Two Family Legacies: Jonathan Edwards vs. Max Jukes



Jonathan Edwards’ Legacy Max Jukes’ Legacy
  • 1 U.S. Vice-President,
  • 7 murderers,
  • 1 Dean of a law school,
  • 60 thieves,
  • 1 Dean of a medical school,
  • 140 other convicts,
  • 3 U.S. Senators,
  • 128 prostitutes
  •  {some quotes say 190},
  • 3 governors,
  • 67 were reported to have contracted syphilis.
  • 3 mayors,
  • These 67 were projected to have infected more than 400 people with syphilis (Al Capone, suffering from syphilis, lost his mental faculties due to this STD—Imagine the impact of 400).
  • 13 college presidents,
  • Out of the 1,200 descendants studied, 300 died prematurely and in infancy due to neglect, poor hygiene and poor medical care (1 out of 4).
  • 30 judges,
  • 440 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living through addiction to alcohol. (1 out of 3)
  • 60 doctors,
  • 280 indigents (paupers, beggars, and charity cases) (almost 1 out of 4)
  • 65 professors,
  • Allegedly, 4 of Max’s Sons, married Max’s sisters (their aunts) so the family tree gets a little confusing—incest.
  • 75 Military officers,
  • One son, married “Ada”, or “Margaret” her code name, who was identified in the original study as “the Mother of Criminals”.
  • 80 public office holders,
  • 100 lawyers,
  • 100 clergymen,
  • It was estimated that Jukes’ pauper and criminal descendants cost the state of New York approximately $1,308,000, in 1850 for incarceration expenses. (Today’s value: $43,865,289.23 dollars—give or take.)
  • and 285 college graduates.
  • Cost to the State?
    Zero estimated cost.
  • It was estimated that Jukes’ descendants cost the state approximately $1.25 million in public welfare and other costs to society apart from incarceration fees and legal costs. 1850 value—$42,149,679.49

What Caused the Difference?

Let’s Investigate …

One, I submit to you that: These two dramatically different stories were not created entirely by accident . These stories were intentionally built on two different foundations, that led these two followers down entirely Two different Roads.

Two, I submit to you that: There are two foundational stories that every life is based upon: 

The First Story produces Blessings. This Story builds upon a foundation of sound reliable character, which creates a disciplined life, good judgment, favor, honor, and it generally produces good fruit in abundance (more on this later). 

The Second Story produces Curses. This Story builds upon a foundation of a selfish, self seeking unreliable character, which creates an undisciplined life, faulty judgment, selfish ambition, dishonor, and bad fruit in abundance (more on this later).

Three, I submit to you that: Everyone’s story contains a mixture or a conglomeration of the two foundational stories (some blessings and some curses), whether they truly understand, believe, and acknowledge this or Not. The more you know it, the better you will see it.

Many people flat out don’t actually see or believe this. If you are one of them, I hope you will suspend your disbelief for just a moment, in order to accurately evaluate this premise without prejudice. (I pray, I/we would never choose ignorance, when faced with an opportunity to learn something outside of our own box.)

He who answers [or decides] a matter before he hears it,

To him—It is folly and shame.  Proverbs 18:13

I have good reason for making this request (to postpone disbelief), because I was one of those many people who did not believe, but I proved the premise true by my own life. I paid a heavy price for learning my lessons the hard way, many times over. I am still paying the price for my I past choices to block my ears, shut my eyes, and harden my heart in the past—against this Biblical Principle. I hope you won’t.

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,

and do not reject your mother’s teaching, 

for they will be a garland of grace upon your head, 

and a gold chain around your neck.                         Proverbs 1:8-9 

The Truth be Told: Every human being has the right, privilege, and power to choose which of the two foundations they will build their own lives upon—Blessings or Curses. 

I now believe that: God has given us the Freedom to Choose according to our own free will. This is a Sacred Trust He will not break. May we receive His Humility, Wisdom, and His Understanding—to produce a Life Full of Blessings, and do what we can to limit the curses coming into our own homes. Or we can choose not to hear his call. Listen to his instruction. And go our own way. He gives us that option freely, but it doesn’t come without consequence. It comes with its own high price tag.

Wisdom’s Call—Part 3 (Proverbs 8:1-7)

Does not wisdom cry aloud?

Does not understanding raise her voice?

2 On the heights, Beside the way,

At the crossroads she takes her stand;

3 Beside the gates, In front of the town,

At the entrance, In front of the Door, she cries aloud:

4 “To you, O men, I call,

and my cry is to the children of man.

5 O simple ones, learn prudence;

And, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart..

6 Hear, for I will speak noble and excellent things,

and from my lips will come what is right, 

I will speak what is right!

7 for my mouth will utter truth;

wickedness is an abomination to my lips.    Proverbs 8:1-7

Two Different Foundations

Two legacies produced from two different stories

Edwards Life—Based on God’s Promises

A Wise Farmer’s Story

Zukes Life—Rejected God’s Promises

A Foolish Farmer’s Story

Jonathan chose to daily base his Life upon God’s Story of Blessings.  Max chose to reject God’s Story as the foundation for his Daily Life—by default he received curses.
Jonathan was: Led by God’s Spirit Max was: Led by his flesh
He Honored & Obeyed God’s Laws Dishonored & Disobeyed God’s Laws
He Chose to Bear Much Fruit for Eternity Chose to Not Bear Much Fruit for Eternity
He Accepted God’s Counsel & Leadership Rejected God’s Counsel & Leadership
He Followed God’s Ways, (The Way of His Spirit) unto the end of his life Followed the World’s Ways (the way of his flesh) unto death
He Saw God’s Wisdom (as powerful deep, life giving and life changing)—as Freedom Saw God’s Wisdom (as foolishness and hindering his life)—as Bondage
He Lived by Faith in God’s Promises, (and in obedience to receive God’s Grace, Mercies, Forgiveness, Freedom, Power and Promises) Disbelief blocked him from God’s Promises (so his life produced the fruit of unbelief, and had many disastrous repercussions.)
He Felt secure in God’s Kingdom among God’s children. Felt insecure among God’s children, and rejected God’s Kingdom calling.
He Spent significant Time Reading, Listening to, and Studying God’s Story. Spent minimal Time Reading, Listening to, or Studying God’s Story (if any time at all)
He Cared deeply about Knowing God’s Story—(was careful to not offend God, or harm his relationship with God, or his relationship with God’s children—knowing that those relationships are eternal). Cared little about Knowing God’s Story—(was not careful “to not offend God”, he did much harm to His relationship with God, did not protect his relationships with God’s children. He did not view his relationships through an eternal perspective.
He Deeply Trusted God’s Story. Deeply suspicious of God’s Story.
He Had confidence in God’s Knowledge,(Wisdom, Understanding, Discipline, Correction, Rebuke, Training, and trusted in God’s righteousness by faith & practice.) Had no confidence in God’s Knowledge, (He disdained Wisdom, Discipline, Correction. He  did not trust in God’s righteousness, nor understand it, or know it.)
He Became competent in 1) learning, 2) doing and 3) sharing God’s Word. Remained incompetent in learning, doing and sharing God’s Word.
He Made wise (unselfish) decisions that effectively bore fruit both then & in eternity. Made (selfish) decisions based on laziness, Pride & sensual pleasure. No eternal benefit.
He Saw accusations against God’s Word and God’s character as lies, evil manipulations, and as attacks by the enemy to discredit God—and personally decided to stand strong against these attacks (with calm reason). Saw accusations against God’s Word and God’s character as reasons to continue in sin, to expand selfishness, pride, rebellion, ignorance, and arrogance. Believed  accusations without investigation (the ultimate ignorance).

In the next section we shall see what attitudes and values, thoughts and goals created these two very different lives. What were the core decisions made in each young man’s life that shaped their predictable futures?

This will help us answer many questions we have about what kind of men, what kind of parents, what kind of environments, what kind of mental, emotional, and social attitudes produced such dramatic differences in each man’s legacy, and in the legacy of each man passed down to his  children.

Side Note: I apologize up front, that not all of the data presented concerning MAX JUKES legacy is perfectly accurate, in some places it seems to be estimated. Some data is based on state records: murders, social services, arrest records, etc. Some is based on testimony with living relatives. Some data seems less reliable. Some less easily verifiable. (For example, the number of prostitutes listed in one study declares 190, and another study only 50, another source lists 120.) For the purpose of this comparison, I have simply chose to look for the conservative numbers and share them to give a general picture.

This data itself, though not perfect, strongly testifies to the biblical pattern of blessings, and curses. My key concern is not that a family produces 19 brothel owners or only 10, but—why did they even produce one? If they can name 50 or 190 prostitutes, with 40 recorded—spreading syphilis—how or why did they produce one? What caused that one to go astray? How can we redeem that one? Why did the family not protect their vulnerable children, young girls, and mature women from sexual abuse? How can we rescue them back? How can we recover those lost to ignorance, poverty, crime, rebellion, and sin? Or how can we warn others not to follow in their footsteps?

To be honest, I find these two stories fascinating and captivating—because of this one contingency:

I could have been Max Jukes. I was walking down the same road. I was carrying the same attitudes, values, and mindset. I could have made the same choices he made permanently. I could have pursued the same goals he pursued permanently. 

To be perfectly honest: I actually did follow the path of Jukes (the path of Curses) at an early point in my life. I followed the same mindset as Max Jukes, and walked in many of the same footsteps, and I would have gone much further down this path—had not God interrupted my journey.  

Due to my attempt to try and live out this Self-centered Story, my life created a lot of pain and confusion, for not only myself, but for my own family, my friends, and even strangers—and yes, I carried around a victim mentality (which I humbly hate to admit). 

In the midst of the pain and confusion, I had a time of reassessment. I reconsidered my ways, I did some personal study, I investigated my options, I decided to re-open the door I was trying to close. I began to intently study the Bible to prove it wrong. To expose its fallacies, its inconsistencies. Its fairy tale myths and foolish folklore. But not long after I began reading the Bible, I shortly realized that the Bible was reading me. In fact it was exposing me. It was revealing my story, my broken story to me. It showed me what a foolish farmer looked like. It showed me the lies that had deceived me. Yet it showed me that I didn’t need to remain a fool.  But as a fool I would have to willingly to get rid of my foolishness first, before I could take even one step towards wisdom. 

As a result, I made some significant changes. Received a new outlook, a new perspective, a new direction. I started followed the Way of Jonathon Edwards, the Path of Blessing—not very well at first, but with many struggles, I continued to pursue the path of Blessings, struggling all the while, sin dogged my steps, but in time I began to see positive results, and real fruit. 

The Good News is, if a rogue, undisciplined, angry, lost soul like myself can turn his situation around—I believe anyone can do it, if they only open themselves up to the information that will give them a fighting chance—and a new Story, and a new Father, A New Master, a new Lord, a New King, a New Savior. 

This all took time, it didn’t happen overnight. It was a process. Finally, I was ready to accept Him as He was, not who I wanted to make Him out to be. It was not easy for me—and I don’t expect it will be easy for you either. I had to fight for every inch of success that first mile, and the second, and the third and I am still fighting for my fourth mile (almost 4o years in Messiah).

I will let you in on a secret position I hold with tenacity: I believe that, If a person will only listen to both sides of both stories. If he will weigh the evidence, and choose wisely. If he will give himself the opportunity two fairly evaluate, both the blessings, and the curses involved in both stories, I believe, that he Will be saved, delivered, and set free from the curses, for he will see them for what they are. And he will lay them down at the Masters feet—and do whatever it takes to begin his new true story.

My hope and prayer is that anyone reading this book, and the other books in this series will be able to see and receive what others have seen and received, and be able to put them into practical no-nonsense living steps.

That they will begin walking down the road of Blessing, one step at a time.  How else can we setup a steady walk?

I don’t want to sugar coat any step, any action, and decision, or any change of direction. No one sugar coated them for me, especially not God—and if someone is sugar-coating these steps for you … my advice? You should be highly suspicious. I believe those Chinese students who had converted to the Christian religion had a sugarcoated gospel that was not able to stand the pressure of the promised persecution facing them in the communist Chinese System. (It is funny to realize, but persecution when it comes to following Messiah, is really a blessing in disguise.) The reason 80% of them fell away after returning home—is due to a false religious motivation that creates a false religious experience. This is something Jesus was serious about removing from His Gospel Message. There is a false Christianity being spread around the world that is a fake religion. It has been active from the very beginning of the those who began serving Christ. Remember Judas Iscariot? He carried this false religion in his heart. He serves as a sober and stark example of why and how not to follow Jesus with false motives. I hope that we together can expose all false religious motives, and not be fooled by them.

I believe following in the footsteps of Jesus involves both pain and pleasure. Not worldly sensual self-centered pleasure that is fleeting and unstable, unreliable, and simply untrustworthy, but a spiritual relationship pleasure that goes beyond the understandings of pleasure in this world. His pleasure penetrates deeper, runs higher, walks steadier, and flourishes in both Highs and Lows, hard times and good times. His pleasure comes from being in covenant intimate relationship with Him, the Almighty God, the King, the Creator, the Sustainer of all Life. Oh, and the final Judge of the Universe.

…for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 that I may be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Philippians 3:8-11

The Truth be Told: Pain will result on whichever road we choose—but one kind of pain leads to Life. One leads to Death. I only ask that your honestly evaluate your options. Once you know them you are no longer ignorant. No longer a victim. No longer MIA (missing in action). You can show up for rehearsal, show up for practice, show up for training, and be equipped, and then you can enter the battle equipped with weapons that can save lives—like any good soldier you can save lives by knowing your story.

May both you and I, improve our stories, improve our legacies, improve the harvest of fruit we shall reap with the help of the Almighty, All Knowing One, on the day of His harvest. I don’t believe we will regret, one minute of study, 1 ounce of effort, 1 season of reflection, or one lifetime of prayer. Every careful step we take, will be worth every honest seed we sow, and abundance we will enjoy.

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;

pay attention and gain understanding.

2 I give you sound learning,

so do not forsake my teaching.

3 For I too was a son to my father,

still tender, and cherished by my mother.

4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,

“Take hold of my words with all your heart;

keep my commands, and you will live.

5 Get wisdom, get understanding;

do not forget my words or turn away from them.

6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;

love her, and she will watch over you.

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.

9 She will give you a garland to grace your head

and present you with a glorious crown. ”

Proverbs 4:1-9 (NIV)