USELESS APPENDAGES

August 29, 2017

 

 

Nowhere is the second law of thermodynamics (entropy and disintegration) more evident than in the world of politics.  The evolutionist has yet to explain why human history has never recorded a nation of infinite progress and accomplishment.  The political and social structures of Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and dozens of others have ended in dismal failure.  Social evolution is alive and well, but it is an observable fact that it always works in reverse.  The path to destruction is usually punctuated with substitutions for the founding building blocks which only accelerate the process of decay.

God gave Israel a form of government that represented a longevity beyond imagination, but when the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16) were deserted, the republic fell into a national abyss.  Strictly through the mercies of God the nation was partially re-constituted but under the iron heel of Rome.  A vacuum was created which allowed the arrival of two political parties --- the Pharisees and Sadducees.  The Old Testament never mentions them or the need for their existence, so we must conclude their presence was the result of years of political and religious maneuvering and chicanery.  They were far removed from what Moses ever intended, but human politics has a strange way of developing unnecessary appendages.

The Pharisees were formalists, professed great patriotism but were as bigoted in that as in their religion.  Their political influence was great, though they were only about 7000 in number during the days of Jesus.  The Lord denounced the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, which was shown by their care for the minutest formalities imposed by the traditions of the elders, but not for the mind and heart which should correspond.  They were ambitious, arrogant, and proudly self-righteous.  Jesus routinely criticized these characters which explains their intense hostility toward him.

The Sadducees were a small sect but very wealthy, and as it always goes…money translates into influence.  The chief distinction between these and the Pharisees was the insistence by the Sadducees that only the written law was obligatory, hence, tradition played a much smaller role in their philosophy.  The special doctrines of the Sadducees were the denial of a resurrection and a future life with all that includes a denial of the existence of angels or spirits.  Hence, the Sadducees could be considered the progressives of their day, dismissing a great deal of Scripture in preference of political expediency.

For those of us who are actually peculiar enough to believe that God’s Word bears relevance to all things, we find an accompanying confidence in its ability to link past, present, and future in a meaningful way.  By illustration:  Israel in its weakened condition found itself dominated by two dysfunctional parties.  One subscribed to the great traditions of the past sprinkled with a good dose of patriotic salt.  Under this external cover of righteousness was a seething contempt for anyone who threatened their highly esteemed positions.  Small wonder that Jesus said:  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted, it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men”  (Matthew 5:13).

The modern Republican Congress appears to be working hard at duplicating a Pharisaical attitude; i.e. they discuss the value of the constitution and the wonderful traditions of America.  They praise the flag, our military, and religion.  They applaud national defense, tighter immigration, lower taxes, control of education reverting back to the states and a myriad of other conservative ideas.  They are the first to jump into a parade convertible and wave to the crowd.  “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, (obviously God wasn’t involved) God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:11, 12).  The Pharisee thought himself superior to the humble publican who prayed “God be merciful to me a sinner.”  What has really changed?  The Pharisees served no useful purpose for the benefit of the masses, but they were well equipped to dish out meaningless rhetoric to keep the cameras running. Nothing ever changed, good ideas were just talked to death.  Sound familiar?

The Sadducees could easily be identified as contemporary Democrats.  Because of their Hollywood wealth and prestige, they are very efficient in moving schemes forward.  A rejection of any afterlife translates into no final accountability which gives license to enjoy the morality of an alley cat.  When legislation or court decisions water down the moral fiber of America, a responsible Sadducee is always close by.

Today’s Congress bears no resemblance to what our founders intended.  It is dominated by Pharisees and Sadducees who magically fill the void of citizen disinterest.  They will remain in place until a grass roots uproar drowns out the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals (I Corinthians 13:1) of the Sadducee controlled media.

“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress” ... John Adams

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