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Secular Grace: Social Engineering

September 30, 2010

Christianity is misunderstood by (obviously) unbelievers. It’s viewed as a list of rules and “Have to’s” which is even taught in many churches. Christianity, however, is inside-first, outside-second; our outward behavior is motivated by grace. If we feel we “have” to do something, we’ve lost the point. Grace makes us “want” to do the right thing (and if we’re struggling with wanting to do the right thing, then we’re struggling with believing the gospel).

Throughout history, despots and tyrants tried to force behavior with brutally enforced laws. These nasty fellows have almost always been overthrown.

Secular students of history know that forcing behavior doesn’t work so they invented “social engineering” which makes people WANT to do what the engineers want them to do. The is most often done through the media and publicity. TV has shaped our culture, introducing immorality and continually increasing its exposure. When I was a kid, TV was mostly chaste with subtle innuendo from time to time. Today, immorality is rampant and so entrenched and graphic I don’t feel comfortable discussing it on a blog read by kids.

Why promote immorality of violence and unearned intimacy? Because a decadent society is an easily controlled society (imagine a cultural “Leggo of my Eggo”).

This is seen both in the hostility toward Christianity, but also toward first-amendment protected counter social engineering found on FOX, conservative radio, and Tea Party rallies. Conservatives are finally fighting back with social engineering of their own.

The problem is, social engineering of any kind is counterfeit grace.

Grace changes us from within, imparted from God to our spirit. Social engineering changes us from without, tickling our senses. Grace speaks to spirit; social engineering to flesh.

Neither liberal nor conservative social engineering is a solution. Say the conservatives miraculously sway society back to morality. Morals don’t save us. In fact, they might insulate us from grace.

God will reach those He intends to reach. But when the Bible says “you will call me “Lord, Lord” but I say to you I never knew you,” it’s speaking of “Christians’ who are outwardly moral people but who have not been touched by grace.

As a writer, I’m reevaluating my work. Is it promoting social engineering (of either side) or grace?

What about you? Are a product of social engineering that saves no one or a recipient of grace, which opens eternity?

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