|Volume 19 Number 11 November 2017||
Donald R. Fox
Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), the great American lawyer, was a self-proclaimed Agnostic. One of his most famous cases was the 1924 murder trial of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. These two youthful men murdered a schoolboy by the name of Bobby Franks. They killed young Bobby because they wanted to kill him! Leopold and Loeb thought themselves as supermen per the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
To defend these killers, Darrow used this superman approach. Darrow said, “Nietzsche believed that sometimes superman would be born, that evolution was working toward the superman.” He wrote a book, Beyond Good and Evil, which was a criticism of all moral codes as the world understands them; a treatise holding that the intelligent man is beyond good and evil; that the laws for good and the laws for evil do not apply to those who approach the superman. This of course is the doctrine of Existentialism that holds that man exists as an individual in a purposeless universe with no accountability, no laws and no moral code!
About this same time Adolph Hitler was writing his Mein Kampf (English translation: My Struggle, My Fight or My Battle). Darwinism ran throughout this book. Hitler believed that the German people were the super race, and they were racially superior. Hitler was a student of both Darwin and Nietzsche.
How sad to think that men such as Nietzsche influenced Hitler and Darrow. These men and their manmade philosophies totally disregard God and God-given standards. Do we live in a better world because of Darwin or Nietzsche and such like?
No, we are not supermen! We are people made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Since we are created by God, it behooves us to follow His will and to be obedient to His commands. “Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Cecil May, Jr.
We sing “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” to worship God and to teach and admonish one another (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Many efforts have been made to define the three terms in ways that distinguish among them, but no definitions have found wide acceptance.
It is recognized, however, that “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” as a group are distinguished from drinking songs, love ballads, war songs, comic ditties, etc. The sentiment and the words of the songs accomplish the purposes for which we are directed to sing them: praising God and teaching and admonishing one another. Tempo and harmony are important, but the words are more so.
Singing can accomplish both teaching and admonishing. Organs, pianos, keyboards, guitars and drum sets accomplish neither.