Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Opus 2011-221, Elitism, Anyone?

I am a teacher.  I home schooled my children. We started the process before I became a teacher.  During the process we lived in constant fear that some social worker, knowing what was best for us, would break into our home and take our children.  It happens.  The world is full of well meaning elitists who believe that they know what is best for you.  We used to call them Liberals.  Now they call themselves Progressives.  As time goes on we have realized that there are elitists even in the ranks of the Conservatives.  They are everywhere.  They know no political limitations.  They know what is best for us.

Thomas Sowell addresses these elites who have what he calls the “unconstrained vision.” 
“ the unconstrained vision, the best conduct of social activities depend on the special knowledge of the few being used to guide the actions of the many....Along with it has often gone a vision of intellectuals as disinterested advisers.”  Sowell, p. 41
There are some people who are simply superior in intellect and ability.  At least they think so.  They believe they have the duty to impose their superior ideas on others.  It is always for their own good, of course.

G.K. Chesterton touches on this also. 
“It need hardly be said that this is the real explanation of the thing which has puzzled so many dilettante critics, the problem of the extreme ordinariness of the behaviour (sic) of so many great geniuses in history.  Their behaviour (sic) was so ordinary that it was not recorded; hence it was so ordinary that it seemed mysterious.  Hence people say that Bacon wrote Shakespeare.  The modern artistic temperament cannot understand how a man who could write such lyrics as Shakespeare wrote, could be as keen as Shakespeare was on business transactions in a little town in Warwickshire.” Chesterton, p. 76. 
The reason this jumped out at me is the Shakespeare reference.  In case you are not into Shakespeare there is a roaring debate going on about who wrote his plays.  Those of us with a simple mind assume the question is on the same level as, “Who is buried in Grant’s tomb?”  But the intellectuals among us, those who need to publish or perish, are trying to find the answer to this.  Most of their suggestions are people of a higher class than Shakespeare.  He was a commoner and these people don’t believe that common people are capable of excellence.

These same people break the book of Isaiah into at least three authors.  They pick and chose among the teachings of Jesus.  They tear apart the letters of Paul.  They consider themselves above the average man and I guess the average apostle.

Beware of elitists.  Beware of anyone who wants to do your thinking for you.  Understand that the consequence of such an attitude is thinking.  That requires reading, asking questions and actually putting your mind in gear.  Even when it comes to Bible teachers.  Listen to the pastor with your Bible open.  Ask yourself, “Is that really what it means or just what he wants it to mean?”  Don’t be afraid of hard questions.  I am sure that God has the answers even if the guru doesn’t.

Chesterton, G.K. Heretics.  Gutenberg Project.
Sowell, Thomas, A Conflict of Visions, New York:  Basic Books, 2007.

homo unius libri


  1. "Every man is a king who has someone to look down upon." -Sinclair Lewis in "It Can't Happen Here!"

  2. I don't insist on being on top but I have real issues with being on the bottom. Fortunately it doesn't take much to stay off the bottom.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.