Mark 8:31-33—Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. He was openly talking about this. So Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan, because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but man’s!”
Peter watched Jesus perform unfathomable miracles. He listened to life-changing teaching. Inspired, he walked on water and touched the Son of God. So is it surprising that he scolded Jesus for predicting a morbid, unmessiahlikeending? He was simply registering logical sentiment—the very kind Satan loves to feed us.
Satan first suggested to Eve that it was only reasonable that their eyes be opened so that they could be like God. After Eve and Adam lost objectivity to God’s external reality their sin cascaded through the genes of every civilization. This loss usually begins and centers around the issue of fairness. To Peter it was irrational for the Lord to suffer and face rejection and death. But God never sacrifices His will on the altar of fairness because it is a Satan-concocted lie! Watch how quickly things unravel when the be-all, end-all is fairness.
Socialism “advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” Socialism is a means to control heavily influenced by the notion that it is unfair for some people to live in poverty while others are affluent.
Liberalism “emphasizes freedom from tradition and authority, the adjustment of religious beliefs to scientific conceptions, and the development of spiritual capacities.” Unchecked liberalism forbids the right of free speech because it is not fair that some might be offended.
Conservatism values “the disposition to preserve or restore what is established and traditional and to limit change.” It is unjust to upend society by revolution or for the minority to dictate to the majority how it should act even when corruption permeates the system.
Capitalism is concerned with creating an economic system that rewards “investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth”primarily through private individuals or corporations. It is not fair for the state to control wealth or how people transact in commerce regardless of how rampant greed becomes.
At the heart of almost every ism is the deification of fairness. The mother of all of these is rationalism—“the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.” This is where we go wrong! Instead of seeking, let alone accepting God’s will, we camp in rationalism. We cannot have spiritual objectivity when we are enamored with our near-sighted, humanistic thinking! There cannot be a hell because that would be too horrific! God will let any good person into heaven because a kind God has to do that and, after all, all paths lead to heaven because no one gets excluded (universalism). There are no absolutes (a self-defeating statement)!
This is precisely why Jesus said to everybody, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Denying self means giving up the right to be fair, right, or selfish. Truly, fairness if examined at its core, is more selfish than altruistic. It is about making sure in the end that we get what we think we deserve. What we merit in the eyes of a perfect God is death and punishment. That His love is so great that He would extend grace through sacrificing Jesus—His holy Son is incredible! But His sacrifice comes with heaven’s terms: we must confess our sin and place our faith in the lordship of Christ—the gain of spiritual objectivity.
Taking up the cross is counter-intuitive to the sin-corrupted human mind. It requires a fatal daily habit yet one that renders an eternal dividend. It means our heart is focused on following Jesus because we believe Him and in Him by willfully setting aside all our isms! Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Every member of the human race has one common point of interest with every other member, and that is self-interest. And the common objective that results from this common element in human nature is a desire to obliterate God.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©2017 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)