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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Identifying the Deity in Public Affairs

The rulers of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon only saw themselves as working to build up their power, yet they were actually accomplishing God's plan to reach all types of people. Do you think it is legitimate to view political movements and upheavals in our day from a similar perspective? Why or why not? What examples might you use as evidence for your position? What cautions need to be observed? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1022).

What can possibly be the downside in seeing God behind major events or situations? Actually due to the capacity for rationalization within the human mind, there is a tremendous danger presented. The first danger is to find the status quo hunky-dory no matter how inhumane or unacceptable. Could not Christ have refrained from healing the sick or helping the poor if he had taken upon himself to interpret sickness and poverty, by its very existence, as the obvious will of God?  In short, to see God's endorsement behind everything existing is to endorse the status quo and rationalize blanket inaction.

A second major danger is related to the first. I can say, using a stark example, that if God did not want me to kill, he would not have given me the gun to do it. In international affairs this can mean that military action is reflexively preferred over diplomacy--diplomacy being an involuted option inherently more abstract than ready stockpiles of armaments.  In short, I can justify any action by the fact that God has given me the resources to perpetrate it; as I can justify any inaction by saying that if God had wanted me to intervene in this matter, he would have given the ready means to do it.

All this reminds me of the politician that stridently affirms  "The American People" desire this or that without the slightest proof that there's any unanimity at all about the matter.  Public opinion, elusive as it is, is often more reliably measured than a self-serving politician's confident assertions regarding the mind of God.

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