The people of Egypt are engaged in a revolution to make some major changes in their government, that is in how the business of their civic lives is managed. But is it a good revolution?It is a noble cause to seek to be free from oppressive forms of government. We here in the United States understand that perfectly well. We engaged in a violent war to secure our independence from the colonial empire of Great Britain, so we understand the value of such freedom.
But we also understand that the benefits of such freedom are not easy to achieve or to maintain. Rules of law and order, even those written into a Constitution and established in a republican or representative form of government, are not always perfect or effective in meeting the changing needs of citizens. We know about this challenge, because our people got engaged in another war to remove the oppression of slavery from our society, but even then there were later riots in our streets with people being killed and property being destroyed to remove some of the causes and effects of prejudice from our society. And these problems are still not completely solved. So we are currently engaged in a “war” of words and political strategies to determine how to make our freely established form of government more responsive to the needs of our citizens and their role in the world.
Personal freedom is nice, but its real value is determined by how well free individuals get along with other free individuals, how they manage their corporate processes when they all have to work together, and how well they are able to get along with their neighbors. And many individuals in the “free” world are concerned about the end results of this revolution in Egypt, and others like it, because it is not always clear what form of government is going to be in “power” after the change is made and how effective it will be in enabling the citizens of Egypt to meet their personal needs and to live in peace with their neighbors in the other nations of the world. These concerns are always important, because our world is composed of a lot of “different” people who have a lot of different needs and wants and levels of personal and corporate resources to meet those needs and wants .
There is a very interesting conversation reported in the gospel of John (chapter 3:1-21) in the Bible that touches on this matter of “kingdoms” and civic “saviors”. The conversation took place between Nicodemus, a legal expert from the ruling body of the Jews in ancient Jerusalem, and Jesus whom he recognized as “a teacher” who had “come from God”. So Jesus was someone whom Nicodemus would respect as being wiser than some other consultant or expert in such matters. Jesus makes it clear to Nicodemus in this conversation that Nicodemus is really not able to recognize who it is who comes from “heaven”; and he really can’t mentally grasp the difference between what is “true” and what is “evil”, that is between what is “light” or illuminating and what is a matter of “darkness” or worldly, in accord with the “heavenly” system of operating a “kingdom”. Jesus tells Nicodemus that in order to understand these matters he would have to be “born again”, which means that he would have to start all over with a basic change in the way he thinks. Jesus was telling Nicodemus that in order to understand the nature of a good “kingdom” or who might establish such a one on earth he would have to have his life and the disposition of his mind changed by “the Spirit” that is from “heaven”, that is from God.
The path to a good revolution
I really think that these revolutions and political discussions, like those in which the people of Egypt are engaged and even those in which we citizens of the United States are currently having, are going to be basically futile and ineffective until people are basically changed into individuals who can recognize wise leaders who can lead them away from what is “evil” and help them to establish civic forms of government that are basically loving.
One of the basic difficulties in achieving such basic changes is that they can’t be accomplished through laws, that is through legislative political processes. There is no law that has ever been written or even conceived that can make free individuals love others or love those who “rule” over their civic businesses. In religious terminology we don’t need more revolutions, we need a good revival of human transformation in order to become “children” of our “Father” who is in “heaven” who know how to live in peace with their “brothers” and “sisters” in this world.
What do you think of these revolutions that are taking place around the world and the current discussions that are taking place among the citizens and politicians in the United States? What do you really expect them to accomplish? What constitutes a good revolution? Let’s talk about this.