The Way


Imagine you are a mouse—a placid, frightened little creature—living in a labyrinth. You do not know that it is a labyrinth; it is just happens to be where you live. You tread a well worn path each day, meandering along, chasing the red button. It provides you with food or whatever makes you happy.

But something is happening. You have begun to notice that things are changing. It is not as good or as safe as it used to be inside the labyrinth; not as easy to get to the button. Worse yet, the payoff when you get there is not the same. You are anxious, but unsure what to do. You begin to wonder about things that you had not thought much about before. Things you took for granted, like the red button and how it made you feel. Lately, it has been dawning upon you that following the same old path is not getting you anywhere, and that you may even be going backwards.

What do? What to do? What to do?

Suddenly, you are presented with a choice: keep running along the same path, or exist the labyrinth. Will you head for the door? Are you nodding yes? Will you do it? Can you even find it? What will it take for you to lift up your head and leave the comfortable confines of your labyrinth home? And if you leave, will that even change a single thing about your life?

In the golden age of Ancient Greek city-state (polis), such moral clarity was easy. It was simple for a citizen of one of the many city states to know the difference between right and wrong. Right action accorded with the customs (nomoi) of your city; but wrong if it violated such customs. Your city was the ultimate moral authority, your home, your labyrinth.

Your political community, besides being a moral one, was a religious caste as well. Greeks of this golden age did not possess our notions of the separation of church and state. It is not that they merged the two; rather, the two had never been distinct. From inception, the city was an innately political-religious entity. Its civic celebrations were religious, and its religious celebrations were civic.

However, the golden age of the city-state was short-lived. During that era, each city was independent, a sovereign entity without any superior level of governance. Greece, or Hellas, was not a body politic. Rather, it was a geographical expression. Hellas was present wherever there was a Greek city-state, whether it be in mainland Greece, Asia Minor, Crete, Cyprus, Italy, Sicily, Gaul, or Libya. More importantly, Hellas was a cultural expression. The city-states shared a pan-Hellenic culture. They had a common language, divided into dialects. They believed in and worshiped common gods and goddesses. They had common religious shrines (eg. Delphi). They played common games (Olympics). They had a common literature, especially Homer. Above all, they shared a sense that they were Hellenes, superior to those inferior tribes called barbarians; essentially, that they were better than the rest of the human race.

One important thing they lacked was a common political structure. Some were democracies, some aristocracies, some monarchies, some oligarchies, and others—tyrannies.

Early in the 5th Century B.C., the city-state began losing its luster. The great invasion of mainland Greece by the Persian King Xerxes in 480 B.C was repulsed—but not by a single city alone. Only an alliance of many cities, above all Athens and Sparta, was able to accomplish that. Soon after this victory, Greek maritime cities under the leadership of Athens created the Delian League. It was a great naval alliance like NATO intended to conduct an ongoing struggle against Persia. This alliance soon transformed into what became an Athenian empire.

Many sovereign city-states, fearing Athenian imperialism, asked Sparta to lead them in an alliance against Athenian hegemony. This precipitated the great Peloponnesian War of 431-404 BC, which culminated in the defeat of Athens and the end of is empire. For those who could envision it, it was becoming clear that the future would belong to political entities far larger and more powerful than city-states.

City-states continued to exist after this and to some degree even flourished. The greatest thinkers of the 4th century BC, Plato and Aristotle, still held great hopes for the future of the city-state, as illustrated in Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics.

The final blows were struck when Alexander’s father, King Philip of Macedon, subjected mainland Greece to his rule. Alexander continued his father’s work by incorporating Greece into an immense EurAsian empire. Though this empire soon disintegrated, its residue was not city-states; it was instead a number of lesser empires. The day of the independent city- state was over.

What then, about Grecian morality? After all, the city-state had been the foundation of this morality. What foundation would it have going forward?

Philosophical thinkers called Sophists recognized this problem as early as the mid-5th century BC. They offered a tripartite answer:

(1) Customary morality is merely a man-made set of preferences without divine origin; (2) While custom varies from place to place, nature is the same everywhere; &
(3) We humans must therefore live according to nature.

This Sophistic moral teaching was a symptom—and a cause—of the moral confusion that grew in Greece as the city-state declined in moral authority.

By the beginning of the 3rd century BC, two great moral philosophies had emerged, candidates for replacing the city-state as the supreme moral authority. One was Epicureanism, a species of atheism teaching that nature tells us to spend our lives in the rational pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. The other was Stoicism, holding that nature is synonymous with reason, and reason another name for God. Hence “living according to Nature” was living in accordance with reason and God.

What these two philosophies shared, in addition to may practical precepts, was the idea that one’s moral code is the result of an individual search, not a belief conceived by society as a whole.

So how is all of this relevant to those of us living in the contemporary West?

Well, it seems to me that we are in a similar situation today to that of the Greeks when the moral authority of the city-state began to decay. Within the living memories of some of us, we grew up in a society with a generic Christian moral consensus; a set of moral beliefs shared by almost all Protestants and Catholics. Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins calls this “cultural Christianity”. But that old consensus has been collapsing since about 1960, and it collapses increasingly each day. We no longer agree on sexual morality. We no longer agree on abortion. We no longer agree on (God help us!) on the question of whether a man can be a woman and vice versa. Some do not even agree that Palestinian Arabs should not murder Jewish babies to advance a political Jihad.

If we are unlikely to once again become an overwhelmingly Christian nation (which seems to be the case), then were will we turn for a new morality? Is it possible that we have entered a century or so of moral anarchy? How do we escape this labyrinth?

Our cherished identity and national way of life today stand on the brink of total disintegration, dependency and slavery.

The machines of men and demons incrementally ratchet the gears tighter with each passing day, while the people of this nation have steadfastly ignored the warnings and alarms issued by timeless Scripture and ancient wisdom. There is a great and terrible time of judgment fast approaching that will overthrow what is left of our way of life.

We are sound asleep. The shrewd and subtle ways of evil operate like a dimmer switch turned down on century long increments so that no one notices until things are totally dark. We live in these times, crowding into ever smaller islands of light where everyone acts as if it is the present prevailing circumstance of Western civilization. But we are on the road to perdition. It is wide, well-worn, and has no speed limit until the final destruction hits us at the very bottom.

This impending doom is a form of God’s righteous judgment, and when it comes it will be much deserved. There is a kind of comfort in knowing that God’s judgment is just. All His works are good, and we ought to praise Him, even if it our own nation that is under judgment. This is the correct posture toward God in this moment and it points us toward our future deliverance.

To trace the roots of societal collapse requires a long road back. It goes past the feminist revolution celebrating feminine discontentment and normalized divorce, past the Industrial Revolution that separated us from land and family. It goes past the capture of institutions by Marxists and the theology of greed and avarice. It goes past progressive education over a century ago, past naturalism and Darwinism, past the rise of theological liberalism. It goes past centralization of political power, past Hegel, Kant, and the European enlightenment. It goes all the way back. We are a fallen people born as slaves to sin.

The human race is destined to slavery of some sort. We will be chained to our appetites and indulgences; or we will deny ourselves, submit to God and declare Him our Lord.

When we turn from submission to Christ toward self-indulgence, we become enthralled to sin. First comes soft slavery to appetite and comfort; but it does not take long for tyrants to arise upon promises of greater comforts and indulgences. In this way, bondage to government feel less like tyranny and more like benevolent provision. There are two ways to control a people: one is to give them nothing, and the other is to give them everything. The latter is much more effective, since a fattened, satiated populace is far less likely to shake of its yoke and fight for freedom. Later, when the state brings war and disaster to bear, our comforts are threatened. At that point, the expanding state swoops in with a yet greater power grab and all the docile slaves of comfort rush to bow to their new master. As 20th century economist H.L. Mencken put it so aptly:

In this way, all rejection of God inevitably leads to tyranny. It is one or the other. The fear of God, as wise King Solomon put it, is the beginning of wisdom. It keeps men humble under righteous authority. Otherwise, fear of man keeps us enslaved under tyrannical authority. We have chosen to trust in human comforts rather than in God, and will reap what we have sown. It will get worse before it gets better, and rehabilitation is hardly guaranteed. It will go on getting worse continually until we make it get better.

Emergency preparedness is a big trend of our day, because nearly everyone recognizes the precarious position of our entire society. This kind of preparedness is wise and reasonable in these times, but it is only a short-term solution.

When disaster finally strikes, it will not be short-lived. The government will use it as a bridge to tyranny. The state will grasp power long after the fake emergency is over, and it is this long game that we God-fearing folk must win. We must not just survive and defeat the dark forces ahead but also lay the cornerstone upon which Christendom will be reconstructed.

Western civilization took centuries to build, but is literally burning to the ground before our very eyes. The Calvinist work ethic that built the West has been exchanged for discontentment, entitlement, and wage slavery. Those who built our nation did so under duress and hardship. They did not await prosperous times and liberty before commencing work. They did not await peace and democratic governance. They did not subsist upon stored emergency supplies until things got better on their own. They instead built their independence in hard times, and the communities they built created the times of prosperity and freedom which modern generations have squandered.

Our task is greater than mere survival and homestead subsistence farming. We are the generations who allowed Christendom to burn, and at the very least owe it to our descendants to lay some bedrock upon which they can build a better future. We must be national builders, and not just survivors of serial state declared emergencies.

Our ancestors wisely built our communities with a church as epicentre. This fact is scrubbed from history, but is the building block of all freedom. These churches pounded the pulpits with the fear of God and the grace and good works for which He made men. These men mobilized communities with God-ordained purpose, and the communities built classical schools for their children. These schools multiplied into every community, and students learned Latin and English by sixth grade, followed by skilled trades and apprenticeships that built communities. Small businesses, sawmills, and shops filled every town with industry and independence. Those who continued in education became teachers and preachers who exhorted their communities to the productive fear of God that keeps men and women humble and eager. This fear of God set them free from the fear of man, and they became impossible to enslave.

We will need to learn this lesson once again. State slavery is coming; it is just around the corner. The choice will be self-indulgence and comfort with slavery, or the God-fearing hard work of true independence and liberty.

The cost of discipleship begins with self-denial. The hope and promise to those who deny themselves is that they will not be tempted by comfortable indenture to a tyrant. Those who know the voice of the Good Shepherd will not succumb to the seductive song of evil.

This is the great hope and victory that is possible. It will be the dividing line of our age, and future generations will look at the heroes of our day who counted the cost and resisted enslavement in preference to those who indulged in comforts and sold their souls to worldly masters.

The need for a return to God is clearly evident in today’s deranged and dysfunctional world. it is a need surpassing all others that must be fulfilled in order to keep enemies of God from destroying humanity. Among them are men and women with top-heavy egos that make them apply their strength of mind and depth of soul to outplay God, rather than grow in wisdom.

To the charge that raising voices against the excess of human tragedy in today’s world for having dismissed God is ‘irrational’, my response must be that such intellectuals, having lost their way to truth, continue to ignore a basic reality. It is that at the root of every knowledge —the basic assumption and givens—is an X that can never be solved, ultimately requiring a leap of faith in order to proceed in any direction.

In his writings and lectures, mathematician and philosopher Jacob Bronowski made clear to fellow scientists and laymen that all rational systems, including math and physics, have inescapable and permanent dead ends that are impassable.

An overview of Bronowski’s Ascent of Man tells us that “we have must cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power”, in sync with the red button-pushing ease of modern times and the de facto anti-human activity of amoral elites who consistently fail to touch people.

The voices calling for this urgency are many. Here are but a few:

First and foremost is Jesus Christ, whose teachings have encircled the globe over the past two millennia, and have been civilizing humanity and improving life wherever heeded and adopted.

C.S. Lewis: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” This points directly to the essence of the faith in Christianity and to its necessity. At first glance, this quotation may appear simple, but upon closer examination, its deep meaning and profound importance become evident. Essentially, Lewis suggests that his faith in Christianity is not solely based upon tangible evidence but also in the transformative effect it has upon his worldview.

G.K. Chesterton: The world, Chesterton tells us, is a strange and wondrous place, containing beauties far too deep for words, of which our jaded souls have sadly forgotten. We have taken beautiful things—like friendship and true love—and devalued them with the carelessness and monotony of modern life. But the creeds and rules of Christianity, says Chesterton, are really at heart a way of reminding us of the lost beauty of life: just as no one will chug vintage wine by the bottle, but instead will savor it one sip at at time; so too the Christian will not commit adultery, but will remain faithful to the one beloved. And so, in the paradoxical manner for which Chesterton is famous, he reminds us that the seemingly onerous rules of Christianity were not meant to devalue life and is pleasures; but rather to fill us anew with the true joy of living.

John Lennox: This mathematician and philosopher of science wrote of the essentiality of God to the world. In brief he says:

“I submit that, far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point toward His existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by His existence. Inevitably, of course, not only those of us who do science but all of us have to choose the presuppositions with which we start. There are not many options—essentially just two. Either human intelligence ultimately owes its origin to mindless matter or there is a Creator. it is strange that some people claim that it is their intelligence that leads them to prefer the first to the second.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it thusly:

“To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of the unfortunate 20th century and our hands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing. Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.”

These voices for a return to God, out of the immense chorus of similar voices, testify to the urgency of restoring sanity to our daily lives. A turning point is approaching in the culture, too. A recent article in The Spectator by Justin Brierly talks of a subtle but noticeable movement toward Christianity among younger people in the U.K. It is inevitable that such a turn should happen throughout the West. Human beings can only withstand so much dishonesty and nihilism, as the Soviet Union clearly demonstrated. Eyes are opening, at least for those willing to look for the Way out of the moral labyrinth.

Western society generated surplus prosperity that enabling construction of grand cathedrals of government, and it had the Christian impulse to make life better for people. Sadly, that impulse has been discarded, along with Christianity, and the only goal now of the powers that be is power itself. As Lord Acton famously noted:

“power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

But we cannot lose faith. We must open our eyes and renegotiate this failed bargain with government. We must find a way out of the labyrinth.

And here I include a word regarding the ‘proof of God’s existence’, the sticking point for atheists and agnostics. The best analysis of this issue is contained in the old aphorism: ‘for believers no proof is necessary; for everyone else, no proof will ever suffice’. I put the word ‘proof’ in quotation marks because words and symbols cannot prove or disprove the existence of God.

I must add to these countless voices for a return to God, the unheard voices of millions of infants slaughtered by abortion, trashed or slain by all who, lacking regard for humanity, have permitted the culture of death to freeze their hearts and warp their minds. They must live with the blood on their hands for having denied the right of “unwanted children” to breathe the common air of our planet. Their one recompense for such evil is to repent and reform their ways.

Lastly come the voices, audible or silent, of the millions who have sacrificed and paid with their lives for our freedom from tyranny. That includes all who continue to put their lives on the line for us. Whether or not their sacrifices connect to a larger human principle than devotion to God, country, and family, their voices call for our deepest gratitude and a return to our senses.

And what voices do we hear from those who hate humanity so much that they seek to destroy it? I submit that they are voices of insanity and of evil, of principalities and powers— alarmingly echoed by so called religious leaders who continue to betray Christ and His Word, rather than the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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