Theme: Concerning Heroes and Heroines, talk given at the 2012 SBC Conference
Founder of the Imago Dei Psychiatric Clinic, G. C. Dilsaver has authored two books, one on Catholic psychotherapy, the other on being a father,The Three Marks of Manhood. If one were to capsulize the theme of Dr. Dilsaver’s powerful presentation, it would be that, in warfare, fighters for a just cause must know themselves and their enemy. He began his talk by stating the obvious: we have been overwhelmed by a hedonistic counter-culture that is totally antithetical to the teaching of Christ and His Church. We have enemies, we have to live in a society heavily influenced by the disproportional power of anti-Christian media, Islamists, evangelicals, and war-mongering Christian Zionists. Our biggest enemy on the outside, however, is now the mammoth state. It is the enemy within, however, that we must battle relentlessly: the enemies within the Church, and the enemy within ourselves.“Technology and wealth,” he said, “keep us artificially alive and ominously allows us to decay into a decadence unprecedented.” To be a Catholic hero today, Dilsaver said, in modern circumstances, is not to shoot to be “the last man standing . . . but, rather, the first man kneeling.” Download the talk in MP3 format here.
"It is the anti-Christian ideologies of secularism and liberalism - embodied in the modern state and promoted by the mass media - that have directed the attack upon the traditional familial order. These ideologies, inherently materialistic and therefore at least in practice atheistic, hold that the state is the highest, in fact, the only legitimate authority that exists. As a corollary to what is tantamount to the deification of the state, an absolute code of morality ensues where man is viewed purely as a political being and his good defined exclusively in terms of political rights. And the issuance and bestowal - or rescinding - of these rights are the exclusive domain of the state. It is the state, not God, from which these rights are seen to originate; and it the state, not man's nature in the image of God, which defines these rights" TMM, Dilsaver pg 167
Traditional familial order in these disturbing days can often be buried under the issue of one man and one woman marriage. However, seen in the light of biblical history, we are speaking of a more richer understanding of the family and the hierarchy establishes a proper order. For to speak of family without a hierarchy is to speak of a family in disorder. This disorder comes directly from the denial that there is a God-established duty for each member of the family, and that in failing to fulfill this duty is to fail in truly being "family".
Destruction of the traditional family is not the result of same-sex marriage, but same-sex marriage is the result of the destruction of the traditional familial order. Let's face it, if families were functioning and beautiful order carried out in the majority of families, it would perpetuate itself. However, each member of the modern family seeks his or her own rights, goods, and way. No longer does the family function as a cohesive whole, in which each member sacrifices for the others. Fathers selfishly seek wealth and power in the workplace forfeiting their kingly dignity for wage-slavery. Mothers abandon sacrifice and selfless service of the family for increased wealth, entertainment, and control. Children are thrown to the wolves through over-involvement in modern sports and activities that promote selfish individualism and fame over humble development toward their ultimate goal of eternity with God the Father. These perversions are the root of the current state of the redefinition of marriage, and these are what the modern state and culture have peddled to the world over the last 100 years.
Why has the destruction of the family been on the agenda of the state? As Dr. Dilsaver states, it is the goal of the state to gain power and claim sole arbitration over rights and authority. By disrupting the order of the family authority structure, the state is able to supplant the father as the guide and leader. The state becomes the sole authority that every member of the state goes to, to decide what is right and wrong. This can be seen in the power of the modern state education system, that daily gains more and more time and power over the children forfeited to it. The behemoth now feeds them three meals a day, bandages their injuries, indoctrinates them, provides counseling and health care, and then attempts to "educate" them for future productive roles in society. Teachers view parents, and especially fathers, as threats to their authority, and will either politely snub their leadership, or outright tell them, "I know better for your child - after all I spend more time with them every day!"
As the political powers pretend to quarrel over the so-called issues of the day, let us return our focus to our own area of responsibility - our family. What we need is the power of Elias, "that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people" (Luke 1:17). So many seek to place more and more power into the hands of the politicians, on both sides of the aisle, that the state is assured to gain the power it seeks. The only answer to the issues of the day, is a turning of the hearts of men to true Christian Manhood, true leadership, and true kingly, priestly, and prophetic fatherhood.