commentary: More on Modern Liberalism
We Are Vulnerable To It Too
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 18-Apr-09; 69 minutes
Proverbs 22:3 states that "A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." That proverb seems clear enough, doesn't it? It means simply that during some occasion a warning is given that danger lies ahead. However, some ignore the warning, continue on, and they painfully pay for their lack of even common sense that others clearly understood from the warning that was given.
Last week we took a very brief look at modern liberalism. I want you to notice that I modified the noun "liberalism" with the adjective "modern." This is done to differentiate it from the generous liberalism practiced by many in our nation's past. I consider modern liberalism as an evil philosophy that infects many areas of life besides economics and politics. Biblically, liberalism is considered a good character trait, unless it is used in reference to a vile person called liberal because one wants something from the vile and so they lavish praise on them as being liberal. I think we might call it "sucking up" today.
The Democratic Party has adorned itself with the liberal mantle. Perhaps at the time that it was adopted, their intention was admirable. However, gradually, through the decades, the term liberal has become something altogether different from what it was then. It now represents leftist-leaning political philosophy, a philosophy of big government growing ever bigger and dominating life to the hindrance, actually, of personal liberties, perhaps even to crush them all together. This is the governing philosophy of nations such as China and Russia, and we are headed in that direction.
When one observes the conclusions and the antics of the modern liberal, one finds that these people are often agnostic or atheistic, not believing that there is such a thing as a moral absolute. This non-belief in moral absolutes overlaps into other areas of thinking, and this is where it begins to become dangerous to you and me. It affects decisions made in areas of life in which a moral absolute may not be involved. But nonetheless, one side of an equation—a problem; one that has a branch on it; a fork that goes this way or that way—invariably leads to a choice that has a very clear message that one way is going to be better that another way.
Last week, I quoted a man named Evan Sayet. He said in his essay that a true modern liberal person will almost invariably choose the wrong fork, just like the simple person in Proverbs 22:3 who saw the warning but went heedlessly on despite the warning. These people are imprudent, to say the least.
Did you see the video of the German woman who deliberately jumped into the polar bear swimming pool, inside the bears' compound at the zoo? That is a clear example of modern liberal thinking, detached from politics and economics. She completely ignored the absolute truth that polar bears are dangerous and unfriendly to humans who invade into their territory. In addition, she ignored the fact that bears are very good swimmers. She would have a disadvantage at every turn, and yet she took their wrong fork, and it was almost suicidal. This is modern, liberal thinking, removed from economics and politics.
In former times, we would have called these people daredevils. Actually, what they were doing was tempting God. That's a misnomer ("daredevils")—daring the devil to do something. They're also daring God to do something, leaving them to their devices as a result of the stupid, liberal mistake that they made.
If you're thinking with me, you can begin to see that modern liberalism is not limited to the elite who are in power and economics and government, education or whatever. We can be modern liberals as well.
I recently viewed a video that was sent to me by Craig Sablich, featuring the interview of a judge who presided over the savings and loan banking crisis in the late 1980s and 1990s. This man gave testimony during this interview that today's bank administrators knew all along what they were doing regarding their loaning operations. The derivative market designed to help handle the situation was highly dangerous to the individual banks and the worldwide economy. Here comes the liberal thinking. But regardless, they charged ahead anyway because the lure of making a huge profit and increasing the economic stature and power to themselves in the banking business.
This former judge called it outright fraud, a Ponzi scheme that makes Bernard Madoff's $50 billion scheme looked like pocket change by comparison. They knew what they were doing was at best a huge gamble, but all the while they were selling that scheme to investors as a "can't miss" profit-making venture. That, brethren, is deceit. They ignored economic wisdom, and they managed to come very near to collapsing the economy worldwide. The only thing that has saved them to this point in time has been that their accomplice in this fraud: The national governments, who made what the bankers did possible by closing their eyes to the dangers in order to get, among other things, large financial campaign contributions. They were complicit in this.
If there is anything that we can learn from this sorry episode in world history it is that modern liberalism is not modern at all. In fact, one might even say that it is the oldest course of action in the history of the world. It began with Adam and Eve, when they ignored God's wisdom and plunged ahead anyway with Satan's Ponzi scheme that they could become gods, just like that.
I want you to turn to Proverbs 7. We have the whole thing laid out in one chapter. First, we get God's warning. Then there is a step-by-step seduction. Then a bad choice is made; the wrong fork was taken. And finally, the penalty: death.
What you have to remove from your mind is the prostitute imagery, because the prostitute stands for any kind of scheme that we might think is rich enough that we do not have to follow what God says, but we can gain it by taking the seduction. Look what he says:
Proverbs 7:1-2 My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and LIVE, and my law as the apple of your eye.
"Keep your focus," he says, "on what I say." There is a warning right there. God is saying, "I will never mislead you."
Proverbs 7:5 That they may keep you from the immoral woman [or seduction from any kind of very appealing temptation], from the seductress who flatters with her words.
"Oh, we could make a lot of money on this. This is really a good scheme. We'll never have another opportunity like this to make as much money, or get ahead in the world." "You'll have such power and renown—just go along with our scheme here."
Beginning in verse six, we see the seduction taking place, step-by-step. The person is led into the spider web until he bites.
Proverbs 7:21-23 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him. Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life.
All these bankers, they thought, "Man, we really got it going this time."
Proverbs 7:24-27 Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths ["don't take that wrong fork in the road"]; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.
Any Christian can do the same as these bankers did in principle in relation to God, and today's modern liberals are doing for us. Let's learn the lesson and avoid this brand of ancient (and now modern) liberalism. We do not have to choose the wrong fork, because God's wisdom—His truth—is right there. It's right on, all the time, even though it may seem we are passing up the deal of a lifetime. You take the wrong fork, and that's the end of life.