Trying to talk sense to our ruling elites in these our frantic times is like Pentheus thinking he could stop the Bacchae on their rampaging and murderous toot by standing up in front of them, holding up both his hands, and saying, “Guys, guys . . .”
Satire is not exactly dead, but it might have to wait for a saner age to get its groove back. And who doesn’t want satire to get its groove back? If a satiric writer with a gleam in his eye comes up with an especially nice bit of box fruit, he will no doubt the very next day read about that very thing, somberly put forth in a press release by the governor of California, put out with enough lead time so that the formal announcement might double as a photo op. They are proud of their monkeyshines.
The other day I saw a liberal bumper sticker—you know the kind, very arch and very prim—that reminded us all that “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” To which the answer springs immediately to mind, we did try ignorance and now it wants a raise.
Think about this for just a minute. We have spent millions of dollars on geography lessons over the course of the last generation and now not a teen in America knows where the Mississippi River is—except for those who live on its banks, and even they are not quite sure. Except that I didn’t mean geography, although that is probably involved also. I actually meant sex ed. We have spent millions on sex education and to what result? The whole country has now officially descended into the maelstrom condition of not knowing the difference between boys and girls, and not a few young people are lining up at AMA-approved hospitals to have their genitalia mutilated for ready money. In the old days, professionally-trained doctors would fix you for money. Now they fix you for money.
Now this is an intellectual problem in that it does manifest in the intellect. But it does not start there. This is not a question of IQ, or intellectual horse power. The Bible teaches that sin can (and does) blind the smartest of men. If the heart is dark, then that darkness grows and spreads. If the heart is filled with lust, then that is a gangrene that knows how to grow, especially when it has that kind of rotting flesh to grow in. And as it grows, it creeps upward, toward the head.
This is why it doesn’t work for a secular conservative to say, “That doesn’t make any sense. You need to learn logic.” The need of the hour is to say, “That doesn’t make any sense. You need to repent.” And repentance means turning away from the sin in order to turn to Jesus.
In order to conduct the headlong flight away from God, one must pursue his own lusts. He goes off in that direction. When he turns back to God, this is what conversion is. The Latin word convertere means (among other things) to turn around. Now it is not possible to turn away from sin without turning toward God in that same simultaneous motion. The turning away is repentance and the motion of turning toward is faith or trust. If I am facing south and turn around, was that motion turning away from the south or was it turning toward the north? Well, obviously it is both.
Simply put, America needs to be turned. “Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; Renew our days as of old” (Lam. 5:21). And it is not possible for us to turn away from what we are pursuing—our demented lusts—without simultaneously turning back to the one we are fleeing. And by that I mean the Lord of these United States, Jesus of Nazareth.
The Bible does teach that there is the kind of ignorance that is the simple function of not knowing.
“And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their ignorance” (Num. 15:25).
But there is another kind of ignorance, the kind that has us by the throat. It is not the result of never having been told. It is rather the result of suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. It is the result of being blinded in the understanding through the agency of our beckoning and blistering lusts.
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph. 4:18–19).
We give ourselves over to darkness because there are things we want to do, and we would rather not see.
“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance” (1 Pet. 1:14).
Lusts and ignorance go together as a matched set. And of course the classic passage on this is found in Romans 1.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (Rom. 1:21–24).
Notice the progression. A lust for autonomy, a moral choice to suppress the truth about God (refusal to honor the sovereignty of God and refusal to be grateful to Him) results in vain imagination and darkened hearts. That leads to idolatry, which results in God giving them over to the lusts of their own hearts. Lust and darkness of heart are entwined together, like two tumors that grew together and fused, and then they steadily get worse.
Once this process has set in, there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it outside the gospel. There is no political solution. There is no cultural solution. There is no artistic solution. There is no solution outside of Christ crucified and risen. And it is more than manifest that this particular kind of rot has set in—it is pervasive throughout our entire culture.
And this means the secular experiment is necessarily over. If secular America does not die, then America will die. If we do not drop the secular pretense with loathing then it is inevitable that God will drop us. With loathing.