19 May 2008

Madness, confirmed

In a WORLD magazine column titled “Mad Missions: Avoiding the soft despotism that emphasizes personal security,” Marvin Olasky quotes Alexis de Tocqueville’s 19th century warning that an overemphasis on personal security would leave people “not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided…until each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals,” leading to a “new soft despotism.”

Olasky observes: “Hard despotism today: China’s one-child policy. Soft despotism: Some Americans have one child or none, because social policies or financial fears have left them softened, bent, and guided. Hard despotism: Czar Putin persecutes Protestant groups in Russia. Soft despotism: Some American pastors self-censor their sermons in order to avoid offending those proudly engaged in what the Bible calls sin.

“Christians with big families, and preachers with biblical firmness, are all on mad missions. There’s no guarantee of success….”

[Olasky, I should be sure to clarify, is in favor of Christians pursuing "mad missions."]


The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

I saw an article yesterday about how despairing so many people are in China who have had their one child die in this terrible tragedy. They can't have another. Often they are sterilized after that child to avoid punishment by the state. All their hope is in that one child, all their love gets lavished on that child. And that child is gone.

Lord have mercy.

Reb. Mary said...

I remember reading an article awhile ago about a Chinese pastor's wife who was forced--literally taken from her home and held down--to have her second child aborted at 9 months. The heartbreak experienced by women (men too of course) in that country is difficult even to imagine, even before this latest tragedy.

Rebekah said...

Is this article available online? I got frustrated after looking for five seconds.

Reb. Mary said...

Huh. I thought I couldn't link to it b/c it was a subscriber thing, but I did find it online yesterday. After 7 frustrating seconds just now, I can't find it again either.

Gauntlets said...

Sweet! We're missionaries!

We're like women on a mission! Got the enemy wishin' that they'd a'stayed home! Instead of fightin' these crazy women with moves a'like lightnin'!

Yeah. I actually typed all that.