I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
― Ayn Rand, Missing the point, in Atlas Shrugged
“How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. The whole earth is at rest and quiet; … Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’… Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God, I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’ All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot.
~ The defeat of The Satan, foreseen through the fall of Babylon, by the Oracle, Isaiah in chapter 14 of his prophecies.
Oh beloved, it is true.
One of the deepest problems in America, is that – in so many ways – we don’t have any problems. And, while a comment like this might surprise you, please trust me. In great measure, our relatively modern world, is still quite a challenge in which to exist. At least outside the confines of our cozy USA.
In the USA, we have college students in $150 shoes, drinking $5 coffee, typing out words on $1,000 phones, built by multi-billion dollar companies – about how capitalism no longer works. And many do this while attending a school that is costing their parents (or the student’s future income) $75,000 per year… They do this with no experience of living in any other economic system, other than marinating in the most effective economy in the history of this world.
We have young philosophers ranting about how the oppression of Christianity is just so draconian. And if we could just somehow throw off the constraints of objective morality, and get rid of the terrible whiteness and male-ness of the West – that everything would be ok. … The problem with all of this being, is that it is the courageous, and Jesus-loving, G_d-fearing men of the West who stood against centuries of abysmally dark circumstances, barbarians, paganism, plague, and despair – who created this one-of-a-kind platform of freedom that enables us to blame the Source of our liberation for our discomfort at answering questions about our behaviors.
Oh yes, first world problems are real. But, the idea that America is a place of deprivation is a joke so twisted that most people miss the proper opportunity to guffaw and bust a gut laughing at the complaints of most of us.
Still, we seem to be faltering in The West. Our freedoms have made us think we are not just free, but that we are autonomous – and we perceive suffering when our worlds get even a little bit
While nearly every country now has smartphones. And, little bits of the conveniences of modern life even extend out a little from the centers of the megacities on the Asian and African continents – these areas are much more difficult than they look.
The conveniences of modern life cost money, and the average wage of billions of laborers in those regions barely crosses $250 USD a month. And NO, it not much cheaper to live in those places. Gas, food, clothing, transport, etc. rival the costs of people living in the midwest of the USA.
Beyond this, The West has been puking its twisted view of freedom across the internet in mere milliseconds. Suddenly, ancient tribes whose pagan rituals were primitive – but inculturating – have to compete with the latest bilge washing over the bow of their screens, and bringing gender identity weirdness or cultural marxism where it never was.
Can we see it?
In the “modern West,”
We have become like the person who lives using too much soap, and antiseptics…. Our body has started to fight itself.
We have bought into the idea that we can find a good church, and that that church needs to sell us on how it will fill or fulfill us.
Our churches have caved to the teeming masses of people conditioned by software on smartphones, so addicting that the developers don’t even let their children partake. We are trying to attract rebellious, autonomous people into a framework that demands repentance and surrender as a condition for entry.
In the developing world…
People with those second hand smartphones are reading the same stuff, and leapfrogging from the challenges inherent in building a nation, and going straight to the fashion and listlessness (apparently) enjoyed by the materially rich kids on the other side of the world.
Additionally, by never having their poverty uplifted by the hard work, prayer, sweat and tears required to build a nation – millions around the world are setting themselves up to be crushed by the world the minute they try to shrug it off.
There is an answer, and Ayn Rand was not it.
There is an answer. We are free, but we are not islands unto ourselves. And the news we need to share with our kids and with anyone who will listen to us, is that Freedom without responsibility is nothing but rebellion from reality.
Satan tried it.
We have tried it.
Others are trying it.
Autonomy is not helping us.
We are not the captains of our own souls.
We are adrift, or worse driven against the rocks by our rebellion.
So, do you feel crushed by the modern world and its rebellious cries? Good, maybe you are just about to find your freedom!
Tonight is your night. Put down the smartphone and talk to The One Who has set you free. Ask Him what He might have in mind for you, and freely join Him in the plans He has for you.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.