We’ve picked up a crop of new subscribers lately. It’s time for one of those periodic restatements of faith. This time I’ll emphasize the basis for our moral reasoning here.
Our fallen nature rests on trusting the intellect to handle moral questions. That’s the meaning behind the Hebrew phrase translated as “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” It’s “knowledge” in the sense of deciding and judging what is good and evil from our human resources, specifically as opposed to trusting in divine revelation. What is utterly opaque to Western culture is that the only way you can take advantage of divine revelation is by moving your conscious awareness into your heart-mind.
I use as a reference point two previous posts to explain what that means — Sensory Heart Science and Rebuilding Redemption. The Ancient Hebrews, as part of the Ancient Near East, regarded the heart as a superior faculty separate from the intellect; the heart is the seat of faith where God communicates through conviction. He does not address Himself to the human intellect. Even when God uses miraculous means to communicate through our human senses, He still addresses the heart, not the brain.
The convictions of your heart speak with moral authority to the mind, if you choose to let your heart rule. The mind was not designed to rule, but to organize and implement the moral reasoning of the heart. Building on this foundation, nothing I write is aimed at steering your thinking, but offering my thinking as a stimulus for your own heart-mind to consider what you have to do to obey the moral demands of your convictions. Your heart knows what God requires of you. Sometimes it speaks loudly and makes demands, pushing us to overcome inertia on some issues (assertive). But for most of us still striving to learn how the heart communicates to the mind, the majority of our discovery is when the convictions respond to some exposure (passive). My writing is meant to provoke a heart-led response first and foremost. Persuading you to agree with me is just a human desire that doesn’t rank very high in priority.
My regular readers already know that much, but there are enough new readers that it needs to be explained now and then, as the basis for some of the more radical ideas I present. Heart-led moral reasoning is not going to come up with the same answers to human problems as intellectual reasoning. On the one hand, I do continue a life-long study of Ancient Hebrew intellectual traditions, history and culture so my brain knows what to expect from the Bible. On the other hand, those Ancient Hebrews took very seriously the business of letting the heart rule. The result is that I strive to teach your mind what to expect from your heart. I get no satisfaction from people who echo my sentiments on this or that issue, but it’s a real blessing when you can describe how your heart has awakened to its role, and you have begun your own moral journey of discovery. You aren’t supposed to agree with me on details, but learn from how I get to those details.
A fundamental moral assumption in Scripture is that humans are hard-wired to live under a peculiar brand of feudalism that was once ubiquitous in the Near East. Whatever flaws we face in human society while living in this fallen world, our only hope for the blessings of God is to live in that Ancient Near Eastern feudal social structure and government. Any other form of government is morally inferior; no other can address the full range of human need for guidance and restraint from gross sin. So all your trendy “Christian” political theories are garbage against God’s revealed form of government. You cannot make sense of the Law Covenants until you first embrace Ancient Near Eastern feudalism as God’s answer to human need. Any form of democracy is a heathen concept built on rejecting God’s revelation, just as bad as tyranny.
Nobody has any business ruling your daily existence unless they are family. They can be family by blood or by covenant; indeed, the latter takes priority over DNA. But you cannot simply paste the word “covenant” over some other form of government that meets your logical and sentimental preferences. It has to be feudal in nature.
Within our modern collection of political philosophies we find a world of iniquity. All of them fundamentally reject the rule of the heart-mind. All of them are inherently materialistic, a flat rejection of revelation. Communism is easily the most materialistic of all political philosophies, and the one that suffers most from unrealistic assumptions about human nature. Socialism is hardly much different, just a little less intrusive in detailed control. Any leftist lean is inherently evil. But the right is no better. Libertarian philosophy offers zero mechanism for the necessity of moral restraint. The various flavors of conservative political leanings are simply libertarianism with restrictions. And whatever folks may imagine is centrist is just logical inconsistency. In every case, it’s asking the wrong questions.
On this basis we seldom agree with any of the specific policy agendas. This or that action might be good or might not, but without a proper foundation in moral reasoning of the heart, it’s entirely accidental.
I can also explain how our cultural mythology gets us into trouble on these things. The impulse to control in specifics (with specific requirements in outcomes) arises from the Cult of Oester inherent in the Germanic tribal background of Western Civilization. It’s reflects the Curse of the Fall on the feminine soul. The emphasis on mechanics and structure is a masculine thing arising from the appeal of reason found in Greco-Roman assumptions about reality. While this image oversimplifies, most people can see how it presents a basic pattern. So you understand that globalism is feminist-communist and nationalism is faux masculine logic. The whole mess rests on a heathen model of unnecessary conflict between male-female, feelings-logic, control-freedom, etc. The answer is not pragmatic compromise, but to move outside the broken model.
Things are further complicated because of abuse of terms. In Western mythology, the heart is just a quasi-emotional impulse that is actually the enemy of pure logic, and on a lower level than logic. When we advocate a heart-led life, it’s misread as something else. We don’t expect minds closed off to the heart to understand. It’s not incumbent on us to convince people’s minds, but to trust God for His power to provoke conviction and awaken hearts. Our calling is not persuading folks to convert, but to offer a vision that only hearts can grasp.