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David, Goliath, and the Super-Self

by gonzodave coulon  
6/14/2008 / Christian Living

Dear Reader,

Sunday's Message

Precious ones in Christ Jesus, good morning. The OT story of David and Goliath is as familiar to many as any children's fairy tale. David was a Giant-Killer and Jack had magic beans. The botanical name for the chocolate bean plant is, Theobroma cacao, which literally means food of the gods. G K Chesterton in his essay "Heretics," when writing about the secular views held by H G Wells, penned the following in 1905:

""The Food of the Gods" is the tale of "Jack the Giant-Killer" told from the point of view of the giant. This has not, I think, been done before in literature; but I have little doubt that the psychological substance of it existed in fact. I have little doubt that the giant whom Jack killed did regard himself as the Superman. It is likely enough that he considered Jack a narrow and parochial person who wished to frustrate a great forward movement of the life-force.

If (as not unfrequently was the case) he happened to have two heads, he would point out the elementary maxim which declares them to be better than one. He would enlarge on the subtle modernity of such an equipment, enabling a giant to look at a subject from two points of view, or to correct himself with promptitude. But Jack was the champion of the enduring human standards, of the principle of one man one head and one man one conscience, of the single head and the single heart and the single eye. Jack was quite unimpressed by the question of whether the giant was a particularly gigantic giant. All he wished to know was whether he was a good giant that is, a giant who was any good to us.

What were the giant's religious views; what were his views on politics and the duties of the citizen? Was he fond of children or fond of them only in a dark and sinister sense? To use a fine phrase for emotional sanity, was his heart in the right place? Jack had sometimes to cut him up with a sword in order to find out. The old and correct story of Jack the Giant-Killer is simply the whole story of man; if it were understood we should need no Bibles or histories.

But the modern world in particular does not seem to understand it at all. The modern world, like Mr. Wells is on the side of the giants; the safest place, and therefore the meanest and the most prosaic. The modern world, when it praises its little Caesars, talks of being strong and brave: but it does not seem to see the eternal paradox involved in the conjunction of these ideas. The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.

The only way in which a giant could really keep himself in training against the inevitable Jack would be by continually fighting other giants ten times as big as himself. That is by ceasing to be a giant and becoming a Jack. Thus that sympathy with the small or the defeated as such, with which we Liberals and Nationalists have been often reproached, is not a useless sentimentalism at all, as Mr. Wells and his friends fancy. It is the first law of practical courage. To be in the weakest camp is to be in the strongest school.

Nor can I imagine anything that would do humanity more good than the advent of a race of Supermen, for them to fight like dragons. If the Superman is better than we, of course we need not fight him; but in that case, why not call him the Saint? But if he is merely stronger (whether physically, mentally, or morally stronger, I do not care a farthing), then he ought to have to reckon with us at least for all the strength we have. If we are weaker than he, that is no reason why we should be weaker than ourselves. If we are not tall enough to touch the giant's knees, that is no reason why we should become shorter by falling on our own. But that is at bottom the meaning of all modern hero-worship and celebration of the Strong Man, the Caesar the Superman. That he may be something more than man, we must be something less."

As Mr. Chesterton conveyed so well almost 100 years ago; Where do Supermen belong? Supermen are a construct of culture. The previous worship of eugenics as the hope of a better man has been recycled by today's chocolate scientific marriage of en vitro conception, stem-cells, and let us be honest - abortion. Do any of these cultural concepts belong inside the church? Can man make a better man?

It is of no matter that society has carried forth the idea of an improved man; What else can the hopelessly lost hope for? Another quote by Mr. Chesterton would say: "Millions of mild black-coated men call themselves sane and sensible merely because they always catch the fashionable insanity, because they are hurried into madness after madness by the maelstrom of the world."

Giants rule the earth and poor Jack has no biblical license to contend with them. Should he assume a God sanctioned warrant, he merely becomes the Giant for the Jacks of today's anti-Christian activist to sharpen their teeth upon. How can this Christian activism be considered bringing the "Good News" to the lost?

Paul stated very clearly "It is not for me to judge the lost." But then again, he stated very clearly that the church must judge the church. Paul "would not stand for one hour" in silent suffering of a false gospel. Paul was a born-again Jack who was a former Giant. The pitfalls and victories of Paul were witnessed by the unsaved, the soon-to-be-saved, and the forever saved in the early church.

The Giants who invade and profess a secular Christianity are the legal foes for Jack's courage. By this effort Jack may be seen by the unsaved as practicing what the Bible teaches, not the world. Ecumenicalism, contrary to popular thought, regardless of the appearance of a lack of unity, reduces Jack to the mindless apathy of political correctness, where every liberty is granted except the liberty of disagreement.

In this mistaken generalization of unity, borrowed from the world, Jack does not contend for the sanctity of God's grace filled message of salvation. Had the Catholic Church not become a Giant, there would never have been a Martin Luther. The Jack who ignited the smoldering Protestant Reformation 400 years ago preached a salvation and justification by faith, not a probational ticket to heaven for Giants.

Go well in Christ Jesus on this resurrection day - Sunday, the eighth day of new beginnings.

That's my message.


My regards in Christ Jesus,


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Copyright 2007-2008 by David Coulon. Registered and released under CC license 3.0 2007-2008.

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