Posts Tagged convenience

The Great Despotic Rot: Obamacare, the Supreme Court Ruling, and Spurious Claims to Deity

Health care, sign, rightsDoug Wilson recently wrote a powerful repudiation of Obamacare and the recent Supreme Court ruling, focusing largely on the (non)biblical implications—which is to say, all of the implications (HT).

Wilson begins his critique by exploring the meaning and Biblical importance of limited government, kicking things off with the following verses:

And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

Here we find the gospel, with all of its political implications (meaning authority and submission implications), rubbing up against a culture and a system that has its own version of things. And here, where Christians overtly ride tensions with earthly despots, we see a push toward the intended order of things—a rendering of the rendering, we might say.

Here we see a glimpse of why government must be limited, and what or who does the limiting:

Limited government does not refer to the size of government, but rather refers to a certain concept of government. Limited government means that vast portions of human life and experience lie outside the business of the civil magistrate, and that everyone, both governors and governed, understand this boundary. False concepts of government will indeed affect the size of the state eventually, but the size is not really the main issue. Size is the symptom, not the cause. The cancer is one thing, and the fever, fatigue, or dizziness is quite another. Limited government recognizes, and rejoices in, its finitude. Government that has metastasized does not.

So in the absence of a functional limiting principle, every act of legislation is a grasping after the serpent’s promise—you shall be as God. Absolutist governments are therefore anti-Christian in principle long before any decisions are made, whether those decisions are good or bad. If the Supreme Court upheld a law that required all of us to carry an umbrella whenever it looked like rain, the issue would not be the umbrella, or the rain, or the accuracy of the weather report, or the wisdom of taking the umbrella on any given occasion, but rather what such overreach revealed about who on earth they think they are.

The Bible requires limited government because any claim to unlimited government by mortals is a spurious claim to Deity. To make such claims is a fatal conceit, and to acquiesce in them is cowardice in the face of such conceit.

Next, Wilson applies this approach, revealing the “fatal conceits” and “spurious claims to Deity” in Obamacare and the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law—developments that most Americans seem to now shrug off as inevitable ends of Western civilization.

The application:

The heart of the problem is that the Supreme Court has now in effect declared that there is no limiting principle in our form of government at the federal level. This means that if we are to live under limited government—the kind of government the Bible requires—that limitation must be enforced at the state and local levels and, failing that, at the level of the church, and failing that, at the level of families and individuals.

Simply repealing Obamacare as a policy matter is no longer enough. Obamacare must be rejected because it is inconsistent with the moral obligation of limited government, and not because it was “unpopular” or “will cost too much.” The problem we are facing is not because of a stupid law. Of course Congress will pass stupid laws from time to time. The problem is the claimed prerogative to a stupidity without limit. We can bear with stupidity from time to time. It is the claim to omnipotent stupidity that has awakened our concern. In a godly form of civil government, we must reject anything that concludes with those fatal words—“without limit.”

Congress is not Jesus, the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and there was no baptism for any of them at the Jordan; there was no fluttering dove that descended. Congress did not die for us, and if Congress were to die, Congress could not rise from the dead. This means that Congress does not own me, or the members of this congregation. We have all been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, and therefore cannot be possessed in this manner by another. We have already been bought with a price—Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Talk about a single payer.

Lastly, the solution: Read the rest of this entry »

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We Are All Kings Now: Modern Convenience and Kingdom Pursuits

Matt Ridley has a new book out called The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, which I hope to read in the near future. In the meantime, I’ve been perusing the book’s accompanying blog and have been enjoying it thoroughly.

Check out this video that was recently posted:

The overarching premise of Ridley’s book is that humanity has come a long way since the beginning of time, but despite the leaps and bounds of human progress, pessimists are still whining about modern inconveniences and preaching the world’s eventual collapse.

Ridley believes the future isn’t as grim as we think it is because humans will continue to foster prosperity as they always have. But what is the specific path to that prosperity?

“We progress when we trade,” Ridley says, “and we only really trade productively when we trust each other.”

From what I’ve read so far, I would agree with Ridley. However, plenty of evangelical Christians seem wary of globalization and its effects, claiming it is a sign of the end times and an avenue for the Antichrist. The bar code, they will say, is the “mark of the beast,” and live television will be the Read the rest of this entry »

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Jónsi’s Go: Which Soviet Commissar Would’ve Thought This Would Be Profitable?

Yesterday I picked up Jónsi’s new solo album Go and have been thoroughly enjoying it. For those who are unfamiliar with Jónsi, he is the frontman for the now-popular Icelandic band Sigur Rós.

When it comes to music so creative and out-of-the-ordinary, I can’t help but credit the free market and its contributions to prosperity. Centuries ago, artists like Jónsi would have been slaving away for some lord or king and wouldn’t have had the time or the resources to dabble in music, especially something as “silly” as this.

Most of us appreciate the free market when it comes to products necessary for our survival (e.g. modern medicine, central heating, communication avenues, etc.). However, I think we tend to forget that products like Jónsi’s music have also been created thanks to free enterprise.

In today’s Western societies, individuals everywhere are able to Read the rest of this entry »

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