Our Lord made some difficult statements, a few of which would have seen him fired from churches who now mention his name in reverent tones. His insistence that the meek shall inherit the earth would not be one of those, probably. It is too outrageous to get anyone fired. Had it not been he who first said it, it would provoke more mirth than wrath.
Does anything seem further from reality than this? Do you see anywhere in history where the meek have accomplished anything except making themselves insignificant?
How many meek politicians inherit an election, much less the earth?
Do meek businesspeople inherit prosperous businesses?
Do meek preachers inherit great ministries or build great churches?
Well, the only thing Christians can do with this embarrassing disconnect with reality is to redefine the word meek until it means something like “focused power” or “defined ambition”.
Perhaps we can make the original Greek agree with that if we try hard enough.
We have to do something.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was brave enough to say out loud that making meekness a virtue was destroying Western Civilization. In his view, the ancient Greeks and Romans pulled us out of barbarism and created the economic and political structures that produced our great science and art. Their virtues of manly strength and self-reliance set up an order in which the talented and powerful could create enough wealth to sustain civilization’s advances. The worm in the apple, he said, was the Jewish carpenter’s son who had inspired a system built upon pity and guilt. The Galilean ideology had not destroyed Western Civilization simply because no one had really accepted it, including Christians. It was time, Nietzsche said, to admit that “the world’s last Christian died on a cross.”
Ayn Rand was brave enough to embrace Nietzsche. She was also articulate enough to teach his philosophy to Americans. One hears her words pouring through the airwaves and in the debates. Sometimes, Christians are among the ones who applaud the clichés of Darwinism as social policy, even as they rage against Darwinism as biological ideology.
We are in danger of silently ignoring the words of the Sermon on the Mount and replacing it with the lyrics of “I did it my way.”
In Genesis chapter four, God asked a man about his brother’s whereabouts. Cain flippantly responded, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” He was expressing a philosophy of life that God found repulsive. As punishment, God sent him into isolation, the very thing his philosophy idolized.
For the likes of Cain, Nietzsche and Rand, the blind and the poor are none of our concern. Life eliminates them and their genes from the ever-advancing human quest for progress and quality. To fund them or alleviate their sorrow with stop gap measures only prolongs the inevitable.
They simply don’t have what it takes. It is the Übermensch; the strong, confident, capable man or woman who takes initiative and who will accept nothing but perfection from himself and from others who creates the future. We must do nothing that hinders this reality. We may feel pity for their plight but there is really nothing we can do that will make much of a difference except allow the fittest to survive as the unfit gradually eliminate themselves.
So what are we to do with Jesus?
Well, we will praise Him and call Him God! We will build massive buildings and place a cross on them. We will mention His name repeatedly in our conversation. We will debate with others about the doctrines that describe who he is and what he does for us up in heaven.
If we do enough of those things, it may drown out the voice of the Galilean, “come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The ones who respond to that voice are often an unsavory collection of addicted, brain-damaged, orphaned, misfit, diseased, low-class, wretched people. The powerful of the world who also wish to follow the Galilean are welcome of course. There is no reverse discrimination here. All they have to do is join this motley crew and call them brothers. The gate to this strange kingdom is narrow. Many things we carry around as badges of honor must be left outside in order to enter.
Nietzsche was right. It is dishonest to praise Jesus while quietly rejecting what he taught.
It is Jesus or the Übermensch.
If the meek do not inherit the earth, the foundation of our faith is built upon the sand and Jesus was, as Nietzsche claimed, civilization’s most dangerous demagogue.