The country I live in is a sample of a worldwide divide.  We are not divided by political parties; those are too much like each other.  We aren’t divided by religions; they have too much in common.  We are not even divided by wealth; poor people are just as greedy as those who are rich.  We aren’t divided by race, either; all people groups operate with pretty much the same kind of approach.  It isn’t the peripheral things about which we disagree that count here. Rather, there are basic things that divide us; and while they can be rejected, they remain as crystal clear options.  The whole world is divided into two groups. The first group consists of those who believe in the sovereign creator God and who have a personal relationship to Jesus Christ.  The second group is made up of those who confess and/or live as if man is god.  This is the reason why there are only two final dwelling places, one called heaven and the other hell

Each of the two groups has its own authority base.  For the believer, it is the revealed word of God, the Bible.  The authority base of all others, without exception, is human reason.  I like to classify this group as “Humianity” in contrast to biblical Christianity.  Some would argue that there is a third group known as moderates.  The problem is that a moderate must use human reason as a higher authority than scripture, and that would automatically place him/her in the second group.  I am fully aware of the fact that people hate simplicity, and there is a reason for that: they do not like the discussion of right and wrong, even when it comes from the eternal Creator and Judge of the universe.

Individuals who have chosen man as their god will often quote from, or rub shoulders with, the authority base of the Bible.  Such a practice is just one more clear indication that they want the respectability of both, while still clinging to their own sense of superiority.  For believers, the scriptures are the sovereign word on anything to which they may speak.

CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS

An example of this issue of an authority base is found in the divide between conservatism and liberalism – the real struggle that is dividing our own nation.  At the heart of this warfare is a life-and-death struggle around the issue of an authority base; it’s not really about all the incidentals stated in half-truths and partisan politics.  There are no perfect people.  There is no one who always does it right, but there are people who operate on a solid standard that over the years has been tested and tried.  This is the authority base of conservatism.  The authority base of liberalism is the plastic whim of man at any given point in time, and this movement hates any reliable standard.

The best example of this is the constitution of the United States.  It is despised, hated, maligned and disobeyed by liberals who want to rewrite it.  It is interesting to note that this group deals with the Bible in the same way.  They try to tell us that both documents are out-of-date and certainly not applicable to today’s world – that people today are much smarter than the founders of our country and certainly more intellectual than God!  Because liberals claim the authority base of human reason, all of their actions are bound to be bent in the wrong direction.  Conservatism, on the other hand, tends to find itself committed to proven standards such as the constitution. This identifies their authority base.

We are not proud of the attitude and vitriolic speech of some people who call themselves conservative, but conservatism is the home of many measured saints.  Although liberalism may claim to be compassionate and caring, some – if not much – of the hate speech and ugly rhetoric come from that camp.  They say that conservatives have a “boiler plate mentality” and are “short part of their brain”, and they like to call us the “radical right”.  Now, I’m not suggesting that we should actually use the term – after all, what would that gain us? – but I do wonder if the above does not make them the “lunatic left”!!

FURTHER CONSIDERATION

This matter of the authority base is not a hard one to follow.  It is the reason why those of us who prefer tested standards tend to support a good work ethic, compassionate use of wealth, justice and judgment for the offender, careful recognition of the victim, etc.  It is also why we oppose socialism and government-controlled functions that belong to the private sector.  We oppose making anyone either dependent on or virtual slaves to the government.  Interestingly, the Bible speaks to all of these issues; and that is why it is a good authority base.

The problem of using man as a standard rather than God is that man is flawed, and so are all of his attempts to mold society.  This mindset only repeats the same errors over and over again.  For instance, socialism has never worked anywhere.  It only creates pain and suffering.  Rather than erasing greed, it creates it at every level.  Liberals hate the word socialism, which is proof that they know how bad it really is; but they will press on to own it, anyway.

In this discussion, it is important to avoid a major error used by the “man is god” group.  In reading the literature they provide on this subject, I note that nearly all their arguments use error to build error.  For instance, mamy of the complaints offered by those on the left are valid: people are doing it wrong.  The problem is that doing something wrong in order to deal with a wrong is a non-answer.  That kind of thinking flows from an errant authority base.  If something is wrong, we need to go back to the beginning for an answer – a solid authority and the true God.

Finally, it is to be noted the authority base of individuals, and the decisions they make, will run throughout the whole of their lives and will affect them politically, spiritually, socially, mentally, and even physically.  As for myself, as a believer I have chosen the sovereign creator God and the authority of scripture because all problems, injustice, difficulty, and human standards are tested by the Bible.  Just like you, I am what I believe.  Each of us is what we believe, and that is why we think and act the way we do.