commentary: Why Things Won't Change
It's the Same Old Nature
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 17-Dec-11; 11 minutes
Interestingly, to me anyway, Mike and I must been thinking along the same course of thought, and my commentary has to do with one broad aspect of what he was speaking of ["In the Last Days"].
A few commentaries back, I made a comment that except for a mass turning to God, nothing will produce a noticeable change in government conduct. It's not happening.
An interesting phenomenon occurred on Black Friday that helps illustrate that there is not a people being prepared. It was called, in several news reports, "a seasonal frenzy." There were reports from all over the nation of a rash of violence at WalMarts, Kmarts, Targets, Best Buys, and other large department store outlets offering large discounts to lure customers in. Well, during the same period of time, the Occupy movement was also a source of unrest that involved police action, especially the scene of their "occupying" on Wall Street in New York City.
For some reason, these incidents, especially the Black Friday ones, brought about to me a memory of the French Revolution in 1789. No, it's not that I was there to witness the revolution, but my memories of studying it a bit did come to mind, and there is a similarity that I think we need to think about.
Let me review: A fairly large portion of the non-royal French citizenry revolted against what they considered the harsh cruelty of their elite, ruling powers. Catch the name: "elite." There is no doubt that the elites' rule was commonly unjust. They lived opulently compared to the downtrodden masses. Now the elites ruled for their own benefit, claiming even divine rights on the one hand, and on the other, that they were better prepared to rule because of their education. And so the commoners stormed the Bastille, which they consider to be a symbol of an affront to their human dignity.
I am sure that they also battled against the royalists in other significant places as well, and they accomplished and won their objective. And then what happened? To win was insufficient revenge, so they said, "Let's have some trials. Let's make some judgments." And out came the guillotine and heads rolled, perhaps literally.
The sum of this revolution was that the downtrodden victims of the elitist oppression, in the end, turned out to be every bit as vicious, tyrannical, and inept at running the government as the people they revolted against and kicked out of office by removing their heads. Nothing substantially changed except the names and the faces of the people who now held offices and power.
What similarity is there between that and the shoppers and the Occupiers of today? Well, first of all, all of them were driven by some degree by their lusts. The shoppers were not people who had a mere normal desire for something nice or even for something they had a legitimate need for. The drive, though, was intense enough for them to make serious sacrifices in order to have their desire. For instance, many of the shoppers on Black Friday got in to line early enough to be first, and at least maybe if they could not be first, then somewhere near the front of the line, in order to give themselves the very best chance at getting their desire. They sacrificed sleep and had to endure some measure of discomfort from cold and wet (if the weather happened to be bad). They were willing to risk being squashed against the doors, or elbowed and perhaps even trampled in the headlong rush to a display of their desire.
One lady armed herself with pepper spray, and she used it, she said, to defend her children in a battle at the display counter. Did I say "battle"? Yes. One national news report said the shoppers were "in a battle for bargains." One person—believe it or not—showed up with a stun gun. There were at least 30 incidents across the nation. The police had to be called to quell riots.
Meanwhile, the Occupiers were having battles with the police in New York City to achieve their desire. I saw some television footage of this—it was the the Wall Street "occupation"—and it was a pitched battle for a while. Some occupiers were jailed and some suffered at least some abrasions and bruises.
The Occupy movement is the beginning of a revolt against what they feel is a system that is unfair to them. But just like the shoppers, and the revolutionists in 1789, they, whether you agree with their motivations or not, are willing to sacrifice even the face of possible injurious violence for an objective that they believe that they are entitled to.
The underlying nature, in all three of these cases is the same, whether shopper or Occupier or revolutionary: They are willing to become violent and injure others in order to reach their objective. And their justifications are not all that different.
What am I saying here? It is this. This shopping incident on Black Friday and the Occupy sit-ins are really small-fry affairs compared to the French Revolution or any other revolution, for that matter. The only difference between the three in principle, though, is the degree of the objective. The same human nature is driving people today, regardless of the value and the scale of the objective. And as long as the nature that motivates people to make whatever sacrifices they are willing to risk or endure doesn't change, in the end, the culture will not substantially change for long either.
Now, why? Well, there is a simple biblical principle at work here: Whatever a man sows, he reaps. The man's nature is what driving the sowing. Because the carnal nature driving them to achieve their objective will in time produce the same results as were achieved by people that they overthrew and replaced. History proves this repeatedly. You've heard it. History keeps repeating.
Albert Einstein is given credit for illustrating insanity as "doing the same thing, over and over again, expecting that one will get a different result." That's what history shows mankind has done throughout the centuries. Mankind is always driven by the same nature. Only the dimension of the objective and the willingness to sacrifice changes.
God is not using that route. It's useless. He is taking millennia of time to prepare a group of people to govern under Jesus Christ when He returns, and those prepared will possess the spirit of a sound mind. They will not do the same things that previous cultures have tried and failed at. They will not be driven by their lusts. Revenge will not be their motivation. They do not feel as though they are entitled to these things. The object for them is the glorification of God, and that will be their motivation. They will institute rule and policy from a basis of love for God and His purposes first, and love for a neighbor immediately following. And it will work.