There is a builtin danger to learning. It is an elitist
attitude that frequently becomes part of one's character as advancement
is made in scholastic endeavors. To be "elite" is to
think too highly of self on the basis that "I am in the know"
and my neighbors are not.
Opposing such an outlook is allegiance to King Jesus which causes
us to bow to his character building, unitymaking command,
"[D]oing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but
each counting the other better than himself" (Phil. 2:3).
A recent example of this "elitism" is the 1995 "State
of the World Forum" sponsored by the Gorbachev Foundation
in San Francisco, and attended by a grand gathering of powerful
politicians, educators and media moguls. As Mikhail Gorbachev
kicked off the sessions he announced, "From the outset I
would like to suggest that we consider the establishment of a
global Brain Trust to focus on the present and future of our civilization."
He went on to insist that "this idea of a Brain Trust can
only succeed if endorsed and actively pursued by people who are
widely respected as world leaders and global citizens." It
is within this atmosphere of self congratulation that Barbara
Marx Hubbard wrote regarding population control that we need to
"eliminate onefourth" of the world's population.
Not to worry, however, "you are not responsible for this
act. We are. We are in charge of God's selection process for planet
Earth." Here the "elite" assume to themselves the
powers of populationplanning - the architects of the world!
On the Educational Scene
The National Education Association mandates what should be done
with children, frequently disregarding the wishes of parents.
Recent conventions of two national teachers' unions served as
forums to promote "bigspending, antiparent, feminist
and homosexual agendas." The NEA, for instance, in September
adopted several resolutions which indicate disgust for parental
interference with their own children's education. One specific
resolution called for "Opposition to federally or statemandated
choice or parental option plans" (AFA Journal, October, 1996,
p. 9). Once more, policymaking elitists cannot hide that
they believe parents know too little to be entrusted with the
education of their offspring.
Far beyond mere public classroom materials, many teachers indoctrinate
to revamp attitudes and replace "old" worldviews.
Listen to James O. Dobbs, longtime stalwart for the gospel
and American freedom:
In education ... a widelyaccepted epistemology holds that
truth can only be approximated, never really known. By this deceit
we are placed in the awkward position of never being sure, of
never experiencing the strength that comes from a realization
of what is right, and thus of being robbed of conviction. This
means we can never oppose with confidence what we may believe
to be error, that we cannot take strong stands, that we must be
forever chained by the silken cables of modulation and appeasement
(A Significance For the Individual, published in Vital
Speeches of the Day, p. 688, originally delivered to
the Graduating Class, Abilene Christian College, May 29, 1961).
On the Familial Scene
Identical haughtiness is easily observed in the "children's
rights" movement, in which Hillary Rodham Clinton has been
a primary spokesman. When she has called upon our legal system
to remove the presumption that children are minors under parental
control, she brazenly displayed the same pompous disposition.
In effect, her attitude is: "We of government, the educated
doctors of law and human behavior, know what is best for you.
Just get out of the way and let us manipulate." If one supposes
I have overplayed it, consider her own words written in 1974 in
which, not merely referring to exceptional cases of child abuse,
she argued for a broadbased general rule for all children:
I want to be a voice for America's children ... advocating ...
the immediate abolition of the legal status of minority and the
reversal of the legal presumption of the incompetence of minors
in favor of presumption of competence; the extension to children
of all procedural rights guaranteed to adults; the rejection of
the legal presumption of the identity of interests between parents
and their children, and permission for competent children to assert
thoseindependent interests in the courts (Harvard Educational
Review, 1974, quoted in the Phyllis Schlafly Report, 1092).
The first lady continued:
We are talking about everything from compulsory school attendance
to driving privileges to nurturing requirements ... decisions
about motherhood and abortion, schooling, cosmetic surgery, treatment
of venereal disease, or employment, and others where the decision
or lack of one will significantly affect the children's future
should not be made unilaterally by parents (Teacher's College
Note Hillary's populationplanning by which she would "lord
it over" America:
The basic rationale for depriving people of rights in a dependency
relationship is that certain individuals are incapable or undeserving
of the right to take care of themselves and consequently need
social institutions specifically designed to safeguard their position.
Along with the family, past and present examples of such arrangements
include marriage, slavery, and the Indian reservation system.
As Schlafly comments, "That is vintage 1970s feminism."
The ruling elite considers Godordained marriage as an arrangement
kin to slavery which treats wives like secondclass citizens.
The attitude seems to be, we know what the country needs, in spite
of what you plebeian persons say you desire.
On the Religious Scene
Of particular disturbance to Christians is the snubbing of the
"ordinary" Christian by the educated class of theologians
who seem to enjoy flaunting their Doctor of Divinity degrees.
The sin here is particularly egregious, not only because it is
in direct violation of the moral code of King Jesus, but it occurs
in the place where we least expect it-in religion. And, it is
no coincidence that the "doctors and lawyers of God's Word"
are typically extremely liberal in their approach to the Bible.
But perhaps the most dangerous aspect of grandiose attitudes in
religion is that those with advanced educational degrees appear
to be under the collective impression that they are beyond prejudice,
which is the worst prejudice of all. It is almost as if with educational
advancement comes a continual inoculation against the possibility
of discovering something amiss in our confusions.
Consider for a moment the first two paragraphs of The Five
Gospels, What Did Jesus Actually Say?, edited by Robert Funk,
Roy Hoover and the Jesus Seminar:
The Five Gospels represents a dramatic exit from windowless
studies and the beginning of a new venture for gospel scholarship.
Leading scholars - Fellows of the Jesus Seminar-have decided to
update and then make the legacy of two hundred years of research
... a matter of public record.
In the aftermath of the controversy over Darwin's The Origin
of the Species, ... American biblical scholarship retreated
into the closet. The fundamentalist mentality generated a climate
of inquisition that made honest scholarly judgments dangerous.
Numerous biblical scholars were subjected to heresy trials....
However, the intellectual ferment of the century soon reasserted
itself.... By the end of World War II, critical scholars again
quietly dominated the academic scene.... Critical biblical scholarship
was supported, of course, by other university disciplines which
wanted to ensure that dogmatic considerations not be permitted
to intrude into scientific and historical research.
And all of that in only the first two paragraphs! In the business
world this would amount to me being called into question for shady
financial dealings, then auditing myself to reassure the world
of my innocence. The sly seminar has in effect not only cornered
the market on honest scholarship - but has labeled conservative
dissenters as "dogmatic fundamentalists" who know nothing
of "fairminded" evenhanded study.
Those who accept the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures are
ruled as prejudiced dogmatists. Sadly, our own academic institutions
fall down at these scholarly trumpet blasts to do obeisance. If
you wish to be educated in halls of learning by our own brethren,
you will be forced, in many institutions, to breathe this stale
air of pompous nonsense.