Readers of a certain age and inclination will remember Get Smart the slapstick television comedy show starring Don Adams as a bumbling and hapless secret agent serving dutifully for “CONTROL” – a secret spy agency of the United States government.

Adams’ character was Maxwell Smart, and the agency’s nemesis was KAOS – an international organization of evil founded in Bucharest but registered in Delaware for tax purposes.

“Kaos” was a play on “Chaos” since disorder and confusion are the opposite of control.

The whole series, which was the brainchild of Mel Brooks, was a masterful spoof on the James Bond phenomena of the day. After all, the best humor always contains elements of truth (e.g. the Babylon Bee) and there was always just enough in Get Smart to make the inane plausible and hilarious.

The term “chaos” is back in the news again, but not because of Maxwell Smart or an international cabal by the same name.

Instead, it’s being mentioned in a political and cultural context with candidates suggesting chaos will follow certain candidates and elections.

The curious thing may be the prediction of any coming chaos as opposed to its current manifestation.

Chaos always rages and rears its ugly head when individuals attempt to either mock or ignore God Himself. When biblical principles are boldly and flagrantly ignored, confusion and mayhem always follow.

Banning organized prayer from public schools unleashed a callous streak of sacred indifference. The effect of its absence has been cumulative and catastrophic. Whether seen through violent outbursts, an increase in disrespect and bad manners, or an outright spirit of hopelessness among students, schools have never been the same since that fateful day in 1962.

When the Supreme Court ruled that babies could be legally slaughtered in all fifty states back in 1973, respect for all life plummeted. Over 60 million innocent children have been killed by abortion in the half-century since Roe. But the dehumanization of preborn life has also accelerated the disregard for others, including our seniors and even normalized physician-assisted suicide.

The five-vote majority in Obergefell v. Hodge didn’t just legalize same-sex marriage, it undermined the institution and threatened the religious freedom of countless Christian believers. Creative professionals like bakers, florists and photographers were suddenly forced to either abandon their deeply held religious convictions or begin using their creative gifts to celebrate the perverse.

Chaos follows when you refuse to secure a nation’s borders.

Economic turmoil may be complex – but its cause is also simple. The pandemonium always eventually comes when you spend more money than you have. It also comes when you unfairly tax workers and disincentives work.

Preaching at Westminster Abbey on March 20, 1925, the Anglican minister Frederick Lewis Donaldson identified what he called “the seven social sins.” Here they are:

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without character
  4. Commerce without morality
  5. Science without humanity
  6. Religion without sacrifice
  7. Politics without principle

Sound familiar? In short, all sin produces chaos.

The very best news, of course, is that God is the author of order. This is what the apostle Paul was alluding to when he wrote to Christians in Corinth, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Cor.14:33). The closer we stay to the Lord, the better the chance of a peaceful culture.

As believers, and as always, we need to work overtime to discern fact from fiction in these chaotic days.


Image from Get Smart.