, ,

A theory is an explanation for a series of facts: these are ways to connect various facts into a comprehensible whole. The theory is useful because it makes sense of the world; it reduces anxiety at one level – but it also refocuses the anxiety on some appropriate response (usually a political response). 

If you confront the theory directly, then the discussion becomes whether the theory is true or false. That will (1) prove to be next to impossible; (2) completely sidetrack your counsel.

Let us assume that this theory is true, and there are nefarious forces at work in the world and that such forces have power. That is nothing new in the history of the world. We do live on the planet that murdered Jesus. What do we do? What is the solution?

When we break this down in terms of the elements of the theory the counseling responses are something you already know. First, there is response to anxiety. Rather than trying to figure out the precise evil machinations of evil people (we know the trouble of the human heart), we should remember the goodness, knowledge, and power of God. Paul wrote about contentment while imprisoned by Rome. Thinking about the theory only causes greater anxiety. Yes, we should be wise, but it is not wise if it creates sinful fear and unnecessary preoccupation of our attention. Phil. 4:8-9

Second, the theory suggests a future course of action. While not counseling complete passivity in response to political problems and while being thankful for common grace means to restrain evil, we need to realize that these responses are at best provisional and limited. Putting more effort into trying to get wild boars to behave like bunnies will always ultimately fail; it will never resolve the anxiety nor fix the world. Yes, we should work for good in the world, but always remember the fixed limitations.In the end only the change of a heart of stone for a heart of flesh will change one. If you are worried about the evil in the world, then we should use those tools which respond to evil. 2 Cor. 10:1-7.

Finally, always be careful to show grace to someone who is deeply concerned about the wrong in the world. They are fearful; you bring comfort. And teach them useful hymns

This is my Father’s world:

O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:

Why should my heart be sad?

The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!

God reigns; let earth be glad!