Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

Widows and orphans.

I think it was Marx who said history does not repeat itself but it rhymes. Like a good German Victorian academic, he was trying to systematize history and move it from an art to a science. He failed: unlike Durkheim, who invented Sociology his contribution led to the socialist experiment, which has failed.

However, like many ideas with face validity but no empiric data, it refuses to die. So, again, we are facing the apparatus of the left running the official discourse in a major nation — the USA — which like Canada in the Trudeau years, has a cult of personality, and the press working in unison with the ruling class to destroy the structure and constitution of the nation in the hope that they will “save” it. When no nation needs saving.

[And yes, in my view, Trudeau was a disaster. The Canadians went from being a domninion and a nation of warriors to having a false constitution, judicial tyranny, and an elite who are overly sensitive, pacifist, and could not fight out of a primary school.]

We forget that everything good comes from God.

James 1:16-27

16Do not be deceived, my beloved.

17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.

22But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. 23For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; 24for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act – they will be blessed in their doing.

26If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world

How do you tell if an idea is good? Look at the consequences. This is why we need social sciences — epidemiology in particular. We need to see the results of our moves.

For most people think they are doing the right thing. They do not see their actions as wrong. I have no doubt that the Liberals of Trudeau’s era or the Democrats of this time consider that they are doing good. They are caring for widows and orphans.

But they are causing damage.

Firstly, being dependent on a family — because the first duty for provision is your family and you have a duty to take the widow and orphan in — is something personal. One of the reforms in NZ is to bring the family back into care of vulnerable children whenever possible. It is cheaper, and generally gets better results.  You are accountable to your family. You are not to the state.

Secondly, it is not good for us to have no work. Retirement is bad for you. We need to be going out and doing good. It is a tragedy when there is great unemployment, and out of that comes unrest and at times revolution.

Thirdly, if the state provides, the prime duty for a man — to provide — is subverted. Without a sense of reciprocity, there is no rational reason to take in or marry that widow, provide for that orphan — in fact doing so, in our society, makes one vulnerable to being pauperized by the family courts.  Our society rewards… disengagement.

Fourthy, the injustices within the system encourage wrath. Not mere anger or righteous anger, but an overwhelming hatred of authority. Taxpayers fear and despise Inland Revenue and the multiple arms of the state sponsored sisterhood who insist on sensitivity training and other forms of re education. And the beneficiaries consider themselves entitled, and any attempt to limit this leads to cries of racism, sexism, and oppression. Society will fracture along these lines.

Finally, most Western states have spent more than they tax, taking loans, for a generation. They are now bankrupt.

What is the church to do? As a gathered people, we have a duty to care for the widows and orphans. It needs to be local, not run by a government. That is more human, more sustainable and in doing good we reflect the goodness of God. For the government will break in and destroy, The church is about fixing the place and healing the wounded.

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