Friday, May 05, 2006

Notes on Nobility

There is a fear in the hearts of the rebellious. A citizen does not want to look up to his rulers, and a wife does not want to look up to her husband. They are afraid, (and feel justified in the rebellion thereby) that their superiors, if ever acknowledged as superiors, will get all arrogant and treat the lower realms as a doormat. They are correct that elevation has with it temptations exactly as their fears describe. The Scriptures enjoin us in Romans 12:16 "Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited." The problem is that the passage does not ask the lowly to police their betters to be sure this never happens. It doesn't encourage the lowly to deny the existence of their betters, convince their betters that they have no standing, so that their betters will not even think about functioning as betters (with this attendant black temptation of having their betterness inform the lowly in some self-esteem damaging way). The lower think it is their place to exercise discipline in the cosmos against this dark temptation. Their efforts to discipline are essentially those of the Prohibitionist. Alcohol could tempt to drunkenness. Simple, ban all alcohol. Or, for a Christian Legalist, since dancing can inflame our sexual urges, simple, no dancing. Since a Marquis could be tempted to, and once did, look down his nose at a peasant, simple, off with their heads. It smacks of the horrific folly of the French Revolution or the blood-drenched buffoonery of the Bolshevik.
The Scripture sees police action coming down from above.
Ecclesiastes 5:8 "If you see in a province the poor oppressed and justice and right violently taken away, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. 9 But in all, a king is an advantage to a land with cultivated fields. "
And in case you are immediately dumbing down the concept "king", Solomon defines his sense of it in chapter eight.
"2 Keep the king's command, and because of your sacred oath be not dismayed; 3 go from his presence, do not delay when the matter is unpleasant, for he does whatever he pleases. 4 For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, "What are you doing?" 5 He who obeys a command will meet no harm, and the mind of a wise man will know the time and way. 6 For every matter has its time and way, although man's trouble lies heavy upon him. 7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? 8 No man has power to retain the spirit, or authority over the day of death; there is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. 9 All this I observed while applying my mind to all that is done under the sun, while man lords it over man to his hurt. "
Solomon, who, by the by, was wiser than you, has this absolute view even though he sees what the egalitarian communist sees (verse 9: "while man lords it over man to his hurt").

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Hit home today. Thanks for the wise words.