Part One Part Two Part Three
One of the primary sources for the ideas of Karl Marx was the writings of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau of France. The latter inspired the French Revolution and thereby then the bloody devastation of two World Wars in the twentieth century and a consequential Cold War. The essence of Rousseau imagined the elimination of social relationships, traditions, customs, morals, and laws with the goal of a remaining lone existence of autonomous individuals. Rousseau called it amour de soi
, which means "self love" or what he labeled, "state of nature."
Rousseau argued true nature was autonomous individuals, predating society, so that institutions of marriage, family, and church were contrary to nature. I'm focusing on those three, ordained by God and in God's Word. Edward W. Younkins writes:
Rousseau's view is that society corrupts the pure individual. Arguing that men are not inherently constrained by human nature, Rousseau claims that men are limited and corrupted by social arrangements. Conceiving of freedom as an absolute, independent of any natural limitations, Rousseau disavows the world of nature and its inherent laws, constraints, and regulations.
This is the meaning of the famous line that Rousseau began his book, The Social Contract
: "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." He meant the oppression of personal relationships like marriage, family, and church.
Rousseau has influenced the United States much, much more than people even know. Many understand that liberalism says that the core of personhood is one's ability to choose his own identity. Essential identity is free from family and even responsibility. To find true self, the individual finds the need to break free from divine institution with self-autonomy. In the application of law, the rights bearer is the self-determining individual, who connects to others only by his own choice. State universities push this idea on students to great acceptance.
The idea of "social contract" with Rousseau is individual choice. Each individual authors his own obligation. To accomplish this, concepts of the family are broken down. Parents have been removed from marriage as a part of radical individualism, resulting in less and later marriage, because the youth see it as a social contract wrought with potential personal harm.
Rousseau clashes with scripture. God's Word describes the original state of man as male and female (Genesis 1:26-27) and family (Genesis 1:28), and God Himself instituted the church (Matthew 16:18-19). In scripture, freedom is not interrupted by God's institutions, but provided by them (John 8:32-36). The moral requirements of the divine institutions do not impose on freedom, but express the nature God designed.
Although contradictory, Rousseau declared the state to release the individual: "Each citizen would then be completely independent of all his fellow men, and absolutely dependent on the state." Rousseau was joined by others such as philosopher John Locke, his views arising from 17th century mechanistic physics. "State of nature" replaced creation as the underlying premise. Rousseau took the concept to the extent that freedom meant human opportunity to create one's self without interference.
According to Rousseau, the ability for the individual to create himself necessitates the elimination of the aforementioned institutions, so that the individual can choose for himself what he wants to be and do. In Rousseau's view, the state is the liberator, which seems like a contradiction, because in the real world, the state controls and coerces individuals. Radical individualism led to radical statism or totalitarianism. Many political scientists and sociologists show how that isolated individuals are most vulnerable to totalitarian control.
I have seen firsthand in many different ways the state interfering with God ordained institutions with a grounds of individual freedom. You the reader probably have plenty of your own examples. When my first child entered California State University East Bay, and we went to the financial desk to make a payment, the school would not allow it. Only the student could do business, even if the student wasn't making the payment. The student received the report card and not the parent. Everyone knows that a teenage girl doesn't require permission from parents to get an abortion.
The clearest practical notion of the attack on divine institutions is the arbitrary adult age of 18 that the state continues to attempt to lower to 16. Eighteen-year-olds think they are separate from their parents, free agents to make a decision with the authority of the state. They see their parents as an intrusion on their freedom, on their ability to choose their own identity. They see the parents even as an imposition on their ability to develop their own beliefs. None of this is true and is in direct violation of the teaching of the Word of God. It is pure Rousseau and a lie of Satan.
Patriarchy, the authority of a dad, even a godly one with best interests for his family, has been effectively eliminated by radical statism due to radical individualism. Church authority from the pastor to congregational to elder has been nullified. People are doing what they want to do and feel entitled in doing so. Anything or anyone who steps in the way of that might be "ghosted." This is the climate of ghosting today, ghosting being "the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication."
According to Rousseau, the terms of relationship are set by the individual like a social contract, disconnected from the God ordained terms of God, church, and even the Bible. If a young person doesn't like what the church teaches, he can easily find a church "woke" to his desires and with all the necessary minimization of authority. Real authenticity is someone who is being true to his self without the compunctions of preset family responsibility. He can't really know unless it is his choice, completely separated from divine institutions.
What is ironic to the thoughts or position of the ghoster is that while he pursues individual autonomy, he is bound to the disposition of the flesh. Everyone is a slave to something or someone. True freedom isn't the absence of subjugation, according to God. The truth sets someone free, but true freedom is from the bondage to sin. The ghoster sees true freedom as freedom from the bondage of divinely instituted spheres of authority. In fact, those are ordained by God to provide freedom. This is a person, who is truly a slave now to his own desires, yet fooled into thinking he is free. The original nature of the republic was the freedom to live within the confines of moral responsibility, which is tied to divinely instituted spheres of sovereignty.
One of the next door neighbors to our church property has a huge yard and in it, he raises chickens, who got loose yesterday. Chickens were running across our church grounds here in this urban area. It was funny to watch, but I had a dim expectancy for the future of those chickens. They were free all right, just like the ghoster is free, when he separates himself from the sovereignty of the sphere of family, marriage, or a father. Freedom is not the freedom of self-destruction, which God says occurs when a child doesn't obey or honor his father and his mother. It will not be well with him on the earth -- will not be.
Individual freedom is the climate of ghosting. It is a lie about freedom. It rests on an "atomistic viewpoint," a naturalistic assumption that human atoms function prior to social arrangements. This is a mere material world functioning according to mechanistic physics. It is the position of uniformitarianism that speaks evil of divine intervention. Someone is free from divine intervention in his own mind, which is represented by God ordained authority. He doesn't have to fit in with divine purpose.
A "woke" church today from often to always portrays God in varied degrees of coherence with individual autonomy. A ghoster might not enjoy the relationship within a divine sphere authority, so he chooses instead a relationship with his own self-perception of God. His God now has his back, and he's comfortable with that. He is bathing in the love of an ethereal father without the intrusion of the regulations of which he disapproves, his chosen divine father approving of all his social and moral predilections. However, that's not how God works.
God doesn't work through mankind like he is a free agent. God Himself works through these spheres of divine sovereignty. Someone is not free to fit into them or not fit into them as he would, even if a "woke" church gives its ironic imprimatur on the "ghoster." God orders the world for His creation and the freedom still operates within that creation order. A husband is the head of the wife, for instance. Is the Christian wife not free just because she doesn't like how her husband heads?
The protection of true freedom is the protection of the spheres created and ordered by God. The state itself ordained by God protects freedom by protecting those spheres. When a father can't lead his family because of individual autonomy, freedom is lost. Individuals don't have the right to choose their own identity. Identity proceeds from created order. A society isn't free when a boy uses the girl's bathroom. That violates the actual freedom of the girls.
Ghosters aren't free. What they perceive as individual autonomy is bondage. They think they are forming their own identities, but it's actually their slavery to their own lust. Neither is what they think is freedom, the grace of God. It isn't grace, and it isn't God.