Life is not meaningless and amoral.
It is in fact a ‘Stanley Milgram’ Experiment.
A test of your Moral character and conviction.
The decisions you make throughout your life are all being observed and recorded.
One day you will be asked to give account.
When confronted with your sheepish (yet vicious) conformity to the Ungodly system of Leviathan will you reply “I was only following orders!” ???
Will you expect such an excuse to save you from the Judgement of Almighty God?
The Stanley Milgram Experiment was created to explain some of the concentration camp-horrors of the World War 2, where Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs and other enemies of the state were slaughtered by Nazis. Read this description of the experiment
How Evil are you?
To what degree will you subordinate your own values to those in power and authority?
Do you have a code of ethics powerful enough to overcome submission to tyranical powers… powerful enough to stop you from tyranizing over the weak?
Or will you obey evil commands?
And where are your charitible deeds?
Where is your compassion? Where is your humility?
Do you practice forgiveness, or do you store up wrath and guile?
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Mat 7vs2)
These are questions that shine a light into the dark places of the soul, and highlight the essential part a persons faith in the moral nature of Reality plays in determining how we live and behaive when faced with morally weighty circumstances… exposing our ultimate values and ideals (Or lack thereof).
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Rev20vs11,12)
Here we sit.
The reality is we all fail the Great Moral test of life.
To understand this moral truth is an enlightenment.
We all sin and come short of the glory of God.
Yet God commenteth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinner, Christ died for us.
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Me: Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)
C: And that’s supposed to tell me what? That God had legs? God was the creator of the Universe, apparently, so he was around before there was any need for legs, before there even was legs.
I find it hard to get my head around the idea of a disembodied consciousness. I’m pretty sure that my consciousness can’t be disembodied and remain … conscious. As for the mind of God … I have absolutely no idea.
But I reprise this snippet of a conversation to make the point that the label ‘Christian’ makes people assume all sorts of unwarranted things. It gets annoying after a while. I’m not given to angry outbursts and acts of homicidal violence, but please don’t push your luck with, “You’re a Christian, so you must be a socialist!”
Anyway, in an apparent synchronicity, blogger Glenn Peoples posted an excellent post today on something he calls minimalist Christianity. Here are a couple of paragraphs (but do make sure to read the whole thing).
A number of times the Apostle Paul warned first century Christians about getting into foolish controversies over doctrine. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t believe what they find most convincing about a whole range of things, but they were taking it further, making those things points of contention that threatened to divide the church. When writing to Timothy, a young church leader, Paul urged him no fewer than five times to stay away from – and to urge others to stay away from – unproductive quarrels over such things. But this is what really grabbed my attention recently, prompting this blog post: When Paul was in Athens preaching the Gospel, a number of philosophers asked him to come and speak to them because, here it comes, they wanted to know what the Christian faith was. They were accustomed to examining different worldviews but they had not yet heard of Christianity, so they said to Paul, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean” (Acts 17:19-20). Every evangelist and apologist reading this passage should be on the edge of their seat: They are about to get a bona fide New Testament example of what it actually looks like to sum up the Christian faith. And what does Paul say? I assume that Luke’s record is not intended to be verbatim, and only sums up what he thought was important (which in a way helps me to make the point even clearer). Here’s the whole talk as recorded in Acts 17
Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for
‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
Every time I have made this observation, I have been met with almost immediate misunderstanding, so let me labour the point: Nothing that I have said here implies that Christians should believe as few things as possible – or even that it’s a good thing to only believe the bare essentials. I think holding a lot of bad theology is bad for you. It has “knock on” effects into other things you believe and do. When I talk about theology at the blog and podcast, hopefully I make it obvious that I do care about what I believe – and what others believe too – beyond the bare essentials (just as a dietician cares about what you eat beyond the bare necessities needed to keep you alive). There is much growth, intellectually, spiritually and practically, in moving beyond the bare essentials of Christian thought and into the riches of biblical theology. But I have become convinced of this: The acceptance of the Christian faith does not require that anyone shares your convictions (however important they might be to you) on everything you believe that you have found among those riches.
The post in its entirety is well worth reading. Thanks, Glenn.
My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists—and in a single choice: to live.
For those unfamiliar with Randspeak, Rand’s “morality, the morality of reason” is Objectivist ethics. The axiom “existence exists” is metaphysical naturalism. Rand denied the existence of the supernatural. But it is not metaphysical naturalism that defines Rand’s moral system. Naturalistic moral theories are a dime a dozen. What distinguishes Objectivist ethics from other moral systems, and that which is its very foundation stone, is the choice “to live.”
Lindsay Perigo, the southern Pope of Objectivism, explains this (here and elsewhere) very clearly.
Objectivism holds that the choice to live, while it is the basis of morality, is itself pre-moral. If one chooses to live, then morality becomes necessary; if one doesn’t, then, surely, morality has nothing to say about that? How can it have anything to say when it has not yet entered the picture?
If one chooses to live, then the book of morality opens. If one chooses to die, one can just lie down and do it … one is [then] simply irrelevant to morality and vice versa. The key to this and the fact that it keeps on coming up is that Objectivists, being intrinsicists as they usually are, cannot accept that the basis of morality is an “if”—if one chooses life. Even though Rand herself spells it out repeatedly.
Life is neither good nor bad. It simply *is*. It’s the standard of good and bad. If you choose life, then x follows.
The choice to live is pre-moral … and the basis of “moral.” The code of morality that flows from such a choice precludes murder. …
As far as I know, Perigo never does explain how the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” flows from choosing something that “is neither good nor bad,” but “simply *is*.” But it’s not, in fact, hard to explain.
Consider the following remark by impolite, badly flawed Objectivist Tom Burroughes.
Tara Smith’s focus on the issue of human flourishing … is an absolutely vital aspect of Tara Smith’s book. It is, if you will, the punchline.
When people mock the Objectivist focus on life as the reward and standard of value, they seem to ignore that “life” is not just about dodging a morgue or just dragging oneself through the day at a miserable, but not-dead, level. It is about trying to reach the maximum one can in life, in all aspects, over the course of a life. And to do that requires, inter alia, that one cultivates the virtues, and as a consequence, treats others justly and rationally. It is, in fact, a pretty demanding way to live …
Burroughes does not describe something that “simply is” “neither good nor bad.” His is a rich description of the good life, a life that requires that one cultivate certain moral virtues … whereby, one treats others justly and rationally. His is, in fact, a description of Christian living (which is, notoriously, “a pretty demanding way to live”).
Was Ayn Rand a Christian? Yes, she was. She smuggled Christian values into her concept of “life,” at the ground level. She then chose that life, one suffused with Christian virtue. Objectivist ethics is an edifice built on the sure foundation of Christian ethics.
It’s no wonder that good Objectivists and good Christians are both proponents of a broadly libertarian political ideology, such being the only basis of a just system of government.
When the Bible says “Charity never faileth…” its talking about the virtue of always being charitible, not that there wont ever be derths of Charity. History is filled with deeds and ages of inhumanity.
It ought to be obvious that true charity and compusory taxation are not the same thing.
One gives in liberty from a heart felt love of humanity and a self imposed moral obligation to help his neigbour when they are in need, while the other is obliged to give ‘welfare’ via Government coersion… and not from the heart at all.
Social welfare is not Christian charity. Welfare via coersion is actually an alternitive Anti-Christian system of ‘false alms’. Many Christians foolishly mistake Lefty communism for true Christian charity.
“The process of converting social power into State power may perhaps be seen at its simplest in cases where the State’s intervention is directly competitive.” A Nock.
A Face book conversation I am currently having reminded me of a great political thinker… Albert J. Nock
The conversation was started when a fellow face booker posted an article that The Super City Council was considering making Auckland Ratepayers fork out for the building of a dry dock for the benefit of the super Rich mega yachts.
He lamented this expense…
“Instead of the city propping up unprofitable business adventures, there are plenty of other projects crying out for funds that have no appeal to private enterprise but will be of direct benefit to all – or groups – of ratepayers. Just the other day came a story that Auckland’s 777 community sports fields are closed more than 20 per cent of the time – more in winter when most needed – because of poor drainage.”
He believes that would be misguided values and a gross injustice to use Ratepays money to build a dry dock for the wealthy and Better spent by government upon Drainage for a community sports ground.
This may sound like a good proposition to many yet I think he is making a serious mistake, which is to assume it is a good thing for the Government to be involved in things ‘which Free enterprise has interest yet will be a direct benefit to all”. He is assuming that unless the Government steps up… things like the poor drainage of a sports field would never be resolved.
Concuring with this mans first point that it would indeed be a travesty for the state to build dry docks for the wealthy… and then moved strait to the point he made in respect to …’other beneficial projects that have no appeal to free enterprise’
“May I suggest it is neither just or necessary to use political coercion to make these ‘Non attractive yet socially benificial projects’ a reality either.”
I offered up my Libertarian alternative…
“There is the mechanism of the voluntary association/ society by which the spirit of charity and social wellbeing is voluntarily organized in non-profit organizations. It is via these mechanisms that people may show their Humanitarianism without recourse to Political coercion or using the ‘filthy lucre’ of money Politicians have extorted from the people via Rates and taxes. B y leaving all such ‘projects’ to the voluntary sector and forbidding the Councils or Government from getting involved in such things we can rope in Government Medaling and better control their expenditure. This way we restrict their powers and spheres of operations to their proper duties, and set up the dynamics of society by which Non-political solutions to problems and needs are both understood and may prosper.
Albert J Nock wrote on this important subject and showed that The more social responsibilities the state takes control of, the more the Self-reliant Social spirit of the community atrophies , and so becomes less able to fend for itself, and more dependent upon the state.
This is the Process by which the people are rendered irresponsible and gullible worshippers of Nanny State because they assume all life’s problems have political solutions.
We Libertarians seek to reverse this process and thereby increase society’s ability to look after itself in freedom, and reduce dependence and the costs, and spheres of operation of the state.
It is a society in which voluntary associations flourish, and Government expenses bureaucracy are kept to a minimum.
The Christian fellowship is a voluntary association.
It ought never to be used as an excuse for political impostions of private ‘values’
It preaches voluntary embraced values, voluntary action, voluntary charity, thus functions propery without political coersion.
Christian virtue, self reliance, and Liberty are in harmony.
“Thus the State “turns every contingency into a resource” for accumulating power in itself, always at the expense of social power; and with this it develops a habit of acquiescence in the people. New generations appear, each temperamentally adjusted – or as I believe our American glossary now has it, “conditioned” – to new increments of State power, and they tend to take the process of continuous accumulation as quite in order. All the State’s institutional voices unite in confirming this tendency; they unite in exhibiting the progressive conversion of social power into State power as something not only quite in order, but even as wholesome and necessary for the public good.”
A Nock. Our Enemy, the State
The State, always instinctively “turning every contingency into a resource” for accelerating the conversion of social power into State power, was quick to take advantage of this state of mind. All that was needed to organize these unfortunates into an invaluable political property was to declare the doctrine that the State owes all its citizens a living; and this was accordingly done. It immediately precipitated an enormous mass of subsidized voting-power, an enormous resource for strengthening the State at the expense of society…”
A Nock. Our Enemy, the State
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God. …
THE world should be ruled by a new “global parliament” under the auspices of the United Nations, according to Bob Brown.
Delivering the Third Green Oration in Hobart, on the 40th anniversary of the party’s founding, Senator Brown asked an audience of “fellow earthians” why the “intergalactic phones” weren’t ringing, suggesting advanced civilisations elsewhere in the universe could have “extincted” themselves through their own greed.
In a sweeping address, quoting Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, Senator Brown called on Australia to take the lead in establishing a global parliament to govern issues such as nuclear proliferation, international financial transactions and poverty.
Libertarian Christians ought not to be suprised by this at all.
The Green movement is a jumble of Radical Left delusions mixed up with generous helpings of Radical Right ‘expedients’ ie Though they prefer the State to own everything, they will settle for State control of everything…with a semblance of Market functions and very limited ‘private property’… and as the most Die hard comrades of Cold war Communism… they have never abandoned their ambitions for World Communist Revolution and Politburo Dominion… and The UN has always been thoroughly infiltrated and infested by Anti western Lefties (Think: Helen Clark!)
We ought not to be surprised that The Greens do not Dread the Threat to individual liberty that such an all powerful centralised Global State represents, they actually relish the thought!
With such absolutely Evil ambitions, cloaked in terms of concern for the Poor and the wellbeing of The Ecosystems of the world It is a real travesty that so many Christians support this Demonic political movement. They must be as thick as two short planks!
The Green Movement is absolutely Anti Christ in respect to the fundamental foundations of Christian values… They hate the Judeo-Christian Idea that God gave Mankind dominion over the Earth and other creatures. It is no mere coincidence that the Greens align themselves with every Primitive Earth worshipping culture around the globe against Western domination, not because they believe the Earth is God, but because their beliefs dont grant Mankind Higher God-given rights or dominion. Comunists are famously Atheistic (Note Browns reference to Alien lifeforms… a thouroughly Atheist/ evolutionary delusion of our age)
And this call for a One world Government also exposes them as the Ultimate hypocrites in respect to the Occupy movement which is full of Lefty Greens whom claim to be ‘Anti-Imperialism’…’Anti-Globalists’…when in fact they are the Ultimate Globalists of them all!
As a Libertarian Christian I know the Antichrist shall rise on a wave of exactly this type of Ungodly hypocrisy dressed up as Humanitarianism … Deluding Billions of Dipwits… He will not only insist upon thorough product labelling… he will insist upon labelling People!… No man will be able to buy or sell except they have his mark… He will not Tolerate Christians or Jews, nor will respect their values, or religious liberty, but will label them Terrorists and have them killed if they will not bow down before him. It has all been foretold in the Book of Revelation.