Delight in Other Tastes

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

Growing Dominion, Part 28

Part of cultural maturity is the art of learning to delight in the fact that other people delight in things that leave you cold. Of course, we must exclude from this anything that God flatly prohibits, but we must include everything else. If some brother in Christ is off doing his thing, and his thing includes activities that we find incomprehensible, part of our maturity should consist in delighting in that pleasure of his.

Putting on airs about what other people find pleasurable to eat, listen to, hang on their walls, etc. is contrary to the spirit of Christ. But does this include kitsch? Does it include pictures of Elvis on crushed velvet? Yes, after a fashion. We must not put on airs over such things, ever. But may we recognize cultural immaturity? Yes, but not in a way that becomes indignant over other people’s pleasures.

Cultural sin and rebellion can be located in two places. The first is in the artifact itself-say, the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, or other forms of pornography. The second is in motive, expressed in an action that Scripture nowhere prohibits. An example of this would be an adolescent dying his hair bright green. Nowhere does the Bible say not to, and so the problem, as obvious as it is, is located in the heart and not on the head. The problem is motive-rebellion, dishonoring parents, sullenness, about which the Bible says a great deal.

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