledged themselves in the Mayflower Compact to exactly this sort of covenant union. Federal means covenant. The pilgrims were committed to the new world, a new government, a common cause, under God.

As Sen. Santorum said, e pluribus unum is being tossed out under the myth of diversity. Out of many, one. A divided country will not stand. From our diverse backgrounds, let us all be joined as families, churches, communities and a godly nation.

If you missed it, what will the common cause be? Me? The State? (shiver) or God's goodness?

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