Monday, August 31, 2009

How Should We Then Live? (Part Two)

Schaeffer goes on in Chapter 11 to describe our society.  Remember, he was writing in 1976, but he had a very keen understanding of the trajectory of change in the society, in that so much of what he says seems even more true today.

    "We see two effects of our loss of meaning and values.  The first is degeneracy...
     "But we must notice that there is a second result of modern man's loss of meaning and values which is more ominous, and which many people do not see.  This second result is that the elite will exist.  Society cannot stand chaos.  Some group or some person will fill the vacuum.  An elite will offer us arbitrary absolutes, and who will stand in its way?
    "Will the silent majority (which at one time we heard so much about) help?  The so-called silent majority was, and is, divided into a minority and a majority.  The minority are either Christians who have a real basis for values or those who at least have a memory of the days when the values were real.  The majority are left with only their two poor values of personal peace and affluence.
    "With such values, will men stand for their liberties?  Will they not give up their liberties step by step, inch by inch, as long as their own personal peace and prosperity is sustained and not challenged, and as long as the goods are delivered? ... Much of the church is no help here either, because for so long a large section of the church has only been teaching a relativistic humanism using religious terminology.
    "I believe the majority of the silent majority, young and old, will sustain the loss of liberties without raising their voices as long as their own life-styles are not threatened.  And since personal peace and affluence are so often the only values that count with the majority, politicians know that to be elected they must promise these things.  Politics has largely become not a matter of ideals--increasingly men and women are not stirred by the values of liberty and truth--but of supplying a constituency with a frosting of personal peace and affluence.  They know that voices will not be raised as long as people have these things, or at least an illusion of them." 

Abu Tulip


a.k.a. Mr. Jeff said...

Wow, that last paragraph is spot on. It's a little scary to realize this guy figured this out 33 years ago.

abu 'n um tulip said...

Agreed. I highly recommend this book. It fits nicely with our recent discussions on your blog and elsewhere.

-Abu Tulip

a.k.a. Mr. Jeff said...

I'll add it to the down-time reading list.