How do Ideas Affect the World?

Consequences of Ideas Paper Assignment

By: Jesse Prewitt

In this paper I will attempt to summarize the main theme of R. C. Sproul’s book: The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts That Shaped Our World. (Sproul, 2000) In the book, Sproul discussed the concept of “dangerous” thoughts and the type of thinking that leads to consequences that impact the loves of others, often for many generations to come. I will then discuss how this book and the idea of such consequences affects my research area: personality psychology and social psychology.

            As Sproul noted, the first philosophers or “thinkers”, had a great impact on society even today. He specifically notes, “Philosophy forces us to think foundationally.” (Sproul, 2000, 9) It is clear that bad foundational thinking can surely lead to bad, while good foundational thinking will lead to good. “Foundational thinking cares about the difference between truth and falsehood because it cares about good and evil,” writes Sproul. (Sproul, 2000, 11)

Stinking Thinking

            As Sproul puts it, “western civilization was “saved” from disintegration in barbarism” by the thinking of “Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.” (Sproul, 2000, 51) However, after Aristotle, known as the “Doctor of Grace,” (Sproul, 2000) new “ideas” began to flourish as a new type of philosophy, skepticism, began to rise in prominence.

            Sproul notes that in Acts 17, the Apostle Paul is recorded to encountered two of these types of “thinkers” known as Stoics and Epicureans. The Stoics are responsible for what now is known as that “spark of the divine in all of us.” (Sproul, 2000, 52) They reportedly believed that virtue is found in one’s ability to meet whatever life brings their way with a “stiff upper lip.” (Sproul, 2000, 52) They seem to have been leaning toward a type of determinism, but failed to recognize God as the source of it.

            The Epicureans, though hostile to a more traditional model of religion considering it to be derived from fear and superstition, enjoyed a “refined” sense of physical and sensual pleasure, but not to the maximum degree that others took it. The Epicureans envisioned themselves as serving “optimum” pleasure, and that as much of the mind as of the body. (Sproul, 2000, 53)

            This sort of thinking or philosophy is the right of any person to hold, however the concept of its impact on future generations must be considered. Consider how the thinking of the ancestry of Charles Darwin impact our present age. Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1797) highly influenced the thinking and writing of his grandson, and has resulted in what Sproul considers the greatest “unbridgeable canyon” for this present generation. Darwin’s theory, apparently derived from his grandfather’s beliefs, has divided not only this nation but the world.

            The spiritual impact is critical, notes Sproul. The concept of man’s origin is vital to man’s future, especially his eternity. If man’s origin is not associated with the divine, and his destiny is also not guaranteed by the divine, then his present life is meaningless, and man will die and simply return to the dirt. (Sproul, 2000, 188) In this “thinking”, morality is non-existent. Why not live it up? Why not take all you want from whomever you want? Why not live in a constant party, for tomorrow you die and that’s it?

            With this kind of “thinking”, there is no punishment for wrong because there is not such thing as right and wrong. Crime runs rampant and sin is non-existent. Take what you want and hurt whom you please. That is the consequence of stinking thinking.

            As a result of the type of thinking that brought us the concept of man having no divine origin, no eternal destiny, and no need for a God in his life, comes the idea that the Bible has no relevance today. “It has no special advantage over Buddhist texts, or the sacred writings of other Eastern religions,” writes Boyd. In fact, Christianity is increasingly considered to be oppressive. (Boyd, 1996, 48-9)

            So, here is where we find ourselves today. With a calling to pastor, the study of personality and social psychology is important. Understanding how people think and how they interact with each other as a result of that thinking, is vital to pastoring a church. Knowing that many in the world consider, and/or are being taught to believe, that Christianity irrelevant and/or oppressive, is important to my ministry.

            As I told my church this week, the enemy of our souls wants to convince people around the world that they have no origin associated with divinity, nor any hope of eternity with the same, therefore, their present life is not only meaningless to themselves but cannot therefore be meaningful to anyone else. This is the antithesis of Christianity which teaches that self must be put aside in favor of others, and to love others as one loves themself. One cannot love themself with not hope for future.

            If, as Sproul noted, one is “but a grown up germ,” referencing one philosopher, then man has not hope for the next life and not joy in this one. My research will be to demonstrate that Christ came to show us The Father and to give us hope for today and forever.


Boyd, Jeffrey H. Reclaiming the Soul: The Search for Meaning in a Self-Centered Culture. 1996. The Pilgrim Press. Cleveland, OH

Sproul, R. C. The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts That Shaped Our World. 2000. Crossway. Wheaton, IL

Is Public Education a National Security Issue?

By: Jesse Prewitt


America is losing in the race for educational prominence. We have been falling behind dozens of other nations in educational testing. The question is whether this is a national security issue. Is Public Education in America a National Security Issue? It is clear that the answer is yes. 
We have relied on a mixed research method. We have shared quantitative research others have worked to obtain, and we have used qualitative methods in observation from a personal perspective as well as from others’ perspectives. 
Not only are we falling dangerously behind in the arena of education, but we are still spending unrealistic amounts of money with empirical evidence that what we are doing to improve education is not working. We have suggested simple changes, but rely upon a collaboration between school, home, and church in the community. This is our only hope. 

Is Public Education in America a Matter of National Security?
Is There a Connection Between Education and National Security?
If so, What is That Connection, and How Does it Affect National Security?

The question posed seemed a reasonable one given that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Charles Yancey: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” (Jefferson, 1816) The concept to Jefferson was that the people are responsible for the oversight of government and it must not be left completely to rulers alone. Of course any reasonable person would be in favor of educating our youth, but does the idea of failing to do so rise to the level of a national security problem? If she ever was, the United States is no longer among the highest ranking countries when it comes to education. This is no national secret.
Our government has been funding public education to the tune of billions of dollars per year for a very long time, but we still find ourselves ranking far behind other nations in testing scores. Again, is this simply a phenomenon or is it a problem of our nation’s security? Many prominent leaders believe it is a serious national security risk. The next generation is mostly ineligible to join our armed forces and many do not possess the ability to read and write as their predecessors. The issue is that we may not have sufficient volunteers to staff our military very soon.
The Federal Government has been focusing on the classroom and the teacher’s ability to control the students. The problem is that enough of these students disrupt the class so that others do not have the ability to learn, and the teacher is distracted with those disrupting class and it detracts from the learning process. A more effective approach to K-12 education must be discovered and implemented very soon if we expect to remain safe in our homes and communities in future generations. I will discuss what I am calling the Trifecta of Education: Order, Instruction, and Learning (OIL), that makes the educational machine run smoothly.

Literature Review
So vast is the literature on the portion of our discussion, relating to classroom management, that it would be virtually impossible to stand on the shoulders of all these giants, as the motto of Google Scholar states; I only have two feet. The literature relating to classroom management is not only abundant but vital to the education process, yet the literature on the relationship of education to national security is not so much. Regarding the former, we will discuss what appears to be the prominent works, and in the latter we will use what is available.
“America’s failure to educate is affecting its national security,” says an independent Task Force on U. S. Education Reform and National Security. Among the members of the task force was former U. S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who is now a professor of political economy at Stanford. (Krache, 2012) This report published five threats to our nation’s security. Among these threats listed, are economic growth and competitiveness, U. S. physical safety, intellectual property, not to mention a global awareness that affect our nation’s unity and cohesiveness. (Krache, 2012) According to a Defense Department statistic, some three-quarters of our American youth are not eligible to join the armed forces, some for the lack of high school diplomas, others are overweight, or have a criminal record. In fact, the Pentagon says that more than two-thirds of American youth wouldn’t qualify for military service. (Jordan, 2018)
According to The Heritage Foundation’s report by Spoehr and Handy (2018), the military expects and depends upon a consistent flow of volunteers, annually. This reports quotes Pentagon data as declaring that seventy-one percent of American youth between the ages of seventeen and twenty-four are ineligible for the military. (See Chart 1)

The chart reveals the primary reasons youth cannot join the military. Education finds its place as number three on this list. The report found that the youth lack a certain “stick-to-itiveness” necessary for military service, plus a basic written and cognitive skills not found in today’s young people. (Spoehr & Handy, 2018)
It is difficult to argue with Defense Department statistics. The U. S. Military has always held to a certain standard and it is not expected to be lowered, as this would very apparently be detrimental to our fighting forces. What accounts for the health problems and the lack of physical fitness? This could not be resigned to recent pandemic situations alone, so what is the contributing factor to the lack of physical conditioning in our nation’s youth?
According to a report in Science Direct, Doctors Landry and Driscoll (2012) note that obesity rates among American youth have “reached alarming rates.” They show that The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services estimate eighty percent of our young people are significantly lacking in physical conditioning and the obesity rate has greatly increased as a result. (Landry and Driscoll, 2012) This paper will not attempt to get into the causes of the lacking health of our nation’s youth, but seek to focus more on the subject of education. Physical fitness for those whose health will allow can be gained with proper exercise.
Leading scholar, Loch Johnson (2015) has much to add to the discussion and has done so. He cites “the nation’s inadequate knowledge base about foreign affairs,” and notes that this “pool of citizens” tends to shrink the number of those eligible to assume the responsibility of leadership in our government. This also limits the informed pool of voters to be able to discern matters of State and foreign policy by those running for office in our nation. Johnson cites a National Geographic Society survey in which it was discovered that thirty percent of those surveyed could not locate the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean in the world, on a map. (Johnson, 2015, 473) The survey also found that when asked, three-quarters of the respondents thought that English was the most widely spoken language in the world, but the correct answer is Mandarin Chinese. Those surveyed also had little knowledge (about sixty percent) about Islam. The next generation will not be able to understand the concepts of foreign policy decisions made by Washington representatives because they have such little understanding of geography, culture, languages, history and the goings-on of other nations. We cannot be leaders in a world we have no knowledge or understanding other nations and their cultures. (Johnson, 2015)
The Coleman Report (Coleman et al., 1966) which was commissioned by Congress immediately following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to study the matter of equality of opportunity in education, is likely the most often referenced source on this subject. It is difficult to argue with the quantitative evidence demonstrated in the literature regarding the ineligibility of present-day youth for military service. It is equally difficult to do so with Johnson’s quantitative and qualitative data regarding the educational condition of our youth at the present.
The gloves come off, however, when interpreting the finding of Coleman et al. (1966) Over fifty years later since Coleman and his colleagues published their findings, there is yet to be a consensus in the relationship between the school, the home environment, and the matter of inequality, says Downey, et al. (Downey, et al., 2016) For the majority of my career in education, it seems the pressure has been largely placed on the teacher and the control of the classroom. This is no doubt a vital part, but the question raised after all this time is, with all the money funneled into education with this focus, why are we still on the educational treadmill going nowhere?
Downey reminds us that the Coleman Report (1966) is famous it its conclusion that the link in the variation of academic performance was strongly rooted in the students’ family environments, and had little to do with how much money was expended toward individual students or schools. (Downey, et al., 2016) In fact, Oaks writes that schools themselves seem to “create” the turmoil resulting in learning difficulty. (Oaks, 2005) The rushing from one class to the next, the teacher barking out the “Do-Now’s” that are currently expected to be pasted on the board as students walk into the room, so that no second is lost in the process of instruction. There is the unexpected or forgotten announcement over the intercom that distracts from whatever concentration has been gained on the subject matter, and then the bell rings and they are off to yet another classroom, with hardly any time to visit the restroom, and the situation starts all over again, hour after hour, until the final bell rings. (Oakes, 1985; Gamoran, 1992; Condron, 2008) All this is assuming there are no disciplinary issues, or disruptive students to deal with, that can subtract from the limited time allotted for instruction. This last part will be discussed later.
From the literature and my own observations over the years, this information rings very true and I find no major issues with the data presented, with the exception of the simple interpretation of that data. For example, the proverbial illustration of the two kids under the apple tree with “equal ladders”, yet the apple tree seemed to be leaning toward one side, in which case one of the kids could not reach the apples “equally”. This illustration (original source unknown) had been used for some time to demonstrate “inequality” and the need for “equity”, a legal term that claims the kid that is unable to reach the apples simply needs a “taller ladder” to make him/her equal. This illustration on its face seems reasonable, but the question that came to my own mind was why doesn’t the kid unable to reach the apples simply move the ladder to the other side with the other kid? Why does he/she require a taller ladder than the other kid? The obvious answer seems to be in the logistics rather than the allocation of superior resources to the other kid in the name of “equality”. Is equity justified in the act of inequality?

The quantitative data largely presented by those cited, is used in this paper, however, I will rely greatly upon qualitative evidence, gathered significantly by my own observation, and that of others in the field. The primary force of my observation is that of focusing on the correct area of need, as I am convinced we have set our sights on the wrong target for over fifty years. George Keenan was once asked if he could guarantee a better outcome with a perspective he advocated. He replied, “Of course not. I can only say that I fail to see how it could have produced a much worse one.” He went on to say that “conduct realistically motivated is likely to be more effective than conduct unrealistically motivated.” (Keenan, 1951, 56) America has been focusing unrealistically on the wrong area, and we must become realists going forward. Our nation’s security depends on it.

Data Analysis
In the beginning we asked, Is Public Education in America a Matter of National Security? Then we asked if there exists a connection between education and national security. If so, what is that connection? How does education affect national security? We also would like to know what has been done about this matter. What measures have been taken, by whom, and what are were the results of such steps? Were these steps or measures effective or ineffective? What is the impact of this?
If we should find that the answer to our initial question is a resounding yes, then we must also ask if education does affect national security, where do we find ourselves on the education scale? Are we first among other nations? Are we lagging behind in a world successfully moving forward in the education of their next generations? While we are at it, if the answer is that we find ourselves lagging, what is wrong with our educational system? What can we do to remedy it if what we have been doing is unrealistically motivated? (Keenan, 1951)
The answer to our first question is answered in the affirmative by Eberstadt and Abramsky (2022) stating that American’s “education crisis” is a national security threat. They state that not only is a better-educated citizenry a more productive citizenry in regard to their economy but also their military might. They note that is increasingly clear that many other countries are bolting ahead of the United States in educational attainment. The U. S. will soon have to concede to China in the ranking of college-educated workers. Even India may pass us with the total volume of ‘working-age men and women with higher education.” (Eberstadt & Abramsky, 2022)
A Council on Foreign Relations Report also stated that an education crisis is a national security crisis. The report states that America’s primary and secondary schools are “widely seen as failing.” (Klein & Rice, 2014) The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) sponsored the task force that included Klein and Rice to address this subject and the fact of its “national security repercussions.” Klein and Rice note that a ‘world-class education system” is of the utmost importance to not only preserving our physical security, but also vital in relation to the concept of leadership. They say we must have a dynamic economy, as well as an informed and active society, with a bevy of well-educated and well-informed professionals who are capable and willing to live and serve around the world. (Klein & Rice, 2014)
It is clear there is a connection between education and national security. That connection is demonstrated in an inability to achieve a high school diploma, leaving school without the basic skills in math and science that are necessary for jobs in modern industry, and the inability to successfully pass military entrance exams. (Klein & Rice, 2014) The Task Force that included Klein and Rice, also noted the roll out of Common Core Curriculum they hoped would successfully impact the education issue.
Five years later, as the Common Core Curriculum has had sufficient time to make a difference in our educational system, we find both researchers and the general public wanting to know; is Common Core working? (Polikoff, 2017) Polikoff cites the use of mixed methods in arriving at the decision that there is “no analysis of which I am aware provides convincing causal evidence of the impact of the CCS on any student outcome.” (Polikoff, 2017) Although there were states like California, who rolled out Common Core a bit slower than other states, along with other factors such as to what degree are teachers implementing the curriculum, and much effort has been put into surveying teachers with questions designed to be effective as only those teachers familiar with the curriculum would know the answer. (Center on Education Policy, 2016b; Opfer, Kaufman & Thompson, 2016)
With mixed methods, the answer to our question concerning the existence of a connection between education in America and our national security seems to have been answered. There is definitely a connection. That connection is made clear in that an informed citizenry should be able to read, write, and perform the needed skills to get a job in our society, and even to understand what our elected representatives are doing on our behalf.
The action or steps taken included the implementation of a curriculum called Common Core. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) administers student assessments test internationally. As of 2018 when the last test was administered, The United States of America ranked eleventh out of seventy-nine other countries in the subject of science. In the subject of math, America ranked thirtieth. The average score for an OCED math score is 489, and America scored 487. The top five nations were Singapore at 569, Macao at 555, Hong Kong at 551, Taiwan at 531, and Japan at 527. (Amadeo, 2022)
The measures taken included a new curriculum and it has apparently failed at least in bringing America out of the educational hole we find ourselves in. I cannot state whether the curriculum has failed in each and every school or for each and every student, but it is apparent that after all these years, Common Core is not the answer to the problem American education faces.
Former Secretary of Dense, CIA Director, and higher education official, Robert Gates believes that America is in trouble regarding the lack of civics education. He says that the lack of understanding how our government works is cause for alarm in our country. He says that there is a “hyperpolarized political environment” in our nation and without the simple knowledge of how our nation’s business is conducted, citizens may not realize that “one side doesn’t have all the answers.” (Perez, 2021) Every day I hear or read of one side of the political isle accusing the other of something, and then it goes in the reverse. Most of my students have no understanding of how politics work, and probably do not want to learn. The bickering back and forth would put anyone off.
The recent figures for how much the U. S. spends on K-12 education is about $14,891 per public school student, or about $762 billion each year. (Amadeo, 2022) Due to our lagging behind in educational prowess, many companies outsource their tech jobs to others overseas. This hurts our economy and as a result there are fewer and fewer higher paying jobs available in America due to the fact that many may not be qualified. That is a tremendous impact on our society. Amadeo notes that this stark reality may come as a shock to many American who simply believe that our students’ skills are the best in the world. (Amadeo, 2022) This is heartbreaking.
We cannot demonstrate exactly what the federal funding in education is spent on, but I think we can agree that whatever we are doing it is not working as well as we may have hoped. For the last couple of decades, each new President has had a new idea about how to improve American education. Let us cut to the chase. No matter what the program, not matter what the curriculum, nor how much money is funded into the system, as of 2018 America was still lagging behind at least ten other nations in science, and at least 29 other nations in math. (Amadeo, 2022) We score below average among the other countries.
America, we have a problem! Have we been unrealistically motivated, as Keenan stated? Are we living in reality? Or, are we simply pushing on with the same ineffective remedy, hoping all with somehow miraculously change? I agree it is going to take a miracle. We have come so far that it is not going to turn on a dime. Like a friend of mine says, you cannot turn the Titanic around in a minute.

The wisest man in the world wrote: “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1) In Solomon’s day, commercial and business transactions were measured by a stone. These standard weights and measures were safely kept in the sanctuary. (Exodus 30:13; Leviticus 27:25; 1 Chronicles 23:29) There is a message of principle in this fact and that is that the standard of what is right comes from God. However, the chapter continues and in verse 14 we find that it is recorded that when there is no “guidance” the people fall, but in the abundance of counselors there is victory. The word for guidance is the same as “deliverance”, and it literally means steersmanship. We know this concept as leadership.
The admonition in this text is dissuade any from taking action that were dishonest in order to increase profits. We are admonished to do the right thing always because it is right. This is not intended to suggest that dishonesty is at the helm of our education system, but simply that we should be willing to place aside what is not working and replace it with something that will work. This needs to be done even at the expense of our pride or personal reputation. Continuing to spend the taxpayers’ money by throwing it down a dry well is wrong, and though malice may not be a part of the process, it still must be stopped because there must be a better way. The evidence is clear. What America is doing is not working for education. We must consider other ways of getting where we want to be.
This researcher/student does not claim to have all the answers, but I know what will not work—the same thing we have been doing for too long. Sometimes we have to get back to the fundamentals. We must ask ourselves some serious questions. Are standardized tests really working? We might say yes because they show us that something is not working.
Near the beginning of this paper I spoke of a simple plan I call the Trifecta of Education. The term trifecta originated with horse racing, and I am not suggesting we begin laying wagers, but understand the concept involved here. A trifecta is where someone could pick the first place winner, the second place, and the third place winner, all in that order. The idea I am referring to is that there are three fundamental elements to education: Order, Instruction, and Learning. Sounds simple does it not? Maybe too simple?
Let us work this backwards. Learning can only take place where there is competent instruction, right? I have no doubt the majority of our teachers today are overwhelmingly competent in their field of study. Students have a need to learn and teachers have the information the students need. Simple.
This brings us to the matter of order. It is expected of an educator that he/she commands control of their classroom. I have met some who have less skill in this area and more who have sufficient skills to gain the attention of their students. The only exception will be possibly a handful (maybe one or two) of students that are intent on disrupting class to the point that the teacher is forced to expend precious instruction time dealing with the disruption they cause. This matter will need to be dealt with on a school-by-school basis.
It appears that often the school is so bent on focusing on the disruptive student’s right to an education, they miss that the rest of the class is being denied theirs. Perhaps alternative solutions could be utilized in these cases, but much sooner than have been. The removal of students who persist in disruption from the other student’s presence is something that must be addressed by each school board. Parents are involved, but sometimes the parents are unable to deal with the student for different reasons.
This is where the miracle I spoke of earlier comes in. As we showed earlier, Coleman et al. showed that the home environment was one of the major influencers of the student’s education career. It is at this point that local Churches must step up to the plate and focus as heavily as possible on family ministry. Too many homes are dysfunctional. If I had the opportunity to suggest it to the local church ministry, this area is the one most needed.
The last point I wish to make on the subject of order is that I have spoken to many teachers and students over the past few years, and both are stressed to the max. A New York Times article (2019) demonstrates that students have some ideas to relieve stress at school. The report says that teenagers were very passionate about their comments. Some have tough home lives and more stress at school is too much for them. They say, put less stress on students. Another common one was one that surprised me. The students said, use less technology (…or more). Some suggest that since kids are constantly on their cell phones for entertainment, perhaps they need a break from this and would benefit from pen and paper. This is said that they need more time to ponder on things and allow the information to take root, and counter the fast-paced technology life. At least have a healthy balance between technology and pen and paper to give that healthy balance. Another suggestion was, prepare students for real life. The said not everyone would go to college, and from the test scores we have seen this is true. Students need to learn about real life, and too often this is not learned at home. The last suggestion by students, other than supporting teachers, the students’ families, and creating a better learning environment in the classroom, was eliminate standardized tests. (The Learning Network, 2019)
I will discuss these last two suggestions by the students, the classroom environment and the standardized tests. I have encountered many evangelicals who rail about the absence of prayer in the schools. To this I say, let us focus on getting prayer back in the homes and it will return to the schools. The idea is that this must be a collaborative effort between schools, homes, churches, and volunteer organizations, willing to find a way to work together for the benefit of our children and their education.
The absence of order in the classroom is robbing our students of their need of learning. It is obstructing the delivery of instruction by the teacher. This must also be a cooperative effort between home, school, and church. For too long the parents have ‘blamed” the teachers or the schools, and the teachers have “blamed” the parents. If ever churches needed a reason to pray, this is the time. Families are slipping through our grasp and they are in desperate need of being discipled into being the godly families that is needed to foster physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy children.
This concept of a trifecta means that all must be in the right order or it will not work. Coleman focused on the family as one of the main components of the whole educational experience. This is where we should also place our focus. We do not have a choice. We are losing to other nations in jobs, technology, and our economy. This is not to mention our national security. This is a must! We need leaders to step up and lead, who are not distracted by career advancement or recognition, but to do it for our children, and for our nation.

Works Cited

Amadeo, K. “U. S. Education Rankings Are Falling Behind the Rest of the World: How It Hurts the Economy and You.” The Balance. U. S. and World Economies, U. S. Economy. April 13, 2022.
Center on Education Policy. (2016b) Listen To Us: Teacher Views and Voices. Washington, DC: Author.
Coleman, J., Campbell, E., Hobson, C, McPartland, J., Mood, A., Weinfield, F., and York, R., 1966. Equality of Educational Opportunity. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Condron, D. “An Early Start: Skill Grouping and Unequal Reading Gains in the Elementary Years” The Sociological Quarterly 49(2):363-94.
Downey, D., and Condron, D., “Fifty Years Since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship Between Schools and Inequality”. Sociology of Education, 89(3), 207-220.
Eberstadt, N. and Abramsky, E., “America’s Education Crisis is a National Security Threat: How a Smarter World is Changing the Balance of Power.” Foreign Affairs. September 20, 2022.
Gamoran, A. “Is the Ability Grouping Equitable?” Educational Leadership 50(2):11-17. e
Jefferson, T. Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384. “Thomas Jefferson on Politics and Government.”
Johnson, L. American Foreign Policy and the Challenges of World Leadership: Power, Principle, and The Constitution. Oxford University Press, 2015.
Jordan, M. “Recruits’ Ineligibility Tests the Military: More Than Two-Thirds of American Youth Wouldn’t Qualify for Service, Pentagon Says,” The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2014, (accessed January 29, 2018).
Keenan, G. American Diplomacy: 1900-1950. (1951) University of Chicago Press.
Krache, D. “Report Calls Education a National Security Issue” CNN Report Published Tuesday March 20, 2022.
Klein, J. Rice, C. U. S. Reform and National Security. Council on Foreign Relations, May 14, 2014.
Landry, B. & Driscoll, S. “Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents” Science Direct Elsevier Vol 4, Issue 11, November 2012, pages 826-832. Dr. Bradford W. Landry, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo clinic, Rochester, MN. Dr. Sherilyn Whateley Driscoll, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Division, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
Oakes, J. (1985) Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality. Yale University Press.
Opfer, V., Kaufman, J., & Thompson, L. (2016) Implementation of K-12 State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts and Literacy: Findings From the American Teacher Panel. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Perez, J. “Robert Gates: How Civics Education Became a National Security Issue.” Politico, September 09, 2021.
Polikoff, M. “Is Common Core ‘Working?’ and Where Does Common Core Research Go From Here? Sage Journals Publication. January-March 2017, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 1-6. DOI: 10.1177/2332858417691749.
Spoehr, T. and Handy, B. “The Looming National Security Crisis: Young Americans Unable to Serve in the Military” Backgrounder No. 3282, February 13, 2018. The Heritage Foundation.
The Learning Network. “What Students are Saying About How to Improve American Education” The New York Times, Published December 19, 2019.

Impact On U S National Security, Due to the Drift From Original Intent of Framers Regarding Separation of Powers in Government


Submitted To Dr. Timothy O’Brien
In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements of
PhD in Public Policy: National Security Policy

Analytic Paper: Original Intent Assignment
Contemporary Challenges to Constitutional Order and the Role of the State


Jesse Prewitt
July 17, 2022

The U. S. Government’s Expansion Over the Past 100 Years,
And Its Impact on National Security,
Relative to the Concept of Federalism
as Intended By the Framers of the Constitution

Thesis question:

What is the impact, if any, on National Security, in the Federal Government’s drift from the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution, and its implicit concept of Federalism—separation/limitation of powers?

The Concept of Federalism

Publius (Alexander Hamilton) made it clear, in Federalist No. 69, that the character or the Executive, or The President of The United States of America, contrasted to the King of Great Britain, of whose absolute power each citizen of the new world was painfully familiar, was not one of despotic or tyrannical supremacy. As in all the Federalist Papers, the authors sought to explain the intention of the Framers in this new form of government as it compared to the Articles of Confederation they were accustomed to. This endeavor would prove difficult in persuading the American public that the new Constitution would offer them important advantages as compared to the former loose association of government provided by the Articles of Confederation. With the Articles there was no central government, and each State retained its sovereignty, freedom, and independence. The Articles of Confederation was essentially a treaty among the sovereign States. The wise Framers soon knew this document was insufficient for the future of this great nation. They also knew the sort of government they did not want for America.
Though the concept was not actually realized until later, the idea of separation of powers was in the minds of the Framers. As the Supreme Document was being formed, the Virginia Plan proposed three separate branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. As they discarded the old Articles of Confederation, the Framers adopted a resolution creating a national government consisting of these three branches. There were some opposing the centralized form of government, and if the Virginia Plan had been adopted as it stood, the smaller States would have been swallowed up by the might of the larger States, and the Legislative Branch would have reigned supreme over the other two branches. The New Jersey Plan introduced checks upon the central power of the Virginia Plan, and thus a compromise was adopted modifying the centralizing tendency of the Virginia proposal.
The concept of Federalism, though not explicitly stated in the Constitution, is still implicit in all her theoretical structure. When completed, the Supreme Law of the Land—The United States Constitution—stood as neither a centralized political structure nor a mere league of independent States; it is a federal union that limits power by dividing it.
Another implicit concept in the Constitution, along with the Rule of Law, which provides that none are above the law, stands the concept of Separation of Powers. This concept works alongside the first and serves to guarantee that one branch of government does not rise above the others. This implicit concept prevents a concentration and abuse of power.
As the debates at the Constitutional Convention were taking place, there were many who were seriously concerned about any reference to an Executive power. The former Articles of Confederation had not provided for any executive power, and the new Americans were understandably skittish over the thought of it, since hostilities remained strong toward the British Monarchy. There was specific concern over the executive power turning into a monarchy and is noted in the debates in the Anti-Federalist Papers. During specific discussion over the very nature of the new executive power, there were some who suggested as many as three, while others stated that one single man would best “feel the greatest responsibility and administer the public affairs best.” On all sides of the debates it is clear nothing was ever suggested or intended for the Executive Branch of the new government to either amass or retain an unbalanced power over the other branches of government. This is of great importance and will be referred to later in this paper.
During the debates at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, on September 4, 5, and 6, the discussion focused on the election and the powers of the President. Although some had previously argued for as many as three, or a plural executive, to fill the office, and there was considerable debate as to the manner in which the Executive would be elected, or even re-elected, his eligibility, and also the matters of impeachment if necessary, it is clear that much discussion was made concerning the risk of cabal and corruption. This concern against factions, or groups of conspirators, was ever present on the minds of those debating the principles of the Constitution, and the well-known Framers, as they carefully planned out the future of this great nation. Madison had much to say about these factions in Federalist No 10. It must be duly noted that throughout this debate process, and the Federalist Papers, all the way to the final Ratification of our present Constitution, no matter which side the Framers stood upon or what may have been their opinions concerning the manner in which the three branches of government may be constructed, there is one common theme in it all—the concepts of Separation of Powers—Federalism—and the balance of responsibility and power in the present Constitution. The idea of giving the citizens of this great nation a Supreme Document that would endure for many centuries to come, limit and separate power so that is possible, where the people would be the place where the buck stops, and the preservation of individual liberty, was the current stream of thought in the minds of the Framers. All our nation’s founding documents are saturated with this common theme of balance of power, separation of power, and limits of power, so as to preserve a great nation, and the freedom we have enjoyed for over 200 years.
It would have been, and was, impossible for the Framers, in 1787, to have foreseen the future of this nation and perceive every single incident that it would face. However, those same Framers, as well-educated and knowledgeable as they were, were able to deliver a foundational document that could withstand and assimilate the basic needs of a nation in a changing world.
This is hardly different from constructors erecting a superstructure upon a solid foundation, a foundation designed to withstand the modifications and structural re-designs of future occupants. The foundation would of necessity be constructed so that it may not only support the changes of additional levels or new and heavier materials, but it would also serve to dictate the parameters of the future design, so that future plans could not cause damage to the foundation. Walls and rooms could be designed in new and fashionable arrangements, and the styles of the furnishings would naturally evolve over time, yet the foundation must be built to support the new developments. Jesus spoke of the importance of establishing such a supporting foundation in the Gospel According to Matthew, chapter 7, verses 24 through 29. He spoke of a wise man who built his house upon a rock versus one who built upon sand with no absolute stability. While some may criticize the Constitution and lay claims that it does not address the needs of the current day, yet the fundamental principles are there in place for the superstructure to be modified within the parameters of the capability of the foundation. This is the hidden gem woven within the fabric of our society. These underlying principles permanently support, and are vital to, the future of this nation.
The concept of the necessity of the balance of power has been established and it is clear that such balance must remain. Just as too great a weight on a particular area of a foundation that is out of proportion with the rest, would endanger not only the foundation, but the superstructure, so is the necessity of the balance of power in our government to prevent abuse and damage to our society and the security of our nation.

Expansion of Government
The world has grown exponentially since 1787, and it is not inconceivable to expect governments to grow, as well. Everyone is aware that the United Stares Government has grown quite enormously in the past 100 years. The problem is that most of us have no real idea exactly how much it has grown. What we can discern is that the structure of our government has expanded disproportionately. The following chart demonstrates this unbalanced structure.

Figure 1.1 Organizational Chart of the United States.
In this chart it is clear to see that the Executive Branch has many offices which it oversees. These offices are also known as Regulatory Agencies and they are answerable to the Executive Branch. Are these agencies unlawful? This is a question Philip Hamburger has asked. Before we proceed, let us establish the definition of Administrative Law. Dr. Hamburger writes that traditionally the federal government bound the people exclusively through acts of Congress and judgements handed down by the Judiciary. Pursuant to our previous discussion of separation and limitation of powers, intended by the Framers of the Constitution, the power of the Executive is that of carrying out the judgments and declaration of the Congress and Courts. The term to be bound is to be obligated to the point of being constrained by law. Hamburger writes that what we understand as administrative law, is when the executive makes binding edicts straying into the lanes of the legislative and judicial jurisdictions. To make this matter clear, Hamburger gives examples of what is meant. The executive can manage the treasury agents but cannot publish regulations that alter tax rates. The latter is the purview of the legislature. Another example is that of the Post Office. The Post Office can refuse to mail a letter, but must stop short of prohibiting citizens to avoid private carriers. The executive can deny access to certain government information, yet cannot demand a private business to supply information, unless it is pursuant to a warrant issued by the courts or legislature. The executive has no power of its own; it acts as enforcer of that which is implemented by the other two branches of the government. It can only act in carrying out the binding laws of the congress or the courts.
Yet, today, writes Hamburger, the executive oversees agencies that exercise power of constraint, in binding Americans. It enjoys binding legislative and judiciary power. The agencies under the rule of the executive legislate rules dictating what Americans can grow, manufacture, transport, smoke, and eat or drink.
It is clear to see that what the Framers feared may come to pass has come to pass, and Americans have allowed it either due to ignorance or deception. While a good idea, yet the seatbelt law is an after the fact safety measure for the most part. Laws are in place in virtually all corners of our nation and they carry heavy fines. Still seatbelts are essentially an after the fact device. How about we focus on avoiding accidents as much as possible. This was once the focus, but all I hear these days is how I had better buckle up or face a fine. Yet, I can ride my Harley without a helmet. Is this all about my safety? Then why the conflicting regulations?
The exponential growth of American government has taken place largely in association with crises and war time. It appears that this serves as an opportunity to create or take advantage of the moment to insert a change. Though not writing of anything political, yet the principle is still the same, Lawler and Worley, denote steps for an organization to undergo change, often necessary to growth. In this particular context, it is understood that organization resist change much as all humans resist it as we are creatures of habit. They say that change is necessary but viewed as a necessary evil. Some even say that an organization must be unfrozen, shocked, and changed; a crisis must be created, and a thus a case for change articulated and sold. Lawler and Worley go on to explain the best ways to introduce change into an organization, yet one cannot help but wonder about the coincidence concerning those who might not only take advantage of a crisis, but perhaps even seek to create one to advance their agenda.
It doesn’t require much to allow our minds to wander to recent events and crises that have arisen. For fear of their lives many have begun to change not only many of their habits, but also the way they think. Just recently, one of our grandsons who is only 3 years old was taken to the Emergency Room for pains in his abdomen. Our daughter said the medical professionals checked the child, “for every virus known to man,” yet missed the apparent fact that he had a ruptured appendix. Though unusual at that age, it should be one of the basic things looked for, but the times seem to have us changing the way we think. We are not angry at the medical folks, everything turned out alright, but what are we doing? What sort of change are those who claim to be in charge injecting into our daily lives? Is this how government got so big? Are they jumping aboard every train that passes to advance their agenda for fundamental change in America? The Executive that uttered these words several years ago has probably never thought that some guy like me would remember them very well. I was listening.
It will not be easy, but we must seek to correct the current trending unbalance in our government structure before it topples. This unbalance is dangerous to our democracy and to our national security. This smacks of what our founders were so concerned about. The answer to my original thesis question is, Yes!
As this trend continues, and unchecked it will, we will find ourselves beyond the point of repair or return. At some point a new constitution will be demanded. Oh, wait, that’s already happening, isn’t it?

Gifis, S. Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 2003
Hamburger, P. Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Available from: MBS Direct, University of Chicago Press, 2014
Higgs, R. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. The Independent Institute, New Copyright by Robert Higgs, 2012
Hamilton, A. Federalist No. 69, The Real Character of the Executive, From the New York Packet, Friday, March 14, 1788.
_ Federalist No. 10, The Union as a Safeguard Against domestic Factions and Insurrection, From the Daily Advertiser, Thursday, November 22, 1787.
McClellan, J. Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government. The Liberty Fund, Inc. 2000
Lawler, E. & Worley, C. Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational Effectiveness. Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint. 2006
Office of the Federal Register, The United States Government Manual, 1983/84. (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1083) p. 810
The Anti-Federalist Papers: and the Constitutional Convention Debates, The Clashes That Gave Birth to our Government. Ralph Ketcham, Ed. Signet Classics, 1986

Education and The Constitution


Helms School of Government

Submitted To Dr. Michael Robinson

In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements of

PhD in Public Policy: Education Policy

Constitutional Connection Paper: Colonial And Confederation Era Assignment

Founding Era And The Constitution



Jesse Prewitt

Constitutional Connection Paper: Colonial And Confederation Era Assignment

Education In America and The Constitution

            Do all Americans have a Constitutional right to a free education? This seems to be the general consensus, judging from personal experience. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says, yes! In fact, the ACLU quotes Title IX Education Amendments of 1972, on their web page.[1]

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972)[2]

This article, while accurate on several points, is lacking in the main one. The article notes that the U. S. Constitution is the highest law in our land, and rightly so, but it falls short of proving that every person is guaranteed a public education in America. The article mentions free speech, the Bill of Rights, freedom of religion, and due process of law, all things that the Constitution guarantees, but the article misses the main point.

Nobody in the United States is guaranteed an education; not even a free one.

The ACLU article notes the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954).[3] This case, Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al., established that racial discrimination, and any laws that supported such discrimination are unconstitutional. This ruling partially overturned Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which declared a “separate but equal” notion.[4]

The primary point of Brown was the issue of a local black resident, Oliver Brown, whose daughter was required to ride a bus to a segregated school farther away from her home. Along with several other black families with similar situations, Brown filed the class action lawsuit in the U.S. Federal Court against the Topeka Board of Education, alleging the board’s segregation policy was unconstitutional. Brown and the others won. The Plessy case had formerly alleged that racial discrimination in itself was not a violation of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, provided the other educational facility was equal to the one in question in the suit. The Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal educational facilities are inherently unequal.”[5] This case was a landmark case in educational equality.

However, the question still remains. Does this case and others guarantee an education in The United States? The case is about equality, but falls short of the guarantee. The case ensures that all are guaranteed the same opportunity. This leaves a small loophole that requires clarification. It would seem that if all are guaranteed the same opportunity, that it would follow that they are all guaranteed an education. As recent as 2020, the U. S. Supreme Court says, no.[6]

In the case of Gary B. v. Snyder (2016), concerning Detroit Public Schools, the question before the court was whether education in America is a constitutional right. The question is not concerning equality, but the very fundamental right to an education itself. Does the Constitution guarantee me an education?

Dorsey writes that the courts once again decided that the answer is no. There is still no federally protected right to education, as least for now.[7] This legal decision may eventually turn to a more definite answer, but not for the moment. Dorsey notes that there is not a single mention in the U. S. Constitution about education. He notes that this subject falls under the powers reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. And this fact is the assertion made by the Supreme Court every time it has been challenged.[8] This goes back to the 1973 case of  San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez. In this case the court opined that education “is not among the rights afforded explicit protection under our Federal Constitution.”[9]

The Gary B. case involved a small group of students who had attended public schools in the Detroit system, and had failed to gain an education. The plaintiffs attended five of Detroit’s lowest performing schools, and their rates of proficiency was near zero. Dorsey reports that the Michigan Law School summarized the plaintiffs’ situation as being pervasive conditions denying the students the opportunity to attain to literacy. The complaint included the lack of books, not enough teachers, filthy and unsafe buildings, insufficient desks, and extreme temperatures.[10] The case sought redress not from the state, but from the federal courts.

This researcher is intentionally not discussing the morality of these issues, but the legal issues alone, other than to say that no normal person would wish such conditions on any student at any location. And Dorsey notes that there has existed a certain amount of corruption at the Detroit system in the past, however, the issue is whether or not there exists a fundamental guarantee of an education in The U. S. Constitution.

Before we focus on the American Colonies and the educational concepts there, and how all this is connected, let us look at the final decision of Gary B., and how this is relevant to the colonies, as well as today. In this case, the Sixth Circuit Court ruled in favor of the students, and ignored the Supreme Court, stating, “In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”[11] To be fair, according to Dorsey, the State of Michigan almost immediately began working on increasing educational funding and even awarded the students cash to further their education.[12]

Having won money from the state, the plaintiffs moved to dismiss their case. The Appeals Court granted the dismissal. However, it is the dissenting opinion of Judge Eric Murphy that makes the point in this case note-worthy. “The importance of a service performed by the State does not determine whether it must be regarded as fundamental,” was Judge Murphy’s opinion.[13] In this notable opinion, a clear distinction is made between fundamental rights, and the state’s interference, or denial of fundamental rights.[14] Legally speaking, it is as if the Appeals Courts initial decision never happened. But, the language of the opinion is still there for anyone to see, and for plaintiffs to draw from in the future.

Education In America: The Colonial Period

Early colonial America could be considered the freest civil society that has ever existed.[15] Education was a main part of that freedom. Parents were responsible for their children’s education, and they retained complete control of their children’s schooling. No such thing existed as the National Education Association (NEA). There were no local regulatory or school boards, and there were not teacher certification requirements. Parents had total control over the education of their children, and no persons were forced to pay for education they did not approve of, or did not use, as in those who had no children.[16]

Brouillette reports that prior to the Revolutionary War, most American schools operated on a laissez-faire concept. They tended to operate apart from any special interest groups. They may have been partially funded by local taxpayers, but mostly by private means. Many were church schools, or maybe charity school for the less fortunate.[17]

However, by around 1650, some townships enforced the attendance of school. Massachusetts may have been the first to enact such law. This was known as the Old Deluder Satan Act.[18] Tocqueville mentioned that some of the colonies established requirements to attend school or suffer fines for failing to do so.[19] However, by the time of the Revolutionary War there were more private schools than tax-funded ones, and many Massachusetts towns had no tax-funded schools at all.

It is of significant importance that we note America began with very little government influence in education. We have discovered that our present Constitution does not provide for a fundamental right to receive and education, although it does provide for equal opportunity for all.

We have discovered that education is left to the states under the power of the Tenth Amendment, in that all powers not specifically designated to the central government are reserved to the states, or to the people. Then why do we have an NEA? Why does the federal government fund education so heavily through such acts as Title 1, for example? Along with funding the federal government is fond of requiring accountability. Space and time will not allow us to cover these questions at this time, but we will seek answers in the future.

As it stands today, there is no fundamental right, as far as the Constitution is concerned, to an education in the United States of America. However, whatever is performed by the government, there are laws that regulate every person’s right to equal treatment. Things may have been more simple in colonial days, at least as far as education was concerned, but with the government’s finger in the educational pie, things have become quite complicated these days. A whole lot of money is being thrown at the problem and yet we still have children that are not learning, even with all we have to work with.

Perhaps over-regulation is at least part of the problem. Perhaps things could be more simplified in order to function better. Maybe we should have more actual teachers—current teachers on decision-making committees. Maybe we should rethink everything.  


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “Your Right To Equality In Education”, Produced by the ACLU Department of Public Education, 125 Broad St. NY, NY 10004. (2022)

Brouillette, M. “Early Colonial Period To The American Revolution: A Free market In Education.” (1999) Mackinac Center For Public Policy.

Dorsey, D. “Education Is Still (For Now) Not A Fundamental Right Under The U.S. Constitution. (2020)  

Mansfield, H.C. & Winthrop, D., Eds. Democracy In America. Alexis De Tocqueville. The University of Chicago Press, (2000) pp. 41-42.

The Supreme Court of The United States. Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al. (1954).

_________________________________ Homer Plessy v. John H. Ferguson (1896)

     [1] American Civil Liberties Union, “Your Right To Equality In Education”, (2022)

     [2] Ibid

     [3] The Supreme Court of The United States, Brown v. Board of Education, (1954)

     [4] Ibid, Plessy v. Ferguson, (1896)

     [5] Ibid, Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

     [6] David Dorsey, “Education Is Still (For Now) Not A Fundamental Right Under The U. S. Constitution”, Kansas Policy Institute, 2020

     [7] David Dorsey, “Education Is Still (For Now) Not a Fundamental Right Under The U. S. Constitution” (2020)

     [8] Ibid.

     [9] Ibid.

     [10] Ibid.

     [11] David Dorsey (2020)

     [12] Ibid.

     [13] Ibid.

     [14] Ibid.

     [15] Matthew Brouillette, “Early Colonial Period To The American Revolution: A Free Market In Education”, (1999) Mackinac Center For Public Policy

     [16] Ibid.

     [17] Ibid.

     [18] Ibid.

     [19] Harvey Mansfield, Delba Winthrop, Eds., Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy In America, University of Chicago Press, (2000) p. 41-42

Is The Christian Conception Of Natural Law Indispensable To A Coherent Moral Theory Of The State?

By: Jesse Prewitt


Helms School Of Government

Submitted To Dr. Douglas Walker

In Partial Fulfillment Of Requirements For

PhD in Public Policy: Education Policy

Natural Law, The State and The Gospel



Jesse Prewitt

May 06, 2022

Is The Christian Conception of Natural Law Indispensable To A Coherent Moral Theory Of The State?


            The question proposed for this assignment can only be answered when we discover the beginning, or source of the natural law. For natural law to support a coherent moral theory of the state, we must explore natural law as far back in history as possible, and determine who established it. Could it have been Plato? Plato is said to have lived somewhere between 428 – 347 B.C. We most assuredly find traces of what we can call natural law theories in his writings. In The Republic, Book 1, we find a rather lengthy discussion between Plato, his brothers, and a young man named Thrasymachus.[1] In this discussion the subjects of both injustice and justice are parsed until the young Thrasymachus admits, though reluctantly, that his previous position on the matter was in error. They finally agree that a bad soul rules things badly, but a good soul does all things well.[2] This would give an answer to the morality question. They also discover in their exposition of the subject that just people live better and happier lives than the unjust, as the latter are constantly encountering life coming back at them.[3] I think we all witness this daily, as I know I do. The element of being coherent is also answered here, because it is rather easy to understand. This may be due to our having lived our own lives, and having the benefit of history to help us understand what happens to those choosing to live life outside the law.

            Aristotle lived from 384-322 B. C. This student of Plato had some ideas of his own that were critical of Socrates and his guardians of the ideal society Socrates had envisioned. In his Politics, Book 2, Aristotle makes it clear that the Socratic idea of these protectors of his ideal society having wives and children in common,[4] would dilute love and families would be torn, and although he didn’t use the term, moral, he used sufficient language to describe what being immoral is like when it comes to wives and children.[5] This example also answers to a coherent moral theory of life and society.

            In the following pages we will explore, argue, question, and work our way through this subject matter, and I intend to demonstrate that the natural law did not begin with either of these aforementioned philosophers, nor with their contemporaries, or even their philosophical progeny in the years after. The concept of natural law has lively roots as far back as King Solomon, some 900 years before Christ. In the pages to follow, we will demonstrate that natural law is actually precepts or principles established long before any of the philosophers of whom we have secular records. There is a Biblical record that establishes this natural law. It comes from God Jehovah. We find it in the Book of Proverbs and even in the Decalogue—The Ten Commandments.

Natural Law From The Beginning

            Is natural law a real thing? Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger thinks so. “He views it as a fact”, writes philosopher, professor, and best-selling author, J. Budziszewski.[6] The cardinal, later pontiff, says that natural law is a feature of the world that has much to do with the constitution of the human person, and also with all of created reality as a whole.[7] Budziszewski notes that natural law is actually original law. He gives the concept of murder, and the natural law forbidding it.[8] No reasonable person would argue with murder being a law. But where did that come from? Who wrote that law, inscribed it into the books, and promulgated it for enforcement? The Ten Commandments are recorded in the Bible in Exodus 20:1-17, and again in Deuteronomy 5:7-21. Budziszewski eluded to the second tablet,[9] and it is plain to see that the first half of these are Godward, or vertical, while the second half are manward, or horizontal. I have often referred to this as a requirement for us to make our lives right with God, first, then we are equipped to make life right with our fellow man.

            The Decalogue far outdates any of the philosophers we mentioned earlier. Since the first five commandments deal with man’s relationship and fellowship with Almighty God, then the remainder deal with our relationship with each other. I think this equates to the regulation of morality and justice in our society. So much so that leading business management professors are pointing to the Ten Commandments (TC) as a document that needs to be viewed as “general moral guidelines.”[10] The authors note that students of business ethics and management seem to agree, even though the paper reviews the Ten commandments in light of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, that the Ten Commandments are rules that should be the general moral guidelines for both individuals as well as groups. Authors Ali and Gibbs (1998) have previously argued for the regard of the TC as guidelines for personal and business conduct. The article notes that debate and discussion is something that is more often found in religion and philosophical studies, however, most scholars, in general, tend to avoid invoking religious dogma in the academic world, yet issues involving spiritual life are something not to be meddled with. These ancient rules are general rules for living and conducting business in a global society. Christians consider this as the basis of our moral conduct. Penny Noyes writing for Christianity Today says that the Ten Commandments still influence our society today.[11] Noyes states that the law given to Moses provided the foundation for Israel’s society and they also provided the foundation for personal and property rights in our modern legal system. Noyes also notes that although most Christians do not view keeping the 10 Commandments as necessary to, or required for, their salvation, yet they still hold these basic laws as the foundation of God’s moral law. Jesus called us to an even higher standard than simply, mechanically obeying the moral law, but keeping its essence in our hearts. Jesus pointed to the commandment not to commit adultery, found in Exodus 20:14 and also in Deuteronomy 5:18,[12] and noted that even though the physical act is not committed, it is committing adultery in one’s heart to look at a woman with lust.[13] This points to Christians’ conception of natural law as indispensable to a moral society. The Ten Commandments are the original law, therefore the source of natural law.

            This original law is further enjoined in the Proverbs. As Dr. Harry Ironside notes, “The last seven verses of Ecclesiastes forms a fitting introduction to the book which in our Bibles immediately precedes it.”[14] Dr. Ironside states that these seemingly, “common-sense epigrams” are meant for the “every-day godliness” of the follower of Christ.[15] This introduction says that the conclusion to all learning is to fear God and keep His commandment, because this applies to every person.

            Dr. J. Vernon McGee notes that, “the Book of Proverbs is not a haphazard book.”[16] He states that this book tells a story—a connected story. It is about a young man that is learning from his father and mother about the world and living a moral, godly life, one that honors God. This researcher/author notes that the propositional statement of the book of Proverbs is found in Chapter 1, verse 7: The fear of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge.[17] The idea here is that this young man finds his initial knowledge from God’s Instruction and builds upon that foundation in his life. I have been reading Proverbs, a chapter per day, for most of my adult life, as a devotional. Once I was instructed by Dr. McGee that the book is a connected story, I have never seen Proverbs the same, it comes alive as I read it. I am instructed to live a godly, moral life as I travel through this life with Christ as my King. This expansion of Godly Truth stems from the original law—God’s Law, and it is indispensable to my Christian life.

            The ancient pre-cursors of natural law, namely, Plato and Aristotle, were able to extract something of divine origin from that which is apparent to any human being, and it is what we refer to as natural law. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle writes: “If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence; and this will be that of the best thing in us.”[18] Aristotle then notes something very profound. He says: “Whether it be intellect or something else (italics mine) that is this element which is thought to be our natural ruler and guide (italics mine) and to take thought of things noble and divine.”[19] I italicized phrases to draw attention to that which can be easily overlooked. Aristotle is musing on what that something may be which is thought to be our natural ruler and guide. That natural ruler is the natural law, which is easily understood to be that which is in our nature as humans to understand. We instinctively know that certain things are right and others are wrong. This is easily seen as what the philosopher is referring to as our guide.

            Aristotle knew over 2000 years ago what J. Budziszewski wrote of concerning natural law.[20] Budziszewski notes, “A law is written on the hearts of men, but it is everywhere entangled with the evasions and subterfuges of men.”[21] He is referring to our conscience. The Apostle Paul spoke of it in that God did not leave Himself without witness, even though He had previously permitted the pagan nations to go their own ways.[22] God left us with this “witness” of Himself and His law, the original law, natural law. As mentioned earlier, humans know that sleeping with someone else’s wife or husband is wrong, humans know that stealing is wrong, and this is why they flee from authorities. It is common knowledge that the willful taking of another’s life is wrong. The human conscience is wired with this knowledge. If we were computers we could say we come pre-loaded with this software in our psyche. God has not left Himself without witness to His natural law. It is vital to the concept of a moral society.

            Cicero refers to this as being from the origin of laws, or the source of obligations, which he notes as the universal nature of things.[23] Cicero is said to have sought to convince his fellow citizens who held the sentiment of national honor, that the integrity and excellence of the state must also consist of, and be practiced in, the excellence of their lives and manners.[24] As a philosopher as well as a statesman, he knew that the state must be reflected in the morality of the people who make up that state. He knew that man is degenerated and therefore manners are corrupted.[25]

            Cicero proclaimed that those who preside over the state should obey the precepts of Plato, that the should ignore their own private interests and watch over the well-being of the citizens of whom they are charged to protect. The other is that the benefit of those in whom they are placed to oversee is to come first.[26] This answers to the question of the coherent moral theory of the state, and whether natural law is necessary to that condition.

            With the idea that natural law is derived from original law—from God’s law, and seeing that the ancient philosophers could understand where it came from, or at least that natural law was of divine origin, and further that Cicero understood that natural law was necessary to govern, then it follows that this same natural law is necessary to our society today.

            Augustine noted that, “The universal and eternal law governing all things created is but the divine wisdom.” And that, “The divine will itself is the divine law.”[27] Augustine held that the personal will and wisdom of God not only created the moral order of things, but constitutes and maintains it, as well. He further maintained that this fact leads everything to its proper order, which he held was divinely ordained by God. Seemingly hidden in these statements is that it all has an end, a purpose. He also held that this supreme reason/intellect which must be obeyed, but by this same law the wicked deserve their misery (they receive the punishment of their disobedience), but the righteous receive the blessed life, referring to the temporal life lived on this earth, assumed they modified that life to the supreme law.[28]

            Augustine believed that not only was God’s law the eternal order of everything that exists or moves, but also is not the only basis for morals and law. He believed that that which is orderly is also good, and the most orderly constitutes the most good. He held that nothing is above God Himself.[29] He believed that the moral value of man’s action and will is not to be found in the freedom of his action, but in the determination of his will, viewed through this eternal order, and man’s acceptance of it as law and good.[30] To this researcher, the crux of the matter, as far as Augustine is concerned, is that he believed the natural law is “imprinted in our soul.”[31] This position held by Augustine, as well as the previous philosophers mentioned in this study, draw a conclusion that what we refer to as the natural law, is not only natural to man in the sense that it is imprinted on man’s soul, but it is placed there by man’s creator, and man cannot help but be aware of its existence. It is natural to him. This imprinted law affects man’s morals, to the good or to the bad, depending on man’s reaction to this law. Man is the owner of a fallen spiritual nature due to the event of the Garden of Eden. Man of the age of maturity, or accountability, is responsible for his own condition, and answerable to God who created him. There is an initial choice to be made. This choice is more like an option seeing that man is already living in his sinful state. Man has the option of continuing as he is to his eternal demise, or turning in faith to the One who extends the offer of Grace, based upon the vicarious work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. The very One who created man is the same One who paid the price for man’s rebellion, and offers Grace to repent and be reconciled to his creator.

            In the City of God, Augustine discusses the ultimate ends of good and evil.[32] He mentions that the nature of man sets limits to man and his ability to keep on the right track. He notes that the ultimate good and evil must be found in the man’s soul, body, or both.[33]

            Thomas Aquinas wrote that the light of reason is placed by nature in every man.[34] He says that this is to guide him in his acts, toward his end, or purpose. He notes that if man was intended to live alone, he would need nothing further to guide him to his purpose in this life. He would therefore be a king unto himself and God would direct him from on high. However, he states that man is a social being, a political being. He is meant to live with others in a group.

            He states that animals are given instincts to guide them; they know their enemy, naturally. This inborn skill, or instinct, is given by God, and they can find food and water by these senses. Aquinas reports that man is not like this. He says man has a general sense of what is needed for his life, but has an inborn need to learn the rest. He holds that man is not capable of learning all these other necessary things alone, but must live in a group so each can help the other. Each has been endowed with different talents or gifts that demonstrate the need for man to live and work together to survive.[35]

            This creation of man, as distinguished from the animals, causes man to need to live in villages, or communities with others. It is natural for man to live in this society of many other humans. This need to live with others renders the necessity to have rules to govern this society. There must therefor be a governing body to rule this society. In chapter 2, he discusses the different kinds of rule. He makes it clear that if an unjust government is ruled by one that seeks his own benefit, and not the benefit of the society, he is called a tyrant.[36] In the next section he notes that when many govern, the tendency is to have many differing opinions as to how to govern, and this can create a problem. He makes it clear that his preference is that of a king, a good king, that has the best interest of his people in mind and not simply his own.

            As we progress, we can see that this natural law, or original law, is not only present, but necessary for the society of man. It requires that man have rules to live by, because man is a social being and needs to live in groups. There must therefore be rules in place to keep the evil in check. This speaks to the question of the moral theory of the state.

            Luther wrote on the subject of secular authorities and to what extent they should be obeyed.[37] Luther holds that the penal law was established from the beginning of the world. He says that when Cain killed his brother Abel, he knew it was wrong, and he lived in terror of its punishment. He would not have had this fear if  the knowledge of right and wrong had not been placed in him by his creator. God then declared that whoever sheds man’s blood, that by man shall his own blood be shed.

            Luther knew that all power and authority comes from God. This is declared in Romans 13. He went on to say that though many believe that Christ abolished the law, Christ actually came to fulfill it. He goes on to say that the tow kingdoms of this earth are the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of the world. Those who belong to the kingdom of God have Christ as their King. These do not live to break the law, but to serve their Lord. The kingdom of this world is where the secular law is needed. He notes Paul’s writings in 1Timothy1:19, where Paul writes that the law is not for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. The unrighteous does not obey the law, therefore there must be the sword (of the law) to compel them to behave.

            Now, this point needs to be made. Those of the kingdom of God are not above the law; if we disobey we will suffer the wrath of the sword of the law, as well as those who are of the kingdom of this world. The difference is that we have the spirit of God in our lives and therefore we are guided to obey God, and thus not disobey the law. Those without Christ do have not have the benefit of the leadership of the Spirit of God living and present in the lives, compelling them to do what is right to please God. Luther knew this very well and I have never had the fullest understanding of the principle before I read his treatise on the subject. I am blessed by it.

            Hooker got into some trouble in a sermon he presented which went against the teaching of John Calvin, or so some thought. Hooker held that there are two wills in the Lord. The first is an antecedent and the second consequent. The first is that all men should be saved, and the second is, “that those only should be saved that did live answerable to that degree of grace which he had offered, or afforded them.”[38] It has been noted that Hooker no more saw himself as the first Anglican, than Calvin did see himself as the first Calvinist. Hooker was born when Calvin was 45 years old. Hooker grew up reading Calvin. He had some interesting ideas in regard to Calvin’s writings.

            I see this as a good thing. I am not of the reformed group; I am a whosoever believer. I fail to see in the Scriptures where God has predetermined any to not believe in Him. In fact He says plainly that He desires all to come to Him in repentance and faith, yet He knows all things, and He knows who will and who won’t. This knowledge does not equal predestination, or determination beforehand. Just because God happens to know the future does not mean that He desires it, or has determined it to be so. The key is that He left that decision to man. The only predestination in Scripture is when He predestinates us to become like Christ once we exercise faith and trust in Him for salvation. Once the Holy Spirit takes residence in us at the salvation experience, God sets us in motion to sanctify us to be like His Son, Jesus. This is a promise to the believer; we are sealed with His Spirit, according to Ephesians 1:13.

            This is what every human needs, life and peace in Christ. Without this life in them, they are of the kingdom of the world, and lawless. They are subject to the sword of the law.

            John Locke’s, ‘where-ever law ends, tyranny begins”, concept serves as the lynch-pin of the modern notion of the rule of law in a democratic state.[39] This treatise holds that when the law is transgressed by one to the harm of another, even if he is a magistrate, he then ceases to be a magistrate, and is rendered by his violation as simply another individual. He loses his authority when he violates the law he is sworn to uphold. When this sort of lawlessness occurs, he may be legally opposed as if he were simply a robber or a thief.

            This concept is vital to our rule of law, and serves to prevent those who would abuse their power. It may not prevent every occurrence, but it prevents most. In a just society, those who represent the law, the authority, should live by that law, or step aside and allow one to fill the position that respects the law. No person respects one in authority who does not respect the law and not only live by it, but acts according to it in their office. All persons under the law of the state are equal in the sight of the law and therefore must be treated with such respect. This was also part of Locke’s philosophy.

            Rousseau held that when the prince, or authority, ceases to administer the state in accordance to the law, and usurps the Sovereign power, a change takes place, he says. He stated that the state undergoes a change, and the state is then dissolved. It is replaced with another form of government than that which was before. The one who usurps the power would place himself as master and tyrant over those who he is to lead, and the social contract is broken.[40]

            This concept is vital to any society. Those who rule must abide by the law and not fall into pursuing their own private interests, but serve the interest of the society.

            John Rawls was a humanist.[41] Rawls is difficult to read, and Pogge states that early on. But this book is a shock to one when we have read others leading up to the end of this study. Rawls is the opposite of all the others. He travels far around the block to find something that has been right there before him all along. He consistently rails about how society should be something that essentially makes everyone happy, or one that best suits the masses. This is an impossible task, and he spent his life in search of it. Like many others, I respect his hard work and his apparent education and knowledge of so many things. However, he takes off from the premise that we don’t have the opportunity we have in this country. He kept mentioning about how that we could find a system of governing that all could essentially agree on in its fundamental structure, leaving room for disagreement and diversity in other areas.

            We have this in America! Why do so many attempt to change the basic structure we have already in place? Our founding fathers did not put into place a government structure that forces one religion over another, but to the contrary. Every time I look at our structure, I am amazed at the way it was put together. Our legal system allows all to worship as they please, and as we have noted in those mentioned before this, one cannot take precedent over another, especially to the harm of another. Yet, I witness so many claiming they want more freedom. How much more freedom do you want when you have more personal liberty than any other nation in the world?

            There are certain things one cannot do that would infringe upon the liberty of another. My freedom ends where yours begins. As long as I am not taking from your freedom, I can have all of mine I desire. I can’t come over to your house and have a part in your yard without your permission and tear up your property. But, I can have one in my own, and if I tear up my own it is my own problem.

            You can worship how you please, or not worship if you please. You cannot come to my church and disturb me, and I cannot come to yours and disturb you, but we are both free to worship or not worship every day, or once a week, as we please. I can’t tell you what to do in your church, and you cannot tell me what to do either.

            We all have the right to be safe and sound in our own homes, and free from illegal searches and such. This is not the case in many nations. As I have noted in the paper where some have publicly taken a stand on these subjects, it was not always that way in this country, until the Constitution was written, and some Amendments added.

            Through the past couple hundred years, this nation has come a long way. Many have fought for rights that were written down but not enforced. They were a matter of principle and now they are a matter of practice thanks to some who were not afraid to take a stand for what is right.

            Rawls seemed to be searching for something he already had but could not see. This also seems to be the case of many others today. Some are screaming for freedoms they were born with, yet don’t realize they have. To demand more rights often is to impede the rights of others, your neighbor. You have the right to live any way you wish, you don’t have the right to insist I agree with it, and say it is okay. Why do you need my approval?  

            It has been shown that man is a social being and needs others to survive as he was meant to. Of course, we could live alone, but it would be difficult. We were created to be part of a group of other humans. This is a society. This society must have rules to prevent those who live to break rules from imposing their lawlessness on those who obey the law and live the right way.

            When lawbreakers protest for the right to break the law, we have a breakdown in our society. One main hot topic is that of the right to abortion. I have people I greatly respect on both side of this issue. Communication is often difficult when many fail to listen to each other. Some say they don’t want to see the unborn harmed in the womb, but stand with those who have been molested, or other circumstances. The current decision is reportedly to simply return the final decision to the states, which is where is should be.

            Some are sensitive about this, but there have been millions of babies killed in the past years for the sake of convenience. This is not acceptable. The part that so many seem to ignore on this issue is that of the personal responsibility of those who engage in the sexual act that brings about the issue.

            God never intended we be a promiscuous as we are in this world. He intended that people leave that to marriage and that not be something people rush into. We are all guilty before the Lord of lust and other sins, but somewhere we really must admit that all this is not the fault of the innocent ones, who are the unintended victims of our willfulness.

            The question we began with was if the Christian conception of natural law is indispensable to the coherent moral theory of the state. I think that we have shown that it is. Some have said that we cannot legislate morality. This is true. We cannot make anyone be moral, that requires a change of heart and only God can do that. However, the rule of law must exist and any society that means to survive must have law. There must be rules. These rules are already there in the form of natural law—God’s law—original law. It has existed since the beginning; it didn’t start with the classical philosophers nor the ones since then, it has always been in existence. God, our creator, imprinted these natural laws upon the minds, soul, hearts of men. Deep within our being we know they are true, this is why many fight so hard and run so fast, in attempt to escape the guilt of their rebellion. The only hope for mankind is Christ. God knew this before the beginning, that’s why He planned to provide the answer for man’s sin—Christ on the cross. He is man’s only hope.


Ali, A. J., Camp, R.C., Gibbs, M, “The Ten Commandments Perspective on Power and Authority in Organizations.” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol.26, No. 4 (Aug, 2000), pp. 351-361 (11 pages) Published by Springer.

Barnes, Jonathan, ed., The Complete Works of Aristotle, The Revised Oxford Translation (Bollingen Series LXXI -2, Princeton University Press, Book 2, 1984)

Budziszewski, J. The Line Through The Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction, (ISI Books, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2009)

Chroust, Anton-Hermann. The Philosophy of Law of St. Augustine. The Philosophical ReviewVol. 53, No. 2 (Mar., 1944) pp. 195-202 (8 pages) Published by Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review.

Cicero, Marcus. The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero: Comprising his Treatise on the Commonwealth; and his Treatise on the Laws. Translated from the original, with dissertations and Notes in Two Volumes. By Francis Barham, Esq. (London: Edmund Spettigue, 1841-42). 2 vols.

_____________ On Moral Duties (De Officiis) Andrew Peabody, 1811-1893. Translator: Ethical Writings. (On Moral Duties, On Old Age, On Friendship, Scipio’s Dream)

Cooper, John M., ed.  Plato: Complete Works, (Hackett Publishing Company, Book 1, 1997) Indianapolis, IN  

Hooker, R. The Works of Richard Hooker, Vol. 1, Clarendon Press, 1888

Ironside, Harry A. Notes On The Book of Proverbs. First ed. 1908; sixth printing 1959. (Loizeaux Brothers, New York, 1908)

Locke, J. The Two Treatises of Civil Government (Hollis ed.) A. Miller et al., 1689

Luther, M. On Secular Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed,

McGee, J. V. Proverbs. Through the Bible Radio Series (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991) Nashville, TN.

Noyes, P. “What Are the 10 Commandments? Their Significance Today.” (Christianity Today, Dec. 2020)

Phelan, G. B. trans. Thomas Aquinas: On Kingship To The King of Cyprus. (Toronto: The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1949)

Prewitt, J. Honey For Your Soul: A Daily Devotion For Peace in a Chaotic World. (WestBow Press, A Division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, 2021)

Rousseau, J. The Social Contract and Discourses, J. M. Dent, 1761

The Holy Bible. The Old Testament. Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18.

_____________ The New Testament. Matthew 5:27-28

_____________ The New Testament, Acts 14:16-17

     [1] Cooper, John M., ed.  Plato: Complete Works, Hackett Publishing Company, Book 1, p. 978-998.

     [2] Ibid., Book 1, 353, e.

     [3] Ibid., Bok 1, 353, d.

     [4] Barnes, Jonathan, ed., The Complete Works of Aristotle, Bollingen Series LXXI -2, Princeton University Press, Book 2, 1262, 4, 25-40.

     [5] Ibid., Book 2, 1262, 5-20.

     [6] J. Budziszewski, The Line Through The Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction, ISI Books, p. 2

     [7] Ibid.

     [8] Ibid., p. 11

     [9] J. Budziszewski, p. 23

     [10] Abbas J. Ali, et. al, The Ten Commandments Perspective on Power and Authority in Organizations, Journal of business ethics, 26:351-361, 2000. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

     [11] Noyes, P. “What Are the 10 Commandments? Their Meaning and Significance.” Christianity Today, 2020

     [12] The Holy Bible. The Old Testament. Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18.

     [13] The Holy Bible. New Testament. Matthew 5:27-28.

     [14] Harry A. Ironside, Notes On The Book of Proverbs, Loizeaux Brothers, NY, 1908

     [15] Ibid.

     [16] J. Vernon McGee, Proverbs, Through the Bible Radio Series, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991 p. 26

     [17] Jesse Prewitt, Honey For Your Soul: A Daily Devotional For Peace in a Chaotic World, WestBow Press, 2021, p. 2

     [18] Barnes, J. ed. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, Princeton/Bollingen Series, Book 10.7, 15.

     [19] Ibid.

     [20] J. Budziszewski, p. 14.

     [21] Ibid.

     [22] Acts 14:16-17

     [23] Marcus Tullius Cicero, Treatise on the Laws, Edmund Spettigue, -51

     [24] Ibid.

     [25] Ibid.

     [26] Cicero, Marcus, On Moral Duties (De Officiis). Little, Brown and Company, -44.

     [27] Chroust, Anton-Hermann, The Philosophy of Law of St. Augustine, The Philosophical Review, Vol 53, No. 2 (Mar., 1944), pp. 195-202 (8 pages)

     [28] Ibid. p. 196

     [29] Ibid., p. 197

     [30] Ibid.

     [31] Ibid.

     [32] Saint Augustine, The City of God, Books XVII-XXII, Gerald Walsh, Daniel Honan and Daniel J. Honan, Catholic University of America Press, 1954, pp. 183-184

     [33] Ibid., p. 184

     [34] Gerald Phelan, trans., Thomas Aquinas: On Kingship To The King of Cyprus, Toronto: The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1949, Book 1, chapter 1, 4

     [35] Gerald Phelan, Thomas Aquinas, Book 1, chapter 1, 6

     [36] Ibid., chapter 2, 11

     [37] Martin Luther, Secular Authority: To What Extent It Should Be Obeyed

     [38] Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker, Vol 1, Clarendon Press, 1888

     [39] John Locke, The Two Treatises of Civil Government, 1689

     [40] Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses, 1762

     [41] Thomas Pogge, John Rawls: His Life and Theory of Justice, Oxford University Press, 2007, p. 44

No, The Covid Vaccine is Not The Mark of The Beast!

Image result for photo of hypodermic needle

By: Jesse Prewitt

The coming Biblical phenomenon widely known as The Mark of The Beast transcends any simply physical imprint, chip, or blemish on the epidermis or under the subcutaneous layer of skin of the human body. The outward is but a visible representation of a deeper spiritual condition. It is a condition of the heart of man.

The Bible describes this as being visible on the forehead or hand of the person, but something much more is visible in the spiritual realm. Think of it as an individual with a dark and evil heart that dresses the part. The outward is only symptomatic of the inner self.

Much chatter and concern arises each time some event occurs such as the vaccine for covid, or the possibility of some computer micro chip being potentially injected under the skin of a person’s hand. Although the chip idea may very well play a part in the upcoming days, still the true Mark of The Beast goes deeper than just on the outside.

Think of this as you would cattle being herded into corrals to be sold or transported. What we are witnessing in these current days is more akin to the masses being herded up and conditioned to what is about to happen. The mark is more like the final step in branding the cattle for market or identification. The ownership is already established yet the mark, or brand, is placed upon the animal as a final step in identifying who the owner is.

Every person on the face of the globe, regardless of social status, race or national origin, enters this world sharing the same spiritual condition—a condition of the heart known as sin. We are all sinners. The only antidote or “vaccination” against an eternity apart from God is a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the only way, the only Savior.

Don’t waste your time simply attempting to avoid some physical mark while ignoring the spiritual condition of your heart and life. Place your trust in Christ before  that day comes and in Him you can have eternal life.

Honey For Your Soul

By Jesse Prewitt


Daily Devotions for Peace in a Chaotic World


Copyright © 2020 by Jesse Prewitt

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and review.

All Bible quotes or references are from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

Some quotes taken from the Amplified Bible:

“Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright 1965, 1987, by The Zondervan Corporation, The Amplified New Testament copyright 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.”

Books may be ordered through booksellers, by Kindle Direct, or by contacting the author:

Jesse Prewitt

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Livingston, Texas 77351


ISBN: 979-8-6422-9872-5 (sc)

Printed in the United States of America

My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

Proverbs 24: 13, 14 (KJV)


This work shall by no means claim to be an exhaustive exposition of the book of Proverbs, but simply to delve into the riches of the blessings available to those who take the time to let the Wisdom of the Lord make entryway into their souls. Psalm 119:130 gives us a hint at what awaits our gaze into this sumptuous feast of life-giving nourishment for our souls. He says the entrance of Thy Word gives light. Another version says the unfolding of Thy Word. And best of all it gives understanding to the simple. I need that! I think we all do. There is a natural curiosity to understand the events that occur in our lives. We are never going to fully comprehend everything that happens to us, but much can be unfolded when we gaze into His Word and trust His Plan. It is here, as we engage in the daily nutriment of Scripture, that He often gives us a glimpse of what is going on in our lives and in the world around us.

Just as our bodies and minds need nourishment, so do our souls. If you are a child of God by a new birth in Jesus Christ, you absolutely need spiritual nourishment. You see, God gave us His Word, The Bible, to reveal Himself to us. Christ is the very embodiment of this Word. From Hebrews 1:3 we understand that Jesus Christ is the exact representation of who God the Father is. If we want to know about God and who He is, we can look at Christ and there we see all we need to gain understanding of who God really is. The Apostle John, in his Gospel, tells us that Jesus Christ is the Logos, The Word. John further writes that this Logos—Word—became flesh and dwelt among us. The Greek term is “tabernacled”. This Person is Jesus Christ, The Lord! Again, John records Jesus’ statement that he who has seen Me (Jesus) has seen the Father. (John 14:9) The Lord of heaven took on the robe of human flesh and dwelt in our midst. This was all in the plan of the Father that Jesus take upon Himself our sins and pay for them in full as our substitute, on the cross. This is the greatest news of the ages!

When Christ left this earth, He not only sent the Promised One, The Holy Spirit, to guide us into all truth, as John writes in John 16:13, but The Holy Spirit will abide with us and be in us. (John 14:17) I begin with this because of its importance to the reading and understanding of God’s Word, but also for this study. When we experience the new birth in Christ, The Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts. It is here that we can begin to gain such insight into the Scriptures. Proverbs 28:5 tells us the wicked do not understand justice, but those that seek the Lord understand all things. This, as we will see when we get to that chapter, is not a guarantee to comprehend every single incident in life, but have a general understanding of life, itself. Those who do not know Christ cannot understand the Bible, though they may claim to do so. In fact, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2;14 that the natural man, those unsaved by God’s Grace, not only do not accept or receive the things of God, they do not understand them, because such things are only understood by possessing the Spirit of God in our lives. Are you beginning to get what I am saying? Do you see the importance of being in a right relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, so that we may understand spiritual things? God’s Word is clear on this matter. It is vital, not only to your eternity, but to your comprehension of the Bible, to have Him in your life. This is where it all begins. This study is intended to be read with your Bible in the other hand. I cannot stress this enough. My purpose is for you the reader to experience a fresh, life-changing insight into The Word of God and what God has to say to you, today. He is speaking. Are you listening?

I encourage reading the day’s chapter prior to reading the devotion I have written. God’s Word is so much more important than what any of us can say about it. Each day read the text first, then as we study it, keep your Bible along side as we reference the various portions. This will greatly enhance your understanding of what God is saying to us all.

Our Key Verses

 I think that verses 13 and 14, in chapter 24, give us an insight into what awaits those who seek His Wisdom. These verses seem to serve as an exhortation to the study of wisdom. And to wrap it up, neatly, Proverbs 9:10 states plainly that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. This is where we begin our devotions. God’s Word will be honey for your soul.


The Book of Proverbs is revered in the Hebrew as: Mishle Shelomoh, or The Proverbs of Solomon. Time and tradition have abbreviated it to: Mishle. We are told that among the early Christian writers, Sophia, or Wisdom, was the term used for the sacred writings of Solomon, who was considered the wisest man in his day. (Spence, H.D.M. & Exell, J.S., 1890)

Why study Proverbs? In the third chapter of 1 Kings, The Lord appeared to the young King Solomon in a dream and instructed him to ask what he wished to be given to him. Solomon, being humble in nature, asked God for an understanding heart with which to rule over and rightly judge God’s people. This request pleased The Lord and God told Solomon that because he had not asked, selfishly, for long life or riches, God granted the king a wise and understanding heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. (1Kings 3:13)

There are at least two great takeaways we can glean from this. First, Solomon is said to be the wisest man in his own time, and after that. We surely want to learn from a man like that. Second, the fact that the young king was selfless in his request, we see that God gave him that which he had not asked for, as well—riches and honor. This reveals something of the grace and blessing of God. I should think that we would want to participate in this blessing. We do not seek wisdom so that The Lord will make us rich, but simply because it pleases Him. He is looking to bless His people when we get our priorities in the correct order. God knew what Solomon was going to ask for and He gave Him the world.

As we study these sage words straight from God’s bountiful table, we too can expect to gain understanding in our hearts for not only what is occurring in our own lives, but a unique comprehension of what is happening in the world around us.

We all have questions. I have always been that kid. Even now as a grandfather, I have questions about life. It is natural for us to have a desire to understand life as it is happening to us. We will never understand it all, but as we dive deep into the Holy Writ we can have full assurance that God is in complete control and at the very least have a firm grasp of life which tends to give us a measure of peace from God. I am looking forward, with great anticipation, to our journey through this wonderful portion of God’s Holy Word together. Please know that every page is bathed in prayer as it pours forth from my heart. I pray that you find that peace with God that only He can give.

Day One

Chapter One: The Objective

It is believed that King Solomon spoke or penned over 3000 proverbs in his day. 1 Kings 4:32 relates this. Chapter 25 begins with stating that the proverbs following are from those copied out, or transcribed, by Hezekiah’s scribes. The book is basically a collection of the king’s sayings. It is natural then for the Jews to ascribe their king’s name to the entire work, but it is probable that two other authors contributed the final two chapters. Some hold that at least one of these is a nickname given by his mother to the king. Neither of these opinions constitute a hill on which I would choose to die. I think that our focus should be aimed at the content and intent of the proverbs rather than minor issues that have little impact on our lives.

Chapter one begins with the statement of who is writing—Solomon the son of David—king of Israel. Then, he gets right to his point. The first step is to know wisdom and instruction. Throughout this book we find that terms like wisdom, instruction, knowledge and understanding are used, and some may consider such terms to be simply interchangeable. It is true that in our day we tend to use these in such a manner. However, as we look closer, we can see that they are distinct. I like to frame it as instruction being something we receive, beginning at an early age, whether we are speaking chronologically or spiritually. We first receive instruction or teaching. This instruction is intended, even presumed, to be continual and repetitive to the extent that through it we gain knowledge. This knowledge, stored in our mind and pondered upon, grows into wisdom. This wisdom, coupled with life’s experiences, can flower into understanding. Understanding is the mature stage we reach when we can look at most of life with a certain insight—a sort of knowing—that transcends many of the problems and storms we go through with a firm belief that our God is in total and complete control of all that is happening around us. This is the goal of receiving wisdom, by that first glimpse into God’s Word, that when continued, grows into the full flower of faith. This will become increasingly clear as we study chapter three. From chapter 9, verse 10, we know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Verse 7, of this initial chapter, contains what many believe to be the motto or symbol of the book. We might go so far as to say it could be the propositional statement of the book. What is meant is that the reverential fear of The Lord God is where it all begins. Here it is stated that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. One may simply read the Scriptures with no commitment to be instructed, but to approach the Holy Writ with a heart that is humbled before God, ready and teachable, is where the seeds of change are planted. Someone has said that to even approach an opposing concept requires a sliver of faith. The unbeliever may approach the Bible with such a sliver of faith to investigate whether these things are true. If the condition of the heart is right, God will plant those seeds and instruction begins. The Christian that has never fully committed to the study of The Word may do so making use of that same fear of the Lord. This knowledge will germinate into godly wisdom.

How sad that many professing Christians suffer from a lack of godly wisdom and understanding of life as God intended us to live it. The latter part of verse 7 spills the beans: fools despise wisdom ad instruction. How sad to live in a relative state of spiritual poverty when we are the children of The King. How tragic to go through life not having a firm grip on God’s plan for us, simply existing instead of experiencing His Goodness and Grace to the fullest measure.

Verse 3 says that we can know righteousness (how God expects us to live toward Him), justice and judgement (knowing right from wrong in life), and equity (or simply, integrity). Without getting too deep, here, we can easily take from this how vital it is to have a worldview that is consistent with God’s. Scholars differ in the nuance of these terms, but the bottom line is that we learn how to live and act from the principles found in the Scriptures. Especially the youth and the naïve can gain prudence and discretion which is severely lacking in our society, today.

The first part of this chapter completes the picture with an admonition to hear and do not fail to follow our father’s instruction, and further not to leave our mother’s teaching. This is sadly evidenced in the world around us. Tragically, many have never had the opportunity to be instructed and taught by parents that love them. The instruction from the father referred to here, is said to correspond to our relationship with our heavenly Father. We are expected to be obedient to Him. The teaching of our mother refers to the oral instruction in the daily experience of our youth. This is of enormous import. This is where this sort of teaching begins, at the early age where the mind is open to it. The loving and instructive words of our mothers still sound in our ears, even as we age. I can often hear the voice of my mother as she taught me things that I could have never learned any other way. Oh, how I miss her! Such instruction and teaching promises to decorate our lives as a living testament to their love and care for us, to grow into the adults they desired us to become. (Proverbs 1:8)

The Alternative

From verse 10 through the remaining of this first chapter mainly give us the alternative to failing to take advantage of God’s teaching. Verses 10 to 19 put us in mind of some current gang activity we may observe on the street or television. Still wisdom shouts in the streets and lifts her voice for the simple and naïve to turn toward good sense and away from their foolishness. The promise is that if they do so, God will pour out His Words to them and make them to understand them. (Verse 23) However, in the remaining verses the tone changes to the consequences of refusing to acknowledge God and His way.

The final verse brings this chapter to a close with a final word of encouragement. He who listens to me shall live (or dwell) securely. This is what we are all looking for, isn’t it? He writes further that this person shall be at ease from the terror of the world and essentially be at peace. Thank God for the peace that comes from His Hand and Heart. This is peace in the middle of all that is going on in this chaotic world.

Day Two

Chapter Two: Searching for Silver

Once again, the Teacher speaks: My son. This is followed by one of the smallest words in our language, yet one of the most formidable ones: if. The message is that the end-result is predicated upon our action: the inclination of our ear, and the application of our heart. This end-result is found beginning in verse 5: Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.

The Teacher admonishes us to receive His sayings, and further to treasure His commandments, with apparent candor and sincerity. There is a noticeable ascension in terms, here, increasing in emphasis from receiving to treasuring. What God is speaking about is the fact that He wants us to search for His Truth, in His Word, as if we were digging for a chest of gold on some tropical island. The whole of our being is referred to here, beginning with our ears. We are instructed to incline our ear to His teaching, apply our hearts to understanding, cry out with our mouths for discernment, lifting-up our voice for understanding. (Proverbs 2:2-4) He does not deliberately and specifically mention every part of our body, however, what is mentioned is the essential part of us that represents our person. This is a spiritual matter rather than one of physical effort. Indeed, such requires a lot of dedication, but more so of our inner person—our spirit.

Our first step is always the inclination of our ear. In this present world, it is difficult at times to be still long enough to sit and listen to the Lord. I find this true with my own children sometimes. As children, full of life and energy, they can get so amped-up that it requires effort to calm themselves down enough to sit still and listen to instruction. You and I are not that different when it comes to listening to God’s Voice. With all that life seems to throw at us each day, we tend to find it more and more inconvenient to take that time alone with God. Yet, this alone-time is so extremely vital to our spiritual health, not to mention the physical and psychological application to our lives.

Verse three urges us to cry for discernment, lifting-up our voices for understanding. This is illustrated in searching for hidden treasure. I have no doubt that if we knew for certain that valuable treasure was buried on our own property, we would excavate until we dropped. If we were sure that silver, gold or some other form of precious stone, was buried underneath our property, and it was ours for the digging, we would spare no effort nor waste time finding it. The roses and azaleas would simply have to be replanted later. We would not stop until we found that first priceless nugget. Then, like a goldminer panning in the mountain stream, we would continue knowing there is always another just like the first one. This is the attitude that God wants us to have in searching for His wisdom and understanding in our lives. We must search for it as if for silver.

Dr. Harry Ironside writes: “It is to be feared that even among those who hold and value much precious truth, diligent Bible Study is on the wane.” (Ironside, H.A., 1908, p. 29) Please notice the date on this citation. The publishing date was 1908, yet the manuscript was penned at least a year earlier. I have these books in my personal library. It amazes me to think that even then, over 113 years ago, that such was the case. It seems that today we witness a rise in everything but the diligent study of God’s Word. I recently read an article published by a pastor that flatly denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ. His premise was that God’s intent was not for Jesus to die, but He allowed it, and sort of went with the flow. My friend, anyone involved in diligent Bible Study easily recognizes this as absolute heresy. So, when we speak of devotions, as in this book, we are not referring to carving a single moment out of our day, taking a surface glimpse at a couple of verses, and then going on our way, only to repeat again tomorrow. I refer to putting God first in our day and making certain that we spend adequate time alone with Him in His Word, daily. This requires us to prioritize our schedule. We must make time and put things in the correct perspective.

Dr. McGee reminds us that the Book of Proverbs is not simply a random collection of mysterious maxims, but rather that they tell a “connected story”. (McGee, J.V., 1991, p. 26) This speaks of the importance of the study of Systematic Theology. (Chafer, L.S., 1948) Systematic Theology is the study of The Bible as a book that tells a story, with a single theme and purpose. Anyone can cherry-pick and select random Bible verses as a basis for some preconceived ideal rather than studying God’s Word as the blessed book with a single story to tell. That story is Jesus. He, and He alone, is the central theme of this book.

Dr. McGee further notes, in this same vain, that the young man referred to in verse one, and to whom this instruction is given, has two primary enemies. These enemies are the evil man (verse 12) and the stranger woman. (McGee, 1991, p. 32) This strange woman, or better stranger woman, is referred to in verse 16. In chapter one, beginning in verse 10, and again in chapter two, verse 12, the young man is cautioned against association with men of evil intent. Few of us can boast of a life free of such youthful associations. Most of us can remember times when we did things we would rather not recall, but it is good for us to do so to remind us to never go there again. As this young man begins to mature, the problems arise that would involve the stranger woman. Why the stranger woman? This stranger woman was most likely a gentile. Her influence was to lure the young man away from all that he has been being taught by his parents and God. She is the enemy of all that is virtuous and good. Again, Dr. Ironside notes that this stranger woman has another meaning in a secondary sense, in that she represents false religion and her “subtle and deceptive” solicitations. (Ironside, 1948, p. 33)

My observation today is that we have a rise in the desire to worship God. I do not wish to throw a bucket of cold water on this, but my concern is the apparent lack of an equal desire to know His Word. The Bible warns us that in times like these we will witness this evidenced in people’s desire to have their ears tickled with a powerless doctrine born of their own selfish desires. (2 Timothy 4: 1-4) Again, my concern is not that people want to worship, but the absence of focus on God’s Word is a seedbed for deception. Solid Biblical doctrine is the only path to spiritual maturity for believers. In this frame the young man is admonished to walk in the way of good men and keep himself on the right path. (Proverbs 2:20) God’s Word must not only be the focus of our collective worship, but at the center of our individual lives.

Thank you for visiting! The book is set for release in June 2020! I’ll keep you updated!