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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So What Is Your Choice?

"The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." (Na 1:3 AV)
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When I was a lad, still very wet behind the ears, the conspiracy theories were all on the extreme right side of the political spectrum. We had the John Birch Society, which accused Dwight Eisenhower of being a conscious dupe of the communist party. We had Joseph McCarthy and the hunt for communists in the state department. These guys uncovered enough rot--Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, the Rosenbergs--to give some credence to their theories.

It's different nowadays. All the conspiracy theories come from the extreme left nowadays--they are as goofy as the old days, and once in a while there are some facts uncovered that encourage the convinced.

There are several things that the left-wingnuts have in the common with the old right-wingnuts. Both fear impending betrayal and disaster and seek to find the cause of things going from bad to worse.

Men may choose what ideas they want to believe--but they will not be able to choose the consequences of those ideas. The old liberals of the 19th and early 20th centuries believed that men were naturally good and if more and more freedom were given to them, they would follow their own naturally good impulses and the world would redeem itself. There are still a few of these museum pieces around, but the twentieth century consensus was that man is bad and must be kept in line by governments. Especially in capitalistic nations, men were dominated by greed and the love of power. This produced policies that conspired to bring people into economic bondage. Especially culpable were white European males. More and more freedom must be taken from such people.

In the days of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society the liberals controlled the handles of government and the right-wingnuts found solace in the fiction that a few evil people in secret societies were conspiring to turn the world into a vast colony for their exploitation and wealth.

In the last couple of decades, things changed. The right wing came into control of the handles of government and the conspiratorial vultures fled from the minds of those who now had power and built nests in the skulls of the left-wingnuts.

What is common to both groups is the imagination that the causes of what takes place in the world must be found in the world. God has been removed from any part of history and relegated to the empty dreams of mystics and fools. We are "scientific" nowadays and will not allow religious foolishness to enter into our minds. There are causes for things that can be found in the world. Hence, conspiracies theories abound, because that is the inevitable result of denying that God rules the world for His own glory.

"He has His way in the whirlwind." Man conspires and plots but his dreams and plans are vanity. "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16:3,4) "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." (Pr 16:9 AV)

Faith traces the causes of all things up to God. It therefore sees that the good and righteous God will not allow any permanent evil to happen to His people, but turns all things to their good. There is no such promise to the ungodly.

You don't have to believe this if you don't want to. But you must live with the consequences in both life and mind if you deny it. You cannot choose the consequences of denying first principles. You have to find the causes of things, for the alternative is madness.
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