The current uprising against law and order in America continues to escalate with those best representing the law on a daily basis – our police – coming under unprecedented attacks. Just recently, two LA County sheriffs were ambushed and shot while they were in their vehicle. Perhaps even more disturbing, a mob blocked the entrance to the hospital where the two are being treated, and chanted “we hope they die.”
On one hand, it’s hard for any normal person to wrap their minds around such evil. But on the other hand, when one looks back at the teaching and practice of both the human and spiritual godfathers who laid the foundation for the rebellion we’re now experiencing, and the human wreckage that ensued, it’s sadly not surprising.
Godfather of the Left
I’ve written in other posts how the French Revolution and its philosophy has finally caught up to American culture. That Revolution’s guillotine cost many their lives in the 1700’s and it’s no coincidence that those leading the same style of rebellion here are displaying guillotines during their ‘peaceful protests’.
Besides Voltaire, the leading godfather of the French Revolution was Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Rousseau’s philosophy continues to poison humanity in at least two profound ways.
First, Rousseau wrongly taught that humankind was born naturally good and that it was society that ultimately tainted people. “If man is good by nature, as I believe I have shown him to be, it follows that he stays like that as long as nothing foreign to him corrupts him”, wrote Rousseau.
Rousseau is famous for saying, “Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains!” and with that statement he was advocating not just freedom from God, but any kind of restraint. The goal was, and still is, pure autonomous freedom for naturally evil human beings.
But let’s not forget that doing whatever a person wants, whenever they want is not freedom – the name for that is anarchy.
As if that’s not scary enough, Rousseau was clear about what should be done to anyone opposing that goal. Any challenge to the march towards human autonomy would be overcome by force; all with good intentions of course.
Rousseau writes, “In order that the social compact may not be an empty formula, it tacitly includes the undertaking, which alone gives force to the rest, that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free.”
“Shall be compelled to do so by the whole body”. Have you seen any of that recently in our society?
If you ever wondered where the contemporary foundation of human rebellion and forced compliance to that way of thinking started – which we’re seeing literally everywhere today – wonder no more.
The original rebel and his offspring
Setting Rousseau aside, we need to reach back much further to find the actual roots of authoritative rebellion. The heart of rebellion is pride, and when it comes to the sin of pride, the Bible makes it clear who was Patient Zero.
Both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 chronicle the fall of the most beautiful and intelligent of God’s creatures. Satan wanted to rise above God’s rule and authority and take God’s place (Is. 14:13-14), which is the aim of any rebel: to unseat the current ruler.
Of course, that effort was doomed from the start, but the blow he struck against humanity was more effective. After the first parent’s sin (Gen. 3), we began replicating ourselves in their image vs. God’s (Gen. 5:3), thus creating completely malfunctioning human beings when it comes to obeying our Creator.
Satan is still “the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2) and he labors in conjunction with those whose mind “does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot” (Rom. 8:7). Among other things this results in an insurgent who “resists the authorities [that] God has appointed” (Rom. 13:2).
God says to such people, “Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, "who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin” (Is. 30:1). The “rebellious children” referenced in that verse represent not just Judah, who was attempting to form an Egyptian alliance in Isaiah’s day, but also the spiritual offspring of the original rebel.
So let’s rewind.
When you have human beings who are born depraved and estranged from God, whose mind is in natural rebellion against Him and anything He represents (e.g. police who are charged with keeping the law), and who are spurred on by the original rebel himself along with human godfathers of rebellion like Rousseau, where do you land?
You end up with people attempting to execute law enforcement officials in cold blood and cheering on their death at the hospital where they are being treated.
If this world ever needed the power of the gospel and the inward transforming grace of Jesus, it’s now.
Robin Schumacher is an accomplished software executive and Christian apologist who has written many articles, authored and contributed to several Christian books, appeared on nationally syndicated radio programs, and presented at apologetic events. He holds a BS in Business, Master's in Christian apologetics and a Ph.D. in New Testament. His latest book is, A Confident Faith: Winning people to Christ with the apologetics of the Apostle Paul.