Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Eyes Have Been Opened

I was browsing the internet the other day when this article caught my eye. The editor certainly chose a title that would capture my interest. I read the article and was rather appalled by the assertion of the author. I do not think that making money is inherently sinful, but this author essentially concludes that personal success and happiness is the ultimate moral value. The runs counter to the entire teaching of Scripture, as the author duly notes.

I linked this article to my Facebook page which prompted a colleague of mine to direct me to a second article. He noted that the author of the original article is president of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, which reveals an enormous amount about his philosophy--if you are familiar with Ayn Rand. I was not, but this second article greatly enlightened me and at the same time frightened me.

I won't attempt to summarize the second article. My readers would do well to read it for themselves. I say it frightened me because I was completely unaware of the extent to which Rand's individualistic philosophy had infiltrated not only American culture but American church culture. The author's citation of Ravi Zacharias cuts right to the heart of the issue:

"Wealth and enterprise have so woven themselves around the message of Jesus that popular models of Christianity appear as nothing more than self and greed at the center, with strands of Christian thought at the periphery."

Prior to reading this article I would have described myself as inclining toward libertarianism. After reading it I would hesitate to associate myself with the underlying philosophy he describes. I still am sceptical of the role of government, but I see the point in his critique of unbridled libertarianism. It certainly isn't reflective of the message of Jesus. So I stand confronted by the harsh reality that much of my thinking has been strongly influenced by values that are contrary to the values of Christ, without my having even realized this. That's a painful recognition, but at the same time I'm glad I've had my eyes opened and my thinking challenged. I would never have thought of myself as being influenced by Ayn Rand, but now that I see how I have been, I want to correct my course. Otherwise I might as well sign my name on the new moral code espoused by Yaron Brook and the Ayn Randians of the world.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


While in a discussion with some co-workers today someone threw out the ubiquitous "WWJD?" question in response to our conversation. This led one colleague and on onto an interesting tangent. Jesus never endorses the consumption of coffee, tea or other stimulant beverages. Yet he did turn water into wine and didn't seem to discourage its consumption. So maybe we need to close all our church coffee shops and replace them with wine bars. Or maybe we need to recognize that WWJD? doesn't answer every situation we will face as believers... It can be helpful, but sometimes we have to apply the reasoning and logic skills God has given us.