The Current Scene

The Current Scene

Edwin Fesche

Conservatism

Today the ideological wind seems to be blowing in the direction of conservatism. At least this will be so if President Reagan’s two appointments to the Supreme Court materialize. Still upsets can be expected from the whims of the voters. The dogooders have enjoyed a heyday since World War II. Such have worn a halo of moral superiority. If you don’t line up in their crusades for peace, pro-abortion, women’s lib, school busing, to name a few, you are an uncaring individual. The actual fanatical commitment of what they are doing tends to blind them to the dangers they may be unleashing.

Rent control results in abandoned apartment buildings in New York. Abandonment of capital punishment often results in the wrong persons losing their life in prison riots. The rights of immature adolescents have skyrocketed with teenage pregnancies. Castro’s fair speeches got the moralizers’ approval and Batista was an oppressor. So with the Shah of Iran. Now Africa is all astir and where complete liberty has been gained prosperity for the most part has been lost. Communism has never been far away. Those who secure power by force can only keep it by a superior force. The wreckage left in the wake of liberalism, or is it humanism, is blamed on a penny-pinching government, or any scapegoat that comes to mind.

Is conservatism the answer? It, too, is flawed with human malaise. This much can be said — it better adjusts to man’s fallen nature and is most likely to yield to common sense. Its origin stems from Calvinistic theology, and wherever it has been an influence in the world it has brought measurable light and prosperity compared with its surrounding neighbours. The Biblical doctrine of the sinfulness of man is amply proved by the behaviour to be found in every area of society. No matter what form of government sways a country the crafty and lazy are going to find loopholes to exploit. Here welfarism is weak compared with the disciplines of conservatism. Either way, the world’s principles are not compatible with those of Jesus Christ.

Brzezinski’s Geopolitics

The former national security advisor under the Carter Administration appears in his writings to have a worldwide geopolitical view and grasp of current problems. He sees America as the only challenge to Soviet designs. The Russian ideological edge has weakened (over half a century of Communism has produced no Utopia).

They are falling behind technologically. Their advantages have been narrowed down to “the attainment of clear-cut and politically decisive military superiority.” The rivalry of the two world powers is an endless game leading or failing a matter of points, but the military competition must always be matched. Going after Castro and Qadhafi tends to divert public attention away from the Russian grand strategy. West Germany must not be won over to the Soviet bloc. There are some tempting plums from Russia to bring this about; and if so, everything would be awry in Europe. A Soviet invasion of Iran or Pakistan should call for the action of our present enlarging Rapid Deployment Force. Also, South Korea and the Philippines merit American intervention. Brzezinski views Russia as extremely patient, striking only when circumstances tempt a daring adventure. Actually, the Russian dreams of expansion originated way back with the Czars.

The “Game Plan” sees current arms talks of little worth. The weapons to go after are the intercontinental missiles. Both sides must eliminate their capability of an overwhelming first strike. Cripple one side, otherwise it’s “mutual assured destruction” (MAD). “All reductions and prohibitions would have to be subject to foolproof verification.” Present Soviet secrecy arouses suspicion. Brzezinski writes, “It could prompt American overestimates of Soviet deployment, thereby precipitating American responses that in turn could cause the Soviets to escalate.”

In the Soviet Empire there are pockets of potential resistance, especially the 55 million Moslems. This would give them a dose of their own tactics in the third world. Furthermore, there must be no ambiguity of American intentions. All of this, of course, is well thought out worldly wisdom. God does not appear in the writer’s thoughts. Probably Biblical prophecy has not influenced his thinking. This is God’s world, not man’s, and while men are, up to a point, able to choose their actions, they are not able to choose the results of those actions. Even if there is peace in our little day, after that, what then? The answer: “after this the judgment” of a holy God.

Man’s Gullibility

It has been said that man is a religious animal. If he has not found a deity to his liking, he will invent one. Worse yet he may deify himself as we note from this statement, “Is not the whole structure of religious faith an illusion, the God we worship being merely the shadow of ourselves? Thou art man; God is no more. Thine own humanity learn to adore.”

Leaving out those who are intensely evangelical, men’s sympathies tend to run to humanism or religion in the New Age. Humanism answers to the above quotation; it is atheistic, which in the broadest sense of the word can be considered religion. A close relative would be Communism. The New Age religion is pantheistic. Both feel they have a cure for the world’s ills. Since pantheism embraces everything, it can give a home to any religion and philosophy. The New Age is symbolized by a rainbow and its goal is world-wide acceptance. Basically. it is a combination of Zen Buddhism and Western occultism. Successful meditation can release pent up energies that are within us and suppressed by our culture or Christianity. Get rid of obstructing thought (certainly the doctrine of the fall) and whatever else keeps “from tapping that reservoir of magnificence.”

Recently we witnessed the Christian film, “Gods of the New Age.” The meetings were characterized by hand clapping, body contortions and often resulting in falling to the floor in a trance. A mind over matter approach carries with it the possibilities of healing even terminal diseases. A Gallup poll indicated that ten million Americans were engaged in some aspect of oriental mysticism. It has been thought that anything is permissible if there is no God and anything is also permissible if everything is God.

To the mind not influenced by the Bible this NAM (New Age Movement) could catch on at an alarming rate. It has optimistic connotations and says a lot of things people want to hear, and that are seemingly geared to escape the frustrations of the present. Again, while the evangelical is putting on his running shoes, error has already run a mile. “Men love darkness rather than light.”