One of the things implied by Paul’s discussion of the pedagogue is that when spiritual maturity arrives in a person’s life, or in the lives of a group of people, it is time to leave elementary teachings behind and go on to deeper and more challenging teachings. Today, however, when we find that even longtime church members are Biblically illiterate, we find it necessary to revisit over and over the elementary teachings of the faith. Sometimes it seems the church at the end of the twentieth century is arrested in a state of spiritual infancy, and has become satisfied with being spoon-fed an infant’s formula, and satisfied with having guardians, rather than assuming the privileges but also the spiritual and social duties of Christian maturity. To such a church Paul’s word to the Galatians is directly relevant. He would be saying to us all, ‘Wake up, grow up, stand up on your own feet and follow the example of Christ.’
This maturity of which he speaks is not a matter of outgrowing a sense of one’s need for God. To the contrary, it is mature persons who know that they are created for relationship with God, and have put their rebellious period behind them, and can pray Abba Father as a liberating cry, not as a token of bondage. Paul believes that true freedom comes when the presence of God truly fills a person’s life, not when they have finally wrenched themselves free from the grasp of the Almighty. Pascal once said that there is a God-shaped vacuum in every human soul, which only God can fill. To the extent that a person seeks to fill that void with anything less than God, even if it be a good thing, such as family, or performing honorable tasks, to that extent they will not find final or complete satisfaction.
Witherington III, Ben. Grace in Galatia : A Commentary on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998.
In the United States, the biggest and longest-running scam of this sort is Social Security. Fulfilling all the promises that were made, as commitments in the law, would cost more money than Social Security has ever had.
This particular scam has kept going for generations by the fact that the first generation— a small generation— that paid into Social Security had its pensions paid by the money that the second and much bigger “baby boom” generation paid in.
What the first generation got back in benefits was far greater than what they themselves had paid in. It was something for nothing— apparently.
This is the way a Ponzi scheme works, with the first wave of “investors” getting paid with the money paid in by the second wave. But, like Social Security, a Ponzi scheme creates no wealth but only an illusion that cannot last. That is why Mr. Ponzi was sent to prison. But politicians get re-elected for doing the same thing.
As the baby boomers begin to retire, and there are now fewer working people per retired person to pay for Social Security pensions, this scam is likewise headed for a rude revelation of reality— and perhaps riots like those in Europe.” —Promises and Riots - Thomas Sowell