The world is full of mercenaries and heroes who talk about their freedom and political convictions like foolishness is going out of style and they have to get their piece out. Poverty of mind in low and high places is well documented in the Bible. The twelve year old Yeshua from Nazareth visited the temple and amazed everyone, stumping “the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.” (Luke 2:46-47, NASB) Leaders of every sector of society can easily talk and act without a shred of legitimacy. In the age of accessible wealth and respect for authority we are plagued by poor rich heroes and renegades, extraordinary rebels and patriotic insurrectionists.
Who needs rebel patriotism?
Neighbours are what makes society strong, quite apart from whether or not we or they have a God or a stepgod. I suppose neighbours are an alternate reality that depends on how the law separates people by citizenship and genealogy. The Canadian Charter, like any well-intentioned law, cannot be expected to create an equal society, except when upward mobility is the assumed goal of all residents. Dogs will always eat dogs and competition always brings misery. Revolutionary individuals like George Washington and Toussaint L’Ouverture are not paradigms; not when bloodshed is rejected as a means for setting differences.
Not another insurrection, revolution, book or prophet
The bold and ruthless men of any religious or political stripe are all cult leaders. They often are misogynist and xenophobic, ready to forge alliances with disparate elements and force allegiance to themselves and their cause. If you do not know what a religious beast can do with civic or military power take quick stroll through the news, or fly through the eras covered in Bible for its witness to how power was used.
Invasion and violence
The list of violent adventures and wannabe monarchs is longer than there is space here.
- Egyptian colonies in Palestine
- Jewish attempts to silence the Way
- Mulsim invasion of Europe
- Muslim invasion of India
- Muslim states, mostly Arab
- Muslim invasions of Africa
- Muslim complicit in the slave trade of Africans
- European encroachment on Aboriginal lands all over the world
Only four powers were granted a license to govern huge swathes of humanity. There is however in the modern era no shortage of heartless and unthinking emperors or whatever they like to call themselves. Where do they think their mob mentality and bloody uprisings will end?
There are few Sauls becoming Pauls. There are even fewer Ezras posing as passionate interpreters of the divine message. Today’s zealots are as ignorant of Christian excellence as was Ezra of alien (Moabite, Jerichoan, Tyrian) inclusion in ancient Israel-Judah.
“This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled (quick to answer) in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.”Ezra 7:6
“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;”Acts 9:15
From riches to rags in a flash
There is one miraculous event that seems to escape the net of the triumph harvesters. They forget that life, like a conversation, has give and take. Wealth rarely comes overnight except by lottery inheritance or theft. There is no controversy that wealth and fame have disappeared like dry ground in a flash flood. Christ’s disciples left all to follow him but today’s disciple want to have all as they follow, and insist that having abundance is a measure of covenant durability. A little rain, a little greedy magnate can wake up stripped of his treasure. The representatives of the people with their cushy benefits and privileges and the loud patriots show us exactly what the poor-rich hero looks like. When they wake up and find their riches are on the street as worthless bits of paper and metal.