America’s Moral Freefall - Part 2 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, thank you, everyone, for tuning into our program today. You may know that Family Talk is a listener-supported program. And we remain on the air by your generosity, literally. If you can help us financially, we would certainly appreciate it. God's blessings to you all.

Well, hello, everyone. And welcome to another edition of Family Talk. I'm Dr. James Dobson and we have the second half of a program today that those of you who were with us yesterday heard. I call this one of the most powerful messages I have ever heard. It was delivered by Dr. Francis Schaeffer, a very well-known and highly influential Christian thinker, a philosopher, and writer, and speaker.

He founded the L'Abri movement in Switzerland and I think he wrote more than 20 books that all had an impact on the culture, and I can certainly tell you, he had a profound impact on my life. Dr. Schaeffer delivered this message in 1982, and it could easily have been delivered today because of its relevance to our circumstances. I don't want to take any more time because to do so would limit your hearing the message delivered by Dr. Schaeffer. With that, let's listen to the second half of a presentation by Dr. Francis Schaeffer.

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: It's an interesting factor that the only Supreme Court in the western world that has ruled against easy abortion is the West German Supreme Court. And the reason they did it is because they knew, and it's clear history, that this view of human life in the medical profession and the legal profession combined, before Hitler came on the scene, is what opened the way for everything that happened in Hitler's Germany.

And so the German Supreme Court has voted against easy abortion because they know. They know very well where it leads. I want to say something tonight, that not many of you are Black in this audience. Can't tell if you're Puerto Rican. But if I were in the minority group in this country tonight, I would be afraid. I've had Blacks stand up in our seminars and say, "Sir, do you think there's a racial twist to all this?" And I have to say, "Right on. You've hit it right on the head. You've hit it right on the head." Once this door is open, there is something to be afraid of. Christians should be deeply concerned. And I cannot understand why the liberal lawyer of the Civil Liberties Union is not scared to death by this open door toward human life.

Everyone who ought to be frightened who knows anything about history, anything about the history of law, anything about the history of medicine. This is a terrifying door that is open. Abortion in itself would be worth spending much of our lifetimes to fight against because it is the killing of human life, but it's only a symptom of the total. What we're facing is humanism. Man, the measure of all things, viewing final reality being only material or energy shaped by chance. Therefore, human life having no intrinsic value, therefore the keeping of any individual life or any groups of human life being purely an arbitrary choice by society at the given moment. The flood doors are wide open.

I fear both they, and too often the Christians, do not have just relativistic values, because, unhappily, Christians can live with relativistic values. But I fear that often they, such people as the liberal lawyers of the Civil Liberties Union and Christians do not have just relativistic values, but they're also just plain stupid in regard to the lessons of history. Nobody who knows his history could fail to be shaken at the corner we have turned in our culture. Remember why, because the shift in the concept of a basic reality. Now, we cannot be at all surprised when the liberal theologians support these things, because liberal theology is only humanism using theological terms and that's all it ever was, all the way back into Germany right after the Enlightenment. So when they come down on the side of easy abortion and infanticide, some of these liberal denominations as well as theologians are doing, we shouldn't be surprised. It follows as night the day.

But I have a question to ask you, and that is where have the Bible believing Christians been in the last 40 years? There's been a vast silence. Much of the Evangelical leadership has not raised a voice. As a matter of fact, it was almost like sticking pins into the Evangelical constituency in most places to get them interested in the issue of human life. As Dr. Koop and Frankie and I worked on; Whatever Happened to the Human Race. A vast, vast silence. I wonder what God has to say to us? All the freedoms we have, all the secondary blessings we've had out in the preaching of the gospel and we have let it slip through our fingers in the lifetime of most of you here.

Not a hundred years ago, it's been in our lifetime in the last 40 years that these things have happened. It's not only been the Christian leaders, where are the Christian lawyers been? Why haven't they been challenging this change in the view of what the first amendment means? Which I'll deal with in a second. Where have the Christian doctors been speaking out against the rise of the abortion clinics and all the other things? Where have the Christian educators been as we've lost our educational system? Where have we been? Where have each of you been?

What's happened in the last 40 years? This country was founded on a Christian base with all its freedom for everybody. Let me stress that. This found country was founded on a Christian base with all its freedom for everybody, not just Christians, but all its freedom for everyone. And now this is being largely lost. We live, not 10 years from now, but tonight, in a humanistic culture and we are rapidly moving at express train speed into a totally humanistic culture. We're close to it. We are in a humanistic culture, as I point out in the public schools, and of these other things. But we are moving toward a totally humanistic culture and moving very quickly.

Congress opens with prayer. Why? Because Congress always is open with prayer. Back there, the Founding Fathers didn't consider the 13 provincial congresses that sent representatives to form our country in Philadelphia. They didn't consider these provincial congresses really open until there was prayer. The Congress in Washington where Edith and I have just been speaking to various men in political areas and circles, that Congress is not open until there's prayer. But the children cannot pray on the geography of a public school. How stupid can we be? Why can't everyone understand the change that has gone? I would repeat, we are not only immoral, we're stupid. I mean that. I don't know which is the worst; being immoral or stupid on such an issue. We are not only immoral, we are stupid for the place we have allowed ourselves to come to without noticing. There's no under word one can use for our present situation that I've just been describing except the word tyranny. Tyranny.

That's what we face. We face a worldview which never would've given us our freedoms forced upon us by the courts and the government, the men holding this other worldview, whether we want it or not. And even though it's destroying the very freedoms which give the freedoms for the excesses and for the things which are wrong, and we who are Christians and others who love liberty should be acting in our day as the founding fathers acted in their day. Those who founded this country believed that they were facing tyranny. All you have to is read their writings. That's why the war was fought. That's why this country is founded. They believed that God never, never, never wanted people to be under tyrannical governments. They did it not as a pragmatic or an economic thing though, that was involved too I guess, but for principle. They were against tyranny.

And if the founding fathers stood against tyranny, we ought to recognize in this year, 1982, if they were back here and one of them was standing right here, he'd say the same thing. "What you're facing is tyranny. The very kind of tyranny we fought," he would say, "In order that we might escape." And we face a very hidden censorship. Every once in a while, as soon as we begin to talk about the need of reentering Christian values into the discussion, someone says, "What you're after is a theocracy." Absolutely not, we must make absolutely plain we are not in favor of a theocracy in name or in fact. But having said that, nevertheless, we must realize that we already face a hidden censorship. A hidden censorship in which it is impossible to get the other worldview presented in something like public television. It's absolutely impossible.

I could give you a couple examples. I'll give you one because it's so close to me. And that is after we made Whatever Happened the Human Race?, Franky made an 80 minute cutting for TV of the first three episodes of Whatever Happened to Human Race. And people who know television say it's one of the best television films they've ever seen technically. So that's not a problem. And their representative presented it to a director of the public television and as soon as she heard, happened to be a woman, I'm sure that it's just incidental. But as soon as she heard that it was against abortion, she said, "We can't show that. We only show things that give both sides." And at exactly the same time, they were showing that abominable Hard Choices, which was just straight propaganda for abortion. And as I point out, the study guide that went with it, here I point out in the Christian Manifesto, I give a long quote from it, the study guide was even worse.

It was calling and saying that the only possible view of reality was this material thing, this material reality. They spelled it out in that study guide more clearly than I have tonight is what the issue is. But they said that's it. What do you call that? That's hidden censorship. Dr. Koop, one of the great surgeons of the world, when he was nominated as Surgeon General, much of the press, great swelling things against him. A lot of them not true. A lot of them twisted. Certainly though lots of space made for trying to not get his nomination accepted. When it was accepted, I looked like mad in some of the papers and most of them what I found was about one inch on the third page that said Dr. Koop had been accepted. What do you call that? Hidden censorship. You must realize that this other view is totally intolerant. It is totally intolerant.

I do not think we are going to get another opportunity if we do not take it now in this country. I would repeat we're a long way down the road. I do not think we're going to get another opportunity. If the Christians specifically, but others also who love liberty, do not do something about it now, I don't believe your grandchildren are going to get a chance. I don't believe so. In the present so-called conservative swing in the last election, we have an opportunity, but we must remember this and I would really brand this into your thinking; a conservative humanism is no better than a liberal humanism. A conservative humanism is no better than a liberal humanism. It's the humanism that is wrong, not merely the coloration and therefore, at the present moment, what we must insist on to the people in our government who representative is that we do not just end with words. We must see at the present opportunity, if it continues, we must see a real change. We mustn't allow it just to be drift off in the mere words.

Now I want to say something with great force right here. What I've been talking about, whether you know it or not, is true spirituality. This is true spirituality. Spirituality, after you are a Christian and have accepted Christ as Savior, means that Christ is the Lord of all your life and not just your religious life. And if you make a dichotomy in these things, you are denying your Lord His proper place. And I don't care how many butterflies you have in your stomach, you are poor spiritually. True spirituality means that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord of all of life. And except for the things that are specifically told as in the Bible are sinful and we set them aside. Except for that, always life is spiritual and all of life is equally spiritual.

And that includes, as our forefathers did standing for these things of the freedom and standing for these things of human life, and all these other matters that are so crucial, if indeed this living God does exist as we know that He does exist. I think the church has failed to meet its obligation in these last 40 years for two specific reasons. The first is this false truncated view of spirituality that doesn't see true spirituality touching all of life. And the other thing is too many Christians, whether the doctors, lawyers, pastors, Evangelists, whatever they are, too many of them afraid to really speak out. So because they did not want to rock the boat for their own project. And I'm convinced that these two reasons, both of which are a tragedy and really horrible for the Christian, the two together are an explanation why we have walked the road we have walked in the last 40 years.

You must understand, it's going to cost you to take a stand in these things. There're doctors who are going to get kicked out of hospitals because they refuse to perform abortions. There are nurses who see a little sign on a crib, "Do not feed," and they feed and they're fired. There's a cost. I'd ask you, what is loyalty to Christ worth to you? Why are you a Christian? Are you a Christian because for some lesser reason or are you a Christian because you know this is the truth of reality? And then how much do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? How much are you willing to pay the price for loyalties of the Lord Jesus? We must absolutely set out to smash the lie of the new and novel concept of the separation of religion from the state, which now most people hold and which Christians have just bought a bill of goods.

This is new and is novel. It has no relationship to the meeting of the First Amendment. The First Amendment only was passed for two reasons. First, that there would be no United Church of the whole 13 colonies. And most people don't realize that almost every one of the 13 colonies had some special relationship to the some church. And even this wasn't counted against the First Amendment. And the second thing for the First Amendment was that the state would never interfere with religion. And that's all the meaning there was to the First Amendment. Just read Madison and the Spectator Papers if you don't think so. That's all it was. Now we've turned it over, we put it on its head. What we must do is to absolutely insist we return to what the First Amendment meant in the first place. Not that religion can't have an influence into society and into the state. Not that. But we must insist that there's the freedom that the First Amendment really gave.

Now, with this we must emphasize... And I said it, but let me say it again. We do not want a theocracy. I personally am opposed to a theocracy. On this side of the New Testament, I do not believe there's place for a theocracy till Jesus the King comes back. But that's a very different thing while saying clearly we are not in favor of a theocracy in name or in fact, that's a very different thing from where we are now, where all religious influence is shut out of the processes of the state and the public schools. We're only asking for one thing. We're asking for the freedom that the first Amendment guaranteed to us. That's what we should be standing for. What we want is a return to real freedom and especially real freedom for all religions. Notice all religions, not just ourselves.

And then in the midst of that freedom, Christianity, having freedom from this hidden censorship et cetera, et cetera. Being able to really present itself in the free market of place of ideas. Without being held back. Without a false censorship. That's what we want. That's what we should be struggling for. All we ask for is what the founding fathers of this country stood and fought and died for. And, at the same time, very crucial in all this is standing absolutely for a high view of human life against the snowballing low view of human life, of which I've been talking. This thing that is presented under the hypocritical name of choice. Hypocritical names; choice. What does choice equal? Choice, as I've already shown, means the right to kill for your own selfish desires. To kill human life. That's what the choice is that we're being presented with on this other basis. Now, I come toward the close. And that is we must recognize something from the Scripture. And that's why I had that Scripture that I had read tonight.

When a government negates the law of God, it abrogates its authority. God has given certain offices to restrain chaos in this fallen world, but does not mean that these offices are autonomous. When a government commands that which is contrary to the law of God, it abrogates its authority. I stress what happened in the Reformation in reference to all this. At a certain point, it is not only the privilege, but it is the duty of the Christian to disobey the government. Now, that's what the founding fathers did when they founded this country. That's what the early church did. That's what Peter said. You heard it from the Scripture. "Should we obey man rather than God?" That's what the early Christians did. Occasion, no, often, people say to me, "But the early church didn't practice any civil disobedience." Didn't they? You don't know your history again.

When those Christians that we all talk about so much allowed themselves to be thrown into the arena, when they did that, from their view, it was a religious thing. They would not worship anything except the living God. But you must recognize from the side of the Roman state, there was nothing religious about it at all. It was purely civil. The Roman Empire had disintegrated until the only unity it had was this worship of Caesar. And you could be an atheist, you could worship the Zoroastrian religion, you could do anything. They didn't care. It was a civil matter. And when those Christians stood up there and refused to worship Caesar, from the side of the state they were rebels. They were in civil disobedience, and they were thrown to the beasts. They were involved in civil disobedience as much as your brothers and sisters in the Soviet Union are tonight when the Soviet Union says by law they cannot tell their children, even in their home, about Jesus Christ and they must disobey and they get sent off to the mental ward up to Siberia.

It's exactly the same kind of civil disobedience that's represented in a very real way by the thing I'm wearing on my lapel tonight. The final bottom line, the early Christians, every one of the reformers. And, again, I'll say in A Christian Manifesto, I go through country after country and show that there was not a single place with a possible exception of England, where the reformation was successful, where there wasn't civil disobedience and disobedience to the state. Well, we must realize the bottom line, the early Christians, the people, the reformation, the founding father of this country faced and acted on is the realization that if there is no place for disobeying the government, that government has been put in the place of the living God. In such a case, the government has been made a false God. If there is no place for disobeying a human government, that government has been made God.

Caesar, under some name, thinking of the early church, has been put upon the final throne. The Bible's answer is no. Caesar is not to be put in the place of God. And we as Christians in the name of the Lordship of Christ in all of life must so think and act on the appropriate level. And if unhappily we come to that place, the appropriate level must also include a disobedience to the state. If you're not doing that and you haven't thought it through, Jesus is not really on the throne. God is not central. You have made a false God central. Christ must be the final Lord and not society and not Caesar.

Dr. James Dobson: This is James Dobson again, and I think you'll agree that that was a remarkable message from the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer. At the top of the program, I talked about how these words resonate with us because they could come right out of today's headlines. I mean, they represent all of the social issues we're so concerned about today; abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the redefinition of marriage, and all the other issues that have arisen, including the notion that we are not genetically programmed to be male and female as the Scripture says, and as we read in the Garden of Eden, but we can choose to be male or female as we wish. These are just a few of the things that we see and they come out of a humanistic value system instead of a Judeo-Christian system of values. To quote the Scripture in Judges 17:6, "In that day, there was no king in Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes." And that's a recipe for disaster and we are seeing it right now.

I urge you to get a copy of the CD or download this broadcast and the one from yesterday, or click on the Family Talk app. Share it with everyone you know. Brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, and kids, neighbors, friends, people who need to hear this message, especially at this time when the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. It holds ultimate authority and can shift and turn this country even farther away from the Judeo-Christian system of values. Again, I'm James Dobson. God bless you all. Thank you for being with us again today and we'll see you next time on Family Talk.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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