Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
- Luke 12:13-21
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.
- Isaiah 40:15-17
“It has been well said that Jesus and Hitler are the two most potent figures in the moral imagination of the West. For 19 centuries we have had a pro—Jesus vision—now we have an anti—Hitler vision. Tom Holland has summarized the new view: ‘We no longer need the devil because we had Hitler. We no longer needed hell because we had Auschwitz.’
“What we have positively is less clear, but the ‘new’ morality is a case of inverting Naziism (which was itself an inversion of Christianity). If the Nazis pursued racial supremacy, we will pursue racial equality. If the Nazis killed off the weak, we will care for them with large welfare states. (It is often joked that the National Health Service is the real state religion of the UK.) The greatest sins of the post-war era have become violations of equality and compassion. In psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s terms, the two moral foundations valued chiefly by modern liberals are ‘fairness’ and ‘care’ (while other values like loyalty, authority, sanctity and liberty are considered less important or even unintelligible). The sins we really care about are ‘ism’s’, especially racism, and the mistreatment of minorities. The slurs that stick are the ones that end in ‘bigot’ or ‘—phobe’ and the predictability of moral arguments descending towards a Nazi comparison is so certain that we consider it a rule.
“This is the kind of moral settlement we have come to: a mixture of secularized Christianity and a post-war antifascism (which is itself the result of Christian sensibilities). Compassion and equality reign supreme as ideals (often under the titles ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’). These beliefs are precious in themselves, yet they are no longer grounded in the Christian story that first gave them meaning.
“In short, a purely secular response to the 20th century has managed to flee from a great pit and yet has lost its way in the process. It inverts Naziism, but it does not thereby restore the original vision. It pursues abstract values (like ‘humanity’, ‘rights’, ‘freedom’, ‘progress’), but divorced from their source these values prove disconnected, and so do we.”
- Glen Scrivener, The Air We Breathe
This topic concludes the review of Rev. Scrivener’s book, although I have skipped a few chapters. Can I wholeheartedly agree with his conclusions, while disagreeing with much of what he says in this quote, at least in part?
Yes, we are chasing hollow words that sound good, but we have become totally disconnected from the concepts of humanity, rights, freedom and progress. Yet, while we decry a hatred of Naziism, those in power use the tactics used by the Nazis, and it seems that applies to whatever party is in power and the party that wants to be. The equality, diversity, and inclusion in which the good Reverend speaks is unequal and exclusive if you do not get on the bandwagon of those in power and celebrate their chosen, radical beliefs. And it does come down to belief. In the secular progressive world of today, Christians are fair game if you wish to attack someone, but the “-phobe” is applied to the Christian if the Christian attacks anyone else.
I think Rev. Scrivener was hinting, through his analogy of the NHS in Great Britain being the national religion, that the helping of the poor, through government programs, just enslaves the poor, making them dependent on the government for the next handout.
Since COVID lockdowns have ended, people by the thousands, maybe millions, are refusing to reenter the workforce. They realize that sitting and watching television all day is an easier life than working long hours with little to show for it. And as long as the government meets your basic needs, why work? Of course, many work under the table, meaning that the government does not know they are doing it.
The media calls it a “labor shortage,” but just like such terms as secular progressive when it is more regressive, inclusion when Christians are excluded, love when they would love to destroy you. Labor shortage should really be called “Willing to do Labor Shortage.”
Have Christians made mistakes? Absolutely, but ridding the world of a belief in the true God is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
For a little etymology of that phrase, in the olden days, before indoor plumbing, they would set the washtub usually in the kitchen. It would be filled with hot water. The father of the family would bathe first. Without changing the water, his wife would then bathe. Then each child from the oldest to the youngest would bathe. All in the same bathwater. You can imagine that if the water was still water rather than thin mud, the water would have so much soap, containing a lot of lye, that the water would look like milk. With the dirt on a week (only bathing once each week) where the fields were plowed, the water resembled chocolate milk. If the mother was not careful… If the mother did not count heads to make sure all the children were accounted for… It was quite easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
We have “progressed” greatly since those days, with indoor plumbing, most houses having multiple bathrooms. Our soap is gentle to the skin. There is ample supply of water. And if you take a shower, there is no fear of losing the baby in the bathwater. But have we really progressed? Progress is impossible without God. We will always regress to animalistic tendencies, if not at first, eventually.
If we looked over Rev. Scrivener’s book, at least the chapters we have covered, there is a lot of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Adam and Eve were created without blemish, but they had the means to choose, and they did not choose the right thing. The world fell away from God’s perfect condition. In the name of “I want …”, humanity lost the concept of being human. Equality, Compassion, Consent, Enlightenment, Science, and Progress were all discarded for the bullies of the world to get ahead of the weak. Then, Jesus came along. He taught those concepts, and the western world adopted them. But as I found during America’s adoption of the Japanese team building system, when bullies are in charge, they only do lip service to those concepts like equality and compassion.
While there may have been a growing number of people who were truly compassionate, with God’s love outpouring from their hearts, there were still those who used Christianity against the true Christians, to exploit their giving, serving, and loving.
When “God” became nothing more than a curse word, the thin veil of civility has come off. The powerful want equality for themselves in a gated community and those outside the gate can then fend for themselves. Outside the gate, there is also equality, with no one having anything. The concept of “inclusion” is only pandering interest groups for votes and power. “Inclusion” is a means to an end, and those who are included will find themselves outside the gates and equal with the remaining peasants.
I have painted a bleak picture upon the canvas that is this world, but without Christ at the center, we are chasing a manmade religion that will become our doom.
Our only hope is repentance and turning back to the God who created the heavens and the earth.
Lord, guide me. I weep for the generations to come. Even with a great revival, nations will have to repent. With You, anything is possible, but Your Word does not give great hope to any nation on earth except Your Chosen People. We cannot rely on a nation that is doomed, if not for our sake but the sake of our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Jesus taught us well, but without Jesus in our heart and in the heart of all our endeavors, all will crumble. But we are safe in Your arms. In Thy Name I pray. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
It may be dangerous to pray “Lord whatever it takes to bring hearts to you” but my wife and I have concluded it’s the only way to pray. Revival might only come from the ashes.
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Amen, I agree. Depending on the makeup people have and in what way the Holy Spirit is working in their lives, it takes a variety of approaches. One size or style does not fit all.
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