PMW 2018-015 by John Horvat

In times of crisis, we are forced to reexamine our ways and ponder our future. It is in this framework that we need to consider our present economic plight and the charting of our path forward.

In his penetrating analysis of contemporary society, author John Horvat focuses on the present crisis with great insight and clarity. He claims modern economy has become cold, impersonal, and out of balance. Gone are the human elements of honor and trust so essential to our daily lives. Society has discarded the natural restraining influence of the human institutions and values that should temper our economic activities.

Return to Order is a clarion call that invites us to reconnect with those institutions and values by applying the timeless principles of an organic Christian order.

An opioid crisis is devastating America. Every day, more than ninety Americans die by overdosing on these new killers. The crisis involves the misuse of and addiction to opioids such as prescription pain relievers, fentanyl and heroin. New powerful synthetic opioids have become especially deadly.

Too many people mistakenly reduce the problem to materialistic causes. They think that people abuse opioids because they are only looking for ways to manage pain. Others tie the abuse to being depressed by the sad state of their finances. Still others blame the big pharmaceutical companies for making prescription drugs that can be abused. Above all, they insist government must get involved with money and massive programs.

Such a perspective may address symptoms of the crisis but not the causes. The abuse of opioids, like other addictions, stems from a profound spiritual problem deep inside the souls of countless Americans. Opioids are only different by their frenetic nature, which makes them extremely self-destructive.

Return to Order
Return to Order is a clarion call that invites us to reconnect with those institutions and values by applying the timeless principles of an organic Christian order. Opioid use can quickly degenerate into substance abuse that comes from a spiritual void inside the soul. A spiritual solution is then needed.

Return to Order
By John Horvat

Return to Order is a clarion call that invites us to reconnect with those institutions and values by applying the timeless principles of an organic Christian order.

Available at Amazon.com

Understanding Spiritual Problems

Finding such solutions is very difficult because it goes against the conventional wisdom of the times. Most people work from a mindset that holds that people only have material needs. They do not recognize the fact that everyone has another side that is spiritual and superior.

This side has strong needs that must be satisfied as part of the experience of being human. This spiritual side is what makes every individual unique. It is the basis for human dignity. The interplay of this spiritual side in society is the foundation of political, culture, and religious activities that satisfy these spiritual needs.

Spiritual needs include the need for beauty, transcendence, and meaning, often addressed by the culture and faith. They can also be found in the human need to live in society as expressed in social order, contingency, and profound relationships like those of the family. Above all, spiritual needs are satisfied by the practice of religion by which people know, love, and serve God, Who is their final end.

God’s Law Made Easy (by Ken Gentry)

Summary for the case for the continuing relevance of God’s Law. A helpful summary of the argument from Greg L. Bahnsen’s Theonomy in Christian Ethics.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

Modern society does much to frustrate these spiritual needs. Individualism, for example, tends to isolate and turn people inward toward self. Materialism denies the spiritual and only concentrates on material comforts that can never satisfy. Secularism diminishes the spiritual appetites for God by dethroning Him from His central place in creation and society. When people cannot find spiritual fulfillment in modern society, they will often look for chemical substitutes or other ways to escape.

Processes of Decay

There are natural social mechanisms that help a person satisfy spiritual needs and face misfortune. The institutions of family, community, and faith, for example, help address these needs in the face of modern evils.

However, when these institutions break down, as they are now, people can suffer processes of decay that lead to self-destructive behaviors, which eventually result in the deaths of the tens of thousands who abuse opioids. When people’s lives fall apart, they can easily become self-absorbed and depressed. They lose the spiritual support of those who might help them.

When a man, for example, loses touch with his spiritual needs, he projects his spiritual desires upon material things. He becomes intensely attached to all things turned inward, to himself. He may still respect parts of the general order, but he gradually becomes incapable of admiring a higher order of things outside of self, especially those related to the good, true, and beautiful.

When this happens, the vice of intemperance takes hold in him because he only wants what feeds his ever-growing desires. Temperance is the virtue whereby man governs and moderates his natural appetites and passions in accordance with the norms prescribed by reason. In the case of this particular man, he gradually becomes incapable of loving the greater picture of all that is ordered by the norms of reason.

The Self-Destructive Appetites Against Order

This process creates a great imbalance in the soul. The intemperate man will thirst for risks, excitement, and adventures in an attempt to satisfy voracious appetites. However, he will find no tranquility since he seeks things outside what is reasonable. He alternates between exhilaration and breakdown in his futile quest for fulfillment. From a distaste for some aspects of order, he soon he develops a dislike for all order since it restrains him, and even a dislike for the idea of being since it defines him.

Redeeming Pop CultureRedeeming Pop Culture
by T. M. Moore

Why is it important for us not to ignore the culture around us? How can we engage, influence, and advance pop culture, and how can we put popular forms to good use in God’s kingdom? Moore urges us neither to flee from popular culture nor to immerse ourselves in it blindly.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

From desiring everything intensely, he comes to desire the destruction of the very habits and things that both stimulate and enslave him. From this, he plunges into chaos, sensuality, pride, despair, and addictions. It is not hard to see how the opioid crisis feeds into this self-destructive process since it often manifests itself in the breakdown of order around the person.

Why a Return to Order Is Needed

That is why order is so necessary to society. . . .

To finish reading: click

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, internationally recognized speaker, and author. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he heads the Tradition, Family Property Commission on American Studies.


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