dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


A Tale of Two Countries

Many years ago a new nation was founded. By and large it was agreed that, whether God was distant from or involved in the world, certain standards of life and law were self-evident. The nation would function under neither the thumb of a single despot nor the sneer of select aristocracy, but by a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal (with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), it united peoples of many nations and ethnicities.

Some years passed, and a new premise came to prominence: man comes not from man but from beast, made not by God but by chance. This idea was quickly welcomed in the name of knowledge and scientific advancement.

For many years, all of this country’s people coexisted side by side. Those who held to the God view of things were by and large willing to accept certain premises of the chance view, and those who held to the chance view were by and large willing to abide by certain aspects of the God view (since the moral standards of society were implicitly tied thereto). Of course, the natural strife of human nature presided in a general fashion, but the sustained relative peace and the promise of continued wealth precluded the need to openly discuss the growing religious and philosophical internal division. The cities grew taller; the nation’s world presence grew stronger; the people grew more wealthy and comfortable.

Following these years, however, there arose a generation that questioned things that had long gone unquestioned. The natural breach between the two views of life and law, so long covered over by the twin bridges Prosperity and Expediency, began to be exploited. The bridges' trusses soon buckled under the weight of the new-found scrutiny, and social turmoil increased. The opposing war cries of Standards and Progress were sounded – not on the battlefield of the earth, but of the mind and the public forum.

After some years, the appeal to Standards alone was seen to be leading a losing battle. The foundation of the Progress supporters must be attacked, but how? To question the vague intentions of Progress, to appeal to the intent of the nation's founders, to focus on the issue of mankind’s origin – all of these strategies were variously propounded, debated, and enacted.

The tides of battle in the public square ran first one direction, then the other. Soon, with each turn of the tide, the losing side pondered ending the unhappy union. Ultimately, both sides became convinced that they were losing, pronouncing apocalyptic consequences in the event of their final defeat.

One side feared the decay of morals and religious freedom. The other feared the denial of any freedom and the idea that truth could be true. At last a public consensus was reached. The breach was relabeled a chasm, and the twin bridges were demolished, ending the tumultuous union.

Rejoicing was immediate, but momentary. Each side had finally received what it thought it wanted; yet neither was satisfied. One side discovered that society could not function when every man did as he pleased. The other discovered that a functioning society pleased every man – and some realized that this was a lowly goal indeed. They saw that in separating from the country of those who disagreed, they had withdrawn from their Great Commission. Rather than seeking to make disciples of all nations, they had withdrawn to be disciples within their own nation.



Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

That was a remarkably concise analysis of our culture and how it could end. Lots of interesting thoughts are bouncing around in my brain now :-)

12/27/2008 6:42 PM

Blogger Jason said...

I like "concise" a lot better than what I feared it might be (overly simplistic). It is not meant to be a thorough treatise, yet if any of you view glaring holes or inaccuracies, do share them, and I shall improve the tale if I can.

12/27/2008 10:40 PM


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