The several descriptions of American culture given in the book, Gospel Reset, imply that the former cooperation between public schools and the church (e.g. the Bible, prayer and Christian worldview, see page 17) gave American society a foundational knowledge for understanding morality and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Page 14 says, “… many in our culture simply don’t have any foundation to comprehend the message of Christ, ever since the Bible and Christianity have been kicked out of schools and replaced with the godless religion of secular humanism” (p.14). Though, we would not want to mingle the estates of church and state, it is unquestionably true that “Christians and their worldview are treated with increasing intolerance” (p.17). We might even say that public (state) schools are hostile to the teaching of the Christian faith (p.71-72).
Having distinguished between the three estates which God has instituted, as well as the means and duties of those within those estates, it would be more precise to say that natural knowledge is being denied by the state (and her schools).
- The denial of the natural knowledge of a Creator (atheism) and Creation (evolution)
- The denial of the intrinsic value of human life (abortion, euthanasia)
- The denial of body, family, and marriage (gender, homosexuality)
- The denial of right and wrong (baseline morality)
It is the job of the third estate (family) not only to provide for her children in body and soul, but also to teach her children. Either directly or through surrogates, parents are to teach both natural knowledge so that their children might be useful to society, and revealed knowledge so that they might come to be saved and proclaim salvation to their neighbor. All authority to teach comes from the parental estate. “Marriage should be treated with honor; from it we all originate, because it is a nursery not only for the state but also for the church and the kingdom of Christ until the end of the world” (Luther’s works, v. 1, p. 240).
Handout 1: three-estates-etc-b.pdf (See pages 3-4 from the Large Catechism, 4th Commandment)
Handout 2: ThreeEstates-Wolfmueller.pdf