FROM DECISION TO DISCRIMINATION

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE is a reprint from the blog of reverend Kevin Rogers of New Song Church in Windsor, Ontario and is reproduced here for your convenience. You can visit the his blog called "The Orphan Age" HERE.

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All people have a conscience. Depending on what they put their trust in, each person from left to right has a code of ideals that they ascribe to. Most people use their conscience to judge and evaluate 24/7. Even in our dreams, there is some way that we are judging or being judged by how we are living and what we perceive to be happening in the world around us.

 

You may think that people like Adolf Hitler or Osama Bin Laden did not have a conscience because of the lengths to which they were willing to impose and destroy others. However, the opposite is true. They were ideologues with a passion. They were so committed to their judgment of how the world should be that they acted profoundly upon it.

 

The same is true for people like Mother Theresa, MLK and Bono. Greta Thunberg, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau and you—whether you see them as the hero or the villain, each has a set of assumptions that guide their speech, their sacrifices and their choices.

 

We tend to critique influencers and leaders according to their ideology. Have you noticed in conversation how you will make assumptions of the other based on what’s important to them? When you are listening, how do you know if the person or their ideology is talking?

 

Jordan B. Peterson said,

“If you want to find out whether the person is there or the ideology is there, you listen to see if you’re hearing anything that someone of the same ideological mindset couldn’t have told you.”[1]

 

In the Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego we are going to explore some before and after perspectives. The first idea is this:

 

What you decide to base your life on will affect what you will be discriminated upon.

 

Daniel 3:

At this time some people who studied the heavens came forward. They spoke against the Jews. They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, may you live forever! 10 Your Majesty has commanded everyone to fall down and worship the gold statue. You told them to do it when they heard the horns, flutes, zithers, lyres, harps, pipes and other musical instruments. 11 If they didn’t, they would be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But you have appointed some Jews to help Daniel govern Babylon and the towns around it. Their names are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They don’t pay any attention to you, King Nebuchadnezzar. They don’t serve your gods. And they refuse to worship the gold statue you have set up.”

 

Like every good story you have your protagonists—in this case Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Then you have your antagonists—the royal astrologers. Each party had a worldview and values that guide their interpretation of whom is good and who is bad.

 

The central theme is the conflicting visions of worship and the state. The persecutors go after the ones that will not bend their knee and worship the ideology that they are expected to.

 

In the three Hebrew men (and Daniel if we widen the context), there is a discrimination against them that flows from their decision to remain obedient and faithful to God.

 

It was what they had decided before that became a factor in how they would be discriminated against.

 

What you decide to base your life on will affect what you will be discriminated upon.

 

As best as I can tell, we make the most important decisions that reflect our ideology on a spectrum between faith and fear. What do we ultimately ascribe worthiness to? And what powers are we most afraid of defeating us?

 

In the before part of the story we have some men that have made up their minds and let their path be guided accordingly. In the after we have the consequence that comes from certainty. It is very tempting to avoid being rooted in case there is opposition. But even that is part of an ideology of self-preservation and the fear of rejection.

 

 



[1] Lecture and Q&A with Jordan Peterson (The Mill Series at Lafayette College) at 15:04. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V32WHDuy-Do 

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I don't necessarily endorse all content from this site but it's always good to get different perspectives. https://revkevinrogers.blogspot.com/2021/05/from-decision-to-discrimination.html

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