Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Lesser of Three Evils

I will first digress and cover an issue that after repeated readings, I now know why only one set of sins (the matter of Uriah the Hittite) is covered negatively in the assessment of David the King. I've read this passage a lot, but always failed to notice one thing. David repented prior to being punished. Now that we've covered this great difference (with Uriah, David repented after being found out), on to show this matter applies to voting, and Ron Paul.
"David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite."
I can't remember if the Facebook group's discussions are visible to the public, so I apologize if you can't see it, not being a member of the group, but one of the key quotes is this one:
"When choosing the lesser of two evils, you still are choosing evil."

I don't pretend to be an idealist, unless you take the monergist view that sin was ordained and this world we are living in is actually the ideal (big rabbit hole, not going there now). I speak more of the idealism of Joni Mitchell (love her) when she penned "Woodstock" & "We've got to get back to the garden." We can't get back to the garden, so pining for it is more than useless, it's sinful and dangerous. Joni is right that we are "caught in the Devil's bargain," but the lyrical idealism of retreating the path that got us there is a terrible folly. God blocks the path that we once took, when we take the wrong road. This is what the flaming sword is all about.

The words "only evil continually" are words used by God when referring to the thoughts of men. Also that our righteousness "is as filthy rags." It's clear in the word of God that God doesn't think so much of even our best efforts. They are laughably corrupt when measured against the motivations of a righteous God. The tedious assertion that we will make only a choice for good really condemns the chooser as self righteous. In view of the fact that we possess no righteousness other than that imparted to us by Christ, we'd do well to stop blustering in this way.

David's choice costs the lives of 70,000 men and untold women and children. This is the lesser of three evils that David picked. It doesn't even cost him more than 50 shekels personally, it costs his people. David builds an altar to God on land that he purchased from Araunah, with money he insisted Araunah take from him. This place is not insignificant, it is later memorialized by the construction of a Temple. The very place God's pestilence stopped is the site of the "merciful" end of the lesser of three evils that David chose at the offering of God. The Threshing Floor of Araunah (Ornan) the Jebusite is the Temple Mount.

Never come to me and say "I will not choose one of two evils" because you're holier than that. Choose. If you don't, I believe the condemnation of the "Lukewarm" is upon you and I would also equate you with servant of the parable, who buried his talent in the dirt, not wishing to risk losing it. In the end, even that was taken from him. Be salt instead, perfection awaits us after eternity begins, not here.

If Ron Paul is not on the ballot, and you won't vote for the best conservative alternative because he's not "good enough" then I have no time for you.

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