Vail Valley Voices: The right path
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: This is the last of a three-part series of weekly commentaries by local pastor Bob Branden.
If the radical left’s vision of a societal utopia is a pipe dream, then what is the right offering?
Miley Cyrus says it’s all about the climb. Indeed. In the end there is but one mountain, one everlasting kingdom, and there is only one road to the top. And until then it is about the climb.
Step 1: On the individual level, listen to the classics, “Hello Darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk to you again,” lamented Paul Simon. He latter clarified: “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.”
Have you ever read them? They’re filthy. That’s inside all of us. So step one is the realization of the human sin nature. The solution is to do away with the primary manifestation of the sin nature, pride. Seek to have no pride.
On the societal level, observe the classics, the founding fathers of this country who would make me look liberal. Their fundamental premise concerning government was to separate the powers so that they might provide checks and balances.
Checks and balances against what? Fallen human nature, of course.
They didn’t believe the state could eradicate evil in the human heart.
They thought the best it could do was provide good laws to curb the sinful nature and at the same time respect human dignity and free will.
How did they do? If you answer anything less than “best ever,” then you have two things on your to do list: Go get some real world history books and study them, and travel around the world.
Step 2: On the individual level, find the truth. Don’t look within and don’t look to pop culture or sound-bite television or radio.
Remember that fallen nature inside? Heed the warning of Demosthenes: “Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.”
Find a source of truth that has never been wrong. When you find it, never let it go. Always believe the truth.
On the societal level, truth cannot be imposed on someone’s heart. So educate. But do it freely and do it well. One of the biggest fears of the founding fathers was a failure in education.
Step 3: On the individual level, maintain one law, the law of love. Real love is self-sacrificially desiring the greatest good for the object loved. Find out what that greatest good is and give up everything to implement it in the loved one’s life.
On the societal level, write laws that reflect true love. That means you, legislative body. Judges, you do the job of applying those laws, like many of you good judges do. Don’t rewrite them.
Step 4: On the individual level, practice the power of prayer. Have human efforts ever ultimately prevailed on their own? So tap in to the supernatural power from above, not below.
On the societal level, pray for those who govern over us, that they would do so in a manner consistent with truth and love.
In summary, make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work hard. Until a real king comes back, practice the steps above. Don’t put your hopes on a false messiah. “Some day we’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun, some day things will be brighter.”
Bob Branden is the pastor of the Sanctuary, a church centered on discipleship in Gypsum.