The Blackstone Initiative has two audiences. The first is those persons who are in the political process generally. To this audience, the Blackstone Initiative speaks to the civil magistrate’s responsibility to obey the higher law known as the Law of Nature. Most if not all of what has been posted on this site has been written to this first audience.
The second audience is the Church of Jesus Christ at large. This is an important audience to the Blackstone Initiative since if there is ever to be any real lasting change in this nation, the Church must be involved. Real reform, the reform God desires, always begins with the people of God, the Church. These posts are intended for the people of God for discussion. However, those who do not profess faith in the Lord Jesus are welcome to look on.
At the risk of jumping to conclusions and creating possible misunderstandings, I would like to set forth my ultimate goal for this second audience. My goal in these Church directed posts is to encourage and engage the Church in a dialogue about its role in worship and education. If we are ever to reclaim this culture, the Church must get these two things right. We must return to what I call “covenant renewal worship” and we must return the Church to the primary position of authority in education.
Deuteronomy 5 gives the people of God His Ten Commandments. The Fourth Commandment is stated as follows:
12 “‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
The word “remember” in this passage is covenantal language. To put it simply, it is contract language. There are reciprocal blessings and curses that arise out of fulfilling and breaching the obligations under this contract. This commandment describes a cycle of six days of labor and one day of rest. This cycle is education. It is a liturgy of life designed to create the right loves and desires in the hearts
of the people. But the six days of labor is primarily directed at what we describe as formal education, and the one day of rest is primarily devoted to what we call corporate worship. My goal is to discuss how together we can be more faithful in our observance of this commandment. But I am way ahead of myself.
To put this in the context of Blackstone’s time and vernacular, Blackstone describes that the English system of law includes ecclesiastical courts. While the common law administers justice for the good of the realm, the ecclesiastical courts administer law for the good of the soul. They both apply Scripture. They simply do it for two different purposes. Each is informed by the other but not controlled by the other. This is a principle the Blackstone Initiative will endeavor to explore with the Church and with its readers.
- The Sabbath Message / the Sabbath Belongs to God (owprince.wordpress.com)