Foul Winds

The fundamental concept of sin is arguing with God. In terms of the Law Covenants, God places a very high priority on social stability (shalom). His revelation obliges us to act consistent with His character, which is woven into the very fabric of reality. When we seek that, we will naturally build shalom and reap it’s blessings. In our Western society, there seems to be two primary areas in which people most often disagree with revelation and destroy shalom: persons and dominion.

We’ve already noted that the West depersonalizes Creation as a whole. Reality itself bears the stamp of God’s character. The Bible says we should treat reality as a living thing and include it in our society. Indeed, Western intellectual assumptions typically depersonalize God by raising the myth of objective truth as a separate entity, and Westerners make arguments as if holding Him accountable to this imaginary body of truth. Folks, there is no truth outside of God. While that Western fallacy is bad enough, a primary manifestation of this is dehumanizing people. The Bible consistently uses the language of people as made in God’s image, and this is what makes the Fall so tragic. In fallen arrogance, many become self-centered, treating others as less worthy.

Jesus made a big deal of loving your neighbor as yourself, then went on to define “neighbor” in terms of morality. Notice that this isn’t about mere prejudice, which misses the point. Rather, Jesus was saying that if someone does you no harm, you have to assume they are your neighbor, deserving of all the inclusive social stability efforts. It’s not about the people and their identity. The Samaritans were a mixed bag of heathens imported back when God permitted the Assyrian Empire to destroy the Northern Ten Tribes. The Israelis were dispersed Mesopotamia and a bunch of other folks were brought in to occupy their place, starting around the old capital of Samaria. These imports adopted a highly corrupted version of the Books of Moses on the grounds of simply placating the local deity. Without wasting pages recounting the whole sordid tale, we note that these Samaritans had a long-standing antagonism with the Southern Tribes (Judea). Jesus’ point was that none of it mattered — religion, nationality, history, etc. God has revealed Himself in the fabric of all Creation, and He can touch heathen hearts without the Bible. When you see someone walking in some measure of conformance with the moral character of God, they are your neighbor.

The standard is God’s moral character. If someone acts the part of your enemy, pay attention to the moral failure and deal with that, but don’t hate the person. Commit your whole loyalty to the moral character of God, not any lesser thing cooked up by mankind’s fallen imagination. Let your religion be your very best personal response, being faithful to the God who calls you, but never treat your religion as a definition of God that constrains Him.

The other issue is dominion: What does God say is your business? What does His Law indicate are the limits of your control in this plane of existence? We can be sure that Westerners seldom come even close on this one. The whole question presumes you have sought an awareness of your divine calling from God. There is no waste in God; if He made you, there is a reason and He’s the One you ask to discover that reason. You would think Western Christianity should have a clue, but most Christians are just about as perverted in their understanding as were the Hellenized Pharisees. Westerners are worse than Hellenized, because they also have embraced the heathen Germanic mythology to mix with Greek rationalism. That’s the definition of Western Civilization. Westerners are clueless about dominion, and only by accident do they ever come close. A primary manifestation of Western failure is a false sense of entitlement or elitism. Westerners virtually always stick their nose in someone else’s domain. Your divine calling comes with a limited dominion granted by God, and it is a critical element in divine moral consciousness.

If we can just understand these two fundamental elements, virtually everything else wrong with Western Civilization fades away to insignificance. Put your life in the same basket as all human life — indeed, all Creation. Hold it all as a unified consideration in pursuing divine justice. Yet do not presume on things God did not place in your hands.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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