Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Just to stir things up...

So this conversation has been going on over at James' blog (with this followup), both of which kind of touch on a previous post-a-thon at another blog in response to this from way back in November.

Are you with me?

Now. The following is from That Hideous Strength, the third in CS Lewis' Space Trilogy. And it's getting at the same question, from a slightly different angle. Well, a related question: we were talking at James' blog about church authority. But it's tied together somehow.

"You were saying, my dear?" resumed the Director.

"I thought love meant equality," she said, "and free companionship."

"Ah, equality!" said the Director. "We must talk of that some other time. Yes, we must all be guarded by equal rights from one another's greed, because we are fallen...Equality is not the deepest thing, you know."

"I always thought that's just what it was. I thought that it was in their souls that people were equal."

"You were mistaken," said he gravely. "That is the last place where they are equal. Equality before the law; equality of incomes; that is all very well. Equality guards life; it does not make it. It is medicine, not food. You might as well try to warm yourself with a

"But surely in marriage...?"

"Worse and worse, " said the Director. "Courtship knows nothing of it; nor does fruition. What
has free companionship to do with that?"

--and it goes on. Page 148 in the MacMillan edition with the '60s graphic on the cover.

He's not talking about class inequality. Jane, the woman speaking, is later taken aback at the lack of servility that Ivy-- who cleans Jane's house-- shows, when they're both under the Director's roof. And of course he's not saying that some people are more valued by God than others, or anything like that. Almost the opposite: if he's right, and if you cross-apply this idea to the James-blog-debate, it means that while the world-system only values the strong, the leaders, those in authority, God genuinely values those who genuinely don't have authority, or who have less authority.

I, for example, "am a person also under authority." My editor is called Steve. And part of his job, what he may do every day to the glory of God, is to is tell me what to do. And my job is to obey him, as long as he doesn't tell me to do something immoral or illegal. He genuinely has authority over me, and depending on how we each fulfill our separate roles-- in love, to God's glory-- God is pleased, I think. Steve would be delinquent in not telling me what to do next as much as I would be delinquent (and have been, truth be told) in goofing off rather than doing it. It's like symbiosis. It's like the Little Drummer Boy.

You may froth at the mouth below.