Thoughts eventually shape societies, for better or for worse.
We are fond of referencing Richard Weaver’s well stated axiom “ideas have consequences.” Ideas shape nations. Moral vision–or its absence–impacts the choices we make, and the choices made by our societies and governments. To see the breakthrough of the kingdom of God into our communities, we need to be thoughtful Christians who live wisely and practice virtue.
Two verses in Genesis 6 reveal the profound relationship between the intentions of our thoughts and the outcome in our societies: “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (verse 5) … Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence” (verse 11).
The thoughts of our heart can produce violence or lead to peace. They can create just societies or corrupt societies. Proverbs 23:7 reminds us “For as he thinketh [inwardly calculates] in his heart, so is he…” The same can be said of a nation: as it thinks, it becomes. This profound truth should cause us to reflect on the root of the struggle of our societies. Whence the poverty, bankruptcy, lack of beauty, and social strife?
Here’s a graphic example. John Stonestreet wrote recently at BreakPoint about Colleen Francis, who self-identifies as a “transsexual” and, with full impunity, walks around “naked in front of the other people” in a women’s locker room. He does so, not in some “progressive” European country. The locker room is at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington.
Many of us watched with sadness and wonder the slow and dignified death of the late Pope John Paul II, Karol Józef Wojtyła. One person who wrote thoughtfully about it was Fred Hutchison, the consciously-Christian writer, lecturer, and reflective thinker. Hutchison’s 2005 article, Existential Morality and the Right to Die, covered a range of topics related to life and death and the nature of freedom without a moral framework. For those of us who are concerned for the health and flourishing of our nations, we need to examine the ideas that lead to life and death, prospering and poverty, freedom and slavery. While a rather long piece, Hutchison’s essay will provide much food for thought and a foundation for wise action.
- Darrow Miller