Russell and Duenes

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Courage: The Need of the Hour

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Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of [the other nations], for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Dt. 31:6).

Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed. (1 Chron. 22:13).

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13).

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. (2 Cor. 5:6).

I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. (Ps. 3:6).

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 27:1).

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Heb. 13:6).

I read somewhere yesterday that, in these times, the virtue Christians most need to cultivate is courage. I have an old friend who used to pray routinely for courage and humility. This prayer is more urgent now that Christians in the West are coming to be viewed as the “troublers” of civilization.

Courage will not mean an arrogant boisterousness in the face of those who oppose God’s gospel. But it most certainly will mean standing firm on the truth God has revealed. It will mean affirming and suffering for God’s sovereignty and lordship in absolutely every arena of life. It will mean affirming, in public ways, that God defines reality and has not left the defining of it open to us in any part of life. God created us “male and female” and we must courageously affirm that sinful human beings do not have the power or authority to try and define sexual reality for themselves. God invented marriage and He decides what it is and isn’t. He has determined the nature and purpose of sex and sexuality. We must stand with Peter and John when they said: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you be the judge.” (Acts 4:19).

God is the one who says that people from every tribe, tongue, nation and language matter to him, both the born and the unborn. God defines justice and with Him there is no favoritism.

As Os Guinness has said, there is no god but God, and so we must courageously obey Him in all things. His Word must be our constant standard of truth and reality. It will take courage to affirm the Bible’s truths, to defend its precepts, to proclaim its very words, to avoid softening or bastardizing its language and teaching, and to demonstrate its beauty with our lives.

We will not do this in our own power. Yet it is sobering, and indeed terrifying, to remember what God says: “The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:7-8).

-D

 

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Written by Michael Duenes

July 23, 2016 at 11:51 am

God Is the One Moving the Syrians Out

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The Syrian refugee situation reminded me of something I’ve known and believed for a long time, but have apathetically neglected. It’s a life-altering way of viewing world history and the migrations of people, and the Syrian crisis is a direct application of it.

Ralph Winter (1924-2009), an American missiologist, in his brilliant piece, The Kingdom Strikes Back: Ten Epochs of Redemptive History, says there are “four different ‘mission mechanisms’ at work to bless other peoples: 1) going voluntarily, 2) involuntarily going without missionary intent, 3) coming voluntarily, and 4) coming involuntarily (as with Gentiles forcibly settled in Israel – 2 Kings 17; as with Syrian refugees).” In other words, world history is centrally about God’s purpose of having people “seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27). And God accomplishes His purposes of blessing through these four mechanisms of migration. The only ultimate purpose to these migrations, and to history as a whole, is to glorify God and bring about His enjoyment of His own creative and redemptive acts within the universe. Inextricably bound with this is our enjoyment of those same creative and redemptive acts. Nothing less will do.

I was not taught to think this way about world history and migration until I was well into adulthood, and even then, only because I took a class called “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” at my local church. I was not taught to think about what God was doing in the history of the world, and how He was working out history for His own glorious ends among the nations. I was not taught about the ways that God has been at work to advance His kingdom through the workings of the peoples and nations of the earth. This is a profound deficiency, and it points up the need for Christian children to be given an explicit and robust Christian education. Pieces like Ralph Winter’s should be central to the curriculum, and should be taught far and wide in homes and churches and schools.

Winter writes: “From Genesis 12 to the end of the Bible, and indeed until the end of time, there unfolds the single, coherent drama of ‘the Kingdom strikes back.'” Winter develops this theme, in broad strokes, by considering ten epochs in world history, wherein “the grace of God [is] intervening in a ‘world which lies in the power of the Evil One (1 Jn 5:19), contesting an enemy who temporarily is ‘the god of this world’ (2 Cor 4:4) so that the nations will praise God’s name.” Winter admits that “in the space available…it is only possible to outline the Western part of the story of the kingdom striking back – and only outline. It will be very helpful to recognize the various cultural basins in which that invasion has taken place. Kenneth Scott Latourette’s History of Christianity gives the fascinating details, a book extending the story beyond the Bible. (A book more valuable than any other, apart from the Bible!).” I would heartily recommend Latourette’s two volumes myself.

In the first five Epochs in world history, which Winter only summarizes, we have God at work through the period of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph), through the Captivity in Egypt, through the Judges in Israel, through the Kings in Israel, and through the Exile to Babylon. After this, Jesus comes, in a kind of “incriminating ‘visitation.'” The “chosen nation – chosen to receive and to mediate the blessing [of God’s good news] – has grossly fallen short.” Thus Jesus ushers in the second five Epochs in world history.

In Epoch 6, Winter argues that “Rome was won but did not reach out with the gospel to the barbaric Celts and Goths. Almost as a penalty, the Goths invaded Rome and the whole western (Latin) part of the empire caved in.” In Epoch 7, “the Goths were added in, and they and others briefly achieved a new ‘Holy’ Roman Empire. But this new sphere did not effectively reach further north with the gospel.” In Epoch 8, “again almost as a penalty, the Vikings invaded these Christianized Celtic and Gothic barbarians. In the resulting agony, the Vikings, too, became Christians.” In Epoch 9, “Europe now united for the first time by Christian faith, reached out in a sort of pseudo-mission to the Saracens in the great abortion known as the Crusades.” In Epoch 10, “Europe now reached out to the very ends of the earth, but still done with highly mixed motives; intermingled commercial and spiritual interests was both a blight and a blessing. Yet, during this period, the entire non-Western world was suddenly stirred into development as the colonial powers greatly reduced war and disease. Never before had so few affected so many, even though never before had so great a gap existed between two halves of the world.” We are still in this final phase of reaching all of the world for Christ, with the two-thirds world now truly taking the lead over the West.

Winter ultimately asks some important questions: “Will the immeasurably strengthened non-Western world invade Europe and America just as the Goths invaded Rome and the Vikings overran Europe? Will the ‘Third World’ turn on us in a new series of ‘Barbarian’ invasions? Will the OPEC nations gradually buy us out and take us over? [I would ask: Will China?] Clearly we face the reaction of an awakened non-Western world that is suddenly beyond our control. What will be the role of the gospel? Can we gain any insight from these previous cycles of outreach?” To this we might add our question: “Will Muslims, including Syrians, from the Middle East overtake Europe in a way similar to the Vikings, with the end that they become followers of Christ?” No one can say for sure how God is moving people around, but we can be sure that, indeed, it is He that is moving them. He is bringing the Syrians to us.

I highly commend to you Winter’s piece, which I’ve linked above. Let us teach it to our children, and enlarge their vision of their own lives, and how they might live in line with God’s plan and purpose to bless all the nations with the gospel.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

November 20, 2015 at 11:49 am

A Brief Response to Rod Dreher on the Kim Davis Case: Updated

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Rod Dreher wrote a blog post entitled, The Complicated Kim Davis Case. It’s worth reading. I typically love whatever Dreher writes, and usually find myself in substantial agreement with him. I agree with much of what he says here, but I’ve reprinted almost all of his post so that I can respond to it point-by-point. His words are in italics below.

I have some questions for both sides in the case of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses because licensing same-sex couples would violate her religious beliefs. For the record, I agree with the moral and religious stance Davis, a registered Democrat, is taking, but believe that as an officer of the state charged with upholding the law, she ought to resign her position if she cannot fulfill her duties.

As I said in a previous post, I’m not entirely convinced Davis ought to resign. It seems to me there are other options. First, it is my understanding that it’s possible for the state to put someone else’s name on the marriage licenses besides Kim Davis’ name. Christians who work for the government ought not be put in the stark position of having to violate their conscience or quit their jobs when there may be other accommodations possible. But let’s assume that’s not possible, or wouldn’t satisfy Davis. I think it is preferable for Davis to make the state remove her. Make them enforce their own lawless edicts, as Douglas Wilson says.

But the case is more complicated than partisans on both sides seem to think. Here are a few questions it raises.

1. Let’s say it’s 2005. Davis is the county clerk in a liberal northern California enclave, and a devout Unitarian Universalist who believes it is unjust to deny marriage to same-sex couples. She says her office will refuse to issue marriage licenses for anybody until the state recognizes the right of gays to marriage, and she claims religious liberty protections. Is she right?

I don’t believe she’s right, but I think I would take the same view. She should be removed from the situation, either having her name removed so that others can perform the required duty, or removed from her job by the state of California or a judge.

2. Let’s say the US Supreme Court rules in favor of the religious liberty rights of a conservative Christian plaintiff, and orders a local government office to cease its discrimination. The officer refuses, saying to obey the court would violate her religious freedom. Is she right?

Same answer, essentially.

3. Let’s stipulate that just because something is legal does not make it morally right, and let’s further stipulate that for religious believers, God’s law is more important than man’s law. (This is why I think Davis should resign rather than obey what she considers to be a seriously immoral law.) What would happen to law and order if all government officials — not private individuals, but government officials — reserved to themselves the right to obey the law in the discharge of their duties only insofar as the law was consonant with their religious beliefs? For example, many sincere Christians believe that immigration restriction is immoral. What if officials in the Southwest began refusing to enforce federal immigration law, citing religious liberty?

If Dreher’s advice were followed, we’d have more government officials resigning their jobs, and frankly, I don’t see a problem with that. I have to believe there are more than enough Americans who would be quite willing to do the state’s bidding in whatever the state is currently enforcing. Law and order is not destroyed because a small number, and I think it would be a small number, of people refuse to discharge their job duties on religious conscience grounds. Plus, to use Dreher’s example, we have whole cities refusing to enforce federal immigration law, and apparently a good many Americans don’t have a problem with it nor see it as a threat to law and order (although that doesn’t mean they’re right).

4. I understand the temptation to point to Davis’s four marriages and laugh at her apparent hypocrisy. “Look, the big Christian is a hypocrite!” etc. But how many people realize that her religious conversion was fairly recent, about four years ago?

Dreher said more on this point, but I’m not addressing it here. Suffice it to say, I agree that pointing to Davis’ three marriages before she was a Christian is ridiculous, and further, has nothing to do with the issue at hand. It is merely a way for the priests of the religion of secularism to prop up and defend their false god.

5. Do Christians who think every advance of the secular, pro-gay state must be vigorously resisted not worry about how this approach could hurt us in the long term? I’m thinking about Doug Wilson, who writes, in part:

First, whenever we get to that elusive and ever-receding “hill to die on,” we will discover, upon our arrival there, that it only looked like a hill to die on from a distance. Up close, when the possible dying is also up close, it kind of looks like every other hill. All of a sudden it looks like a hill to stay alive on, covered over with topsoil that looks suspiciously like common ground.

So it turns out that surrendering hills is not the best way to train for defending the most important ones. Retreat is habit-forming.

He’s objecting to my statement that Christians are going to have to fight some tough battles ahead, and that Davis has chosen the wrong hill to die on. Here’s why he feels so strongly about supporting Davis:

The point here is not just private conscience. The right to liberty of conscience is at play with florists, bakers, and so on. But Kim Davis is not just keeping herself from sinning, she is preventing Rowan County from sinning. That is part of her job.

Every Christian elected official should be determining, within the scope of their duties, which lines they will not allow the state to cross. When they come to that line, they should refuse to cross it because “this is against the law of God.” They should do this as part of their official responsibilities. This is part of their job. It is one of the things they swear to do when they take office.

It’s very difficult to see what actions today will “hurt us in the long run.” I can see that bowing to the state’s lawlessness and immorality will also hurt us in the long run. I would argue that the advance of the secular, pro-gay state must indeed be resisted at all times. It’s in high rebellion against God. The question is: How must it be resisted? Preaching the gospel is an act of resistance in itself. That is part of the nature of the gospel. Further, the gospel has many applications which will constitute resistance to the secular state. If we don’t die on this hill, as Dreher suggests, what hills should we die on? And what’s Dreher’s criteria for determining which hills are which?

DUENES UPDATE: Dreher has since written:

So, if Kim Davis isn’t a hill to die on, what is? It’s a fair question. Broadly speaking, my answer is this: when they start trying to tell us how to run our own religious institutions — churches, schools, hospitals, and the like — and trying to close them or otherwise destroy them for refusing to accept LGBT ideology. This is a bright red line — and it’s a fight in which we might yet win  meaningful victories, given the strong precedents in constitutional jurisprudence.

I’ll briefly say this in response: (1) It seems to me there are already attempts being made to tell us how to run our own religious institutions because our institutions still have some virility left in them; and (2) Dreher’s argument here, in my view, marginalizes the church to an unacceptable degree. It contributes to the distinction already being made wherein “secularism” and its attendant scientism is viewed as “reality” and “fact based” and so forth, and religion is viewed as “your opinion” or “like a hobby, that is, nice for you, but of no consequence to anything important in life.” I think the secular culture would be happy to let us run our own institutions once they are sufficiently neutered so as not to require them to give us any thought. Once we reach that level of irrelevancy, the battle’s over. There’s no hill any longer, so to speak. No one needs to try and close the local Unitarian Universalist church because it is of no consequence. It’s not worth expending any energy over. The same would become true or our Christian institutions. I think Dreher is drawing the noose around Christianity’s neck too tightly.

So Christians have to protect the democratic state against itself? Besides, if the Christian official is a strictly traditionalist Roman Catholic who believes in Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors, which, if he followed Doug Wilson’s advice, would put Calvinists like Doug Wilson in a very bad position vis-à-vis the state. I suppose Wilson might deny that the traditionalist Catholic is actually a Christian, but that being the case, good luck trying to convince the rest of the country that it ought to be ruled only by the standards of Calvinists.

Wilson’s point is an interesting one. I would hope that the Average Joe Christian government worker would see it as his or her duty to keep the state from sinning, insofar as possible. In other words, if I work for the government and have influence in a particular policy arena where I believe the government is sinning, I would want to advocate for a non-sinful policy. If my daily duties allow me to carry out the government’s program in a way that’s non-sinful, when a sinful way is also possible, I should opt for the former. I doubt Dreher is saying that all Christians in government should just go along with every vice of the democratic state because we have no duty to “protect the democratic state against itself.” But I see the difficulty he raises, particularly with the Catholic/Protestant divide. Which theological position should we be protecting the state from? A thorny matter indeed.

Wilson says that he wants massive disobedience of the law by Christian state officials regarding enforcing same-sex marriage laws, and in turn for the state to have to fire those officials:

Some might ask what the good in that would be. Wouldn’t it just result in no Christians in such positions? Perhaps, but it would be far better to have godless results enforced by the godless than to insist that the godly do it for them. It would be far better to have the “no Christians in power results” when it was actually the case that no Christians were in power. I would rather have non-Christian clerks acting like non-Christian clerks than to have Christian clerks do it for them. I mean, right?

Don’t tell believers to stay engaged so that they can make a difference, and then, when they start making a difference, tell them that this is not a hill to die on.

I might be wrong, but Wilson seems to be of the opinion that obstreperousness is next to godliness. He is advocating here that Christian officials, in the words Robert Bolt gave to Sir Thomas More, “cut a great road through the law to get to the devil”:

What would Christians do when the law protects their liberty, but Social Justice Warriors in local government refuse to obey the law, citing a higher law?

I don’t know that Wilson is advocating “obstreperousness.” He is not saying that one ought to be “noisy” about his resistance, or “difficult to control.” That said, it looks to me like a lot of the Civil Rights resisters in the 1960s fit the definition of “obstreperous,” and we don’t have a problem with that.

But leaving that aside, isn’t Dreher’s hypothetical already a reality? Don’t we now, right this minute, have a Constitution and many lesser statutes which protect Christian liberty and a bunch of social justice warriors in the government who refuse to obey these laws? The only difference is, these leftists shamefully cite their own adherence to the Constitution as though they weren’t mangling and misapplying it.

I’ll say it again: if Davis, a state official, believes that obeying man’s law is contrary to God’s law, she should resign. To live by the principle that Christians in government are not obliged to obey the law in the discharge of their official duties is a very dangerous one to take for Christians. Traditionalist, orthodox Christians are a minority in this country, and are going to become ever more despised. The day is coming when the only protection many of us can rely on is the law, and the willingness of government officers to obey the law, even though they hate us. 

So I have a question for Dreher on this one: Once Christians reach this greater state of contempt and detestableness in our nation – towards which we are currently advancing – which laws does he imagine we will be able to rely on for our protection? Does he imagine the social justice warriors will be enacting and enforcing principled laws that protect Christians? As I said, the laws are already breaking against us. See for example, here.

The Constitution is being interpreted by the likes of our Supreme Court justices in a way that it hostile to biblical Christianity. Who are the secularists who are going to somehow find within their secularism objective principles of justice, righteousness and fairness so that they might consistently uphold these laws in favor of Christians? Government officials have already shown themselves quite unwilling to obey the law. Where were the government officials to uphold Prop 8 in California? What about the government officials who are dying to uphold the RFRA laws? This is my biggest problem with what Dreher is saying here. He assumes that once the secular, pro-gay state has gained sufficient power, it will hold itself under some higher authority by which it must “obey the law” in favor of Christians, “even though they hate us.” I think we’re already seeing that many officials who “hate us” are quite willing to use the law as a cudgel with which to bludgeon us. After all, does any Christian really think that fining a couple of Christian bakers $130,000 for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding is “protecting” Christians? I don’t see Dreher’s scenario playing out.

And so, my final question:

6. Is the principle that the More of Bolt’s play powerfully elucidates really something we can afford to take lightly?

I haven’t seen Bolt’s play, so I can’t answer, but I’m guessing I’ve addressed it above.

UPDATE: I ought to have said that yes, there are other considerations in play when a Christian is, say, an official of the Nazi state. I believe it would be heroic if the Christian used her position to undermine the state. Wilson brings up the Nazi example, and also cannibalism. I do not think it is helpful to clear, prudent thinking about the proper relationship of Christian government officials to the law to invoke the most extreme possible examples. We are not living under Nazi totalitarianism. Jews are not being shipped to ovens on the orders of the government. To behave as if the stakes were really that high in the case of gay marriage in the USA is to seriously distort things. I believe Obergefell was an unrighteous decision, one that is going to have serious and deleterious long-term consequences. It’s not the Nuremberg Laws.

I find Dreher’s thought here problematic because it puts the Nazi example out of bounds in any kind of argumentation. The same thing happens when people appeal to the Soviet Union. We’re constantly being told that the example of Nazism or the Soviet Union doesn’t apply because, well, these regimes were so bad that they are beyond the pale of making any fair comparisons. But I object to this strongly. There are reasons these regimes came about. There were historical decisions and actions that led up to them. They did not just magically appear on the human scene. Wilson invoked Nazism because these days, the “extreme example” is about the only way for one to get his point across in these matters.

Of course, we are not living under Nazi totalitarianism, but my question is: At what point, short of sending people to ovens again, are we justified in invoking the Nazi example? And how does one assess when we’ve reached the critical points? I understand that Dreher did not mean to address this question in his blog post, but he raises it like it’s self-evident. At what point, under what cultural conditions, will the “stakes be really that high?” Dreher’s post provides no inkling of an answer, and the questions I’m posing here really are important ones.

Further, Wilson was not invoking Nazism to demonstrate that the gay marriage issue is the same as Nazism. That was not his point. He was simply analogizing for clarity’s sake. No fair-minded person thinks Obergefell is tantamount to the Nuremburg Laws, but must we wait until we have Nuremburg Laws, or something just short of them, to decide upon a course of serious resistance?

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

September 6, 2015 at 6:36 am

Do Your Job or Go to Jail

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That’s the import of Federal District Judge, David Bunning’s decision to send Rowan County clerk, Kim Davis, to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

And please don’t tell me that, “No, she went to jail for contempt of court.” That’s a non-starter. As Constitutional attorney David French rightly states, “There were many options short of imprisonment for Davis, . . . but the court was apparently in no mood for moderation.” Davis is in jail because she refused to do her job and refused to resign, which is a chilling reality.

Also, don’t facilely quote Romans 13. Does anyone imagine every German Christian in the 1930s should have simply obeyed all of the Nazi laws, well, because Romans 13? The Nazi laws were “the law” after all, and Romans 13 says that “whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God.” Thus, no resistance to the Nazis was allowed. No resistance to Jim Crow laws was allowed in this country either. Other examples could be adduced, so I think we must do better.

Most of the Christian opinion I’ve heard has argued that she should have resigned. Perhaps so, but I agree much more wholeheartedly with Douglas Wilson:

The end game here is not armed revolution. The end game is simply a refusal to cooperate with their revolution. Make them fire or impeach faithful officials. Once removed, such faithful officials should run for office again with a promise to continue to defy all forms of unrighteous despotism. As one friend of mine put it, “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” Some might ask what the good in that would be. Wouldn’t it just result in no Christians in such positions? Perhaps, but it would be far better to have godless results enforced by the godless than to insist that the godly do it for them. It would be far better to have the “no Christians in power results” when it was actually the case that no Christians were in power. I would rather have non-Christian clerks acting like non-Christian clerks than to have Christian clerks do it for them. I mean, right?

Or as the Apostle Peter said: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge.” Jesus does not cease to be Lord simply because one works for the government. If resignation from government work is the only way to submit to Christ’s lordship when we are asked by that same government to deny His lordship, then surely there should be a whole lot more resignations being handed in.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

September 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm

The Butchers of ISIS and You Face the Exact Same Fate After Death . . . Deal With That!

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I haven’t written anything in more than two months, for various reasons, but I felt compelled to say something while I have a free moment today.

ISIS continues to rape innocent girls and women (and likely men and boys) brutally and mercilessly, while beheading others, making war, committing mass murder, recruiting people to their regime and leaving tens of thousands in squalor and poverty. The “leadership” of North Korea continues to run a prison police state, oppressing and impoverishing millions, denying its citizens even basic human goods, summarily executing people who have committed no crimes, and threatening war against non-aggressor nations. China’s dictators still ruthlessly suppress, beat, maim, and imprison Christians and other religious people. They also continue their “one child policy,” which, in practical terms, means they condemn millions upon millions of mostly unborn girls to death, and deny millions of men future wives, creating a demographic catastrophe. The citizens of the United States, legally mind you, continue to carry out a systematic genocide against black Americans in particular and all Americans in general, having killed over 50 million of their own citizens in the name of “choice” and “sexual freedom.” Our hands are stained with the blood of unborn generations.

And these are but a few, a very few, of the regimes and nations around the world who, at this moment, engage in large-scale and routine execution, oppression, racist discrimination, imprisonment, rape, warfare and impoverishment of human beings, not to mention the well-known historical examples of such actions. Doubtless you could think of many others and their practical actions without too much effort.

Cursory attention to the world around us also brings to mind people who would cut open babies’ faces in order to extract their brains for trade, people who would do all in their power to explain this away, who bully and belittle gay people for fun, who rape and murder others for drugs, turf, car stereos, respect, shoes, out of jealousy or because they simply don’t like the look of them. It includes people who beat their wives and girlfriends and molest their children as a matter of course, who subscribe to websites so they can find others with whom to commit adultery (ruining whole families), who embezzle others’ honestly-earned money, who discriminate against others simply because of how they look, who steal others’ property for political gain, who knowingly slander others to the ruin of their reputations and careers, who utterly neglect their children or spouses for personal gain, who accept bribes and kickbacks, who defraud others (e.g., Enron) to the destruction of their innocent employees’ careers and life savings, who kidnap children to hold for ransom, who vent their anger toward others or simply undermine them in subtle ways . . . and the list could go on at length.

But why mention all this, when we mostly – at least where I live – get to ignore it? Charles Darwin and his progeny tell us that we human beings are simply physical creatures who happen to be here by random chance and mutation, with no purpose or meaning, and with no life after death. We are born by accident, die, and turn into manure. And this is the official teaching of our government and public schools and the culturally dominant narrative and worldview in the western world about reality.

But what does it mean, if it’s true? It means at least what John Lennon says it means: “No hell below us, above us only sky. ” It means there is no justice in front of anyone involved in the parade of horribles listed above, a parade which uncovers only a very small fraction of the grave injustices we do to each others, large and small, each day.

But do any significant number of people live as if this is true, as if the grizzly ghouls of ISIS who intentionally and quite happily rape, dismember and slaughter innocent others with an arrogant and high hand, should pay nothing for their actions, and at their death, should come to merely the same end as everyone else, by virtue of the fact that their raping and killing was merely a matter of what their accidentally mutated genes programmed them to do?

I couldn’t help pondering today, as I tried to think in a somewhat unsentimental way about the real world around me, filled with wickedness, pain and death, that the Darwinian narrative must be false, simply on these grounds alone, whatever else it might have to commend it.

-D

Written by Michael Duenes

August 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm