Saturday, May 31, 2008

Change the Chicken or Change the Egg?

Here's a post that covers both religion and politics.

The modern worldview, shaped by the enlightenment believed that man can solve all the problems in the world. The enlightenment thinkers understood that man must be changed. They believed that if they changed society, man would be changed. Thus, if you can create the workers paradise, human beings will change to fit into this perfection. It was not just communism, but also the liberal social agenda in the United States - the so called war on poverty.

The problem is that it doesn't work. Attempting to change society first, fails to take into account the nature of evil. Because human beings are born with an evil nature, they refuse to fit into such Utopian boxes - even if the individual would them self benefit.

Historic Christianity offers the only real alternative. Christianity doesn't set out to change the world. It sets out to show people that they are sinners and that they have a savior in Jesus Christ. When a person becomes a Christian, over time, this changes them. They are no longer driven entirely by the forces of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. Strangely, human beings who are changed, when enough are changed, change the world.

This is no longer theory. Both approaches have been attempted. Changing the individual first and letting the changed individuals change society has worked. Attempting to change society then letting society change the individual has proven to be a failure. Understanding this will direct the direction of theology, teaching us to focus upon each individual person rather than on social movements. It also changes how we vote, teaching us that government has to get out of the way and let other forces change individuals.

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