Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote an essay entitled Self-Reliance. As an American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist it contains a thorough statement of his recurrent theme, "Trust thyself". Every individual should avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their personal inspiration and ideas.
- "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."
He believed the influences of society moves the individual to compromise their values in order to retain a foolish character in the eyes of the world.
His slogan "trust thyself" creates the ultimate dilemma of where does the self begin and the influences of the world leave off? If divinity pervades all nature and humanity as the transcendentalist suggests we must establish a standard, which we must assume already exists, to determine which divinity is doing the pervading.
It is commonly accepted that there is an adversary to the divine that preached something very similar to the idea humanity can be a gods and put forth their own form of divinity, deciding good an evil for themselves.
If we accept into our own minds the true mind of the divine creator in conformity to that God's spirit then we are pervaded by the Divine. But if we conform to the adversary of the Creator then we will be pervaded by a divine of a lessor nature which may bring about calamity of its own.
Promoting Self-Reliance may not be the same as promoting the Divine nature of the creator nor His righteousness.
Accepting Self-Reliance is like accepting personal responsibility. But a free society also must accept voluntarily responsibility for one another. The focus in the kingdom of God is not upon self righteousness but the righteousness of God.
The promoting of individual responsibilities falls far short of a solution and the salvation of Christ. If one does not see that any attempt to bind people in a social scheme to force contribution of the people to provide welfare for the people is foundationally opposed to the Gospel, a rejection of God and is anti Christ.
Ignorance of this simple message of living by the perfect law of liberty through grassroots charity is fundamentally destroying the whole world.
Christ was saying if you have bound yourself to a ruler by making a social contract to obtain benefits, including your Daily bread, then you must pay that ruler but He was not saying or giving us license to pray to that ruler to take from our neighbor or the future labor of children to provide benefits.
That was the very thing we were to repent of which the Modern Christian will not do or does not understand they must do.
A survivalist promotes individual responsibilities but does not promote loving neighbor AS yourself. What we think we know that isn't true binds us from seeing the gospel. Christ was beating people up all the time because " As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
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