A little while ago, a few weeks back, we had a discussion here in this space about my insistence on using um, flamboyant and non-PC language when discussing the homosex phenom. We had a good time in that discussion, but we weren’t done yet.
Let me appear to change the subject for a minute. In The Art of War, Sun Tzu says something profound, something that very few conservative culture warriors, God bless them all, get. He argues that the wise general first attacks the enemy’s plans, then secondly, his alliances, and then third, his army or his forces. Get that? You don’t attack the enemy in the first instance; you attack what he is doing. You attack his plans first.
The push for homosexual marriage is very recent, and it is still ongoing. That particular battle is still in process, and no, we haven’t actually lost it yet. But we did lose some earlier battles, which is why the challenges are so great now. Conservatives tend to think that “the plan” is to corrupt our laws as a way of corrupting our youth, and so on. But that is a later phase of the strategy. The plan, as Orwell could have told us, was to corrupt the language first. The goal was to do this by establishing themselves as the sole arbiters of what constitutes “hate,” what puts the phobic into homophobia, what forms of discourse are automatically out of civilized bounds, what qualifies as hate speech, and so on. They put on the robe, walked up behind the bench, and have been issuing decrees ever since.
Unless we draw the line sometime, there will soon be laws against putting those foamy hand soap dispensers in homeless shelters, on grounds of hobofoamia. We are up against it, people.
For some strange reason, mainstream conservatives have tried to fight these characters on the explicit issues of law, but have not challenged them in this central corruption, the corruption that gives them the power to pursue all the rest of it. To be sure, conservatives have complained about the weird standards as they have been applied (“How is it ‘hate speech’ to simply say that I believe Prop 8 should have been enforced in California?), but complaining to the ref does one thing that we should never want to do in this instance, which is acknowledge that these guys have any right to act as refs. As soon as we grant that fundamental usurpation, surprise, surprise, we will have plenty more weird calls to complain about.
What we must needs do is this, confreres? What is their plan? They want to be the discourse cops. Instead of making them discourse cops, and then spending our time pointing what a bad job they are doing at it, why not gleefully embrace the duty and high responsibility of tweaking them every lawful chance we get? We tweak them by doing whatever it was they just prohibited. This is quite different from objecting to them applying their bogus standards all the times when we didn’t do anything.
Now I say “lawful chance” because, while they are not the discourse cops, there is such a thing. The Holy Spirit wants us to keep our speech gracious, seasoned with salt. Jesus tells us that we shall give an account for every idle word we utter. We should shun corrupt speech, and steer completely clear of the shrill malice of the Westboro Baptists. But we only do this because Jesus requires it. We frankly don’t care what the harridan in charge of Speech Codes at Behemoth State Cow College thinks of it. Do we? We care for her good opinion about as much as we care for the good opinion of the Westboro Baptists.
So what is their plan? They have assumed the center by seeking to regulate what we may and may not say. Before all marriage law battles, before every legislative clash, before any of that. And I have sought to assume a different center — the center of a conservative resistance to their central hubris, a hubris that was in evidence decades ago, and which they are taking full advantage of now. I promised at the top that I would be writing about my refusal to live in Pinkletown. Someone might point out that in fact I am doing so, so what about that? I should rather say that I refuse to live in Pinkletown while calling it by its approved name, which is something like DignityandAffordableHousingforAllville. And by refusing to acquiesce in this aboriginal corruption, this perversion of words, I am making it possible for my great-grandkids to live somewhere besides this linguistic shantytown.
The reason conservatives are dismayed today by how the ground appears to be shifting beneath their feet is that they do not recognize how complicit they have been in this whole process. Let me make up an example, and I will leave it to you to decide how true to life it might be. A junior research assistant for the DC office of FamiliesRUs is talking to some reporters the day after the Supreme Court debacle and in response to a question, off the record, he said he “really had to hand it to the homos. They were dedicated to their mistaken cause, far more dedicated than many of our people are,” etc. Despite being off the record, a tape of the exchange was leaked, and the uproar was lurid and overdone. Of course, FRU started apologizing like crazy, fired the assistant on the second day of the controversy, and then started apologizing for not having fired him on the first day. And when I say “apologizing,” I mean apologizing like Paula Deen would have for having said kaka in kindergarten. At least, that’s what it sounded like. Press releases, video tape, a second video tape, a press conference, and then pressuring a conservative publishing house — that was going to publish this hapless young man’s book in the fall — to spike it.
Impossible, you think? Conservatives! The opposition of the today’ radical proposals, enforcers of yesterday’s.
“The Art of War” doesn’t show up in my edition of the Bible. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 As long as we think of it as a war against enemies and use the world’s means of attacking enemies, then we are going to lose by default. We don’t want the people we are engaging to lose, we know that Satan will lose, and we want the people we are engaging… Read more »
Jonathan, I think you are right to say that the Art of War is not our handbook (that is the Bible), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Art of War does not contain wisdom. Instead of reacting to the mere fact that Pastor Wilson references the Art of War, I’d be more interested in hearing whether you agree or disagree with the way in which he APPLIES it. I think it is very Biblical to refuse to accept the enemy’s language (which is Pr. Wilson’s application of tAoW). Jesus did, a number of times, refuse to accept the language… Read more »
I support even Westboro Baptist’s right to say whatever they want and to spread their version of the Bad News close to funerals near you. Are they hateful? By my book, sure, but so what? You can’t legislate that people speak only kind words, nor should we try. I’m no fascist. At the same time, I don’t see how the Christian Right is “kind” when they quote Leviticus’s mandate for the bloodshed of “queers” with a twinkle in their eye, knowing full well that the same covenant mandated death for working on the Sabbath (amongst many other trifles that they… Read more »
The biblical term for homosexual is sodomite. It is much easier to repent of sodomy than to repent of homosexuality. One label accepts responsibility the other does not. We cannot let unbelievers define “seasoned with salt” for us because invariably their definitions will prohibit us from using biblical language. Biblical language demands repentance.
James, For one, there are many attributes to God, and being ‘just’ is one of them. the Leviticus quote is what is ‘just’ for that behavior in the eyes of God. It may not seem ‘kind’ in the sense we want to give it, but it is ‘just’. As for the ‘twinkle in their eye’… well that’s a whole other problem with people using the bible as a means to support their hate, not using the bible as an authority to guide their actions… Wilson is speaking to the latter. And for the ‘lake of fire’… that’s simply what life… Read more »
There’s a term out there that I believe fits Jonathan’s little maneuver there: I believe the kids call it the “Jesus Juke”.
It’s rather ironic that Pastor Wilson is attacked using the same tactic that he just encouraged because he encouraged that particular tactic.
Pastor Wilson encourages attacking the plans of the enemy; Jonathan (I’m not saying that he is the enemy) then counters with attacking Wilson by attacking his plans….
James Bradshaw, would you enlighten us on your judgement of doctors who shove scissors through babies’ skulls and suck their brains out and the people who support and protect their work? You must really hate abortion since since violence is so outrageous to you.
Brilliant comment, Wesley, and spot on. Jonathan’s maneuver might work on some, but it was hilariously transparent to me.
Mr. Bradshaw, The “coherent definition” that you seek is the whole Word of God. He is the Author, and therefore is controlling with full authority over all of the terms, including “kind and benevolent”. The fact that humans do not enjoy His definitions does not invalidate them. God underscores the vast gap between man’s ability to comprehend and His Own majesty in the Book of Job. In another place God says “You thought that I was altogether like you”; the reality is that the difference is so great that it is incomprehensible and without His Word and the definitions thereof… Read more »
And another attribute of that tactic is “cherry picking” only the attributes that fit the idolized philosophy. The whole counsel of God destructive to that tactic so it is not used.
Context is a baloney sandwich, which requires bread, baloney and bread. Without the bread, its just baloney.
Thanks. I hadn’t heard the term “Jesus Juke” before, but it definitely captures a particular art of war that occurs often enough among Christians that it needed a name for it. The reason that the tactic is effective (or at least annoying) is because it uses the old standby of guilt. The juker doesn’t attempt to remove the log (which usually isn’t even a log), but to allege or imply the log. It’s a means of putting the opposition on the defensive. It’s nearly the same thing as the political correctness guilt tactic, except it’s the religious equivalent rather than… Read more »
Jonathan is not wrong to point out the need for love and compassion, but he is wrong to assert that it is missing here. He hasn’t made a convincing case, but has willfully distorted Doug’s labor. That in itself tells us more about Jonathan’s motives. It’s a simple matter to clarify the record and we should be happy to defend a brother from a false charge. Regarding Sun Tzu, his name doesn’t show up in the Bible, but the true art of warfare does: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for… Read more »
katecho, Thank you sir for your consistent erudition. ” If we are not guilty, or if we have been forgiven, then we must act like we are a forgiven people. When Jesus’ blood has washed us clean, we may need to repent of the new sin of not acting like a forgiven people.” Indeed, God declared Abraham righteous, and more to the point, also his nephew Lot. I think that modern American Christians pall at that description (of Lot, and consequently all of those “of the faith of Abraham”)) not because of our (personal) faith, but because of little faith.… Read more »
Hey katecho, I appreciate your comments, though I do have one small concern. False guilt is a Freudian concept that I think we should reject. All guilt is real and the result of an offended conscience. Our consciences can be misinformed so that we feel guilt for things that are not sinful, i.e. speaking against homosexuality. However, this does make the guilt false, it simply indicates that the conscience is misinformed and needs to be educated with Scripture. In short, if a person feels so guilty about his own list that he feels unable to speak against homosexuality that is… Read more »
Kirsten asks: ” You must really hate abortion since … violence is so outrageous to you.”
I’m not a supporter of abortion and think there needs to be greater legal restrictions, yes. If a bill was proposed to ban abortion after a detectable heart beat, I’d vote for it.
*his own lust
real nice to hear that. my conscience limits me before that, but i have yet to see why this heartbeat = life reality is so easily ignored by those fighting for the right to abort. it feels like an obvious place to draw a line from a completely secular perspective
James Bradshaw: I’m glad you would vote against abortion, and apparently you would also vote against stoning and Hell. But forgive me for not feeling safe and reassured by this, because I don’t trust my fellow men to be righteous and perfect judges and law-givers. God alone is perfect and just and I’m going to trust His judgments. He KNOWS more than you and me. You and I have opinions, but He KNOWS. That’s why people like me can affirm that the Bible is God’s Word and not balk at any part of it. He is holy and righteous and… Read more »
Instagram users should repent of homosepia.
Tim M. wrote: “In short, if a person feels so guilty about his own lust that he feels unable to speak against homosexuality that is a good thing and the result of a conscience that is rightly condemning him of his hypocrisy. The solution is to turn from the lust so that you can help the sodomite turn from his, or keep your mouth shut.” Thanks, Tim. I would certainly agree that there is a kind of person who feels guilty because he really has unconfessed sin, or recurring lusts, etc. It is a very natural response to be ashamed… Read more »
Jonathan seems to have left out Matthew 16:18:
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (ESV)
Christ said to engage them by loving them, true enough. That same Christ said the church was an offensive weapon that would batter the gates of hell.
“Projected guilt” seems to be a faithless response to slander?
What do you think?
Scripture is repleat with sarcasism, pointed-words, and word play. Prophets in the bible did not mince words or speak gently.
Reading in 1 Kings this weekend to the kids and noticed this little gem: “And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” In today’s day and age, Elijah would be strung up by the PC police for intolerance and hate speach.
Well spoken, Elijah!
My favorite OT prophet moment is Elisha in 2 Kings: 23 Then he [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number. 25 He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to… Read more »
James, Leviticus also contains that trifle of “love your neighbor as yourself.” If the “shellfish (or Sabbath-breaking) argument” applies, then it applies.
Of course, it doesn’t apply. Acts, Galatians, Hebrews make this clear.
Matt – Matthew 16:18 is a fantastically appropriate passage! I certainly agree that we should be a battering ram on the gates of Hell. The mistake would be believing that the gates of Hell are men, and not principalities and powers. It seems obvious to me that the principalities and powers are the ones we are the offensive weapon against, and our fellow sinners are the ones trapped inside. Thus, being offensive against our fellow sinners would certainly be uncalled for. Katecho – 2 Corinthians 10 is also relevant. We do NOT wage war as the world does. We do… Read more »
I’m amused (somewhat sad, but in this context mostly amused) that some consider a call to act in the manner that Jesus calls us to act a “Jesus Juke”. That’s certainly not the manner I’ve ever heard that term used before (a quick look at stuffchristianslike and urbandictionary shows that’s not the manner they define it either). But name-calling is certainly convenient, because it allows one to dismiss an argument without actually engaging it. I think we should always act as Jesus asks us to act. I think that this conversation is an incredibly relevant place to address that. If… Read more »
Johnny – do you think that it was ever morally wrong to eat shellfish? When Jesus says “it is not what comes from outside a man that makes one unclean”, he seems to be stating a general principle that is always true, not something new or even related to his death and resurrection at all, right? I think the main reason people try so hard to apply parts of Leviticus 19-20 directly to Christians today is because they couldn’t find anything to apply in Leviticus 1 through Leviticus 18. The idea that you’d read through 18 chapters of material clearly… Read more »
This might be only the beginning, but at the end it will be an army of Richard Wurmbrands against the queens of Stonewall. The gays will never be willing to die for their cause (this is why Communism was an actual threat). This issue will be done and dusted before we know it, historically speaking. Wam, bam.
And speaking of the culture of death and their rebellion against God, in Texas where the Legislature is trying to pass a law forbidding abortion past the 20th week, yesterday the pro-death group chanted “Hail Satan” and declared hopes that the legislator’s wives and daughters would be raped.
It appears that the location is just across the street from Lot’s house.
Jonathan, yes, it was morally wrong to eat shellfish prior to Christ’s coming. The shellfish didn’t defile but the disobedient heart did.
Subsequent revelation makes clear which laws still apply in the same way as before. Jesus affirms the continuity of love for neighbor and for sexual purity.
Ah, there goes Jonathan attacking my plans and schemes through definitions…. touche, Jonathan… quite the tactician you are….
Not only has he learned from Pastor Wilson, but he’s actually put the principle into practice–behold, a Wilsonite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!
I’m not a commentor here, but when the Jesus Juke makes it’s way into the conversation, I feel compelled to defend my generation’s machinisms. Jonathan, you did in fact pull one. It was wonderful, and glorious, and fantastically clear. To open with, “Well, MY Bible doesn’t have that.”; just, well done sir. In Titus 1:12, Paul, quotes an unbeliever. He’s using wisdom and truth of the world to attach to the even greater truth of God. He even says, “This testimony is true.” Same as in Acts 17, as he uses the inscription of the Unknown God to attach to… Read more »
A very good article on the importance of language was put up over at The Imaginative Conservative: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/language-conservation-conservation-of-culture/.
“Words, Guardini understood, become nothing but tools of power for the lustful and the ideological.”
Jonathan wrote: “I certainly agree that we should be a battering ram on the gates of Hell. The mistake would be believing that the gates of Hell are men, and not principalities and powers. It seems obvious to me that the principalities and powers are the ones we are the offensive weapon against, and our fellow sinners are the ones trapped inside. Thus, being offensive against our fellow sinners would certainly be uncalled for. Jonathan has promoted this same distortion in an earlier thread, but I think my reply on that thread fits here as well, so I’ll re-post it.… Read more »
Kingdom warfare is not animal violence, but it is resistance. As occasions arise, it involves worship, defiance, and honor of God rather than men. It involves reclaiming language, holy days, culture, and art. It involves humiliating the proud, and defending the weak. It involves standing up for the honor of a friend, and self-sacrifice. It involves a soft word, and a sharp rebuke. It involves salt. It involves distinguishing between civilians and enemy combatants.
A weird part of the people who say that I’m trying to use Pastor Wilson’s tactic (attacking the plans of the enemy) are missing two huge points. 1) Pastor Wilson is not the enemy. 2) I don’t have an issue with Pastor Wilson’s goal in this issue (I’m not a supporter of homosexual sex). The thing that I ACTUALLY have an issue with is Pastor Wilson’s tactics. My reply is not about homosexuality, it’s about using the tactics of natural to attack people we portray as “the other” instead of using the means Jesus did to help lost sinners find… Read more »
Jonathan may not name Wilson as an enemy, but there is such a thing as “friendly fire” or “collateral damage”. When we see Jonathan set his sights on Wilson to resist, rebuke and mischaracterize him, and when we also see Jonathan distort Scripture on the nature of kingdom warfare, it is important to set the record straight. Jonathan may not be able to admit of a kingdom warfare that involves people on the other side. He may not be able to admit of any conditions (except perhaps religious leaders) where sinners should be treated as enemy combatants to be resisted,… Read more »
I have never, ever made any argument for passivity, in my actions or my words. I think that passivity is a church-killer. One thing that Pastor Wilson and I strongly agree with (one of the most important things), is that we believe that God’s will and the truth of Christ should affect every little corner of our lives, our actions, and our relationships. I also have never wanted to mischaracterize Pastor Wilson. That would be completely defeating and useless, because if I think Pastor Wilson is doing something right, then I would want him to keep doing it, and if… Read more »
Why are you against homosexuality? You do realize, don’t you, that homosexuality isn’t a choice and it can’t be changed, which means that being against homosexuality is like being against a person’s skin color or ethnicity, which are both also unchangeable and innate. I’m sure you think it would be hateful to be racist or xenophobic, so why do you think it’s somehow not hateful to be against homosexuality? (Oh, and I myself am bisexual, so I can tell you for a fact that I did not choose to be this way. Ask any other LGBT person and they’ll tell… Read more »
This article in the July issue of Tabletalk magazine by RC Sproul is helpful:
“That’s what I mean by the judgment of charity. We don’t impugn people’s motives and don’t assume the worst of them when we disagree with them. We make a distinction between best-case and worst-case analysis. The problem we all have as sinners on this side of glory is that we tend to reserve best-case analysis to our own motives and give worst-case analysis to our brother’s and sister’s motives. That’s just the opposite of the spirit we’re called to have in terms of biblical humility.”
or, like the poor little president of Toyota before congress…
To actually answer Hannah’s extremely prudent question, “arsenokoitai” and “malakoi” are best translated as “sodomites” and “men who behave in the manner of a woman,” respectively. So, at best, you’re passages are are giving us a lovely bit of justification for misogyny. Additionally, nearly every biblical reference to homosexuality refers specifically to male homosexuality. I guess there’s no problem with lesbians, then. This is an important issue, as you all claim. If therefore demands that we treat it with the gravity it deserves and think independently. Otherwise, an unnecessary genocide will once again occur in the name of “God.” I… Read more »