God’s Throne and Knowing the Family Values
(dari DVD Tahta Tuhan dalam Keluargaku, oleh Pdt. Dr. Stephen Tong)
A renowned psychologist in the 20th century was asked, what is the biggest problem in the world now? What is man’s greatest problem? It is not the environment, not atomic bomb, not education. Everything may run smoothly, organizations may get better, but the biggest problem in the 20th century is that true love can hardly be found anymore in the society. This sentence describes well all the difficulties that man faces and the source of man’s problem that causes man to be in despair and without hope. However, if true love is difficult to find in society today, does it mean that it was easier to find in the past? The answer here is the traditional value systems. Human is the only creature that talks about values.
God is the source of value. So when He created man according to His image and likeness, He implanted into human the concept of value. But the problem is that man uses his ability to value only material things and money. This is very far from the biblical concept.
We must have a system of values. And that system of values must be found through which standard? Is it found through money, dollar? Do you know, the worth of money drops every year at about 8-12% rate. What then, has value that keeps increasing with time? Definitely not material things. What has an eternal system of value? Here we see the Bible teaches us to seek after the kingdom of God and His righteousness, because it is eternal. The world and all the lust that is in it will perish. Only those who does the will of God shall live forever.
One of the most important concepts of value is the value that is contained in interpersonal relationship. Interpersonal relationship starts from the relation of the created person with the person of the Creator. It is the foundation through which we evaluate other values. Why does it become the basis of value? Because here, we can directly obtain from the souce of truth, who gives the true wisdom. Your relationship with others must be based on your relationship with God. Because here there is a vertical relationship which is a support for the horizontal relationship. Many people, after the secularization in 20th century, has forgotten about the vertical and talks only about the horizontal relationship.
Our Creator has given the system of values in 2 forms. One is related to our inner being and the other is related to our expressed physical being. The spiritual results in religion, the physical results in culture. Human is the only creature with religious inclination and cultural inclination. These two have been increasingly forgotten because people look after money, economic system, power in government. Here, distorted values have played subconscious roles which result in distraction in human life away from the right track.
But is there ever a religion, that is exterminated and never return again? No. Because political power may be temporarily higher than others, but the power of religion and culture is eternally higher. Because man is created as religious creature and cultural creature. These two facts cannot be changed or suppressed.
Why do we talk about moral systems, value systems, religion, politics and culture and military and others when we are supposed to talk about family? Because these are all related. When we want to be a responsible human being, we must know what is the basic foundation of values that I use to evaluate my own life. When man destroys the family values, he is actually destroying his own religious and cultural values. Why is family so important? Why is the family value so important? Because this is the centre axis of society. Family is the smallest unit in the formation of society. Family and the family moral, and the happiness of family, family ethics, all these define the strength of a society or a nation. This is a serious matter.
Let us consider the gravity of it. Family is the core, the most basic unit of the society. And society of human being is the core of the universe. God created the whole universe with the focus on this earth. God created the earth with the focus on man. God created man with the focus on family. And family is a reflection of human relationship with God. Family is a reflection of a unit where there is love between different persons, because God is triune God. Such concept is not found is Islam, in Buddhism, in Hindu or Taoism, or any other religion. The triune God is the supreme one God. The supreme one God is the God of trinity.
The Bible consists of a focal point, and it shows us that the whole universe is created by
God the Father, through God the Son with the power of the Holy Spirit. And the triune God is the highest example for formation of a community. The doctrine of trinity shows that the person of God the Father, person of God the Son, and person of Holy Spirit have loving relationship that unifies them. The triune God is foundation for the formation of family. Their unity is a perfect example for society. If the communities that exist on earth are image and likeness of the communion that exist in heaven, many problems and difficulties on earth can be avoided.
Interpersonal relationship is possible because trinity. God is love, God’s love is forever. And before He created everything, the object of His love is in the interpersonal relationship of the trinity. This loving relationship within trinity is expanded when God said that He wanted to create. His love is expressed through the action of creation. Then after He created, He permeated His love to His created beings, such that the created beings may share the love from God, and human becomes a creature of love. When within the human himself, or within human relationship or within a society, the love is no longer there, this becomes the biggest problem.
Many people have unhappy marriages. Many people keep quarreling in their marriage. Why? Because from the beginning they do not know the basic foundation. The basics as revealed by God, are found in the first few pages of the Bible:
1. I will create man according to My image and likeness.
2. the man that I created, it is not good for him to be alone. Therefore I create a woman to be his helper.
3. they shall leave their parents and become one.
4. I will be bless them and they will multiply to be a nation.
Whoever goes against the Bible which is the revealed truth from God, he goes against his own happiness. Whoever does not submit to God’s truth, he is destroying his own future. All these are in the Bible. It is written, whoever uses another to replace the Lord God, his sufferings will multiply. You cannot possibly live happily outside of the word of God. You cannot live with bright future without following the clear principles written in the Bible. We must be reminded of the consequences of not following God’s word again. When the family is in disorder, the church is in disorder. When the church is in disorder, the society is in disorder. Because there is no good example, the whole world is floating in the sea without direction, in the darkness without light.
God said, it is not good for man to be alone, so you need a wife. I am going to create a wife for you, according to My image and likeness. That is why man and woman are equal. They have equal right, equal degree before God, equally reflecting God’s glory. The holy book that says men and women are equal is not in Islam but in Christianity. Never has there been a civilization that treated men and women equally before Moses wrote these verses. Not Confucius, Lao Tze, and others, not also Socrates or Buddhism as well. Also not Islam or Hindu. There is caste system in India even now. But the Bible, in Genesis 1:26-27 says I am going to create man and woman in my image and likeness, and so God created Adam and Eve in His own image.
Man and woman are equal, equal in rights, equal in value, equal in honor, but different in order. In equality do not forget differences. In differences do not forget similarity. In terms of substance, degree and honor, man and woman are equal, but they have different order and function. Man must be able to control his wife, be in charge of his family, may provide for the family, lead and love the family. That is the order for man. The order for woman is to help, to accompany, to support the husband. Whoever goes against such principles, the family will not have happiness. When the wife always wants to be head, the family will not be happy. When the husband does not provide for and give security to the family, the family will be shaken.
All these are principles from the Bible. Do we take these things seriously?
(Pdt. Dr. Stephen Tong)
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