Special Note Right Up Front:
A few of the references in this post do not employ circumlocutions or asterisks. The need of the hour is generational repentance, and repentance names the sin. The biblical word for confess is homologeo, which means to “speak the same thing.” It means that we do not get to sugar glaze our sins, asking God to “forgive them” by means of glancing at them obliquely.
We are not dealing with a scandal here or there, or even with a minor cluster of scandals. What this appears to be is a full-scale reckoning.
Consider Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Glenn Thrush, Kevin Spacey, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Clinton, Charlie Rose, Anthony Weiner, James Toback, Ben Affleck, Chris Savino, Roy Price, Mark Halperin, Michael Oreskes, and Lockhart Steele. The Office of Compliance on Capitol Hill has to date paid out $17 million dollars, much of it settling sexual harassment complaints.
Roy Moore flatly denies wrongdoing but is among the accused and, depending upon how the election and further investigations go, may possibly join the list above.
Whatever else you might say, this is not part of a normal news cycle. Something more significant is happening.
But it is necessary for us to insist upon this—a reckoning like this cannot be accommodated or managed by means of legislative reforms, or tougher standards handed down to the HR department. There is a generational complicity involved that can only be addressed with repentance. And by repentance, I mean the kind of thing that followed hard after preaching by John the Baptist.
“And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:5, ESV).
We live in a corrupt and evil generation, but the good news is that Scripture does describe true repentance as a gift that has at various times been given by God to cities, nations, generations, and times. The city of Nineveh repented (Matt. 12:41). The men of Judah and Benjamin repented (Ezra 10:9). The people repented under the leadership of Hezekiah (2 Chron. 29:36). Repentance is a message that must be preached to all the nations, including our own. We are not exempted from this duty by our distorted understanding of the First Amendment, and we are most certainly not exempted by our upright way of life. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
But if America can repent, as other wicked nations in history have done, someone must tell them of their obligation to do so. How will they hear without a preacher (Rom. 10:14)?
What We Did:
In a nutshell, we decided that God could in fact be mocked (Gal. 6:7), and that we could sow one crop and reap a different one. We could sow thistles and harvest barley; we could sow morning glory and harvest bumper crops of our much acclaimed amber waves of grain. We could sow the wind, and reap little pleasant zephyrs that would cool us off in the evening.
But now, right on schedule, just like the Scriptures teach, we are reaping the whirlwind (Hos. 8:7).
Bill Clinton was plausibly accused of multiple sexual offenses, up to and including forcible rape. Running interference for him, the media smothered that story—the account of Juanita Broadrick. Ken Starr was vilified for investigating a story that was “just about sex,” and the reckoning for that grand lie has now come due. The Democratic nominee in just this last presidential election was the Queen Bee of complicit enabling, attacking the victims of her husband’s predations as “bimbo eruptions,” and all in the name of feminism.
She did all this with official permission from the feminist establishment to behave in this way. All the creeps that have since been uncovered, from that day down to this one, were given a pass, provided their politics were in order. Others, whose politics were not in order, took up that permission anyway and ran off with it. When the morals are generally corrupted, it is hard to police the boundaries of your double standards.
Feminist writer Nina Burleigh said this, back in the day:
“I would be happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”
Leftist bloodlust, in other words, trumps a culture’s responsibility to treat women with respect. Gloria Steinem famously said that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. Well, men still can’t get pregnant, but abortion has become a sacrament anyhow.
Burleigh argued in effect that she would be willing to do evil, that evil might come of it. The religious right, more understandably, and therefore more hypocritically, decided to do evil that good might come of it. In reaction, a phalanx of evangelical leaders made a deal with Mephistopheles, agreeing to put up with a pussy-grabber, so long as he delivered on the kind of judges they wanted. I understand their temptation in a way that I do not understand Burleigh’s, but either way, when repentance comes, it will encompass us all.
And when I say it will encompass us all, I mean all. Of course, Al Franken needs to repent of his wicked and loutish behavior toward women. But Leeann Tweeden, his first accuser, was not simply “a model.” She was a woman who would take her clothes off for the camera, working for a one-handed magazine—one that catechized young men everywhere, teaching them how to behave like aspiring Al Frankens. And so she needs to repent of that. All who are guilty need to repent, and all who are complicit need to repent.
A special note for the reading-impaired: The previous paragraph does not mean that Tweeden “deserved” whatever Franken did. We as a people are now being confronted by the avenging angel of lust, and he appears to be dealing with a lot more than we counted on. In that picture up top, take away his sword and give him a gigantic weed-whacker. He is headed over to the cluster of weeds at your place of employment next. Anyone who thinks that we are anywhere near done with this is kidding himself. If the guilty flee when no man pursues (Prov. 28:1), what will they do now that the pursuit is joined? A lot of guilty men have to be sweating bullets right about now.
A Hypocritical Frenzy or Something More?
Feminists made the deal with the devil they did in order to protect abortion. And by this I mean that they thought that their faction on the Supreme Court was in great danger, and they would do anything to defend Roe. But listen. Here, in the midst of this sex abuse frenzy, we are possibly just weeks away from another battle over a Supreme Court nominee. What if Kennedy retires? If Trump appoints another Gorsuch, it could easily swing the balance of the Court. Have the feminists repented of their willingness to tolerate all manner of abuse in order to protect their right to continue to abuse their own offspring? I think the clear answer is not yet, although when God efficaciously grants repentance it will be a gift that cannot be refused.
And evangelical leaders made a deal with the devil to overthrow abortion. Repentance is necessary there as well. This is why statements like “the end does not justify the means” were first coined. So while I reject that strategy, and lament the fact that it was adopted, I nevertheless admire what I believe God is doing in and through all this. We have ourselves a presidential wrecking ball, and God is accomplishing His work.
“O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isaiah 10:5–6).
God is bringing us low, all of us. He laughs at the pride of man.
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).