Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rise Up, Oh Little Platoons of God!


In a recent Christianity Today article Charles Colson said [edited for length, read it all here]

The economic crisis is fueling a rapid expansion of government control over banks and industries—and soon, perhaps, over health care, which alone amounts to one-sixth of America's GNP. This transfer of responsibilities raises cautionary flags, especially for Christians.

The concept of the balance of powers comes directly from Christian doctrines. The Reformers introduced the idea of sphere sovereignty, which holds that government's role is limited so that other spheres—family, church, and voluntary associations—are free to exercise their authority.

But the expanding reach of government can threaten voluntary associations, what English philosopher Edmund Burke called "the little platoons."

. . . Why would anyone want to weaken the little platoons that run our churches, schools, charities, and think tanks, and furnish services to the poor and suffering? Part of the answer: Government bureaucrats—I know, I was one—have a voracious appetite for power. They want to control vast sums of money.

Alexis de Tocqueville understood the vital role America's little platoons play. Voluntary associations, he argued, are a buffer against the all-powerful state, which has a natural tendency to want to take from individuals "the trouble of thinking and the pain of living," turning citizens into "timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."

Hannah Arendt, a brilliant 20th century political theorist, observed this phenomenon firsthand in Germany, describing in her classic book The Origins of Totalitarianism how totalitarian regimes succeed by the atomization of society—creating a mass of individuals isolated from the structures that hold civilized societies together. The result is that individuals are left to stand alone before the immense power of the state.

. . . Ensuring this doesn't happen in the U.S. is a solemn responsibility of every Christian.

Kent Comments:

And part of what this will require is that Christians finally recognize that the current administration is vigorously pursuing an ideology that is rooted in the depths of hell itself.  It will require that Christians begin to pray, not just those candy-coated ‘bless our president’ prayers, but rather, those ‘God, have mercy on us by moving in a mighty way to defeat the evil that has infected our nation.’

Perhaps some churches, those with spiritual spines at least, will work some of this into the up-coming Independence Day celebrations.

I’m not sure that enough Christians are ready for that yet.  So I am going to be praying that God will open the eyes of those who claim to believe, that He will raise up His mighty army to oppose those who pursue evil in governmental offices, and that He will in good time save us from the curse we brought upon ourselves, the curse of the Obama administration.


1 comment:

Art Irvine said...

I will try to pray as such also!
I have also voiced (written) my concerns on my web site at "(Important Information" page)" article "Elect A Worthy Candidate" among a couple other articles that express this concern.