The law is good and noble and upright, but in this time, things can go very very wrong, because these are not good and strong and upright times. The first thing you have to understand is that the enemy of the true, the beautiful and the noble sees lying and cheating as normal, routine, usual. The only standards they have are double standards. They see those who hold to their word as rubes to be exploited. And this will destroy any community and nation.
Those of us men who were raised by good and strong fathers – which is an increasingly rare occurrence these days – understand instinctively that honourable conduct is something to admire and emulate. It sounds very simple – don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, tell the truth (in kindness, wherever possible), and live a simple, humble, virtuous life.
Those are precisely the kinds of men who are the easiest to trick.
The problem with being honourable is that such men have a real disdain and even hatred for the underhanded, sly, shady ways and tricks of others who do not have their scruples. Those who take shortcuts and look for the easy ways to get things done will usually produce better results, in the short term, than those who understand that discipline, focus, and perseverance are the paths to success.
That disdain is a huge blind spot for most men of honour, no matter what code we follow. Because we hate side-talk and have problems with anything other than straightforward plain dealing, we tend to ignore the machinations of those who mean us ill, thinking that they are rather beneath us – until it is far too late.
Such people are like termites. They destroy the building, leaving a shell that can carry no weight.
6 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. 2 The house that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. 3 The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. 4 And he made for the house windows with recessed frames.
When you are building, you have to work hard on ensuring a firm foundation. We have walked away from wonderful houses after we looked at the foundation — we do not live in that stable a place. This happened about 16 km from where I now live.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
We do have a project in this life, and that is to glorify God. We all have giftedness. Some are very successful businessmen and providers. Some are relentlessly practical, or have a sense of design and order. Others are scholars. By the grace of God, we can do these things very well, and they have a worth. But there are people who would call themselves allies and would tear all thse things down, for they see the honest as prey.
From an email: the context is that a progressive black principal had been sacked for not being woke enough.
In other words, the Left has reduced itself to such frothing, frenzied incoherence that they now commit open fratricide against their own kind.
This is the world in which an honourable man must operate. It is one in which the basic principles of honour, such as keeping one’s word, standing by one’s allies, and observing strict rules of combat, simply cannot hold.
Or at least, they cannot hold if you do not exercise EXTREME ruthlessness in pursuing your own ends.
Mark my words carefully. This does not mean that you must act dishonourably. You must not lie, cheat, or steal. You may not betray your allies. And you most certainly cannot turn your back upon those who ask for your help.
But you CAN be very picky about who you help. And you CAN be absolutely ruthless in purging those around you who do not share your singular goals and purpose.
The Achilles Heel of honourable men is the expectation we have that honour given will be returned. Amongst and between ourselves, that is certainly a reasonable expectation. Amongst and between the rest of the world, though, it is an utterly idiotic and facile notion that cannot hold.
Refuse even to interview people with degrees in Fluffy Bunnies and Unicorns, or who went to specific colleges and universities – Stanford, Berkeley, pretty much any of the Ivy Leagues, every single liberal arts college in America, and so on. If they are not engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, or hardcore computer scientists – ignore them. And you can pretty safely ignore most business school graduates, too, unless they come from schools with a reputation for making students work on real-world projects.
If you run your own business, the above points apply even more strongly. You must go even further than this. Simply cut out of your life, completely and totally, all those who insist on wearing masks everywhere (even in the car), or are militant about recycling, or who believe that illegal immigrants are anything other than invaders.
These actions may reduce your social circle down to nearly nothing. That is a price that you must pay. But it is worth paying, simply because if you do not pay it, you WILL end up with at least one knife blade in your back, delivered by someone that you thought you could trust.
Honour is a prerequisite for living a good and clean life. But honour is entirely compatible with ruthlessness
Our enemies are apparent. They want to be let into our fellowship, and they are appealing to the courts and rulers that they shall be allowed into any fellowship and group to destroy Christ and all he stands for, because they hate him. And they will build not with marble, stone, beams… or engineered timber and gib (Fibre Board for the non Kiwis) but with cob, straw and sticks, knowing it will burn, and they will call that mud hut good.
I don’t want a castle for myself, but I want a cathedral made of the saints for Christ. This war is spiritual. Get fit. You may not be interested in a fight, but the enemy is very interested in fighting you.