The phrase “it takes a village” entered pop culture through Hillary Clinton’s book It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us (1996). Her mantra is that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Since the modern version of this age-old concept devalues the nuclear family, many people see it as Communist and they’re right. Like the Hitler Youth, Clinton’s “village” is really the state, which wants to claim the hearts and reprogram (brainwash) the minds of our children in order to accomplish its atheist agenda. Read Communism’s 45 goals to see what I mean.
The state’s preferred method is public education. Another method is DCF (U.S. Department of Children and Families) – foster care, adoptions, detention centers, etc. This is why the state considers private education, Sunday school, and the nuclear family dangerous. No wonder that it and the secular media keep assaulting traditional families, Christianity, and homeschooling! The state cannot control what it cannot access. Like God, it wants total control.
However, the state has made inroads thanks to American capitalism and our own greed. Seeking access in order to control, it offers government vouchers for select private schools. The state also offers federal funds to Christian schools and universities that pass regional accreditation requirements (i.e. curriculum and hiring quotas). Thanks to the state education system, we need this accreditation if we want our Christian high school and university diplomas to have value. Christian charities and churches that submit to federal guidelines can also offer income tax credits. I fear that federal disaster relief is another inroad. Do we really know what FEMA does on-site?
If we’re smart, we don’t want a village (the state) to raise our children. We had better not accept its money, which comes at a high spiritual cost. However, Clinton was right in one thing. In some third-world and developing cultures, literal villages still raise their children. They know that whether for good or evil, it has always taken a community to raise a child. Christian communities, what I like to call bubbles, are no different. Christian families, churches, and schools produce their own villages, but unfortunately they have let the world inside. Like the state, the Christian bubble can also corrupt its children.
Can a girl who lives in a Christian home and attends Christian schools and churches become a porn star, starving runway model, or prostitute one day? Maybe, maybe not. If she does, it will have been one step at a time. We can’t always blame parents, teachers, or friends for the wrong choices we make. We must take personal responsibility. Yet these people can lead us down the wrong path. Moral corruption on the part of adults and peers we trust is still a factor.
For decades, Christians have publicly ridiculed beauty pageants. I grew up with this mindset, so watching pageants on TV as a teenager made me feel guilty. Yet in the last decade, Christians have been saying ‘yes’ to beauty pageants. Parents prep their daughters for local, state, and national pageants. They seek living expenses for themselves and scholarships for their children. Christian schools host pageants as well. Many hosts throw in talent and speech competitions for good measure, but physical appearance makes up the bulk of a pageant.
The world sometimes ridicules beauty pageants, as it should. It treats the TLC series “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” as a joke. Many women see pageants as one reason why they’re not taken seriously by men in the workplace and in politics. They think all men see is a nice body, not a cultured mind or resolute heart. NOW Lebanon recently criticized the country’s leader for wanting to give cultural status to national pageants. The online newspaper thinks Lebanon’s government should show its women more respect. The world gets it. Why doesn’t the Christian community?
Girls and teenagers who participate in beauty pageants hear just one message: personal value based on physical appearance. Living expenses and scholarships aren’t enough to override it. What good is earthly money when the eternal soul of a young woman is at stake? Jesus Christ bought us with his own blood (Acts 20:28). He redeemed us at a great price (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23). Thanks to Christ, we can now “wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). We can enjoy the riches of God’s grace. Yet through pageants, we sell our souls and those of our daughters. This legal prostitution is happening in Christian homes and schools across America.
Beauty pageants are just one problem. Today’s advertising, photography, acting, and fashion industries are another. They sell sex and physical beauty to teenage girls through magazines, clothing stores, films, internet, and television. This plastic world values image over substance, appearance over reality. It values a “perfect” body and denies the existence of the soul.
Many girls who live in Christian bubbles are listening to the world’s definitions of beauty and value. So are their mothers, sisters, female teachers, and peers. These girls see the spiritual and emotional longing in what the latter wear, read, and watch. Heavy makeup and jewelry or a little too much skin seems to bring them more attention. “Like mother, like daughter” is trite but true.
Other Christian villagers are also listening to the world: fathers, brothers, male teachers, and peers – potential boyfriends. These girls hear the latter’s lust. They see the physical longing in their eyes and feel it in their hands. They notice that the boys and men in their lives are attracted to the makeup and extra skin their female mentors and peers are showing. Girls unconsciously decide that if more skin and makeup gain a man’s physical and emotional attention, they’ll dress and act the same.
After Ruth sought the wings of God for refuge (Ruth 2:12), He brought her under the wings of Boaz (3:9). Too many Christians today aren’t raising women like Ruth or men like Boaz. They’re raising men and women like Ahab and Jezebel instead. If Christian villages today want to raise Christian children, teaching virtue rather than corruption, its adults had better tune out the world and listen to the Holy Spirit. Only then will their children follow suit.
Anita Dittman, a Jewish Christian from Germany who survived the Holocaust, chose to tune out the world. She let God show her true beauty instead – the image of Jesus Christ. Only then did Anita become beautiful. From Wendy Lawton’s 2004 biography Shadow of His Hand (pp 116-18):
Anita kept on hoping, but things at camp grew worse. The lice became so bad the women could hardly work. They wanted to tear the scalp off their heads. The guards managed to get some medicine for the lice. It seemed to work, but it burned their skin and everyone lost great patches of hair.
Anita was glad Barthold had no mirrors. Her skin had tanned to a leathery brown from working day after day in the hot sun. She’d lost so much weight that every bone on her back stuck out; and now that she was half-bald from malnutrition and lice medicine, the picture must be complete. Don’t let me be ungrateful, Lord. I live and I still hope to find Mutti after the war. Let me continue to be your witness. …
Vati came early that Sunday. Anita could see him waiting until the guards let him come into camp. He kept scanning all the women, trying to find her. She dared not raise her arm, but she willed him to find her. Look at me, Vati. Look at me. Finally their eyes met. She saw a brief look of horror pass over his face before he schooled his features. I guess I won’t win any beauty contests.
When he finally joined her, he embraced her and held her gently for the longest time. Anita couldn’t remember Vati’s embrace. Had he ever hugged her before? He seemed uncomfortable when he realized how emotional he was.
“I brought you food.” He held out his knapsack.
“Come, let’s sit over here on the meadow.” She saw how happy he was to have brought food. It made her think of what Pastor Hornig had said about Vati showing love through giving.
They visited until the guard announced it was time for the visitors to leave.
“I’ll come back if they let me,” Vati said in a gravelly voice.
They embraced once more before Vati left to walk back to the train. Anita watched him walk away until she could see him no longer.
To the world, Anita was ugly; to God, she was beautiful. Her soul trusted wholly in Christ. When Jesus was hanging on the cross, many witnesses thought he was ugly. The unbelieving world still does. “He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2, NKJV). To God the Father and to believers washed in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus was and is true beauty – the “beauty of holiness” (1 Chronicles 16:29, 2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 29:2, 96:9).
I fear that only a worldwide Christian Holocaust will make the church forsake the world and seek true beauty. Until she takes Romans 12:2 to heart, saying no to the world and yes to the Holy Spirit through transformation of the mind, her children might be better off with the state. No gospel might be better than a compromised one.
God and the state are on opposing sides. Both ask for total allegiance of their citizens. Which side will today’s Christian choose? It still “takes a village to raise a child.”