Power By Default

Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful than ten rulers in a city.  Ecclesiastes 7:19.

 

Have you ever worked with those in leadership, say in a church setting or city counsel, and realized you knew more qualified people pumping gas at your local station?

Wisdom, knowledge, discernment, compassion, empathy and sympathy are not relegated to those in charge.  I find it ironic how many people in government are highly educated, well connected and powerful yet still make a mess instead of helping things run smoothly.  Oh, sure, they might have started out with grand ideas but once they settled in and realized how little gets done in a democratic machine, decided to work on their retirement instead.

It isn’t the educated, wealthy or powerful who always deserve to be in charge or are the most qualified either.  The history of European monarchies should dispel any grand notions about that being true.  The monarchs and rulers of Europe oppressed their people pretty badly yet were some of the most highly educated (and in that age only educated) of the day.  So education doesn’t guarantee wisdom.

I’m politically and socially skeptical.  I believe human nature tends to mess up good things; things that would work far better if we just let them happen without interference.  Unfortunately, there will always be someone who thinks they know how to run yours and my life better than we do.

It would seem to the casual eye that wisdom and cunning are two halves of the same coin.  The two, however, are not even close, for cunning is wisdom turned sinister, where those who take what wisdom has to offer and use it to gain from it no matter who it hurts.  In other words, a person who understands human nature turns that nature into a profit machine disregarding the outcome.  Cunning uses others as tools for some self-serving goal; wisdom uses its tool to benefit all.  Lying, cheating, double crossing, and using others is not a product of wisdom but of self-centered thinking.

If you are a follower of Jesus, then adhering to strictly political party will be impossible.  Why?  Because social welfare is at the heart of the Bible’s message.  Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t punished just for their sexual sin but their disregard and oppression of the poor, fatherless and widows.  (See Isaiah 1 where God compares fallen Judah with Sodom.)  The NT is replete with instructions about what to do with the church’s funds, very little of it was to go to administration opting rather to help those who could not otherwise help themselves.

Yet wisdom refuses to be duped.  In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 Paul makes a bold statement, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”  The public assistance programs of any government not conforming to Christ will not understand this maxim.  Wisdom teaches us not to argue with fools, which in Proverbs points to one who is spiritually and morally bankrupt.  Trying to explain spiritual truths to those who refuse the Spirit of God’s input is futile for the unspiritual mind cannot grasp them.

It isn’t that a person lacks an understanding of the argument for spiritual things as a POV but that they are unable to see any advantage to them.  If a person doesn’t accept Jesus as the Way, Truth and Life, explaining any principle which adheres to such an ideal to them will fall on deaf ears because they see it as foolish.  The message of the gospel is foolishness to those who seek worldly wisdom and a stumbling block to those who seek works as their way to God.

Wisdom instructs us to avoid arguing about incompatible ideologies.  One who refuses to accept the authority of the Word will never accept an argument from it.  We live this way because we accept its authority; they live their way because they don’t.  It’s as simple as that.  Forcing them to live contrary to their own philosophy by making laws which corner them into acquiescence is oppressive, evil and outside of the character of Jesus.  The Golden Rule (a Christ declaration) says, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”  If this is the maxim of Jesus, then making laws which outlaw another’s lifestyle, religious preference, or anything else is a place to tread carefully.

I don’t have all the answers to the complicated questions this discussion brings up.  What I do know is the only way to work through them is to keep the wisdom of Christ in full view.  In order for people to live together in relative harmony, ideologically specific rules must be left to those who follow the ideology.  The societal maxims we agree on should become laws of governance.

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4 Responses to “Power By Default”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    I think we’ve forgotten the word ordinance and its meaning. Governments have had them in place forever. They are basic common sense laws. What would the ordinary person do in this circumstance? Instead we are now calling feelings ordinances and making rules that have to do with opinion rather than practicality. We all could use some wisdom!

  2. Human In Recovery Says:

    Reblogged this on Human In Recovery and commented:
    If only more of us would seek wise action over the need to be “right.” There is so much here, but I think this sums it up, “Wisdom instructs us to avoid arguing about incompatible ideologies. One who refuses to accept the authority of the Word will never accept an argument from it. We live this way because we accept its authority; they live their way because they don’t. It’s as simple as that. Forcing them to live contrary to their own philosophy by making laws which corner them into acquiescence is oppressive, evil and outside of the character of Jesus. The Golden Rule (a Christ declaration) says, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” If this is the maxim of Jesus, then making laws which outlaw another’s lifestyle, religious preference, or anything else is a place to tread carefully.”

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