“We have lost our way. But we can find it again.”
As politicians in Washington grapple with an enormous national debt, as citizens fear the government is becoming too intrusive and as the foundations of our society slowly crumble, Americans are left wondering if there is a solution.
One former U.S. congressman has hope. George Radanovich, a Republican who represented the 19th Congressional District of California for 16 years, says there’s a way forward that starts with understanding how our nation fits into a higher purpose.
In his newly released book, The New World Order is the Old World Order, Radanovich suggests that instead of looking for a new philosophy or social contract to restore the nation, we need to look back – not just to the founding of America, but to the foundation of the world.
God established a cultural mandate in the beginning of the world, four separate institutions for people to flourish both individually and in society, Radanovich says. Each of these institutions – faith, family, work and government – was created for a particular purpose, and they are the building blocks of any society. In America, however, our government has grown beyond its bounds and eclipsed the roles of the other three institutions, chipping away at them along with the ideas of liberal progressivism, socialism and other “isms.”
Radanovich’s book is the culmination of a 30-year effort, drawing in his experiences from his eight terms in Congress. From the time he was elected in 1994, he pressed for the need for cultural reform to help reduce the size of government, all the while observing the imbalance of the four institutions in America. He retired from Congress in 2011 after the loss of his wife, and returned to his hometown of Mariposa, Calif., to raise their 12-year-old son, rebuild the family vineyard and bring to fruition his book on how Americans can start restoring our country from the ground up.
In a recent conversation about the book, Radanovich shared what inspired him, shone some light into the purposes of the four institutions and presented ideas about what Americans could do to start making a change.
Crosswalk: What ideas or experiences inspired you to write The New World Order is the Old World Order?
George Radanovich: A long time ago I met a friend by the name of Fred Bigler – he was a probation officer in Stanislaus County, and he was also a man of deep faith and a real self-taught scholar of the Bible. He faced most of his career dealing with reprobate kids who at a young age were already on the wrong path and not likely to get off it. From that point of observation he told me when a child honors his mother and father, learns how to work, obeys the laws of the land and maintains a clear conscience before God, then that child has a great foundation. That began this 30-year journey to understand what became known as the “cultural mandate.” Those are the four institutions established in the Garden, reinstituted after the Fall and still in effect today – they’re established by God to protect and apply to each one of us.
So as I got into office in Washington and into the Congress in 1995, I developed a chair to represent the four institutions and how they provide the foundation for the person sitting in it as an example. I designed a chair that reflected the size of the institutions; the government leg was real long and the church and family legs were shorter. The chair stood up, but not by much, and you could tap it not by much and tip it over. [The idea] came and went over a number of years. I got discouraged and put it on the shelf and then things kept drawing me back to it until I realized the power government has to stifle the power of true charity – and that’s what led me to write the book.
CW: Briefly describe each of the four institutions.
GR: There’s something called sphere sovereignty, the idea that each institution was created for a specific purpose, to do certain things. No institution can substitute the work of another one. Certain times call for one institution to step in, such as the government during the Great Depression, but that can only be temporary, and it can never be a good substitute. It all becomes a push and a balance as to the strength of any institution and any society.
In the book I start with faith first, obviously, because that’s the primary relationship and it undergirds the moral imperative for work and family. What I found was how important the act of charity is and how it really can only come from the faith institution. Government has really intruded into that area, to the tune of 66 percent of all the charity in the country, and robbed the persuasive power of faith to change lives in this country.
Then I go into the family institution to talk about what the family provides and how there is no substitute to the American family. Humanism over the past 80 years, among other things – new technology, birth control – has really contributed to the downfall of family. We cannot expect to have a better country without rebuilding families. It doesn’t happen. It can’t be substituted by anything else. Prisons today are full of prisoners who never got the discipline they needed – which must occur between the ages of three and six, but must be preceded by the love which you must provide from zero to two. Only a good family can provide that.
The idea of the strong persuasive power of faith undergirds the moral imperative for work. Not the need to work for lust or greed, but the moral imperative. Every time there has been a huge growth in government, it has always been preceded by a Wall Street collapse, and that has been preceded by a moral failure. The moral imperative [to work] can only help avoid those kinds of situations in the future.
The last institution is government. I go through a history of where we were and where we got sidetracked. The battle that we’re waging is against humanism. I think where Americans go wrong, especially conservatives, is that they keep talking about a return to the ideals of the Founding Fathers and a strict interpretation of the Constitution, but that’s not what the battle is. God established four institutions and our job on earth is to make sure they’re strong and available for everybody, whereas humanism wants to make government the answer for everybody and destroy the institutions. Government – because it’s left the job it was created to do – has damaged this country and it needs to be reversed.
I dedicate the other two chapters to what we need to do and how we need to move this ball forward.
CW: How can individual Americans, specifically Christians, work to help bring back the four institutions?
GR: Number one: Become aware of the four institutions and their purposes.
Number two: The house of worship needs to bring back charity and put an end to social services. It is basically a constitutional right the church has let go of. Before we can begin to rebuild anything or restore anything in this country, churches have to get engaged and begin to work together to do what Christ commanded, which is to feed the widow and the orphan.
It’s my hope that we can begin a project somewhere in my area to do just that, in such a way that we can reduce government. I’m looking at some ways – say, for example, that a community gets together and gets one person off of public assistance and on the right path; they ought to be credited back with lower taxes somehow. That’s the way we reform this country in an orderly fashion.
CW: This is the first time I’ve really seen these ideas put this way.
GR: I don’t think there’s anything out there like it. People have not looked at it this way, and I meant to write the book in as few words as possible and as simply as I could so people could get it. And I think they have.
CW: What thoughts would you like to leave with people as they consider these ideas?
GR:I wrote the book to start a movement. I tried to keep it small and in as few words as possible in order to inspire people to not just reduce government but to get people down a path of restoring America. The next time you’re in front of a national political leader – a member of Congress or Senate – ask them what their plan is to restore America. Not “reduce government” or “make people happier” but “What’s your plan to restore America?” I guarantee there’s not a good response out there, because nobody knows how to do it. I think the book provides a clear way on how to do that. The more people understand the higher purpose for men and women, the more clear the plan comes to mind on how to restore the country.
CW: It’s really interesting that the book comes out now, at a time when so many people are frustrated with government.
GR: I’m not in control of the timing of this thing, and I wish I hadn’t put it on the shelf twice during my 16 years in Congress, but I’ve got to tell you, it sure seems right for now, doesn’t it?
For more information, to purchase The New World Order is the Old World Order, or to read the introduction, please visit www.thefourinstitutions.com.
Anna Kuta, the news editor at Crosswalk.com, reports on current events and issues impacting Christians around the world. She is a 2011 graduate of the University of Richmond, where she majored in journalism and political science. When she isn't writing or editing, she enjoys keeping up with politics, spending time with her church's youth group and rooting for the Spiders. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @annakuta.
Publication date: November 16, 2011