Monday, September 21, 2009

Entropy Reloaded

Please forgive the new posting. This posting is actually intended as a comment to the posting below (entitled "The Law of Entropy"), but blogger would not allow the entire comment due to length...hence the new posting.

JMB,

Though I find your musings interesting, and want to address them, I think our disagreements are at such a foundational level that I doubt we can have productive discussion (about this) – but we can try. You really need to “take the red pill.”

To start, it’s admirable that you acknowledge that you are “ferociously patriotic”. At least this is on the table and we can acknowledge that you are not dealing from a position of rationality; rather, you have embraced those mythologies which have been ubiquitously foisted upon you your entire life by the principalities and powers that surround you.

You offer no defense of your idea that the modern expression of the United States of America is not a war-mongering, imperialist bully. To the contrary, you offer an ad hominem attack on those who believe otherwise (calling them “leftist nutjobs”, who make “ridiculous claims”).

I, on the other hand could offer myriad examples that would support the idea that it is (i.e., the United States of American is a war-mongering, imperialist bully). Let me just pose a few rhetorical questions.

You have been propagandized to believe that the United States of America is “good” – but how is the legalized mass slaughter of children (through abortion) “good”? How is the prohibitionist “drug-war” which has killed thousands, expended billions of stolen dollars to no appreciable effect, and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of people “good”? How was invasion of Vietnam and the carpet bombing of Cambodia “good”? How were the invasions of Grenada, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Iraq “good”? How were the bombings, the shootings, the tortures “good”?

I submit to you that all of these things were not good at all – rather – they were (and are) evil – heinously, hideously, evil.

My belief is that these evils were perpetrated by an evil principality viz. the United States government, which has so propagandized and deceived men and women – that they will gladly kill, maim and torture for this principality, and even reminisce about the killings with swelling patriotic pride. You should mark this down…America is evil, and America is damned. Please don’t believe the propaganda – and please don’t offer the pathetic defense that Gomorrah is not as bad a place as Sodom; just remember that both of them were burned to the ground.

Of course, our disagreement is even more fundamental. You believe that the natural tendency towards chaos must be restrained. Though this idea appears logical on the surface, a dive beneath must yield the question – “who will restrain it?” The near universal answer (and your answer per your second point applying entropy to humanity) which has been offered in the recorded history of ideas has been “government.” Government will restrain this evil chaos.

I hope you see what a sick joke this is. When men and women buy into this idea, they willingly pull the principalities’ propaganda right over their eyes. The truth is, that rather than restrain evil, or chaos – government manufactures it.

Though I am not yet final in my conclusion, my contemplations thus far have led me to the provisional conclusion that men’s willingness to embrace the principalities propaganda (i.e., the necessity of human governments) is directly proportional to the depth of their understanding of the Christian doctrine of “human depravity” or “fallen-ness.”

If you believe in the doctrine of human depravity, then it follows that human governments are merely power alliances of varied collections of depraved humanity. This being the case – democracies (even “republicanized” democracies like the United States of America) ensure a slide towards the worst case scenario. Depraved humans, especially those who have a great interest in having power over their fellows, compete for the votes of the propagandized masses. Those who are the best deceivers win. Then, because their term is limited (unlike the life-long monarch), they exploit their “officialdom” for gain as quickly as possible (before the next “official” comes to power).

Though this is disturbing, for Christians who believe the Holy Scriptures, it should not be surprising. When the ancient Hebrews decided that they needed a scheme of human government like the surrounding nations, Jehovah sent them a word through His prophet.

1 Samuel 8:6-22 “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.”

The pragmatics for me become, in light of my beliefs, what do I do? I thank God, that because of where I currently live, I don’t really have to “do” anything about this except refuse to embrace evil, and refuse to call “evil” by the name “good.”

It seems that even this upsets a lot of folks – but then – they’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. For me, liberty with a little chaos beats government every time. But then, I believe that Jesus was a wise anarchist…

Yep, where is Hippie Fringe when I need him?

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Sitting, clothed, and in his right mind"

Of all the stories of the NT, that of “the wild man of Gadara” is perhaps the greatest blessing to me. On a personal level, it reminds me where I was, and would be, without the Lord Jesus Christ; on levels metaphorical, ethical, and spiritual, what a portrait the story paints of the helpless, lost sinner dwelling in the cemetery of spiritual death, tormented by Satan, wild with unchained passions and unfettered licentiousness. All men are not as wicked as they could be, but all men without Christ are wicked, all dwelling in the catacombs of depravity, all with their own demonic tormentors, all rattling the broken chains and fetters of fallen conscience and moral unrestraint, and all running, crying, and cutting themselves with unconscious but, nonetheless, inevitably suicidal behavior.

But then came Jesus.

De-boarding the ship, Jesus beheld the Gadarene demoniac, the wild man who ran to Him and worshiped Him. By His omnipotent command, the Lord Jesus Christ tamed a hellish heart, so that the tortured sinner, dwelling in tombs, mutilating himself and destroying his life, a man no other man could bind, was now under the sovereign sway of the Son of God “sitting, clothed, and in his right mind.”

“Sitting” denotes a radical change of posture, from raucous aimlessness to to placid composure, from pandemonium to Peace.

“Clothed” denotes the civilization of the passions, unashamed nakedness supplanted by sanctified conscience manifested by ethical demeanor and decorum.

“In his right mind” infers mental metamorphosis, the intellect and will now being respectively enlightened and liberated unto Truth and Righteousness.

Thanks be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose power to save is such that even a wild man, bent on destroying himself, now sits at the Master’s feet, “sitting, clothed, and in his right mind.”
“Jesus, what a Friend for sinners! Jesus, Lover of my soul!
Friends may fail me, foes assail me, He, my Savior, makes me whole!”