Today’s headlines almost defy imagination.
Riots in unlikely places: Athens—ancient capital of democracy, Israel—island of freedom in a sea of tyranny, London—billed for the 2012 Olympic games as one of the world’s safest big cities.
Nations approaching bankruptcy: Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy … and now perhaps an impoverished European Union cannot support the Euro.
The United States has lost her AAA bond rating for the first time in history.
We cannot watch these developments without asking, “What is going on?” Our world seems to be falling apart, coming unglued at the seams. What’s the root of all this?
There are, after all, many smart people running these governments. Many have graduated from the finest universities and are no doubt very bright. They probably have high IQs, scored well on tests, and may be clever or shrewd. But it takes more than intelligence to run a government! We are witnessing what merely “smart” people can produce. It takes more than shrewdness to run a business, more than cleverness to be a financial investor, more than brilliance to run central banks, more than a high IQ to govern a nation.
It takes wisdom.
We all know people who are wise even though they would never get admitted to Harvard, much less graduate. On the other hand, we have all met individuals who were intelligent but not wise. Too many elites running today’s countries and institutions are lacking in wisdom. They may be smart, but they are reasoning from the West’s false assumptions based on atheism and materialism. When you build societies and institutions based on a lie you live in a world of illusion and create dysfunctional families and societies. When you seek to live in an illusionary world you end up destroying your own life, family, community, and nation.
What we are witnessing in the West today is nothing less than cultural suicide, the consequences of nations severing their Judeo-Christian cultural roots. Societies built on Atheism become self destructing. British writer, Max Hastings, reporting in the Mail Online, states that “years of liberal [read “atheistic”] dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters.” Hasting speaks correctly. The Western elite will portray the rioting of young people and the growing national indebtedness as an economic problem. It is not an economic problem: it is a moral and metaphysical problem.
These developments should not surprise us. It is the predictable outcome of a generations-long retreat from the Judeo-Christian order and of the advance of an atheistic disorder (or should we say the Darwinian social and economic order). It is the result of leadership by smart fools. They may be in intelligent and clever “in spades,” but they lack wisdom.
Today’s Western elite includes too few wise people. In fact, the word “wisdom” has been expunged from the modern vocabulary. After all, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). When we begin our reasoning and the nation building from a lie – “there is no God” – we lose the grounding for wisdom and understanding. All that remains is knowledge of facts and data.
The prologue of Proverbs (1:1-6) establishes the significance of the pursuit of wisdom:
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for attaining wisdom and discipline;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
What is the purpose of Wisdom? To know how to govern, beginning by governing one’s own life and family, leading to the governing of society within the framework of truth – reality as God has made it.
… to be continued
– Darrow Miller
Werner MischkeAugust 11, 2011 - 5:11 pm
Darrow, I’ve been reading the book you recommended recently: Vishal Mangalwadi’s “The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization.” All I can say is WOW. His insights are powerful! The current riots in London parallel very aptly the condition of England in the 1700s (as described by Mangalwadi), preceding the influence of Charles and John Wesley and the Great Awakening. It is very sobering as well as encouraging to see from history—the power of the transforming Gospel of Christ, not only for individuals but for whole nations. This is why there is still hope for our nation and any nation, if people only take seriously (literally!) the Gospel, the commandments of Christ and His eternal Word. Reading Max Hastings in MailOnline, I discern his sad, sad longing for another time when personal responsibility, decorum and morality ruled the day. It seems Hastings rightly sees the disease, but sadly, hardly even hints at the cure.
Ana RoncalAugust 11, 2011 - 5:47 pm
Wonderful reflection. I always tell my students here in Lima that if graduates from Harvard and Yale were what the world needed the US would not be in such a crisis.
I’ll wait for the second part with expectancy.