Culture and Politics
Written by Douglas Wilson
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Scriptures tell us what kind of man is qualified to lead us. "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens"(Ex. 18:21).
There are three requirements here -- the fear of God, real commitment to truth, and a hatred of covetousness.
Now how should this line up with my particular political commitments and perspectives? Assume that I am not such an ideologue as to believe that everyone on the outside of my particular political faction is an orc. Assume also that I do not believe that everyone inside it is a registered angel. Now what?
When it comes to foreign policy, I am a paleocon. But I would rather be ruled by a neocon who loved God than a paleocon who didn't. When it comes to economics, I am a free market guy, but I would rather be ruled by a member of the Bush family who hated greed than an Austrian school atheist who did not hate it. And so on. In short, ideological consistency is not the ultimate measuring stick.
But ideology often has us by the throat, and we wonder why God will not rise to our heights of partisanship.
"But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house" (1 Kings 21:25-29).And so we stare at Ahab the way Jonah stared at Nineveh, exasperated with God, and eager for the wrong kind of vindication.
But one other qualification must be remembered. The leftists and progressives have mastered the rhetoric of hating covetousness, so it would seem they qualify on the third point. But they are liars, missing the second point entirely. I am talking about rulers who actually do hate covetousness -- a good thing for those in control of taxes to hate.