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Friday, September 12, 2008

the answer is self

That's right. The philosophy behind political liberalism is what we in the Wesleyan tradition would call "the self life." When self is the centerpiece of philosophy, you get distorted views on every issue making news today.

Yeah, I know I'm a bigot, a religious kook. You even mention this kind of stuff as reasons for your opinions and your credibility is up for laughs.

Hear me out.

The hue and cry now is that all the religious right wants to talk about is the social issues, notably abortion. It's not a fringe issue. Look at the language. Pro-choice. A woman's right. That's the verbiage of self. Humans don't have a choice about life, that's God's realm. To usurp His territory is the very heart of rebellion. To demand rights is the basic tenant of selfishness. Yes, the Declaration of Independence talks about rights, inalienable rights -- life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness -- rights they were endowed by our Creator, gifts, not bribes given to a tantrum-throwing brat. John Piper has a very thought-provoking view on abortion.
Watch the clip I've posted above.

It's amazing that our society which spends billions of dollars in the infertility field, is for children's rights, and produces a plethora of educational programs and toys for our kids could also fight for the right to kill them. The reason of course is self. If I think it's a bad time or I think that they will not be able to live a full life because of their physical or mental challenges, then I want the right to "solve" the problem. My convenience, point of view, and knowledge is superior, the last word.

Self is captive to the natural impulses, the will controls the intellect. That's how people can seem to be unable to understand truth, how they can look right at facts and miss them. Self is not hindered by principle; it finds a way to indulge itself, even it if must grasp at straws or allow itself to be deceived.

Evolution makes as much sense as a gourmet meal denying that Emeril created it. But, self doesn't need rational, just impulse. If it's what I want to believe, then it's right. If it justifies my lifestyle, my opinions, my choices, then it has to be okay. I'll find a way to make it fit the evidence of history, regardless of the gaps in the theory.

Of course, to accept the position that mankind is a slave to the passions of self, you need to have the groundwork of faith, to believe that God is the source and center of life. The contrast to the self life is the Spirit life, a philosophy driven not by impulses warped by selfishness but by God's wisdom that leads us not to what is convenient, but to what is right. And there is the defining point, because those who are engulfed in self will not acknowledge the supremacy of God. But what bratty kid will admit the parent is right?

When it comes down to it, the battlegrounds in the culture can be directly traced to a philosophy that makes self the center. And to win the argument, mankind just denies the existence of the One Who is the center.

Christians, evangelical fundamentalists, the "right-wing" extremists......do not claim to be the naturally flawless kids in the family. All of us have rebelled and gone our way. The Father's Book says it plainly. The only difference is that we learned from the punishment that everyone has experienced and decided that sitting at the family table is better than being in time-out. We decided to come under authority.

When we rely on self for knowledge, we end up getting it wrong. When we take God's Word, all the facts align themselves in perfect beauty.

1 comment:

  1. You are right on! My parents used to tell me that my rights ended where someone else's began. It is so true. I believe we do have a choice--if you do not want a pregnancy-do not have sex. I know it is pretty plain, but I get so frustrated at people who decide after the fact whether they should have an abortion or not. Guess what--your right ended when you made the choice to engage in an activity that we all know still leads to pregnancies. Now the right belongs to someone else-a tiny developing human life. It is never our right to take that life. Abstinence still works 100% of the time. So much of our society believes that everything revolves around what is convenient for me at this time. I just do not see that in the life of Christ. I think we have to consistently look at our lives to make sure we are not falling into the trap of living life for self. Thanks for letting me share my heart.

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