Thursday, December 13, 2012

Political Extremes

Ours seems to be an age of extremes, of people pushing principles to their questionable conclusions. I have to ask why this is so. I believe the answer can be found in G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. He says that purely naturalistic processes can only progress in an obvious direction. But progressing into a complex pattern implies an artist making the pattern. If my computer screen got darker and darker until it was pitch black or more and more purple until it was dark purple, it might be a purely mechanical malfunction. But if a face appears speaking to me, I must conclude that someone, somewhere, created what I was looking at.

For example I can hold strongly to independence until I see myself as an isolated individual, beholden to almost no one, and see it as the end of a natural process. I can see myself being made more and more a cog in an interlocked societal machine and see it as a result of simple progress. I can believe in more and more equality until no one can be distinguished from anyone else. Or claim some higher individuals or master race should exercise more and more power over others. But a complex Biblical picture of unity in diversity and servant leadership requires an Architect (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Luke 22:24-27; Ephesians 5:21-6:9),

On purely naturalistic grounds we can hold to an ethic of work and success that despises those who fail. Or we can believe in an ethic that offers the same goods to everyone regardless of effort. But to maintain the need of work while helping those in need requires more (1 John 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:12; James 2:15,16; Ephesians 4:28). We can, from a naturalistic viewpoint, claim that almost any sexual activity is all right and it is wrong in almost all cases to restrain it. Or else claim that sex is a dirty thing and should be avoided except when necessary to propagate the species. But to see it as good within an appropriate, committed relationship and wrong outside this requires a Designer (Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Proverbs 5:15-23).

This problem appears over and over again in various issues. And Christians are in danger of falling into one or the other of the extremes rather than standing where we should. For we believe the world is not an accident, but the work of a Creator. And the right answer to the issues is the picture intended by the Artist.        

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