Of Goats and Chamber Pots

Don’t follow the folly of this world.

Matthew 26:52 is often misquoted. It’s a peculiar Western concept that one could “live by the sword.” It almost sounds poetic — live by the sword; die by the sword. But this places a false emphasis and takes the thoughts in the wrong direction. The Greek translation of His words is more nuanced: If you take the sword, it will take you. Choose your tools carefully, because they will restrict your choices later. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all you have; there are lots of tools, so don’t let any one thing become a false god. Notice that He didn’t tell Peter to throw that big knife away (for that’s all it was) or surrender it, but to save it for a better time. Jesus was not coming to assert political authority, which is what swords are for, but to assert a moral authority that outlives this world. Let the dead bury their own dead, for we celebrate eternal life as spiritual beings who outlive these bodies.

But we do understand that there is place for goats to lead the sheep of His pasture. That’s another parable from the previous chapter of Matthew (25:31-46). Goats are placed in a herd of sheep because they are more likely to notice predators and take defensive action. Sheep are “stupid” in the sense of being too focused on other things, but the sheep are far more valuable. Goats have their place; they represent those who take up the sword in this life. The Covenant of Noah most certainly gives place to the sword, and the goats are the primary audience for Noah’s Law. God calls His sheep to submit to the leadership of goats in this world to make those awful decisions that His people should not have to make.

This is the hardest things for Western Christians to grasp. A part of the reason God doesn’t call every soul to redemption is because redemption makes us unfit to rule in a fallen world. It makes us very fit for a lot of other very critical tasks in the wider process of redemption, a process that includes the whole of Creation as we encounter it, but the secular task of ruling is for the unredeemed. That’s a general observation of how God does things, not a hard and fast rule. It reflects the nature of God’s moral character, and thus, our expectations of how things will go in this world.

We pray to Him regarding our rulers and seek their best interests according to His wisdom in our hearts. We know that George Soros represents a very pernicious intent to overturn everything God has done up to now in this world. His agenda is well established and easily discerned as poking God in the eye. In the long run, Soros and his allies will fail. We could oppose him, but we have to choose the tools of that opposition carefully. Whatever we use will take part in laying the path available to us in our redemptive mission. We have to spread the Word against his lies. The Sword of the Spirit is not the same as the swords wielded by the goats of this world. Keep your swords and guns, because they have their place, but not every problem requires slicing and shooting. Opposing Soros is more subtle than that.

But we should understand up front that when the goats respond to the predatory approach of Soros and his allies, it will be messy. Our Sword of the Spirit cuts precisely enough to separate between matters of the hands and matters of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The sword of the flesh is less discerning and cuts what stands in the way, whether the impediment blocks by intent or by mere happenstance. In order for our secular rulers to defend against Soros and his hired revolutionaries, a lot of innocent blood will be shed. There’s no avoiding it. When you have to use troops and policemen to shut down rioting, eventually it leads to bloodshed. That this is part of what Soros hopes to provoke has no bearing on the results. He’s paying fools to do his dirty work and they are cannon fodder. He’s hoping for a propaganda coup, a mass of sentiment against those he forces to use violence when he paid for violence in the first place.

When we consider decrying violence, we have to consider carefully what our message will say in the ears of the world. We have to stand with Jesus, who never was anything like the propaganda Jesus of the American Left. But He is also no part of the American Right, either. So-called “conservative Christians” are not really following Christ. The Right imagines that we can and should make liberal use of enforcement, but with a properly certified professional standard, of course. It won’t happen like that because it cannot. The only professionalism involving swords is mere expertise in slicing. Tying troops up with rules about when to shoot or don’t shoot ends up making very little difference during riots. This I know because I took very specific training in shoot/don’t shoot. It does not improve moral subtlety. It’s just about as sensible as a blanket condemnation of all violence versus Noah’s Law, which specifically requires violence against crime.

Say it bluntly, to yourself if no one else: Human life is not precious. Of course, that’s soundbite against the false soundbite of our perverted society. By the same token, human life is not trash, either. That is, human life is in itself a neutral element. Human life is the canvas upon which we hope to paint a living personal image of God. Our time in this world is a means to an end. It’s value in God’s eyes is the degree to which it reflects His glory. There are whole vast herds of goats to whom He will eventually say, “You don’t know Me and I don’t know you.” It’s not that we gladly discard their lives under some presumption that we can know their value to Him, but we should never forget that He is the sovereign who decides. He flatly says that some are born for the most obscene purposes in a much larger plan we’ll never understand (2 Timothy 2:20-21). Some humans are nothing more than chamber pots in God’s plans, a highly disposable commodity. Others are precious gold to Him.

He does give us some broad hints about how He finds some humans more precious than others, but we can rest assured that anyone burdened with Western Christian values isn’t going to understand, whether they be liberal or conservative in their religious expression. We can be sure that outward religious expression itself has nothing to do with God’s evaluation. Ritual is not truth; it’s just an expression of truth, or it could be lies. Just getting a mere inkling of what God thinks requires ditching human reason and sentiment in favor of heart-led conviction. And even then, all we can really hope to guess is the value of someone in our own calling and mission. This is what we stand up for when we prophetically address the world.

We don’t address it with the sword of the flesh. We might use one now and then, and we know well it’s probably all some of those goats will see and understand. But we don’t confine ourselves to their level of understanding. We might be aware of their limited perspective, but we don’t expect to meet their standards of reason. That in itself is a critical element in challenging their dullness. Our opposition to the likes of Soros should leave a few folks befuddled so the Lord can work in those moments of wonder and doubt. We can be sure that Jesus’ open rebuke of Peter, followed by a miraculous healing of the victim, left a lot of questions in the minds of goats who might become sheep, or chamber pots that might be re-molded into some grander purpose: “break me, melt me; mold me, fill me.”

God is moving in our world now, adjusting reality in ways we cannot comprehend. Some elements of reality will never change because they are fundamental manifestations of His divine character. But there is a lot of contextual change and we are blessed to see it clearly and share in the task. Prepare your mind to see a shocking explosion of violent crack-down as globalism takes a major hit. If not here in the US, then surely in other places of the world. Don’t get lost in the mechanics of these events. Don’t get trapped in the goats’ viewpoint. These are things we cannot influence. What we can do is pull back the moral blindness that keeps folks from understanding just how natural it is. Let His glory shine through your efforts to respond morally.

We are His sheep.

Addenda: According to some observers, this business of rioting could well turn into violent revolt rather like the various “color revolutions” sponsored in other countries.

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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