Chaos currently rages.
Seventy-one percent of Americans polled recently and reported by NBC and other media believe the U.S. is on the wrong track. Cities that aimed at defunding police are desperately searching for police. New York City begs for 2,600 volunteer fire-fighters to fill the ranks of those resisting mandated vaccination. Thousands of flights are canceled for lack of flight attendants and pilots.
And that’s only a tiny sampling.
In fact, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns that the whole world is becoming “more chaotic, more insecure... more dangerous for everyone.”
Futurist Ray Kurzweil wrote about accelerating entropy, or chaos in physical systems, but we are living in an age of intensifying disorder in spiritual, personal, social, and civilizational systems.
This should be of no surprise because the fundamental struggle in a fallen world is between cosmos and chaos. The order intrinsic to God’s Kingdom is assaulted by the radical disorder of the kingdom of darkness. This has been the situation since Adam and Eve, who, while enjoying the benefits of Paradise, opened the gates to chaos.
Beyond the boundaries of Eden was “the land of Nod,” where, as terrified Cain feared, there was sheer anarchy. The present chaos suggests that the whole planet is becoming Nod-like.
Cosmos is peace, harmony, coherence, and security. Chaos is de-creation, the destruction of healthy relationships, weakness, danger, and sickness of spirit, soul, and body.
Above all, cosmos is a sanctuary nestled within positive protective boundaries.
God gave the world the gift of the Ten Commandments as the sturdy components of the borders that can constitute a barrier to chaos. The Commandments provide the categories of boundaries essential for the well-being of a society and the people within it:
- The primary boundary is spiritual: “you shall have no other gods before Me... you shall make no idols.” Every nation is built on a consensus of what is ultimate and provides the center for all other beliefs and values—the things a country is willing to fight and die for. Remove God from that core place of priority, and the boundaries that keep out chaos collapse.
- Recognition of and reverence for the Transcendent: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Rulers must give an account to the Highest Authority for the way they have handled the powers entrusted to them. Therefore, if a governing power tries to make itself transcendent, depriving people of the basic rights given them by God, then “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness,” as stated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
- Maintaining focus:Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. The setting apart of the Sabbath is a sanctification of time. Inside that holy day we are to focus on all the other components of the great structure that holds back the siege of chaos and remember and worship God Who gave us cosmos blessings.
- Respect for authority and heritage: Honor your father and your mother. There is a linkage between the honoring of family life and structure and the historical heritage of a nation. Parents are to prepare their children for the future by linking them to the principles laid down in the past that have made the country secure, free, and prosperous. Edmund Burke, George Santayana, and Winston Churchill are all credited for giving us this wise observation: “Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.”
- Respect for life: You shall not murder. Abortion is a chaotic assault on the womb. When a nation officially embraces abortion-on-demand it begins to die. For example, Europe, according to hli.org, has had a culture of death for a half-century. The average total fertility rate for European nations is “under replacement fertility levels.”
- Respect for Sexual order:You shall not commit adultery. Not only is the breakdown in sexual behavior largely responsible for the abortion chaos, but also for chaos in family life, resulting in the destruction of homes, intended by God to be major bulwarks of cosmos in a chaotic world.
- Respect for private property:You shall not steal... shall not covet. From the dysfunctional state’s confiscation of hard-earned personal income through excessive taxation to the criminal driven to steal by covetousness, society is in chaos when the boundary of property is hacked down.
- Respect for truth:You shall not bear false witness. Rumor, fake news, unwarranted accusation, gossip, propaganda, all on a global scale via the internet, contribute to the chaos of ceaseless noise battering us moment by moment and forming the tragic decisions we make so frequently.
God gave the Ten Commandments to the Sinai nomads on their way to the Promised land so that it would “go well for them in the land.” (Deuteronomy 4:40)
If it is not “going well” for us it should awaken us to the urgency of restoring the boundaries of cosmos. No wonder Proverbs 22:28 exhorts us not “to move the ancient boundary which your fathers have set.”
Yet we have moved those crucial boundaries out of public education and other institutional facets that shape society... and wonder why we are being battered by the onrush of chaos.