Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Mon Sep 26 2005 - 20:22:41 EDT

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: janice matchett
  To: George Murphy ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 6:44 PM
  Subject: Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

  At 05:30 PM 9/26/2005, George Murphy wrote:

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: janice matchett

      To: George Murphy ; asa@calvin.edu

      Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 12:48 PM

      Subject: Re: The greatest challenge facing mankind

      At 11:07 AM 9/23/2005, George Murphy wrote:

        There's a fair amount of truth in what Crichton say: I think that all responsible environmentalists recognize that there are extremes to the movement.

      ## Responsible stewardship of our environment has always been a priority for those whose conscience is constrained to put into practice the admonishments in what they consider to be the "Word of God" which they look to as their "only" standard. No other "laws" are necessary for such people.

      Only those who adhere to the man-centered religion would attempt to enforce their personal conscience on others so as to attain utopia (their brand of it). Some of these totalitarian, elitist mentalities are professing Christians, too. Moral busybodies (the politically/religiously correct), never grow tired of tormenting people - attempting to force them to "do what's right" - because, as C.S. Lewis so accurately stated, "they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

      Like C.S. Lewis, our Founding Fathers had their number, too. God, through them, set up "we the people" to be king -- the only "bottoms-up" government in the world -- where the citizens are in charge through their elected representatives, and where it is impossible for any tyrant to obtain absolute power and control.

      Only tyranical mentalites call our Constitution a "living document" and they are untiring in their attempts to destroy its purpose -- as protector of absolute (self-evident) truth. It is a meaningless document otherwise.

       All activist "movements" eventually become infiltrated and then taken over by extremists / radicals, who, because of the zealotry they exhibit for "the cause", are allowed by the lazy and complacent to take the lead (since they are so "eager to do the work"). Once their cover is blown and people become aware of their real agenda (read, ACLU, EPA, Serria Club, "Progressive" anything), they just move their operations and continue to hide behind the skirts of benign-sounding re-named organizations. Radicals don't go away.

      Other than repetition of the word "responsible" I see no relevance of this to the sentence of mine that you quoted. Did you mean it to have some connection? Or was it just catharsis?

  #2#2# Words mean things. Leftist elitists have their own personal, politically correct idea of what constitutes "responsible environmentalism" and those who disagree with their definition will have it crammed down their throats if extremists can get away with it.

  If this is all you meant to say you could just as well have skipped it since I said nothing to suggest that I'm a "leftist elitist." (Those who've known me long enough to remember my campaigning for Goldwater would howl with laughter.) Do you ever pass up a chance for a political harangue?

  You continued:

  What Crichton doesn't mention however is that there is also the other extreme which also has religious features - belief in the myth of unlimited progress. According to this myth there will always be the resources we need - or want - & we can't really do any serious damage to the environment. It's a religion that, more easily than the "deep ecology" extreme, can easily co-opt Christian language: God will make sure things are always OK if we just trust him.

  ### Those who believe that the Scriptures are God-breathed and thus inerrant in the autographs - believe that God is a God of providence - that he created and sustains all that is - that he knows the end from the beginning - and that it is impossible for man to ever be able to figure out what he has done, is doing, and will do. Only one who embraces one of the various expressions of the man-centered religion would think that puny men can thwart God's will unless the arrogant elites step in to "save the planet", or some other such absurd ideas that appeal to those who actually think that unless God gets our help "we're all gonna die!!"

      The idea that God can't allow us to destroy or seriously damage our environment is a form of idolatry, the belief in a tame deity who will make sure we're taken care of if we just believe the right things. It's the same message preached by the false prophets circa. 600 B.C. who assured the Jews that God would not allow Jerusalem to be destroyed. The real prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel insisted that God could and would allow that to happen - and of course they were right. God's will indeed can't finally be thwarted. But God is so sovereign - far more so than you seem to imagine - that God could allow all the things that the accomplishment of his purpose seemed to depend on - even the things that God himself had established, such as the Davidic monarchy, the Temple and its cult, Jerusalem, and indeed the whole nation of Israel - to be destroyed and still have his will accomplished. God could allow all life on earth to be destroyed by some catastrophe and still remain faithful to his promises and fulfill his will.

      Just as you quote pious phrases about God, the Bible &c, the false prophets of 2600 years ago thought they could quote the words that God had given through Isaiah in the face of the Assyrian threat 100 years before as assurance that Jerusalem couldn't be conquered. And like you, they were wrong.
  #2#2# I never inferred, nor do I believe any of the "God is not sovereign" ideas that you attribute to me above, therefore I see no relevance of this to the paragraphs of mine that you quoted. Did you mean it to have some connection? Or was it just catharsis?

  Your reference to 'Only one who embraces one of the various expressions of the man-centered religion would think that puny men can thwart God's will unless the arrogant elites step in to "save the planet"' show that my criticism is on target. Unless you just don't know how to express yourself very well, the clear implication of your statement is that humanity can't "thwart God's will" by destroying the planet - i.e., that God will make sure that the planet is saved & doesn't need any help from "arrogant elites." If this isn't what you meant then you should write more clearly. (Among other things you used "inferred" where I think you meant "implied" - a common error.)

  (Such claims are not uncommon among today's so-called conservatives. Page 152 of Limbaugh's The Way Things Ought to Be is a good example.)

  & you should make up your own sarcasm. Just repeating back what someone else has said isn't very witty.

  You continued:

      OK, to that extent there's nothing wrong with the thrust of Crichton's talk - though of course a lot of the details can be debated. But in the present political and cultural climate it's highly irresponsible to make such a one-sided argument. The heresy that needs to be attacked is the heresy that presents a clear & present danger & today, especially in the US, it's the myth of unlimited progress & the chainsaw & bulldozer model of "dominion" that's the real threat. I have in mind not just the views of the present administration (though that's certainly part of it) but the popular culture in which the Hummer has iconic status.

      An analogy: Pelagianism and Manichaeanism are both heresies & should be condemned by Christians. But when everyone is flocking to Pelagius, it's irresponsible to devote much time to criticizing Mani. ~ Shalom George

      ### Religious extremists in the right-wing "utopian" Reconstructionist "movement" are merely the flip-side of the religious extremists in the left-wing "utopian" environmentalist "movement".

      Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Gary North, and the rest of the "Dominionist" screwballs who actually think that they will be doing God a favor if they can ENFORCE "The Government of God" - a theocracy - on earth.

      But they have the same problem as other tyrannical mentalities have. They will have to dismantle our Constitution to succeed - because it stands in their way, too - just as the Framers (who embraced the Biblical Worldview) intended.

      They understood that no man can be entrusted with absolute power over others because of the WEAKNESSES that are inherent in human nature. There are no "elites" who are exempt - all are subject to succumbing to weakness from time to time. And that includes the activist "men in black robes" sitting on the bench who think they should be able to ursurp the right of the people to make laws through their own state legislatures, and instead impose their own social / religious conscience on the rest of us.

      Again I cannot see how this is germane to what I said. If you really took seriously your own rhetoric about the Bible you'd want to talk about what "dominion" means in Gen.1:28 & in the larger context of scripture instead of shouting irrelevantly about the constitution.

      Shalom

      George

      http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/

  #2#2# A socialist's idea of the meaning of the word "dominion" in Gen.1:28, etc., is different from a capitalist's point of view. Never the twain shall meet. Capitalism is the only moral form of economic activity. To wit:
  In Defense of Capitalism (Debunking The Religious Left)
  http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1352736/posts

  Trying to read modern economic systems back into Genesis is as mistaken as trying to find general relativity there. This doesn't mean that scripture is of no importance for economic issues today but you can't start by reading your preconceptions back into the text - whether you're a capitalist or a socialist.

  BTW, I'm curious what you think of the requirements that land lie fallow, land that's been sold be returned to its original owner, and forgiveness of debts at fixed intervals. Are those good ideas or was Leviticus 25 a mistake?

  Shalom
  George
  http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
Received on Mon Sep 26 20:25:50 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Sep 26 2005 - 20:25:50 EDT