“With God all things are POSSIBLE.” — Matthew 19:26
“Without God all things are PERMISSIBLE.” — Fyodor Dostoyevski
“Without God all things are INEVITABLE.” — Gertrude Himmelfarb (?)
When I first read it, I thought the scripture in Matthew meant that since GOD was all powerful anything was possible for HIM, and it was a novel concept to begin to understand that if we have GOD with us then all things are possible for US. It certainly makes our human possibilities more profound.
Around us are people lost and struggling because they have cut themselves away from any moorings to God and think they have the right, the permission to do anything they wish. When there is nothing beyond his own will to consult it is easy for any man to become a law unto himself. When a man reaches that point in his life, anything at all becomes permissible, and there is no price to be paid except in the lives of others who run afoul of those who so believe.
Beyond being permissible, though, is the inevitable result of having no mooring in the reality of what happens to one’s soul when a person exercises unrighteous dominion over others, and the havoc one evil man or woman can cause to a nation and its people. When people with no moral foundations reach positions of power they pose a danger to everyone and everything within their sway.
Understanding how another can sear his or her conscience to the point where it no longer exists, to become a psychopath, is beyond the experience of most people, and they fail to recognize the danger in the facile charm that seems to be a trademark of the psychopaths among us.
The inevitable result when such people gain power is the loss of liberty and goodness for all they touch. Truth becomes one of the first casualties in the battle, and lies become coin of the realm.
You and I, in order to protect truth and integrity, must follow God, understanding that if HE is with us, all things truly are possible. Through study of the doings of men, prayer about all matters that face us, and honesty in our assessments, we need to ask ourselves, “What would HE have us do?” Sometimes facing that answer will cause us pain and fear. Repentance and a return to virtue are certain to be required. Great courage to repair our own lives will be needed in the task before us if we are to maintain our liberty.
In repairing our lives perhaps Herman Melville said it best: “IN THIS WORLD . . . SIN THAT PAYS ITS WAY CAN TRAVEL FREELY AND WITHOUT A PASSPORT, WHEREAS VIRTUE, IF A PAUPER, IS STOPPED AT ALL FRONTIERS.” (Moby Dick)
Virtue is truly a pauper in our world, but it is also said to be it’s own reward. It seems then that virtue is an internal and personal matter between each man and God. External frontiers, such as public scorn and ridicule, should not deter us from holding on to and having faith in virtue as one source in our search for the truth that makes us free.
Will enough people repair their lives and regain faith in the possibility of having God help our nation in its struggle?
“Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.” DeToqueville