The Tyrannical Soul


The deadly cocktail of hedonism and crossless compassion has done widespread damage to today's Christian churches. It has shipwrecked people's faith; it has produced grotesque doctrines.

Paul described Moses as "choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. " (Hebrews 11:25, ESV, emphasis added) Sin is always in opposition to faith. It destroys faith and trust in God's farsightedness by appealing to carnality and man's shortsightedness. A tragic exchange.

It turns out the idols of pleasure are never placated, never satisfied. They are merciless taskmasters. They drive their vassals into the ground and into the dust. The hedonist is filled with angst, but he dares not blame his idols of fleeting pleasure. Instead, he sets out to impose his idols on other people and ultimately on the Bible itself. Yet, these efforts are Sisyphean exercises in continual frustration. Relief is always just out of reach.

In the fourth century B.C., Plato wrote about what he called the "tyrannical soul." From The Republic:

Not only is he ill governed within himself, but once misfortune removes him from private life and establishes him in the tyrant’s place, he must try to control others when he cannot control himself. He is like a sick man who is unable to exercise self-restraint yet is not permitted to pass his days in cloistered privacy; instead, he is obliged to engage adversaries in never-ending rivalry and discord....

Then he who is completely the tyrant is completely the slave.
Doesn't that sound a lot like the men and women in positions of influence who demand that society and the Bible be changed to accommodate their dissolute passions?

Faith in Christ offers true, lasting freedom. Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 11 (ESV):
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”