Isaiah 35.1-10 Psalm 146 James 5.7-10 Matthew 11.2-11
Go and tell John what you hear and see:5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’
Our leaders don’t think much of Christ. They are waiting for another leader. They don’t think much of us. They don’t want people who can think for themselves and see that their claims are absolutist and cultic, and who can charge them with idolatry. They seek a power without limit, which is in effect a power that is divine. They want us to regard them as our superiors, and as people beyond our challenge. They want a pliant people, without a memory have no means of comparing now with twenty years ago. Who are not able to notice what is happening to them because they have no memory and who are in a permanent state of frenzy. They have fobbed us off with a diluted gospel.
They want to browbeat the educated and those able to make cultural comparisons into silence, by telling everyone that they are elitist. We would like an elite that is educated (and educated particularly the modesty of the mandates of public service) But unfortunately it is not the educated who are our elite, but those who have driven the educated out of positions of influence. Our education men have gone into internal exile. They have done what they were commanded. They have shut up. They should never have done so. They had education and but they should have led us by reminding us who we are, what we have received. But you cannot give in to the pushy for they will never be satisfied enough to stop pushing, but they will identify more and more groups that opposes them (at least by not identifying with them and affirming them).
Our leaders have diluted our education. They present our history as a jumble of unrelated themes and they present it with interruptions from other cultures that had no connection to ours. They have diluted our culture. They have blended with other cultures that are not ours, and that were unknown and that made no contribution to our national life, and which are the very opposite of our culture and values. They have diluted our population. They have imposed new populations that are dependent on benefits paid for by taxing us, so that our own children say that they cannot afford to have children. But they are paying for these new populations to come in and have children.
They have diluted our money supply, which is the grace that functions as the universal medium of our interchange with strangers. When we want something at home some member of the family gives it to us. When we are among strangers or people who don’t owe us anything, we have to make our request in that very formal and ritual way in the medium that we call money. We use currency or credit. We pay them. That is, we give each other credit. But this medium of credit that we call money is sustained by the behind-the-scenes machinations of a cabal that wants to give the impression that this medium is absolutely unchanging and reliable – but which is actually always devaluing it in order to divert value out of our control and into its own. It pretends to be a reliable organ of state, but is actually working as a foreign power, a state within a state, always doing this unseen, unchallenged, beyond our ability to call them to account.
Everyone dilutes the gospel. Everyone looks down on everyone else and assume that they will be satisfied with some abbreviation of it. You have to ask again and again. You have to nag and rattle their door and waylay them whenever they appear and ask them for more. We have to besiege them.
It is a possibility that here for us in this country, there may not be a Church with any public presence. There will be Christians, but they will be just as beleaguered as Christians under the great totalitarianisms of this or the last century. The Church may be driven underground. This could only happen if the leadership of the Church is seized by those who and who believe that they have to re-educate Christians, drawing them away from their unchanging gospel toward some more politically-acceptable agenda. If those who lead the Church introduce and attempt to drive through their agendas, replacing the unchanging worship and proclamation of all Christians everywhere, the witness of Christians may be effectively stifled. Only the gospel brings to us what is new, and prevents our society from becoming overweening.
Those who want to replace the gospel with some fake gospel of their own do so because they enjoy the power that want to enjoy pushing others around.
Which Sins are Mine?
The problem is that the distinction between the sins that I have committed, against others, and the sins that others have committed which I have to suffer. The distinction has to be made between the perpetrator and the victim or casualty of this sin. Sometimes I am perpetrator, and others are the casualties of my sin. Sometimes I am the casualty of what other people have perpetrated. And sometimes it is different to say where responsibility lies and so to distinguish between perpetrators and victims, because there is a large area of murk because we are drawn into complicity. We didn’t commit this sin, but we didn’t protest, name it as sin or direct our challenge against anyone in particular either. We kept quiet. The original crime is worsened by the cover-up and by a general pretence that nothing happened. Complicity is contagious, creating misunderstanding and deception.
We have to say both that we are persecutors and we are persecuted, that we sin against other people or to their disadvantage, and that other people sin against us and make it difficult for us to avoid the contagion. When they continue to commit this sin of theirs despite our challenge, they are our enemies, and it is right for us to warn everyone against them.
One enormous sin committed against us all, is the two claims made about us by our leaders that there is no sin, and this is because we are not responsible or moral creatures, and that we are intrinsically sinful and violent by nature, and nothing can be done about this except that we are governed and controlled by our leaders. They alone are moral. We should give up identifying specific sins sin or talking about sin as a whole. The paradox here, is that while our ideological leaders charge us with using this – and so being divisive, they themselves have adopted it and are employing it to degrade and debase us. Our ideologists disparage us and policymakers demote us. In in the everyday Christian version, they are all sins. They have been dumped on us. That has now become secular and turned against us, so every member of Christian culture is guilty – by virtue of inheriting that culture, by membership of a people, and so of an ethnicity.