“And Pharaoh’s servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?” (Ex. 10:7).
Pharaoh lived so close to the Nile that he was actually in it.
The wreckage that had once been that generation’s superpower was all around him, and was plain to see, and yet he failed to see it. The destruction was easy to see in principle, but Pharaoh did not see it while his advisors did.
It is harder to see the effects of an internal destruction, but the processes that go into the denial of “not seeing” are similar. A similar kind of denial afflicts those who cannot see the raw fact of cultural rot, a rot that has attacked a fine-looking house—at least as seen from the street—but which is pervasive in every beam, every floor joist, every roof truss, and every supporting pillar. Of course a storm could bring it down (Matt. 7:24-27). But all it will actually take for this house to collapse is for the woman of the home to drop a jar of pickles in the kitchen.
Allow me to stop these introductory comments in order to explain to you the difference between a hypocrite, a despot, and a bad boy. A hypocrite lives in a society with fixed and defined standards, pretends to meet or exceed those standards, but privately, out of the public eye, violates those standards and does so deliberately. A man heading up a “restore your marriage” ministry is, if he is simultaneously cheating on his wife, a hypocrite. A man who professes allegiance to a defined standard that he routinely violates is a hypocrite.
A despot is someone who believes himself to have absolute power over a situation, and so he requires and/or exhibits radical inconsistency out in the open, doing so on purpose, not in order to reveal himself as a hypocrite, but rather to reveal the absolute helplessness of those he is taunting. The issue in this scenario is power. He wants the world to see that he has such power. He can require of his serfs absolutely anything. He has so much power that he can require the plebes to confess that he is the dear leader, that he has never contradicted himself, and that this year’s harvest was record-breaking. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Say it. Say it.
In our day, we have been privileged to see these clownish despots attempt to shoot the moon. A boy is a girl. Say it. Two dudes are now married. Say it. That girl in the womb is just a bit of tissue. Just say it.
Getting a whole nation, made up of millions of people, to confess that boys are actually girls (and, for the time being, only if they want to be) is almost as good as changing water into wine. Only our jitney messiahs don’t actually change any water into wine. They have the steward flogged for saying—two times he said it—that he thought it was “still water.” Some of the other servants disappeared mysteriously. And then a shout went up. “The water has become wine! Hail, science!”
Now to the third term. A bad boy is someone who points out any of the preceding realities. A bad boy is one who explains that such things don’t ever make any sense. They don’t make sense because sin never makes sense. Sin at the end of its sorry little dead end never makes any sense whatever. If it made sense, it wouldn’t be sin.
And a bad boy is what I aspire always to be. I covet your prayers in this endeavor.
What we are dealing with in our phase of cultural deterioration—let us call it the chimpanzee-poo-fling-phase—is a concerted effort on the part of our cultural leaders to exert absolute control over reality, over the dictionary, but most of all, over the people—what we are allowed to think, say, or do.
During this time, many if our Christian leaders persist in thinking that these unbelieving leaders are merely inconsistent, that they are merely being hypocrites. No, their inconsistencies are glaring, and they are glaring on purpose. The whole point is to be manifestly incoherent and to make us say that it is the opposite.
For our Christian leaders to make this mistake accounts for how much we lose. They think we are playing checkers when the “rules” actually fluctuate wildly between those of backgammon, chess, checkers, and rugby.
One last thing. In my post yesterday, I posited a hypothetical newsroom for all those who know exactly what kind of discourse would go on in the non-hypothetical ones. That was before some actual footage arrived, and which you can google up neatly if you wish. Just use CNN, the network in question, Kathy Griffin, she of the decapitated president fame, her New Year’s Eve hosting for the aforementioned network, her raunchy behavior during those appearances, Brooke Baldwin’s manifest lack of indignation over Griffin’s behavior as a female host, as indicated by things like her encouragement, and so on.
What does all of this mean? It means we are being worked. We are being played. We are being yanked around. What is the way out? Well, we should stop cooperating. Unfortunately, at least for those who went into ministry because they were such a good boy, this means becoming a bad boy.