President Obama as Loki — Confusing Government with God
Everybody believes in God. Some believe that they are god or at least a godly essence — a part of all that’s god in an impersonal cosmos pulsating with ‘divine’ energy. Others believe in a pantheon of higher beings, while some put their faith in the vagaries of reason that can’t be accounted for in a matter-only world. And still others believe that the collective is god or can be become god if it’s given enough power and authority. In this view, we must decrease while it increases. Obama, like so many government officials, believes that government is a god — maybe THE god. “The State gives and the State takes away; blessed be the name of the State” (see Job 1:6).
Loki exemplifies this last view. Loki is the villain in the blockbuster film The Avengers film. With all power in his hands, all will be made right with the world. A person only has to give up one thing. Here’s how Loki puts it:
“I come with glad tidings of a world made free — from freedom. Freedom is life’s great lie. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. Is this not simpler? Is this not your natural state?
“It is the unspoken truth of humanity: that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end . . . you will always kneel.”
This is liberalism – Statism – writ large. There’s the promise of freedom (that’s the core meaning in the word ‘liberal,’ from the Latin liber which means ‘free’) but it comes with a price: Giving up our freedom under the One True God. For when God sets us free, we are “free indeed” (John 8:36). The promise of freedom from any other source is a lie – the first lie (Gen 3:1–5).
Lokiism is the belief that freedom in the hands of the many is overrated and that a self-appointed power elite is best suited to rule. In giving up their freedom, the people also give up the responsibility that comes with freedom. When this happens, the State becomes the new master, sustainer, and provider, and the people become slaves to their own baser selves.
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Their energies are now directed outwardly to get back what they lost. They turn to the state “for sustenance,” as Herbert Schlossberg writes in his book Idols for Destruction:
[W]e rightly learn to expect food from parents, and when we regard the state as the source of physical provision we render to it the obeisance of idolatry. The crowds who had fed on the multiplied loaves and fishes were ready to receive Christ as their ruler, not because of who he was but because of the provision. John Howard Yoder has rightly interpreted that scene: “The distribution of bread moved the crowd to acclaim Jesus as the new Moses, the provider, the Welfare King whom they had been waiting for.”
Not much has changed. The story line in The Avengers is fiction, but liberalism is hard cold fact, with emphasis on hard. Captain America is right: “There’s only one God,” and it’s not government.