If He says no, the Romans will come gunning for Him. If He says yes, Jewish patriots will despise Him as a collaborator. This was a deadly trap set by Christ’s enemies to destroy Him. We need to appreciate that. The question was designed to have no right answer, and the wrong answer was intended to destroy Him.
Greg Uttinger wrote this article for Chalcedon’s print magazine back in 2004. We still live in times when Caesar lays claim to everything.
But Jesus says give Caesar back what properly is owed to him and belonged to him in the first place: but everything is God’s.
I take it R.J. Rushdoony wrote this essay while Alexander Solzhenitsyn was touring the West and warning anyone who’d listen that communism could happen here; and Rushdoony himself was touring U.S. courtrooms, testifying in trial after trial as an expert witness in the defense of Christian schooling and homeschooling.
Westerners didn’t understand Solzhenitsyn, Rushdoony wrote, because they don’t understand that “anti-communism” is shallow and powerless if the anti-communists are going to buy into the same humanist twaddle that supports communism. That would be belief in “the sovereignty, not of God, but the state.”
While Americans were shocked by the Soviets’ separating children from their families because their parents had given them Christian religious instruction, at the very same time, here in America, courts were separating children from Christian parents to stop Christian schooling.
No one fought harder for Christian schooling in America than Rushdoony; and by and large, our side has won that battle. But that doesn’t mean the humanists won’t try again to roll back Christian education. They’re always trying.
Western liberals were scandalized when Solzhenitsyn compared American public policies to those of the Soviets. Rushdoony shocked them, too.
Few understood that it was a religious issue. Few wanted to see it that way.
Simply speaking, Rushdoony explained that “social justice” differs from God’s justice because it’s made up by self-anointed intellectuals. It is whatever they say it is, from day to day. It could hardly have helped falling into the arms of postmodernism, which spurns day-to-day reality and goes so far as to say everything is just made up.
But because it’s the product of humanist fat-heads, “social justice” can never be true justice. Only God’s justice can be that. Only God’s law is immutable. Intellectuals’ laws are subject to sudden change. That’s what makes them so hard to live with.
Humanists get rid of God, leaving the state–that is, themselves–as the highest possible authority. I know it’s hard to account for what happens next without a concept of Original Sin–but as Christians we have that concept, so we can understand humanism’s inevitable drift into tyranny. The alternative, with every fat-head parading around as his own god, can only be anarchy; but they can’t keep that going for any length of time.
Mark puts it in a nutshell: “The problem is too much power.”
“The aim of social justice,” he declared, “is the establishment of the millenium–without God.” This has been true from the beginning, when the serpent said to Eve, “Ye shall be as gods.”
Now, 32 years later, America is convulsed with riots in her streets, all in the name of Social Justice. But as Mr. Sauer points out, the only relevant consideration, to Social Justice Warriors, is the utopian end: any means to get there are permissible.
In 1993, when Otto Scott wrote this article for Chalcedon, liberals were still looking for “scientific” reasons to brand as a Nazi anyone who disagreed with them. And “Science” was only too willing to provide them.
“The Adorno Scale,” invented in the early 1950s, was supposed to be a “scientific” means of measuring just how far gone in fascism are whatever people you don’t like. Nowadays, of course, they don’t bother: “Systemic Racism,” “White Privilege” and all that simply state you’re automatically guilty if you’re white. They don’t need any “science” to condemn you. Even leftism has been dumbed down.
Dr. Adorno toyed with the idea of including “hostility to modern art” among his list of “fascist” traits, but dropped it when he convinced himself that the typical American slob had never seen any modern art. You don’t dig Jackson Pollock? Heil, Hitler!
Twenty-seven years later, “Settled Science” is still making mischief, still trying to rule the world, still trying to turn ordinary people into livestock. We don’t hear much of the Adorno Scale anymore, but you can be sure its legacy lives on at every looniversity in the Western world.
By 2020 this vision of doom had pretty much passed its shelf life, at least in America. But for a while there it was giving children nightmares.
Humanism always needs a boogieman to scare people into compliance with its diktats. And along came COVID-19 to fill that role. Thanks to the panic raised up by the virus, the world has frittered away six out of this year’s nine months so far–shutting down nations’ economies, quarantining all the healthy people along with the sick, destroying small businesses, freaking people out with fear, and generating a malaise that has deadened everything.
There’s always going to be a doomsday myth. In the 1970s it was The Coming Ice Age. We get Doomsday du Jour. All marine life wiped out! White supremacists take over!
The humanists’ god is the State–that is to say, themselves–and denying the real God, they promise to do everything they say God should have done but didn’t, because there is no God. So the State will create paradise on earth–blah-blah-blah, you know the drill. And if they have to break a few eggs to make the omelet… We’ve seen that one, too.
“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,” wrote St. Paul (Romans 3:4).
He makes quite a few strong arguments, which I’ve touched on in this book review. For him President Donald Trump epitomizes a world-wide conservative, nationalist, religious, and traditionalist blowback against the bashaws and mandarins of secular globalism.
There must be, has to be, millions and millions of people who’ve had it up to here with political correctness, open borders, lousy trade deals, and ruling class arrogance–who are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.
But first we have to overcome the existential threat posed by mail-in voter fraud…
Mark refutes the contention that the early church was “pure.” Good lord, no! As people throughout the Roman Empire joined the church, they brought all sorts of pagan ideas in with them. The church needed to call authoritative councils to weed out the paganism and state orthodox Christian belief as plainly as possible–which is why we have formal creeds.
We hardly need say that they’re still trying to import pagan notions, and humanist delusions, into the church (can you say “feminist theology”?). Because the church today is split into so many denominations, it’s no longer possible to hold a council that would speak with real authority. So we rely on the ancient creeds to protect us–and to keep us clear about what we believe.
Mark also provides a list of the major heresies the church had to deal with in the first centuries of its history. Most of them are still around, repackaged under new names. Well, that’s Original Sin for you. In a fallen world, we are always obliged to defend the Christian faith.