Thursday, August 4, 2011

“The Shepherds Of My People Have Lost Their Senses”


Working Title/Artist: Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington: Goats Fighting<br />Department: Am. Paintings / Sculpture<br />Culture/Period/Location: <br />HB/TOA Date Code: <br />Working Date: <br />photography by mma, Digital File DP227630.tif<br />retouched by film and media (jnc) 5_27_10

We’ve dodged the bullet for the moment. We’ve raised the debt ceiling and there won’t be a run on the dollar yet as that would prove devastating to the world economy. But, we are only delaying the inevitable. A Pew survey was conducted to measure how many of the American people approved of the government’s approach to the budget debate. The results were stunningly troublesome…only 2% approve of their own government. In a government system like ours the consent of the governed is not an option, it’s a requirement.

I have never seen so much ideological polarization in our society. The fact that our leadership seems incompetent only exacerbates the problem. We seem to be swirling down a vortex of ideological chaos and a society in chaos is a society on the verge of civil unrest.

This ideological confrontation involves those who want to experiment with or mimic the political ideologies of others, notably socialist Europe and even communist countries. Only the totally blind would embrace ideas that have been tried by other countries and have failed, in some instants they have failed miserably. The arrogance of the liberal mindset is that somehow we are smarter and more advanced so we will make a failed system successful.

At the other end of the pole are those who believe we should follow the advice of those who have gone before. We should choose policies that have been proven to work in civilizations and ages past. The conservative mindset says, “Take what works and improve upon it.” The liberal mindset seems to say, “Take what hasn’t worked and tweak it and hope it will work.”

The Christian conservative takes it a step further. Choose the policies that God has appointed and are revealed to us in scripture. The fact that these policies have been successfully employed in previous societies coupled with the fact that they were formed in the mind of the living God is a sure formula for success. God always gives good advice. For instance, Joseph tapped into the wisdom of God when he saved silos full of grain for a rainy day. The Israelites ignored God’s advice about choosing a king. They wanted desperately to be like the pagan nations and they paid dearly for wanting to be like others rather than wanting to obey God.

Many American politicians seem intent on following the way of the Europeans. American spiritual leaders seem intent on following the teaching of Eastern mystics rather than the foundational teachings of the word of God. The result: the church and the government are disintegrating before our very eyes.

The philosopher, Russell Kirk, declares that “the conservative believes there exists an enduring order. That order was made for man and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.” (Ten Conservative Principles by Russell Kirk) Historically, those societies that lose sight of the existence of absolute truth and the dire need of depraved men to be governed by a truth that originates in a Source other than their own limited minds will all eventually fail, everyone, without exception.

When men depend on their own “coffee house” philosophies to try to run government the result is what you see in Washington today. Our two major political parties are like to Billy Goats butting heads. We need more money to run our country. The solution of one group (liberals) is to raise taxes, the solution of the other (conservatives) is to cut spending. The deadlock has stalled the government, compromise is illusive, chaos seems imminent and those looking for true leadership are severely disappointed by the misty shadows pretending to be true statesmen lurking around in the halls of Congress and in the office of the White House.

This idea may sound far-fetched to some but to fellow Christians it makes perfect sense. Why not turn to the source of true, unchanging wisdom for solutions. The answer to every individual, societal and governmental problem is found in the owner’s guide provided by the Creator. Our failure is certain if we stubbornly cling to the philosophies of men rather than embrace the truth of One who is superior. We display phenomenal foolishness when we refuse to consult He who is omniscient, all wise.

The recent agreement in Washington shouts to the American republic that our leaders are no longer motivated by patriotic and unadulterated love for their country. They take great pleasure in spending the money of others for their own political benefit. There is no hesitance to spend what belongs to future generations to ensure their own selfish comforts and ambitions. This is immoral behavior and Americans are disgusted by it.

Not only is their behavior selfish and immoral, it is foolish to the point of insanity. The common definition of insanity seems applicable: “Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” When approval ratings for the president and the Congress level off somewhere below basement level you would think they would stop kicking the can down the road and try something different.

Obviously there is a phenomenal lack of wisdom among our political leaders. The solution is not simple but the first step is: seek wisdom from the One who is all wise. Sadly, the words of Jeremiah seem to be an accurate description of our dilemma: “The shepherds of my people have lost their senses. They no longer seek wisdom from the LORD. Therefore, they fail completely, and their flocks are scattered.” (Jeremiah 10:21)

Kevin and Shannon Probst 2011

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