Comfort In A World Gone Mad

One who believes in the truth of the Scriptures, believes also in the sovereign rule of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures teach unequivocally that Christ, at the time of His ascension, was given all authority in heaven and on earth. His exaltation raised Him to the pinnacle of power under God so that He rules as Lord of lords and King of all the kings of the earth. Nothing happens without His will. All things are under His control. The greatest earth-shaking crises as well as the minutest details of life are directed by Him and under the control of His sovereign rule. 

Nor is the rule of Christ arbitrary. He does not rule for the mere sake of ruling. There is a goal, a purpose in all that Christ does, for He rules in the name of the Father. In a wonderful and mysterious way which we are unable to understand, Christ does all things so that they may serve the coming of His own kingdom. Great things and small things, in all the universe and in heaven and hell, are so directed by Him that the passing of each event brings the coming of Christ’s kingdom closer and makes the realization of that kingdom possible. 

The believer finds his comfort in this truth. It is not, for him, abstract dogma, cold theology. It is really, when all else is said and done, the heart of his hope. This truth gives him courage in a world gone mad. For the faith by which he confesses this truth is the same faith which convinces him that he belongs to that glorious and exalted, Christ. He belongs to Christ so completely that nothing can separate him from Christ’s love. This therefore, includes the conviction that he shall someday inherit the kingdom which shall surely be established. 

It is impossible to live in today’s world with any kind of optimism without this power of faith. Over the past year, I have filed away in my desk drawer some of the more outrageous proposals and plans which men have concocted for our world. Taken together they chill the blood. A bit of pondering on them leaves one with cold terror seixing the soul. 

Some of the more horrifying examples we mention in this article.

In a Newsweek article written sometime in the past year, Dr. Kenneth B. Clark was concerned about the fact that, in this nuclear age, “a very few, fragile, unpredictable human beings have the power to decide whether mankind will survive or be extinguished.” He points out that, although just a few men are charged with the responsibility of unleashing a nuclear war, these very men do not “differ from others except in terms of having this terrible ultimate power. They suffer from the same strengths, weaknesses, complexities, conflicts, anxieties, doubts and insecurities that afflict and define humanity. Their behavior is no more predictable than others. They, too, seek to mask their doubts and errors by dogmatism. The whims of the powerful are no less whims than those of the powerless — only much more dangerous.” He holds before us the bleak prospect of another Hitler or Stalin, men who were on the face of it emotionally unstable, coming to power with the buttons of nuclear weapons under their thumbs. 

After painting a most horrifying picture, and after showing that no present curbs on government in any land are adequate to safe-guard us, he offers his solution. The problem is a scientific one.

Researchers in America, the Soviet Union and other countries for many years have been engaged in a systematic study of the roles of various areas of the brain and the effects of certain changes in the biochemistry of the human organism on perception, thought and emotional behavior. More specifically, through these research findings and the observation of the effects of tranquilizing, depressing and stimulating drugs, it is now clear that it is possible to manipulate the feelings of individuals. With increased research the technology of direct biochemical intervention and control of human behavior will become more and more precise and predictable.

The author proposes an international scientific organization to get on with this business of perfecting these techniques; and, presumably, such an organization would also be responsible for the behavioral control of the nation’s leaders so that a nuclear holocaust would be prevented. This, he believes, would be the only way to assure the survival of our race. 

The dangers he sees in madmen at the control of nuclear nations is, in itself a very real one. But one who believes the Scriptures cannot be frightened by this sort of thing. It is, obviously, impossible for man to destroy himself no matter what happens. Christ rules over those who are in positions to trigger nuclear arsenals. And only God will destroy the world at such a time when the history of the world is finished. 

But the solution proposed is absurd on the face of it. One takes the power to make war away from presidents and dictators and transfers it to a “scientific community” with the ability to alter behavior through drugs and biochemical intervention. But these men are also weak and fragile and unpredictable; men with doubts and anxieties. Only we have given to them a power greater than that of nuclear missiles, the power to tamper with the human soul. And they are now to be responsible for ruling the world? They would then have the power to decide, according to their own perverted and godless notions, what kind of behavior is acceptable and what kind is not. And they would have the power to do away with every type of opposition to their rule by reducing all men to senseless robots. 

Yet something like this is exactly the goal of many today.

What is said above is made clear by another article which also appeared in Newsweek, written by Nick Thimmesch, and entitled, “The Abortion Culture.” The author of this article is alarmed by what has happened in this country since the liberalization of abortion laws. He does not only refer to the large number of abortions which have been performed and the gruesome destruction of life in hospitals which perform abortions; but he refers to what he calls “the utilitarian ethic” which lies behind the liberalization of abortion laws and the awful results of this ethic which has become the philosophy of America. By this he means that our moral standards are set up only on the basis of “what is useful is good.” In doing this, he compares what is happening in this country with what happened in Nazi Germany. 

Some of the fruits of the “utilitarian ethic” are horrifying.

1) Euthanasia advocates are at work in six state legislatures to get laws passed to kill undesirables. These include aged, those with incurable diseases, mentally retarded and mentally ill, suicide prone people, etc. 

2) There have been large numbers of experiments performed on people, experiments which have destroyed their lives. There have been experiments on free-clinic patients, students and the institutionalized. There have been experiments performed on aborted babies. There have been advocates for removing the ban on experimenting with children and mental incompetents. 

3) There is increased pressure for the sterilization of institutionalized people. Psychosurgery is performed on hundreds of Americans annually. This was not done to correct brain damage, but to alter behavior of unruly children and violence-prone prisoners. These and more have come out of the same moral position which has brought about the liberalization of abortion. And if abortion is now common place, who is to say that all these others will not soon be common practice in this country and elsewhere in the world?

From a little different point of view, the Newsmedia in this country have reached a point of almost unbridled power. I have an article before me, nationally syndicated, in which the author speaks of the victims of Watergate. He does not deny that a crime was committed. Nor does he deny that there were those involved in all that is connected with the Watergate mess who are nothing but criminals. But he is concerned about countless innocent victims of the whole fiasco. He tells stories which tend to substantiate the point he is making. And the point is this: anyone who has at any time worked for the re-election of the president or who is even remotely related to some government agency which had connections with the White House is presently being hounded as guilty of some crime related to Watergate. He tells of jobs lost, reputations ruined, men driven to the brink of despair — all because there is some tenuous connection between them and a scandal-stained administration. He refers to many people who have not succeeded in escaping the special prosecutor’s probes even though they have moved to distant parts of the country. 

And he lays the blame on the Press. He writes: ” ‘Crime and Punishment, 1973’ is a volume in which our country, known for its justice and humanity, bred a period of injustice and inhumanity by a national free press that has betrayed its name and could make any charge it chose from a privileged sanctuary, unconscionably destroying a human life by a morning edition or an evening newscast. From their sanctuary, these newsmen could never be called to account. They would never have to face a press conference, for they were the press. They would not be subject to investigate reporting, for they were the investigative reporters. Their sources would remain unknown, even if their sources were themselves. Seemingly, news commentators are above the news, but, in fact, they guide the news, steer the news, and, too often, create the news.” 

The men who have been charged with crimes, have already been tried, convicted, found guilty and sentenced by the Press. Any future trial becomes little more than a farce because they are already ruined. The point is that the Press has almost unlimited power in this country to mold the news. And the power to mold the news is the power to mold the thinking of the country. The result is that it has become all but impossible to know any more what is going on in the country or the world. We are left to guess, if we distrust the Press, and we have nothing on which to base our guesses. 

All of this is in the name of freedom of speech. 

It seems to me that life is scarcely worth living if one does not have complete trust in the Scriptures. Only the precious promises of the Word of God give hope. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a stong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” Hebrews 6:17-20.