Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I've Been Missing the Bigger Picture

Much of my distress at collectivist thought focuses on the damage done to humans.
But there is another Person to think about. There is another Individual, a Sovereign, an Owner, a Creator. A Father who might prefer the structure of family rather than the horizontal "brotherhood" that revolution brings.

If you lose your own identity in the group, how then can you distinguish God's identity? Doesn't the group identity become god? Indeed this is what we see in many socialist countries. We can also see this in some of the early anabaptist groups. The anabaptists were strongly against existing church authority, and highly anti-intellectual, so group identity became disproportionately important- again, if it difficult to distinguish between yourself and the group, it becomes difficult to distinguish between God and the group as well.

This would be consistent also with what could be termed "Holy Spirt history."
I put in quotes because it's really nothing but anecdotes that we hear. The narrative is that there was this great outpouring of the Holy Spirit years ago, all sorts of miracles, etc... Well, if group identity has become inordinate, then the Holy Spirit would fade. It's not like He's going to stick around and prop up an idol.

Then again, many of these anecdotes are more like Grandpa talking about the good old days- I don't know that there is any evidence that one time period has more of an outpouring than another. Certainly, it started at Pentecost, but I would think the real variable is people, not God. People are fickle, God is not.

It takes discipline to examine our experiences in the light of tradition. Our emotions don't have a particularly reliable relationship with the truth. We would do better to assume we are the least and lowliest generation, rather than the first generation to ever get it right.

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