Saturday, June 22, 2013

Big Brother and the Christian

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, read the caption of a large poster that Winston passed by. Another poster read the same. Then another, and another. Cameras made it possible for the state's supreme leader, affectionately called "Big Brother," to watch nearly everything everyone did. Privacy? I wouldn't be surprised if the word was outlawed in George Orwell's created world.

Today as I stood before my three large and sturdy bookshelves, trying to locate my copy of 1984, I wondered if I was looking in the wrong section. That perhaps it had somehow migrated on its own to the non-fiction section. I knew this to be impossible, but I am inclined to return it to join my other non-fiction works once through with it.

My beautiful looking wife was the one who first informed me about the breaking story of Edward Snowden leaking information about the NSA's spying on private citizens. We were vacationing in San Diego, and either it is built into my natural disposition to doubt this kind of information when reported in the news media, knowing how they like to exaggerate about everything, or I was far too relaxed from the effects of the Gas-Lamp district. You can imagine how disturbing the news became to me, and undoubtedly to the reader, as more and more information was becoming known.

Commonly, I have heard from many fellow citizens, "I thought the government was already doing this," and carried on as if they had just told me about the bland breakfast they had that morning. Where has the passion that was once here during the time of the Enlightenment, the same zeal that pounded upon the will of every founder of our great nation? It seems to have diminished to such an extent that I have to look far and wide to find any. It is as if the every day Joe doesn't want to connect the dots: once the government unnecessarily watches and hears everything we do, our protected rights will not longer be protected.

Revelations such as these wouldn't trouble me near as much except for the fact that Christians are hastening down the same path as the world but in the opposite direction. We now stand in opposition to the culture and the government on a great many things: homosexuality (and all that it entails), abortion, euthanasia, sex education, evolution, religious expression in public life and in our schools, governmental fiscal responsibility, engaging only in just wars, ... among other things.

All it will take is for the government to begin criminalizing opposition to their views on any one of the aforesaid matters of contention, and Christians will immediately begin to feel the blunt force of the most powerful nation on earth. I hope I'm not coming across as conspiratorial, mind you, but I see this as a natural furtherance of their cause.

Pause you, reader - consider Winston's "Big Brother," and whether his all-intrusive government claimed to peruse every moment of every individual to punish them? Did they not claim and believe that it was for the good of the society at large? How did they handle any opposition, even he who kept to himself and posed no meaningful threat? Why, they forced submission. It wasn't enough for Winston to go through the motions. No. His thinking was required to change.

Now reader, Winston's world is fiction. But Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Mussolini's Italy, China's Communist Party, and any number of Islamic states ruled by Sharia Law are not fiction. What I am aiming at is this: when a government has absolute power over her citizens, this is usually accompanied by an utter loss of freedom.

Looking back on my childhood I distinctly remember my parents instilling in me, however subtly and yet all-encompassingly, the love of God and country. Today it saddens me to see the state our nation has chosen to reside in, and it is becoming increasingly clear that I may one day be forced to choose my allegiance between these two loves. My friends, if this choice is ever put to us, there can only be one answer for the Christian: the triune Lord of the Bible. Oh it may be wholly against the grain to not acknowledge what Big Brother demands of us, but we cannot falter our witness in any way. Our love of the gospel of Jesus Christ will forever trump our love of any government.

Lest we begin to naively believe that this would be the first time God's people have encountered oppression by the culture or a governmental power, the Scriptures record examples for our benefit. Remember the Apostles once they were captured and brought before the Jewish leaders: "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Remember also the author of Hebrews, writing to encourage those Jewish Christians that there really is nothing to go back to. He writes of the many victors of the faith down through the ages, and in chapter 12 says: 
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews, 12:1-3, NASB).
Let us not pretend that I know any certain thing about the future, for that is solely God's domain. So whether we will endure persecution, whether we are able to find favor amidst an oppressive government, or if God's common grace is extended to our land to repent us from the direction we are headed, I do know one thing: the Judge of all the earth does what is right.

Thanks for reading,

No comments:

Post a Comment