WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

selling out to the cultural hurricane and hedonism by Julie (aka Cookie) considers the cultural decay of our day. looks at the problem. What is the excuse for putting up with awful and foolish behavior? The word is tolerance.

What “tolerance” traditionally involves is allowing others the right to believe and do what they wish so long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of others. To some people, however, what “tolerance” seems to involve is forcing others to affirm and support what they believe and do. Some people do like to manipulate words.

How do we resolve such moral conflicts? Before we can determine a solution, we must understand the problem, and politicians are famous for telling us well they understand various problems. What they struggle with — just like the rest of us — is actually solving problems. Still, we must eventually focus on the solution or we will never discover one and implement it.

What is the solution? Well, over the millennia various things have been tried. Let’s consider the big three.

The Roman Solution

Consider the state of the Roman Empire before the time of Jesus Christ.

  • Roman law, given the tenor of the times, was relatively just. Only half the population was enslaved. To control rebels, the Romans terrified potential rebels by crucifying those who did rebel.
  • Life had little value. If a baby was unwanted, the father had the right to dispose of it on a dung hill.
  • Sexual immorality was rampant. Pedophilia was not a criminal. Prostitution was a form of worship.

How did the Romans justify their tyranny? In practice the Romans believed might makes right. When we enslave people, we can justify ourselves various ways, but we must have the might to make it stick. The slave masters defined the Law, and slave masters do not tolerate the objections of those they enslave.

How does the Roman Empire compare with today? We could look at those Romans of long ago and pat ourselves on the back. After all, we don’t do awful things like that, or do we? Most of our world is ruled by authoritarian regimes that don’t operate much differently from the Roman Empire. How about our democracy? Our government pays for abortions. We glorify sex in commercials and in our entertainment.  As our society becomes ever more secularized, more and more of us worship sex, stuff, state, and self. More and more we care about getting the things we want. To get what we want, more and more we emphasize might more than right.

The Old Testament Solution

The Old Testament contains the Mosaic Code. The people of Israel proclaimed this Law came from God, that God had offered the people of Israel a promise. Keep the Law, and God would ensure they prospered in the land He had promised them. Break the Law, and God would drive them from the Promised Land. Fearful of being driven from their promised land by a jealous God, the people of were often quite intolerant. Their laws required ruthless enforcement.

Oddly, however, even though the Law was good — and the people of Israel understood that much — they were unable to keep it. Instead of doing what they believed God wanted, even though they had it written down on paper and sometimes studied it carefully, the people of Israel constantly backslid and started doing what they saw the people of other lands doing. Therefore, in addition to the Mosaic Code, the Old Testament records a tragic story, the inability of the people of Israel to keep the Law and their eventual dispersion from the Promised Land.

Fortunately, the Old Testament also contains prophecies, prophecies with a promise, the promise of a Savior, a savior who would save us from ourselves.

The New Testament Solution

What is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament? The New Testament provides us a new covenant with God. The New Testament offers all of us, not just the people of Israel, a new covenant. If we put our faith in Jesus, repent of our sins, and accept the grace of Jesus’ forgiveness, He will give us the gift of salvation.

As the Apostle Paul explained, the Law good, but it was not quite enough.

Galatians 3:10-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Consider the difference between The Ten Commandments and The Sermon on the Mount. The The Ten Commandments gives us a list of things we must not do and promises us death if we disobey those commands. In The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us what we must do to receive the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven.

What Jesus offered, The Old Testament prophesied in various passages. Here, for example.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)

26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

What is the nature of this new heart? How is it different from a heart of stone. Consider how Jesus summarized The Ten Commandments?

Luke 10:27 New King James Version (NKJV)

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

As He elaborated in the The Sermon on the Mount, changed the emphasis from fear of the Law to the love of God and neighbor. Instead of doing what is right because we fear punishment, we do what is right because we love God and neighbor.

Instead of insisting that we have the right to do whatever we have the might to do, Jesus commanded us to love God and each other. Thus, Jesus made obeying the Law a positive action done in love.

Conclusion

The average Democrat Liberal, if they read this post at all, will do so with an ironic gesture, an eye roll heavenward. Yet that Democrat doesn’t have a clue as to why Western Civilization changed. How did we get from slavery to serfdom? How did we eventually get to the point where everyone has the right to be free? We find the answer in how we define tolerance.

References

13 thoughts on “WHAT IS THE SOLUTION?

  1. Excellent post Tom, can’t disagree with a word you’ve written. It’s interesting to note that the more Western Civilization is demonized and it’s unique character and contributions to enlightenment are dismissed, the more it devolves in to the petty stereotype the Left likes to paint it as being. Like a rabid dog eating it’s own tail, the secular far Left will not stop until everything we used to know and believe in is gone.

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    1. What is our defense? Scripture is a good place to start. Ephesians 6:10-20 is probably the place most would start. At the end of that passage, the Apostle Paul asks for our prayers. I doubt he needs them anymore, but our church leaders most certainly do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You can point them to the fact that almost all pagan societies that pre-dated Christianity required human sacrifices. The Mayans and Aztecs were notoriously cruel. Roasting their victim alive until their skin blistered, then the priest would cut open the still living sacrifices chest and yank out his heart. Then his or her head was cut off and their lifeless bodies were kicked down the stairs for the awaiting crowd to butcher and cook with peppers and tomatoes to be eaten by all. Yum.

    Even in the Old Testament there were pagan practices of Baal were children were roasted in fire and many other religions required human blood sacrifice. These ended as Christianity spread. Democratic Liberals are oblivious to anything that seems to be earlier than the last 50 years in history, because they are truly being dumbed down on liberal college campuses. I saw a video of young liberals actually infuriated by the news that Donald Trumps son had been caught poaching dinosaurs. They actually believed this.

    Now their favorite word is “intolerant” this is a magic word because the moment you use it…you become it. So if a liberal call me intolerant of their beliefs I remind them that they have just become that which they are accusing me of…intolerant of mine. Intolerant is a word I feel should not be used anymore because it absolutely really has no meaning.

    The spread of Christianity and the coming of Jesus Christ revolutionized so many different aspects of human life that his fingerprint is literally on almost every civilization in one way or another. The fact that we have a 7 day week, to the structuring of the law of the United States of America (which is in fact just an expansion of the Mosaic Law) to the fact that woman are free from being traded like cattle or goats. Christianity is also a large part of dismantling slavery in the early US. Jesus Christ revolutionized EVERYTHING.

    Liberals will either grasp that now or when they have to meet him after this life…and trust me every knee will bow and every tongue confess…either here, there or in the air.

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    1. Now their favorite word is “intolerant” this is a magic word because the moment you use it…you become it. So if a liberal call me intolerant of their beliefs I remind them that they have just become that which they are accusing me of…intolerant of mine. Intolerant is a word I feel should not be used anymore because it absolutely really has no meaning.

      Not quite true, but I agree the word “intolerant” has little practical use. It is like the word “nigger” except it can be applied to anyone. It is just another way of saying I hate you.

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      1. I find it funny that Christians are painted as the intolerant ones, when for the second year in a row we are the most persecuted religious group in the world with 90,000 martyrs last year and another 600,000 kept from practicing their faith….yet we are the intolerant ones.

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  3. Another point about the Romans–they were tremendously tolerant of other religions, because they were always happy to add more gods. Egyptian gods, Babylonian gods, Persian gods–all were tolerated and accepted by the Romans. But Jews were despised and Christians were persecuted because they proclaimed only one God and refused to worship any of the other gods. Christians could escape persecution by sacrificing to the Fortune of Rome or a similar false god. Many preferred to die than to renouce Christ–which puzzled the Roman authorities greatly. J.

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  4. I’m not sure you want to contrast the Old Testament with the New Testament. Both of them point directly to Christ. The contrast you seek is Law and Grace. Law–whether the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount–guides and directs us but also condemns us because we are not perfect. Grace forgives us and reconciles us to God; it also transforms us so we, like Jesus, can follow the teachings of the Law. J.

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    1. Well, what I hoped I had done was contrasted the Old and New Testament as you suggest. I suppose I used too many words and complicated the matter. Your comment put it more succinctly.

      The Sermon on the Mount obviously took place before Jesus’ death and resurrection. So I suspect it shook up more than a few. Most people are still blown away by it, wondering how we can do what Jesus said we must do.

      What grace makes conceivable is obeying the teachings of the Law as Jesus described them in the Sermon on the Mount. Without grace our righteousness cannot exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.

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