Wisdom in a nutshell

“Now a government is secure insofar as it has God for its foundation and His Will for its guide;
but this, surely, is not a description of Liberal government.
It is, in the Liberal view, the people who rule, and not God;
God Himself is a “constitutional monarch”
Whose authority has been totally delegated to the people,
and Whose function is entirely ceremonial.
The Liberal believes in God with the same rhetorical fervor with which he believes in Heaven.
The government erected upon such a faith is very little different, in principle,
from a government erected upon total disbelief, and whatever its present residue of stability,
it is clearly pointed in the direction of Anarchy.”

― Seraphim Rose


“I believe in political equality.
But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat

(*here CS Lewis refers to “democrat” as one who believes in democracy)

You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth,
and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice.
That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy.

On the other hand,

you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them
can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows.

That I believe to be the true ground of democracy.

I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world.
I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife,
learned over simple…
to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast.

I believe that if we had not fallen…patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government.
But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says,
that ‘all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’

The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality.
The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane,
not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin),
but because fathers and husbands are bad.

Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us.
Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

16 comments on “Wisdom in a nutshell

  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Gotta love C.S. Lewis…

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    Love that guy.

  3. Not familiar with Seraphim Rose, but I surely agree with the statement. Love C.S. Lewis as well.

    • I wasn’t eiter Don so I did a little research.
      Seems he was born in California in the 1930s–he was involved in a homosexual relationship beginning in high school—in college, at some point, it appears he had a road to Damascus moment…accepted Christ and joined the Russian Orthodox Church at which point he denounced his homosexuality and eventually studying to be a monk–he died in 1982 and his writings and life are revered in the Orthodox Church around the globe….

  4. Tricia says:

    Great post Julie and so very relevant to our times. I love C.S. Lewis and wish his books were mandatory in the classroom.

  5. As always a stellar post and I love the story about Seraphim Rose you shared in the comment above. Love, N 🙂 ❤

  6. Citizen Tom says:

    This is definitely better than most of my posts on politics.

    Not familiar with Seraphim Rose, but I assume he is using the word “Liberal” in the modern sense. The founders of this nation were relatively Godly men, and they had no doubts of about the difficulty of men ruling themselves. I expect most of them would have agreed with C. S. Lewis without qualification. That man was scary smart and wise.

    • Truly Tom– and yes the term is in the modern sense–ode to those who have gone before 🙂

    • Hey Tom, the blog that I have seen the quotes about Seraphim Rose is called Dover Beach—he just posted a rather lengthy quote that I think you’d enjoy..https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/51155/posts/1327268306
      I had told Don yesterday, who was curious about Rose, that I had done a little research—he was born in California in the early 1930’s—was a practicing homosexual beginning in high school. It seems while in college he had his own road to Damascus moment that found him accepting Christ, denouncing his homosexuality, joining the Russian Orthodox Church and entering a monastic life…His writings have been revered by the Orthodox around the globe…

      • Citizen Tom says:

        Thank you. Quite interesting.

        Coincidentally, I have been reading some of Friedrich Nietzsche wrote. Nietzsche gets much of the credit for inspiring fascism and Nazism. That may not be what he intended, but that is where a serious student of the Bible and human history would expect his ideas to lead. It is the same reason the French Revolution became a Reign of Terror. Whenever we throw out God and His laws, we quickly discover we have made our own Hell.

      • Now that Tom sounds like a great post unto itself!

      • Citizen Tom says:

        I think that books have already been written on that subject, but it is still necessary to remind each generation, something Seraphim Rose apparently did for those of his day.

      • As you do and I try– perhaps not as eloquently or leaned– but try no less

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