The United States is being torn apart. We might better be called the Divided States of America. We are two distinct peoples sharing one topography.
Janeane Garofalo, a comedian and political activist, expressed this division in unforgettable fashion:
[W]hen I see the American flag, I go, “Oh my God, you’re insulting me.” That you can have a gay parade on Christopher Street in New York, with naked men and women on a float cheering, “We’re here, we’re queer!” — that’s what makes my heart swell. Not the flag, but a gay naked man or woman burning the flag. I get choked up with pride.
Every week we see the divided states on national TV during football season as players and coaches have bought into the narrative of BLM and show disrespect for the nation’s flag, rather than honor that historic symbol of national unity and the lives of patriots who have died to defend their country.
And not only in the USA. National divisions are growing all over the world. Consider Brexit in England, for example. Or the growing nationalism in France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Four forces are at work in today’s Europe. Two have been prominent but are less so today: 1) modern globalism, which was prominent for decades but now is being shaken by new forces, and 2) postmodernism, which continues to grow slowly. Today two ideologies of long history are enjoying new prominence: nationalism and Islam.
Nations are being divided along racial, religious, tribal and ideological lines.
Jesus warned of the effects of such division: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand,” Matt. 12:25.
God envisions unity, not divided states
The solution to these divisions is a more comprehensive vision, one big enough to unify a divided world. The New Testament speaks of:
One blood – “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,” (Acts 17:26 NKJ).
One new man – “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,” Gal. 3:28.
One Kingdom from every tribe and nation – “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb …” Rev. 7:9.
The divide we currently face in the USA is as great as, or greater than, the divide of the American civil war that claimed more than 600,000 lives. It is a divide of both substance (the content of our differences) and of style (the way we relate to those with whom we disagree).
The substance (essence) of the War Between the States was threefold: slavery, the threat of secession, and, to a lesser extent, two national visions, one of a rural agricultural life vs. the other of an urban, industrialized life. The style (means) of the conflict was bloody combat that sundered families, communities and a nation.
Theism vs. postmodernism: the split leading to divided states
Today the substance is a conflict of worldviews. In the 20th century the struggle was between Judeo-Christian theism and modernism. Here in the 21st century we are experiencing a conflict between remnants of Judeo-Christian theism and postmodernism. In previous years, the STYLE was mostly limited to speech, vulgarity, rudeness and hatred. Today we are seeing violence as well, rioting in the streets by groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter. We seem to be getting ever closer to the ignition point of a new civil war.
From Paradigm to Program
The division in the USA runs more deeply than many people recognize, all the way down to a paradigm, or worldview, the way we see the world.
Four P’s capture the movement from of this division its foundation to its outworking in the society: paradigm – principle – policy – program.
Each of the four “P’s” deals with a different question that helps define the whole. Programs deal with the very practical questions of any event:
- Who is going to do the activity?
- Where will they do it?
- When will it be done?
- How will they carry it out?
Policy deals with the concept of the program activity and answers the question, What?
Principles move away from the practical and concrete actions in programs. Principles look at the reasons behind the policies. They answer the question, Why do we have these policies? Principles deal with the themes of culture or ethos.
Finally, the deepest level is the Paradigm or Worldview. If you ask Why do we have these particular principles? the answer will take you to the deepest level, the paradigm.
The current, profound division in Western society that we see every day on the level of our personal and corporate activities (programs) is ultimately rooted in these differences of worldview. We witness this division hourly in our news cycles: Antifa violence, killing of black youth by policemen, gun violence, tearing down statues of historical figures who owned slaves, the murder of unborn babies, arrests for using the wrong pronoun for a person’s gender identity, creation of safe spaces on college campuses, etc. These issues are a reflection of grassroots activities, sometimes personal, sometimes corporate, and often systematic. These grassroots activities play out in discussions and behaviors by millions of people.
- Darrow Miller
… to be continued
M. LamboyDecember 1, 2020 - 5:30 am
Our family love you and your ministry. But we speak and understand spanish. Im going to copy your blogs and put in a translate. And then we going to understanding what’s do you write. I know that is very important for our lives. Please, forgive my english. Im a latin person. Thanks you, mr. Miller. We pray for you.
adminDecember 3, 2020 - 6:36 pm
Thanks you for your kind words. We do have some friends who are translating some of the blogs in Spanish. Here is the link to Darrow Miller y Amigos: http://darrowmilleryamigos.com/. Hope you enjoy these.