Durkheim on the Criminal … McAtee on Durkheim

“Nothing is good indefinitely and without limits. The authority which the moral consciousness enjoys must not be excessive, for otherwise no one would dare to attack it and it would petrify too easily into an immutable form. For it to evolve, individual originality must be allowed to manifest itself. But so that the  originality of the idealist who dreams of transcending his era may display itself, that of the criminal, which falls short of the age, must also be possible. One does not go without the other.

Nor is this all. Beyond this indirect utility, crime itself may play a useful part in this evolution. Not only does it imply that the way to necessary changes remains open, but in certain cases it also directly prepares, for these changes. Where crime exists, collective sentiments are not only in the state of plasticity necessary to assume a new form but sometimes it even contributes to determining beforehand the shape they will take on. Indeed, how often is it only an anticipation of the morality to come, a progression towards what will be!”

Emile Durkheim
The Rules of Sociological Method

What the famous sociologist Durkheim is saying here is that crime is necessary because the criminal is pointing the way forward to a new social order morality that is evolving via the criminal. The criminal by his abandoning and violating the law is the evolutionary precursor of the law to come.

Now apply this thinking to sodomy. 60 years ago sodomy was universally outlawed. Sodomites stayed in the closet for fear of penalty. But Durkheim’s humanist methodology was followed and looking back we see that the sodomite of 1958 was really, in fact, the precursor to the new morality we have today. But this new morality also makes for a new criminality as well as a new morality. If the sodomite is going to come out of the closet then the Christian, who still operates by God’s morality, and so consistent with God’s Word warns against the perils of sodomy will be the one who has to go into the closet that the sodomite came out of with the new morality.

Understand also that for Durkheim it is not God’s standard of right and wrong — of legal and illegal — that is the standard for law keeping and morality. Instead, the standard is the general phenomenon of observed behavior. That general phenomenon of observed behavior becomes the new normal and as the standard is merely the general phenomenon of observed behavior any new general phenomenon of newly observed behavior by the criminal class, as practiced in abundance, is a reason to shift the definition of law and morality so that the criminal is no longer criminal.

Clearly what Durkheim is giving us here is an evolutionary morality that redefines itself by the perceived majority report. When enough men, at the same time, together do what is right in their own eyes, then that is right, whatever the perverse or sordid behavior. Crime today then is merely a social evolutionary experimentation which has within itself the wherewithal to vanquish obsolete Christian morality.

Let’s breakdown Durkheim’s first paragraph more closely,

1.) “Nothing is good indefinitely and without limits. The authority which the moral consciousness enjoys must not be excessive, for otherwise no one would dare to attack it and it would petrify too easily into an immutable form

Response

a.) However, it appears that it is good indefinitely and without limit to believe that nothing else except that statement itself is good indefinitely and without limits.

b.) By what standard does Durkheim arrive at this conclusion? By what authority am I to believe that “Nothing is good indefinitely and without limits?” Wouldn’t it be easy to demonstrate that not stealing what legitimately belongs to my neighbor is something good indefinitely and without limit? Wouldn’t it be easy to demonstrate that the prohibition to pedophilia is something good and without limit? Durkheim gives an assertion here but it is only an assertion that has not sustainable authority backing it up.

c.) Clearly, Durkheim’s authority which his moral consciousness is enjoying is excessive. We can easily see that Durkheim’s moral relativism has indeed petrified easily into an immutable form. Where are those who are attacking Durkheim’s moral relativism arguing for a morality standard which grows out of the soil of God’s Word?

For Durkheim, the criminal is the evolutionary signpost of where social order morality is headed. In this mentality, it is easy to understand why criminals are often treated so lightly. If the criminal is the harbinger of our future morality then the criminal should be sympathized with and indeed, even perhaps seen as a noble savage.

 

God Sits In Heaven And Laughs

Our God sits in heaven and does laugh
At the wicked who will one day be chaff
At the open revolt raised on the  earth
Like a wine that fills Him with mirth
So to Him are the rebellious riffraff

God laughs at Sunday worship miscue
At minister’s contradictory spew
Each Lord’s Day is comedy hour
An insult to His Omnipotent power
He belly laughs over the humanist stew

Then there is the innovative R2K mess
A reinterpretation of what we confess
The Federal Vision and NPP theories
God’s laughter makes Heaven cheery
Heaven giggles at the neo-Marxist abscess

There is a divine deafening guffawing roar
That makes the heaven’s martyr heart soar
God views the rebel practice of “wedding”
Divinity howls at two male outlets a-bedding
It’s God’s own jester and troubadour corps

Excuse God when He giggles and is snickering
As He follows the transgender pronoun dickering
Ze, hir and Zir gives God the side-splitting bends
His laughter rebounds to all of earth’s ends
There’s something funny about LGBTQ bickering

God considers the doings of the rebel hoi polloi
The academic and professorial girls and boys
He considers their serious “social sciences”
Psychology, sociology and  humanist appliances
And God continues to delight in His laughter and joy

So heaven laughs at the wicked who scheme
Cherubim and Angels also enjoy the comedic theme
God laughs with His righteous who see
How proper it is to join the Divine Comedy
Laughing till the end of the rebel’s dark dream

On Pit-bulls and Love

Recently, I experienced all the joy of being attacked by a pit-bull and the subsequent delight of recovering from a significant dog bite. The whole experience got me thinking about the modern idea of “love” vis-a-vis an older idea of love. Allow me to explain.

A couple of days after the event I was contacted by the area Animal Control people who informed me that the dog would not be put down. Initially, I was good with that since I know the animal in question is a pet to some young children who doubtlessly love the animal. Having been a child once (it’s true… really) and having loved my own pets when a child I know that I would not have wanted my pet put down upon an incident that my parents told me was “not typical for the dog.” (Something I was told immediately after the incident by the owners while I sat dazed on the road.)

This is the love of seen consequences. I have compassion for the children (no, I don’t have any compassion for the criminal dog) and out of that compassion, I don’t want to see their feelings hurt.

However, this could also be called hatred in terms of unseen consequences of my agreeing to a lenient approach with the animal in question. The neighborhood that I live in, and where this happened is teeming with children. My agreement for lenient treatment for this animal, while putatively loving to its owners (the seen consequence) is potentially hateful to the next child or person who is attacked and bitten by the dog. My leniency has the consequence of endangering some unseen future person who could share my fate since I was so full of compassion for the children for whom the dog was a pet. I’ve had compassion for the children at the expense of showing a lack of compassion for some future child or person. If somebody else is bitten by this creature, you can be sure I am going to be kicking myself for being so “nice.” This thought has grown exponentially in my musings when I learned the data showing that nearly two-thirds of all dog-bite fatalities come from pit-bulls and this in spite of their only comprising six percent of America’s dog population.

Now, enlarge this idea on a grander scale and see the impact of this. For years we practiced a love wherein we thought about the unseen consequences. For example, in our social order and culture, for years if a young woman was pregnant out of wedlock, she would disappear from school and perhaps be sent to some relative who lived away from the community in question. Help could still be expected but it would help via the back door and not the front door. We look back on that now and think about how unloving that action was and we do so because we have forgotten the love that was being shown to other young ladies who were not pregnant and who may be less likely to engage in the behavior that resulted in the social ostracism of one of their friends. Like my action with the pit-bull which bit me, we are “loving” according to seen consequences and not loving according to unseen consequences.

Today, we don’t do anything to communicate such an action as a taboo because to do so would not be “loving,” just as my not wanting to put the dog that bit me down was loving to one party but unloving to some potential future person.

Love is seldom a zero-sum game. When we offer some version of love to one person we see we very often deprive love to some person who is unseen and not being taken into consideration. When we offer “love” by not visiting capital crimes with capital punishment we show “love” to the criminal but we withhold our love to God and the victim’s family. When we offer “love” to the illegal alien by the spending of our non-infinite nation’s resources we are with-holding our love to the citizen. And when I show love to the children of the pit-bull, I may well be showing a lack of love to the next person who may well be mauled more than I was.

 

Rev. Mika Edmondson On the Need For Nations and Ethnicities

Recently Rev. Mika Edmondson, a non-caucasian minister in Grand Rapids, Michigan tweeted out below on Twitter. He makes many of the same points that I was attempting to make in my post here,

http://ironink.org/?paged=2

I’m glad to see another minister making the same argument. I do hope he isn’t called a “white supremacist” for making these points as I was for making many of the same points.

Rev. Edmondson writes,

“Colorblind theology denies 

1. God’s promise to Abraham that “in you all the nations shall be blessed”(Gen18:18)

2. The Father’s promise to the Son that “I will make you a light to the nations”(Is.49:6)

3. The Spirits promise to us that “all the peoples will praise God” (Ps 67:5) 

4. Christ’s great commission to disciple the nations.

5.The Spirit’s work to prepare us for a multi-ethnic table. In Acts 10, the Lord prepares Peter with a vision, not only to preach to Gentiles but to accept them as clean/equals in Christ.

6. One of the main tenets of the historic Christian faith as outlined in the Apostles’ Creed. “I believe in the holy Catholic Church” Catholicity means precisely the opposite of colorblindness, celebrating the inclusion of all ethnicities in Christ.

7. Christ’s power to heal racial divisions, disparities, and injustices by ignoring their ongoing impact Colorblind theology undermine unity in the church by refusing to acknowledge significant ethnic differences or address significant problems.

8. Christ’s command to neighbor love by refusing to see or love others in their cultural particularity. It suggests there is nothing about the culture of its neighbor to really see or appreciate.”

Christ’s Ascension — 2018

 

Ephesians 1:17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, 20 which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.22 And God hath put all things under His feet, and hath given Him to be the head over all things to the church,

This past Thursday was Ascension day.
 
Ascension Day is the 40th day after the celebration of Easter. Through History, the Church recalls the ascension of Christ into Heaven and celebrates His triumphant rule over all Creation as the Victorious Priest-King who has been invested with all authority on heaven and earth. Ascension day is another high celebratory day in the Church Calendar.
 
In the Ascension Christ’s Exaltation moves towards its apex which finds the Lord Christ sitting in Sessional rule with the Father. You remember in Christ’s Humiliation there was the incarnation, the crucifixion, and the burial so in His Exaltation there is the resurrection, ascension, and session.
 
We remember that the Ascension of the Lord Christ is a necessary aspect of the narrative of the Gospel. We confess the Ascension of the Lord Christ when we confess the Apostles Creed.
 
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,


I.) Ascension and Christ as King

 

Here we see that the Ascension of Christ … The Father’s “setting Christ at His own Right hand,” is an act of enthronement and empowerment. In the Ascension, Christ is lifted  “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come. 22 And God hath put all things under His feet, and hath given Him to be the head over all things to the church.”
In the Ascension Christ then is seen as the Father’s assigned King to rule and have dominion. All things. This is why the great Dutch theologian and polymath could say,“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
Dr. Joel Boot notes that this Ascension … this Enthronement of the Lord Christ has become an inconvenient truth in many quarters in the Church today.
“In (a prominent Reformed Theologians) culture of paradox, the Holy Spirit is practically invisible and thus the glorious ascension of our Lord is transformed from the regal setting of Christ at His Father’s right hand and the glorious procession of the Spirit upon the Church, into a tragic absence — and therefore a means of sanctifying inactivity and compromise by restricting the kingdom of God to saving souls from an alien world which God does not govern totally and consistently through His Christ. Instead, God has one rule for His church and another for the world of common grace, or natural law. What is that world? Do sinners share our moral framework? No, they suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18:32).Dr. Joe Boot 
The Mission of God — pg. 393Jesus Christ is the King over the whole cosmos. King over principalities and powers. Christ rules and so Christians are duty bound to walk in terms of God’s Law-Word as the King’s Law. King over all other powers that might contest and current dominions.

But the modern Church seeks to mute that truth or it seeks to claim the rule and dominion of Christ for their pet causes ignoring that with the King’s rule, comes already a pre-established law. Christ, in the total of Scripture, has already set forth what His cause is in terms of His rule.

That rule of the Ascended Christ is NOT merely a spiritual rule without also being a corporeal ruling. Many people hear “Spiritual” rule and they think “not real,” or “Gnostic.” Christ’s rule is absolute and while it begins as a Spiritual rule there is not spiritual ruling that does not have a corporeal correspondence.

Ascension Day should remind us of Christ’s Enthronement. The point of theAscension was to parallel the enthronement Psalms in the Old Testament. Those Psalms praised the King as he is ascending to take the Throne. In Christ’s Ascension Christ as gone up to take the Throne and He, right then and RIGHT NOW, rules over all.

God has gone up with a shout,
Yahweh with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praise to God, sing praises.
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth.
Sing praises with understanding.
God reigns over the nations.
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples are gathered together,
the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God.
He is greatly exalted!

Here in Psalm 47 we find what looks to be the description of a coronation, with shouts, trumpets and songs of praise.  God takes his place on the throne, not only as king of Israel but of all the earth and all the nations. Jesus is God’s final Davidic King and in and with the Ascension He has taken His place on the throne, as King of all the earth and of each and all of the nations.

The Ascension of Christ thus communicates that Christ has triumphed and that His Kingdom has arrived. Christ rules as the Father’s Mediatorial King and rules to such an end as to constantly advance His already present Kingdom. Because of the Ascension of Christ, the Lord Christ is at the Right hand of the Father presenting His credentials as surety for His people. Because of the Ascension, we have peace with God.

The Ascension reminds us that inasmuch as Christ reigns we reign with and in Him. The reality of the Ascension of Christ should forever deliver us from pessimistic eschatology that insists that the Church will end defeated in time and space History.

We are connecting Christ’s Kingship to His Ascension. Here we desire to attempt to frame a proper juxtaposition of truths.

There are those in the Church who want to talk about Christ’s Kingship as if the Kingdom of God is going to be reflected absent the proclamation of the Cross of Christ. It is as if they believe that the current Kingdom of God will be participated in by men who never understood God’s just wrath against sin yet were brought into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross. This will never do. The Cross is the center of our proclamation because it constantly reminds us of our only solution for sin and our only standing before God. We can not participate in God’s building up of His Kingdom apart from the Cross.

However, on the other hand, there are those who never want to move beyond the Cross to the resurrection and the ascension. Christ is King NOW and just as His humiliation was seen in space and time History, so His exaltation will be embodied in space and time History as He triumphs by His Gospel over the nations until His enemies are made His footstool. There are those who warn against the dangers of an over-realized eschatology (expecting too much dominion now in this life) and in doing so they are warning against a theology of glory where the humility of the Cross is ignored. This is a profitable warning.

But we might also warn against an eschatology that is under-realized and one that diminishes the Ascension of Christ. We might warn against a theology that requires defeat and insists that the victories gained by the ascended Christ are only “spiritual” in nature. We might warn against forgetting the enthronement and Ascension of our Lord Christ and His intent on making his very real enemies into very real footstools. We might warn against a theology that closes the door to God’s reign on earth being made manifest so that all the Nations flow into the Mountain of the Lord’s house (Isaiah 2).

So, Jesus is the Ascended one, who has been given a name above every other name (Phil. 2), now sits at the right Hand of the Father to the end of the fulfillment of all that the Gospel intended to accomplish which is the ongoing extension of His now established rule. In His, Ascension God has set His steward King as regent over the nations until His enemy nations are made His footstool.

Now, none of this truth denigrates the message of the Cross. In order to come underneath the rule of the King one must understand their rebellion against and alienation from the Ascended King. Only the atoning death of Christ can answer that rebellion and alienation. However, once that rebellion is forgiven because of the finished work of Christ and the alienation set aside so that we are now adopted as co-heirs with Christ we now are part of the Kingdom of God and walk in terms of His law Word — a law word that will hold sway over everything once His enemies are made His footstool.

III.)  Ascension as Christ as Priest

With His Ascension, Christ appears on our behalf. He is not only Ascended to the end that He was given to be the head over all things to the church. But Jesus has ascended also to the end of continuing His priestly work on our behalf at the right hand of the Father. If you will recall, the role of the Priest was not only to offer up sacrifices for the people, representing the People before God, but the Priest also was to pray and interceded for the people. Christ made His once for all Priestly sacrifice for His people but He continues His Priestly work in His Ascension by praying for us, His Church.

Hebrews 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c]those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Romans 8:34 Who then is the one who condemns?No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Little flock, on this Ascension Sunday we can remember that the Lord Christ is Ascended to the end to continue His Priestly work for us. His presence before the Father pleads our cause. Are you hurt? Downcast? Tempted? Persecuted? Overwhelmed? The Ascended Christ intercedes for His people.

III.) Ascension as Typological fulfillment

Jesus at His transfiguration speaks of His coming Death, Ressurection, Ascension, as an “Exodus” in the Transfiguration accounts in Scripture.
31They appeared in glory and spoke about His departure, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. That Transfiguration account revealed Christ’s glory prior to the crucifixion, and it anticipated his resurrection and ascension. The Ascension is where Christ complete His Exodus departure. In the OT the Exodus was God’s work to release His people from bondage to Pharaoh into a land flowing with milk and honey. in the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Christ what is being communicated in terms of typological insight from the OT and a reasonable reason why the word “Exodus” is used to speak of the redemptive events at the end of Christ’s life is that in the Lord Christ the Spiritual Exodus of mankind is completed. Man, because of sin, and the fact that sin had not yet been fully dealt with was in a kind of bondage. Christ being man’s representative shared in that bondage. But with and in Christ a New Exodus is thus now possible and is inaugurated, and in that New Exodus, we have been delivered from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, just as Israel was delivered from Pharaoh’s Dark Kingdom. Christ, in all His redemptive work, including His Ascension is the anti-type to the Exodus of the OT.

As true then Christ also answers Moses as a type to an anti-type. Christ has His Exodus but as He is our representative head we have our Exodus in Him and He leads us to out of bondage into God’s favor.

The Scripture gets at this when it teaches that because of the Ascension, we have the assurance that we ourselves are ascended with Christ and so are ruling with Him.
Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up [b]together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Consistent w/ Federal Theology what is predicated of the Covenant head is predicated of His people.
Christ has ascended and so Federally and Covenantally speaking we have as well.
Compare Ephesians 1:20 w/ 2:6
20 which the Father worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
2:6 — Speaking of believers

6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Conclusion

Re-cap

The Ascension of Christ communicates that Christ has triumphed and that His Kingdom has arrived. Christ rules as the Father’s Mediatorial King and rules to such an end as to constantly advance His already present Kingdom. Because of the Ascension of Christ, the Lord Christ is at the Right hand of the Father presenting His credentials as surety for His people. Because of the Ascension, we have peace with God.

Ascension day should be celebrated with the same verve as the day we celebrate Easter.

Ascension day gives us confidence that all false ideologies and religions  will be crushed underneath the reign of the Ascended Christ.

Kiss the Ascended Son folks, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

Kiss the Ascended Son Muslims, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

Kiss the Ascended Son Postmodernists, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

Kiss the Ascended Son Jewish folk, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

Kiss the Ascended Son Buddhists, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

Kiss the Ascended Son Hindus, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

Kiss the Ascended Son Atheist Humanist, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.

The Ascended Son isn’t playing around. Kiss the Ascended Son.