My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

23 November 2005

Notes

Exporting our pluralism

From ArtsJournal.com: James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, is proposing a World Digital Library, to bring together more and more cultures in the information and technology realm. Fine and good. But this is what caught my eye:

Libraries are inherently islands of freedom and antidotes to fanaticism. They are temples of pluralism where books that contradict one another stand peacefully side by side just as intellectual antagonists work peacefully next to each other in reading rooms. It is legitimate and in our nation's interest that the new technology be used internationally, both by the private sector to promote economic enterprise and by the public sector to promote democratic institutions. But it is also necessary that America have a more inclusive foreign cultural policy -- and not just to blunt charges that we are insensitive cultural imperialists. We have an opportunity and an obligation to form a private-public partnership to use this new technology to celebrate the cultural variety of the world.
Pluralism is the new religion of America, one many are darn proud to support, versus all us fanatics and our fanaticism (You believe you're right?! How dare you, you insensitive cultural imperialist!). And the temple of our pluralistic religion may be the public library, where tomes of Christianity sit oh-so-peacefully next to the writings of Confuscius and Mohammed. I am all for having access to important literature, and religious texts certainly fall into that category. But we just have to remember that one will win and all the others will lose.

Simple logic tells us that Christianity and Islam can't both be right (any good Muslim would tell you that); but pluralism has pulled us far past logic into postmodern relativism, where A can be A and non-A simultaneously. Just as God has given Western culture over to the lusts of the flesh, He apparently is giving our minds over to the downward spiral as well. This is, of course, nothing new. What is new, though, is how eager we are to export our passionate, postmodern pluralism. It's not enough that we have no solid ground to stand on, let's make sure the rest of the world gets this great benefit as well!

Most admit that the more powerful the country, the greater the international responsibility. But this is true on more than just a political level. American culture is exported and consumed just as quickly as American foreign policy makes its impact internationally. Yet for all the crying about having a better foreign policy, we neglect to see how our cultural swampiness is dragging the rest of the world down as well.

One more thing to pray about, one more national sin to confess and one more way for Christ to show Himself King by overcoming our hedonistic & pluralistic influence around His globe.

-----
Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt,
out of the house of slavery, for by strength of hand the
Lord brought you out from this place.
Exodus 13:3

Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous
things! His right hand and His holy arm have
worked salvation for Him.
Psalm 98:1

Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice to
God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.
Hebrews 13:15

Our errand at the throne of grace is not only to seek the
favour of God, but to give unto Him the glory due unto
His name, and that not only by an awful adoration of
His infinite perfections, but by a grateful acknowledgement
of His goodness to us, which cannot indeed add
any thing to His glory, but He is pleased to accept it,
and to reckon Himself glorified by it, if it comes from a
heart that is humbly sensible of its own unworthiness
to receive any favour from God, that values the gifts,
and loves the giver of them.
Matthew Henry

7 comments:

Tamara said...

That quote was marvelous. :)

Jeff Kessler said...

Jared:

Gary North wrote a book: "Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism". He dedicated the book to: "members, living and dead, of the RPCNA". He even included an appendix which containes our testimony's chapter on "The Civil Magistrate".

What is my point?
1) Pluralism is not new. It started officially in this country w/ the const. convention in Philly in 1787 and the new const. w/its words "We the People."
2)Pluralism is not possible...it is a myth. Like chasing the wind. Some things are evil and possible...like cheating on one's wife. Others are evil, but impossible. Jesus IS King. A bunch of pagans can't change that no matter how hard they try to set up temples of pluralism. As Christians, our message is not only that an attempt at pluralism is evil, but not possible. God even laughs at the attempt...Ps.2.
3)God, may in His good Prov., allow a society to think it has acheived pluralism for a time. But usually, the new god becomes an increasingly despotic civil gov't.

Jeff K

Charity said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well.

Kurt said...

Well said, Jared.

For me, Psalm 2 comes to mind. Civil magistrates, both Christian and heathen, are required to acknowledge and serve with fear God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The heathen ruler Nebuchadnessar sure found out the hard way.

Kurt said...

Jeff,

Regrettably, since North's book Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism came out, the RPCNA has apparently retreated some in their view against pluralism. The clause in the original 1647 Westminster's Confession of Faith (Chapter 31, paragraph 2) that so offended pluralists and pietists alike because it allowed a civil magistrate to call a Church assembly for counsel, has since been removed by the RPCNA (See page A-101 of RPCNA’s Constitution). For a full explanation of the ramifications of what it's removal has done to apparently emasculate the Church's effectiveness "to declare God's Word to the civil authorities as it applies to their use of power that has been given to them" (RPCNA Testimony,paragraph 6 on pages A-102 & A-103), see pages 104-110 of North’s other book, Westminster's Confession.

Barry York said...

With the public library in Kokomo threatening us more each day to use their power of eminent domain to first search and then potentially take our church building, we also see how what pluralism leads to - lawlessness and the domination of governing authorities.

Aaron said...

Since logic stems directly from the character of God, it is no surprise that men who forsake God also seek to forsake logic. The total rejection of logic is slow in coming because most people do not bother to think where logic came from. They think men's logic is entirely reliable, which draws them to ridiculous conclusions or they even seek loopholes in logic.

Pluralism still has some vestige of logic, as opposed to its cousin, agnosticism. Pluralism claims the use of logic personally, but woe to the one who imposes his view upon others. Pluralism also relies on the senses. Agnosticism goes a step further: 'Men cannot know anything. There is no way to distinguish between reality and a mirage. Are we here, or are we not? We cannot trust our senses. Did I really just say that? How do I know?'

Such is the logical result of consistent atheism. How oxymoronic is that! However, consistent atheists do not exist, so our culture is pluralistic and has not yet reached the point of general agnosticism.