Friday, November 16, 2012

True, but there's a problem...

If one is to live up to the Pauline ideal of making it one’s ambition to lead quiet lives, then involvement in politics seems necessary, sadly.  For example, many parents both in the U.S. and in Germany have thought it best to homeschool their children; however, if government makes it impossible for parents educate their children at home--according to various methods--for reasons of moral conviction or piety, then who should parents fear and obey: government or God?  Or if the preaching of the gospel becomes a cloak-and-dagger matter of whispering in people’s ears behind closed doors lest the State discover you and send you off to jail, who should Christians fear and obey: government or God?

If they fear God in cases such as these, then it seems to me that they will not exactly be leading quiet lives; after all, life is not quiet when the State comes to take you or your children away.  And though such things seem impossible in the U.S., they certainly are not impossible elsewhere and have indeed occurred elsewhere.  Keep this in mind while also considering that when liberal justices of the Supreme Court take it upon themselves to legislate from the bench--which they have already been doing--as opposed to doing their Constitutional duty which is precisely to interpret the law as opposed to designing new applications of it, after a matter of several decades nearly any dark scenario becomes feasible for the U.S.

So you want to make sure that the place where you live has a political atmosphere that is conducive to leading a quiet life, not to mention its also being conducive to allowing the church to act as salt and light to the world around it.  If memory serves, this is something that the redoubtable Steve Hays of Triablogue has already pointed out, and some of the thoughts that I have just expressed were apparently already offered by fellow Triabloger John Bugay in the blogpost (before I had even read it all in detail) to which I direct the reader:

What I want to focus on is one particular comment, part of which reads as follows:

Conservatives need to learn to sit down with people with whom they disagree and have calm, rational conversations about the Good rather than vehement argue-fests that only make them look like anxious, intemperate, unkind culture warriors. 

That is the problem.  We now live in the Information Age: brought about by the Internet and which has made people in today’s society to be sophisticated.  All the ideas and arguments for this idea, or that proposition, or this point of view, or that philosophical paradigm, or this theological teaching, or that political belief: before the Internet not everyone was privy to such things, but nowadays everyone is.  And that means the apologetical enterprises of liberal scholars of the Bible become arguments and words that are parroted by laypersons who have a similar interest in convincing people that the Bible is errant.  Likewise, all the minutiae and technical arguments and information of biology, microbiology, etc. that an apologist for Darwninan Evolution with a Ph.D might offer are now parroted by laypersons who have a similar interest in disproving all forms of creationism.  It happens becomes people now type their thoughts and post them on the Internet for everyone to read.

Other examples can be mentioned, but the ease with which people can copy and paste electronic texts, or refer people to electronic technical journals, or electronically disseminate information to millions of people for free (as opposed to the pre-Internet method of using fourth- and fifth-generation Xerox copies of various literature) means this: you’re now having to have encyclopedic knowledge to fully respond to the issues, questions and arguments that people raise.  Of course, such is also true of politics.  So, after you’ve already spent more than 2/3 of your day waking up, getting out of bed, showering, eating breakfast, working for 8 hours or more, commuting to or from work, picking up your kids from daycare, preparing dinner, paying bills, praying, reading your Bible, studying a bunch of reading material of Christian apologetics, and going to bed before getting up to do it all again the next day now you have spend the rest of your life, er, day by becoming a scholar of political and economic studies, in order to have “calm, rational conversations” about politics.  This is a substantial burden to bear, as if life were not short enough already.

Again, people are burdened enough as it is.  However, due to the fact that we live in a fallen and evil world it becomes necessary, apparently, for everyone to suffer even more by becoming learned students of more and more disciplines and areas of study.  Depressing thing to say, but this seems to be the case.  Hopefully the non-Christian social conservatives and fiscal conservatives of the Western world can be persuaded to carry this burden alone though.... =)

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