Monday, May 18, 2009

Yet More Wilson

As I'm sure my faithful minions of reader (yes, singular) know, reading Wilson's blog generally accounts for over half of my posts. The rest are occupied with mocking those ridiculous humans who have the tremendous misfortune of being someone "other than me" (or worse yet, someone not "other than me"). Though I particularly delight in gullible evangelicals. After all, I am one.

Anyway, enjoy yet more Wilson.

The Jitney Gods of Washington
Topic: Obama Nation Building
As the Obama saga gets weirder and weirder, Christians shouldn't forget to interpret all the news in the fundamental terms of who we want to be our god, and who wants to be the embodiment of that god. Worship is always the key to everything. And it is not the "key to everything" because we keep repeating that mindlessly like a mantra. It is the key to everything because it explains why so many people, otherwise intelligent, are doing such foolish things.

One of the central reasons why it is so important to insist on the absolute sovereignty of the triune God of Scripture (and for those just joining us, that would be the true God) is because if we dial that sovereignty back (not in reality, but in our fevered dreams) something bad always happens to us. We (also in our fevered dreams) think to step into the void that our imaginations created, the vacant spot recently relinquished by the Maker of heaven and earth. Denial of the true God is the first step of two. It is not that we want no God; it is that we want to replace Him. So the first step is to deny Him. The second step is a necessary one (meaning that it cannot be avoided once the first is taken), and it involves volunteering to pick up the slack created by the divine absence.

Of course, there is not actually a divine absence but rather a divine laughter, as the Lord mocks them to scorn. They do not want Messiah's chains, and so they declare their intention to scatter those chains, as it says in the second psalm from the front (Ps. 2:3). And at the conclusion of the psalter, second from the back, what does God in His kindness give as an honor to all His saints? He enables us through the power of our praise, to bind unbelieving kings with chains (Ps. 149:8).

As it turns out, sovereignty over all things is an inescapable concept. It is not whether someone will foreordain all things, but rather who will foreordain all things. When we cease trusting the God who actually is God, our sinful hearts and minds create a job vacancy. When we deny the God who was God before Calvin or Augustine were born, we wind up with the jitney gods of washington d.c. That sovereignty is claimed, on the one hand, by the God who numbers the hairs on every head, and, on the other hand, the god who doesn't know that you can't refill the pool by taking buckets of water from one end and dumping them in the other.

So whenever you see an outrageous attempt at overreach on the part of our elected solons, ask yourself what divine attribute they are attempting to duplicate. They are doing crazy things, but not because they are unintelligent. Most of them got where they are because they are industrious, intelligent, crafty, and a few other things, perhaps a bit less savory. But when in power they do really foolish things because they are not anywhere near competent to be claiming what they do, and the only alternative is repentance, which would require worshipping the God who created them. Since that is obviously intolerable, they continue on in their folly. And as they continue on, there is an inexorable pressure to fill the divine void. There is no alternative. To paraphrase the great Francis Schaeffer, if there is no God above the state, the state becomes god.

Two quick examples. Proposals to regulate something as complicated as the human economy of any society is clearly an attempt to duplicate the omnis -- omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. But government officials cannot do this. They cannot even approach thinking about what it might be like to be able to do this. As much as they want to be Lord, they cannot be. They are not competent. And when I say they are not competent, I do not mean that they are almost-but-not-quite competent. I do not mean incompetent, but within shouting distance. I mean something like the earthworm you turned up with your spade being annoyed because you interupted his reverie about taking up the violin and wowing sold-out crowds at Carnagie Hall. And even that illustration is giving away too much.

The regulatory state wants to be Lord, and with no veto power hanging over them from above. But the bad news for them is what we Christians call the good news. Christ is Lord. There is no other. And we serve a Lord who was crucified for us, not a lord who wants to crucify others for himself.

Another example of straining towards the divine attributes can be seen in the recent attempts by Obama through the U.S. Treasury to create wealth ex nihilo. But only God can create wealth that way. God spoke the word, and mind-boggling resources were instantly there. And God formed our first parents, and gave them the responsibility for stewarding those resources. That is the authority of the divine -- He speaks, and it is. And blinkered statists want to be able to do that. They should be able to speak, and it is "there." And so they speak, and what was there begins to vanish away. Jezebel brings in the fertility Baal to make Israel lush and green, and the first thing that happens is that Israel turns brown and crispy.

If they could whistle up wealth by fiat, they could save us from us from our poverty. But as much as they want to be Savior, they cannot be. They are not competent. The earthworm keeps dropping the bow. And the violin. And after a few exasperating practices, the earthworm decides that his dreams of glory aren't working because they are being subverted by right-wing extremists who harbor hatred for diversity in their hearts.

In short, Obama is proposing the policies he is because of a religious impulse, pure and simple. He wants the state to be Lord and Savior. We as Christians oppose this, but not because it would be bad if it succeeded. There is no possibility of it succeeding. We oppose it because our Lord and Savior has given us songs of praise with which to bind their dreams of glory.

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