Location: Out West

An old-fashioned guy grappling with new-fangled ways.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The age of 'isms'...

You have to pity conservative christians. They have no one to vote for this fall, no lesser of two evils to pay homage to. At my church in the fellowship hall, political conversations focus on how unthinkable it would be to vote for Hillary or Obama... or McCain. Hillary, it is widely believed, would give us socialized medicine, Obama would give most of the south and millions of dollars (more) to poor persecuted black people, and McCain would have no qualms about keeping our military in Iraq for the next 100 years. The consensus is no one stands for 'conservatism' anymore, not even the presumed nominee of the Republican party.
And all of this has come to pass because we refuse to recognize that we are as much children of the enlightenment as anyone else. The enlightenment, you may recall, gave the world a vast, un-founded faith in autonomous human reason. Human reason gave us all the 'isms' that plague us to this day: materialism, naturalism, feminism, liberalism, socialism, fascism, ad nauseum. The institutional child of the enlightenment, and the locus of salvation for moderns, is the modern secular state. The modern secular state is where all the 'isms' spawned by the enlightenment joust for power. We christians play along, and usually play second fiddle, because we are torn between being biblical and being 'relevant', and we don't even know it. We are double-minded. We say we are trying to restore something called 'Godly, constitutional government', but our thinking is no different from our enemies. We are held captive by various human ideologies. This is how it works: We read something we like, some explanation of 'how the world should be', we then baptize it and give it a christian-sounding name, find an eloquent spokesman to push our 'ism' in the halls of power, and vote for him. But if our spokesman has no strength of character, it isn't long before he has abandoned us and our pet 'ism' and is now in line with whoever wields power. If you haven't figured it out already, the aim of politics and politicians is to expand and consolidate power to the glory of man. The enlightenment was all about MAN and his 'possibilities', and to hell with God. God is irrelevant to the secular state.
When it comes to choosing leaders, the Bible does not start with 'isms' but with godly character.
Listen to Moses advise Israel on how to choose a King:
"When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, 'I will set a King over me, like all the nations that are around me', you may indeed set a King over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as King over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, 'You shall never return that way again.' And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn to the right hand or the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel" Deuteronomy 17:14-29
There isn't a single word about ideology in this passage. If we were to choose a king, according to this word, he needs to be male and descended from the white tribes of Europe. He must be willing to recieve instruction from the church, even though the church has no direct power to rule. He may not major in military adventurism (another ism!) or make questionable alliances with foreign powers, but attend to his own affairs in his own country, seeking the good of his people. He shall be a man of moderate appetites, not multiplying to himself gold, silver, women or any other ostentatious luxury. He must be a man of godly character who is committed to the right judgements of the Lord, and he does not turn to the right or to the left; he is not persuaded of any 'ism' above the word of the Lord. He is a humble man, seeking to follow God and serve his brethren with his throne.
As un-American as it may sound, I could support such a king. I could gladly pray for him, serve him, toast his health, and hail him with a lusty 'God save the King!'. Such a man in power would be a blessing to our nation. But I would also hail a godly President, Congress and Supreme Court. However, as long as our government is committed to various 'isms' and not God, I won't be hailing anyone. I will abjure the realm, and work and wait for more reformation to sweep away the dead carcass of the enlightenment. Unfortunately, much of the enlightenment is in the church.


Blogger Floyd said...

Well after all, Jesus is the King of Kings, not the King of democratically elected representatives.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Randall Gerard said...

Hey Floyd,

Thanks for stopping by. Lots of good stuff on your blog, too, keep up the good work.

Thanks for not slamming me for wishing for a good king...

12:32 PM  

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