A particular circumstance, or a set of circumstances, insinuates in the mind a stern proclivity to adhere to a specific ethic or end above all others: a man who’s hungry needs food, a woman who’s sick needs health, and one who’s freezing needs warmth. The summit at which all of these desires and needs converge is life: the starved will die without food, the sick will die without a cure, and the freezing will die without warmth. And unless he consciously suppresses the instinct, men rage and thrash to prolong their lives and rarely, as Thomas suggested, “go gentle into that good night.” It’s no surprise why—death is our absolute and greatest enemy. We are made in the image of our Creator, who is life itself. As a consequence of being made in His image, the creation and guaranteed continuation, of not only our own lives, but the lives of our immediate family members is a predisposition that is inherent to our humanity.
Therefore, it’s not as though this instinct is inherently undesirable or dangerous—it’s invaluable when coupled with righteous motive and intention. But we’re manipulated to assume that this “family-preservation” is the apex ethic. One of the clear and present beliefs of the modern age is “anything which prolongs the life of me, my spouse, or my children, must be inherently good.” There are problems with this claim; I’ve never seen or read any evidence that it’s true, but a people who are subject to a false-narrative, championed as true for a long enough period of time, become unable to distinguish what’s true from false. For a ravenous government, such deception is a gift from the gods.
Long ago, our rulers recognized our tendency to bow down and worship whatever fulfills, or whatever we think meets, our needs. The Greeks prayed to Zeus for rain and worshiped him when it came, and the Egyptians worshiped Hapi as the Nile flooded. All this to say, a society with a desperate, presently unfulfilled, need, readily supplies the bureaucracy with the necessary conditions to achieve an absolute power more adamantine than the government before it. This understanding of the human condition is why Churchill thought it best to “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Suppose there are two men standing side by side. The man on the right is perfectly hydrated; he is neither thirsty nor quenched. The man on the left is utterly dehydrated, having gone without a drop of water for a week. Now suppose an elected official places two glasses of water on a table in front of the men—it’s not even clean. The water inside the glass is a filthy, murky colour, infested with dead bugs and floating amoeba, and the bottom of the glass is chalked with a vile sediment.
The hydrated man recognizes the glass of water for what it actually is—a dirty cup filled with water so foul that it threatens to kill him if he drinks it. Consequently, the ruler possesses very minimal leverage over him because his need is already satisfied, and his life is preserved. But the dehydrated man, looking at that cup, can only think of salvation. His life is teetering over the abyss of death because his need for water is presently unfulfilled. He will do whatever the ruler commands in exchange for even a drop, and the official knows this. In the eyes of the parched, the value of the ruler, no matter how filthy and degrading his “salvation” is, becomes as precious as life itself. For the moment, and it only needs to be a moment, all probable consequences are dismissed as the dehydrated man concentrates on the potential of alleviating his thirst. The water looks inviting, the demands of the ruler insignificant in comparison to posterity, and the temptation becomes too great to resist. True, the decision to drink will most probably cost him his life a short while later, but the severity of his condition demands that he hydrate immediately or die...the consequences of his decision will be severe.
It’s not as though this theory of absolute control is without evidence. Remember Germany in the 1930s. It was a nation whose people were subject to worldwide disgrace and subject to a heavy hyperinflation. This depression, both mental and economic, went untreated and was left to fester into a painful wound that primed the patient to receive any cure necessary—no matter how brutal its side-effects. When the need of the German populous reached criticality, an evil physician, with captivating oratory and charisma, promised to heal the nation with a perverted science disguised as medicine. He vowed to satisfy Germany’s need, and not only so, but with the Thousand Year Reich, ensured the nation would never be ill again. And so, as we sombrely study, we read of the German citizen rejoicing, “Here is a socialist nationalist who promises that he can save us from this economic disparity and social disgrace that has plagued us for years!” The desperation of millions to have their need fulfilled paved the way for tyranny to triumph in a sinister time.
Or think of the rise of communism. In 1917 the starving serfs of Russia heard of a communist who guaranteed “peace, land, and bread.” They needed all of those things. WWI bore a severe toll on the already impoverished serfs, their landowners owned them, and many went days without something even vaguely resembling food. More than that, there was a political corruption in the order of the Tsars, as they enjoyed a lavish life while their citizens suffered, not unlike our present political climate. The termination of the monarchy, concluding the war, and satisfying the stomach, were all things the serfs needed to live. Thus, they welcomed Lenin, who promised to fulfill those needs, and the hellish ideology he championed.
But let us not be eager to jump on the bandwagon of blame; it’s not as though the modern man is more righteous than the old. To think we would have somehow done better or been “more moral” than the Germans or Russians in the eyes of evil is false. The people of these nations were suffering, and a desperate man will do almost anything for his family. It’s therefore no surprise if we study in the past, or observe presently, a potential ruler capitalizing on a people's passion, desire, or need to have something they determine worth achieving at any cost.
So let us not be foolish. We must be vigilant lest it becomes too late, and we too bow too low to the new lords of the modern state. For it’s not as though we’re presently immune to this type of manipulation the tyrants practiced. In fact, such deceit has become much more nuanced and subtle, and nearly impossible to detect.
The era’s clear example of this is COVID, but any emergency will do. It doesn’t particularly matter what variable is utilized to perpetuate a crisis; it can be COVID, global warming, or the possibility of another Middle Eastern war. For our rulers, it doesn’t even matter if the crisis is true (most of them are, at the very least, dangerously exaggerated). What matters for the ruler is whether the people are concerned for their lives.
Currently, in Canada and the rest of the world, there are great multitudes who are terrified of COVID (though an increasing number tire of the mainstream narrative). The unceasing propaganda of modern media ensures we never go even an hour without hearing the most dire predictions and consequences of this virus, even though they’re rarely true. But again, the accuracy of the portrayal of reality is of no significance for the media and government.
Thus, because those who watch, listen, or read the news hear, “You and your family are going to die! You and your family are going to die!” day after day, many have a need to be saved from this virus. Capitalizing, our governments, primarily federally, are passing out beautiful promises of protection and enticing stories of salvation and security if only we will provide what they require—a relegation of our rights, a surrender of our individuality, and an understanding that our individual freedoms must be forever forgotten for the collective “good” of our society. All in the name of security.
“Look!” Says the western citizen, “Here is a government that promises to ensure that my family and I are kept safe, healthy, and protected from COVID! These conditions, locking down, losing freedom, and becoming centralized, are a small price to pay for my life.”
But you see, a person who’s so fearful of death that they will surrender all freedom has forgotten that liberty and life are one and the same! On the contrary, for the Christian, who now inherits eternal life and liberty, all slavery to death is banished.
Because the Christian has been resurrected and transformed in Christ Jesus, all that the world clutches dear he now counts as loss. Christ has become the cherished King of the Christian, and as such, he obeys His every decree. Therefore, a believer is no longer bound to the primal “survive at all cost” doctrine spewed forth from secular government and media because Christ doesn’t command it. Instead, the Christian is joyfully awaiting a new world—his true home in Heaven—and as such recognizes that the temporal longevity of this life is not an apex ethic at all. Whether he lives to be 30 or 70, he who belongs to Christ (and even he who doesn't) is promised that his life on Earth will be exactly as long as God ordains.
So then, the mongering of a power-hungry government cannot control the life of a believer. The demand to give up our sacred rights and freedoms as commanded by God in the name of security and safety is an empty threat because:
Christ is the Christian’s absolute Sovereign and King of Kings whom he obeys above any and all Earthly rulers, ordinances, and institutions.
Christ does not demand we forsake our morals, humanity, and rights in order to live longer on this Earth.
Longevity of temporal life is not a need of the Christian and does not need to be fulfilled.
Therefore, the Christian is freed from the demand to survive at any cost.
The security of Christ and his salvation is a security like no other. And not only does so great a Christ and salvation satisfy all our needs, but He does so, unlike today's restrictions, not by destroying our humanity and the freedoms that are inherent to it, but by becoming man Himself.