Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wilful Ignorance

Muse Time paper 2, November 1997, by Derek Carlsen, in Zimbabwe

Wilful Ignorance

We laugh at the idea that an ostrich would hide its head under the sand in order to escape from the danger of a predator. However, this is a very common practice among humans—figuratively speaking. We hope that if we just close our eyes and keep very quiet, “it” won’t get us and then eventually things will settle down again and life can continue just as before. To be silent in the face of injustice is to invite greater manifestations of injustice and eventual annihilation. The wicked are never satisfied unless they are committing wickedness (Proverbs 1:16; 4:16; Psalm 36:4; Micah 2:1-3)—silence only spurs them on to greater heights of corruption.

There is only One God and He has only one law-Word. When the people of God refuse to submit to Him in wilful obedience, then they will be forced to submit to another “god”. When people reject God’s revealed will as their only guide for all of life then someone else’s will for all of life will be forced upon them. Either we will serve God in loving obedience or we will serve someone else in terror and confusion—these are the only two options available in God’s universe.

The people of God are to be the salt and the light in these dark times (Matthew 5:13,14). If they fail to be these things then they become worthless and are treated as such by society, i.e., trampled under their feet. There is a great difference between being persecuted for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:10-12) and being treated as worthless and we should not confuse these two.

The government in Zimbabwe (much like many other nations) has assumed the position that only God can have. They are accountable to no one but themselves. There is no law higher than them and there is no evidence that this is about to change. In fact, the evidence points in the other direction, namely, that their claims to unbridled sovereignty are only going to increase, creating in its wake more hardship and destruction.

The people in this nation, in forsaking the absolute Word of God, have no standard of righteousness by which to challenge this out of control freight train. Inflation is accepted like some unstoppable alien invasion from outer space—nothing is related to the obese size of government or their mismanagement and corruption. No one questions the implications of fractional reserve banking or legalised counterfeiting.

The problems facing our nation are not racial issues (as some in high places try to use as a cover for their own deception, corruption and failures), but it is a righteousness issue. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Righteousness here means doing all things in obedience to the revelation of God (this includes rulers who should be even more careful to walk according to the light since God has given them such a great responsibility).

When one group in the nation are charged an arbitrary extra tax—this should terrify everyone in the nation. Even those not directly affected should have the sense to see the danger if such behaviour is left unchallenged. Envy and fear are usually the reasons those unaffected remain silent at such times.

When the government illegally freezes all company foreign currency accounts and then forces them to sell at a below market exchange rate, what is the government saying, but that every single thing in the nation belongs absolutely to them. What will be next? It is only wilful ignorance that allows people to ignore such immorality.

When the president assumes sovereign ownership of all water in the nation, what does this reveal but his belief that he owns everything in the nation. If there is no law above such people then what security can there be? Are we expected to have a blind faith in the reputation of government—no questions asked, trust them with everything we have kind of confidence? What is the foundation for this kind of confidence?—their track record of no corruption, no mismanagement and diligent hard work?

If the Word of God is not going to be the final authority for all areas of life then the government’s arbitrary word will be—then justice and what is right are determined by who is the strongest. If the government says they want such and such, then any one who argues is wrong, for whatever the government decides is right. Why? Because they can implement their will by force.

The reason a nation gets into a situation like this is because the people in the nation are walking in violation of the counsel of God. When a people’s standard of right and wrong is not based upon the unchanging Word of God then, for example, when a small group of people within the nation are charged an extra percentage of taxation, those not directly affected are not incensed. When the government who has already implemented excessively abusive taxation laws, sees someone make a good profit they are unable to restrain their greedy inclinations and immediately pass a “law” so that they can “legally” take more of what doesn’t belong to them.

This is a blatant manifestation of legislated tyranny and tyranny is never satisfied until it has consumed everything in its reach—and the Zimbabwe government has made it very clear that every single thing within the nation is “legally” within their reach. God alone has this kind of power and authority—everything belongs to Him and He has not given such great powers and liberty to any government. To remain silent in the face of such repeated and increasing abuses of power is to commit suicide. Either its evil or its right, there is no other option. If it is right we should give the government everything we have right now! If it is wrong then we need to show why it is wrong—by whose standard are all things to be judged?

If there is no ultimate unchanging standard to appeal to then nothing can ever be said to be wrong. God’s Word alone provides us with an eternally unchanging standard for truth, liberty, peace and justice.

Wickedness will not go away on its own. It needs to be exposed by the light of the truth—constantly, courageously and consistently. We need to realise, as Otto Scott has said, that “Placating evil men does not imbue them with virtue, but emboldens them to more evil”. It is also true that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Dr. R.J. Rushdoony, aware of the tendency in the world to ignore the need to make clear moral distinctions said, “We have to understand that in the world there is that which is truth and also that which is not truth. There is that which is right and there is that which is wrong. All is not the same and equal”. To blur this distinction is to remove one of the fundamental pillars required to preserve society.

All people are responsible before God to uphold the truth and expose unrighteousness. If we compromise our right and responsibility to do this we will reap the consequences of tyranny. We are not only to be concerned that we receive justice, but that everyone receives equal justice—the same standard applied to rich and poor, black and white, politicians and common folk. If there is not one unchanging standard, then we do not have justice—no matter what we call it.

The starting place for any kind of change is primarily within the hearts of individuals. People need to be converted from walking in rebellion to God, to walking in loving obedience to Him, through His grace and mercy. We need both leaders and ordinary folk to fear God and walk before Him in obedience. We need to bring all our own thoughts and actions into line with the Word of God. At the same time we cannot release ourselves from the responsibility of being the salt and the light in society. Compromise leads to compromise which leads to compromise which leads to annihilation!

Finally I will conclude with a quote from John Philpot Curran who said in 1790, “It is the common fate of the indolent [idle] to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God has given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition, if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt”.

If justice, liberty and freedom (in the true sense of the terms) is worth anything to us, then may we not keep silent through fear and ignorance. However, if these ideals have no value in our minds, then most definitely we must keep silent and in so doing, speed up the goal of absolute tyranny!

Think about these things.
But don’t stop with merely thinking!