Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Danger of Modern Elitism

We have gotten a great swell of responses to our latest email, "What's Happening at BYU?" We figure that for every three comments are two emotional, derisive, rude, sanctimonious, kill-the messenger, or in-denial comments to one intelligent, thoughtful, excellent, and supportive comment. This isn't surprising because our opposition has always been very vocal and defensive, while our supporters are usually pretty quiet and confident, maybe too quiet and confident.

According to these responses, all is not well in Zion. For one thing, we have been dismayed to see an ugly thread of modern elitism running through the fabric of our church culture. What is elitism? A sense of superiority. In religious terms, we could call it the evil of pride. What we've seen in many of these emails is a strange version of just that. It's incredible. To those people living today who think themselves superior in intellect and morals to all that has gone before, ask yourself the following questions we've borrowed from the French medieval satirist Rabelais (1483-1553); apparently there have been elitists in every age:

Why is it commonly said nowadays that the world is no longer foolish and ignorant? Would you infer from this that the world which was once foolish has now turned wise and enlightened? What conditions, and how many, did it require to make it foolish? And what conditions, and how many, were necessary to make it wise? Why was it foolish? Why should it become wise? By what signs did you recognize its former folly? By what signs do you affirm its present wisdom? Who made it foolish? Who has made it wise? Which were more numerous, those who loved it when it was foolish or those who love it now that it is wise? For how long was it foolish? For how long will it stay wise? What did its former folly spring from? What are the roots of its present wisdom? Why did its ancient folly come to an end at this time and no later? Why did its present wisdom begin now and not before? What harm came of its former folly? What good can we expect of its present wisdom? How can its ancient folly have been abolished? How can its present wisdom have been restored?

Of course the answer is that man is a fallen creature, always has been and always will be, tending to be foolish and prone to wander from the strait and narrow. The only reliable source of wisdom and goodness is God, the Light of Christ, the Holy Spirit of Truth, which has always existed and continues to exist in order to be sought, rediscovered, and cherished with each new generation in each individual mind and heart.

But for the elitist these are good hard questions -- for a modern homosexualist, for example, who thinks he, here and now, in his fallen, mortal state, less than a pinprick in God's vast, expanding, inexplicable universe, has somehow earned an unprecedented position of enlightenment. Yes, he thinks his present invented worldview trumps the accumulated wisdom of the ages, including Holy Scripture. One reader, who now accepts homosexuality not as sinful anymore but as a harmless, normal, and immutable condition, called this new worldview "a broadened understanding." That right there is modern elitism. It's a false superiority, unthinking and soul-less, a law unto itself. Does anyone notice how it melds so conveniently with our modern politically correct and licentious world? Does anyone notice that it sacrifices precious lost souls on its secular altar? Does anyone notice that it pits a currently fashionable worldview against God and His ageless, unchanging truths? Do people really want to put themselves in that position? Where is the foundation?

Children learn that only a foolish man builds his house on the sand. If we abandon (in spoken or unspoken ways) God's time-tested objective standards for truth and goodness, what do we have left but to be swept away from anything solid, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, drowned in a nonbenevolent sea of groundless human whims, tastes, and trends that happen to be popular in our short time on earth.

Law, Sin, Repentance, Divine Redemption. These are real. "Gay is good" is a harmful and dangerous fad fabricated and defended by the narcissistic elitists of our particular time.