Born to be Mild

Let me tell you a secret. I want to explain to you what it takes to be a bad boy in a relativistic age. A bad boy is one I define as a man who appears to disregard certain basic societal rules. Back when society had standards, the bad boy was the motorcycle gang leader who rode off with the small town minister’s daughter. But when a society has gone all decadent-soft, and it no longer has any standards or rules to speak of—in order to continue to function as a society at all—it has to treat the current flow of trendy-fogthot as though it were a rule. It isn’t actually, and really couldn’t be, but the indignation generated when you violate it is every bit as indignant as the reaction you would get from your maiden aunt, say, back in 1912, and you set your iced tea on the coffee table without a coaster.mild

In short, in these relativistic times, what it takes to be a bad boy is a willingness to say true things into some kind of a microphone, and to enunciate as you do so. You will almost immediately be shushed and shamed. If you refuse to be shushed, and laugh at the attempts to cool-shame you, your contumacious perfidy begins to grow into something like perfidious contumacy. Your tarnished reputation grows with it. Then you do it again. You are doing what is simply not done. But at the same time, the deep mystery of bad boy attraction sets in. Continuing with the metaphor, which is now rumbling like a well-tuned motorcycle, the minister’s daughter starts to make eyes at you.

And so this is how one can achieve maximum influence while simultaneously being industriously ignored. Don’t offer opinions. Don’t smudge up the place with your foggy nuance. Tell the truth. Give your testimony. Declare the oracles of God. The initial quiet will be misleading. Find a small rise somewhere near you, plant your standard there, set your feet about shoulder width, and pick up your claymore with both hands. Say something true because it is true. Better yet have your bagpiper pipe something true—Scots Wha Hae works—and you won’t be lonely very long.

“Seriously? Claymores? Bag pipes? Robert Burns? If you got any more ethnocentric, you’d be doing hard time in a Californian sensitivity camp.”

Like I said above . . . shushed and shamed. The vivid reality of the Incarnation means that particular words, particular tribes, and particular places are now able to carry universal meaning. The Incarnation also means that the diffuse and universal bromides of the philosophers are floating off downwind like an abstract kite with a snapped string. You can’t fight dualism unless both feet are on the ground, and if they are on the ground you will be able to locate that place on a map. That is why I am able to be writing the truth in Idaho. I am not typing away in a philosopher’s mist.

As Gandhi once put it—and no, I am not violating my own rule here because I really wish that Churchill had said it instead, but it is true anyhow: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

These social dynamics operate independently of the merit or worth of the insiders and outsiders. What Gandhi said above applies to Donald Trump as much as to anybody. The rebel is not good because he is a rebel, but the rebel is always a rebel because he is a rebel. By definition.

And the Establishment will always act like the Establishment, in those ways that Establishments have. Sometimes the Establishment is noble and the rebels are bad, and other times the Establishment is iniquitous and the challengers are righteous. So sometimes the team you are rooting for has the ball, and at other times they are playing defense. You don’t decide which team to support by asking who has the ball. But if you are in the game at all, you have to have a strategy for defense and a strategy for offense. Put another way, we need to get word to our evangelical leaders that it is not poor sportsmanship to gain possession of the ball. Neither is it poor form to run some plays.

So back to the top, and let me finish with a little Zen Presbyterianism. We live in an evil day, with a relativistic and deceitful ruling class. It is therefore the case that the only way to be a good boy is to be a bad boy. And the only way to have a good testimony is to have a poor one. Let’s get to work.

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adad0
Member

Matthew 5
‘Happy those persecuted for righteousness’ sake — because theirs is the reign of the heavens.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Presbies be a fightin’ brood, yo.

Maybe that time spent on the small rise would be more effective if we showed the way rather than harangued the garbage.
Doug — you’re never better than when you glory on the Glory.

insanitybytes22
Member

Amen, Harold. It sure seems as if the world is filled with those eager to take out the garbage, but very few willing to show anyone The Way.

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

But don’t people need to come face to face with their garbage before they give it up for the way?

insanitybytes22
Member

Yes, but keep in mind there are actual Christians speaking of human garbage and how God just leaves the refuse behind, and they never hear the message of grace. So, they get the message that they are sinners, they just never get the message that redemption and reconciliation are available.

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

In other words, I don’t think it is an either/or but a both/and situation. We show the relative garbage of the world by displaying the glory of the way, and vice versa.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Anybody want to make a quick buck? I hear that after an 8 year lull those “Question Authority!” bumper stickers are suddenly selling again.

somethingclever
Guest
somethingclever

If you stand on one position long enough, lots of people will call you a traitor.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

A corollary.

ProTip: If you’re unsure which party is in power, just check out the bumper stickers around your nearest urban metro.

“Question Authority!” –> Republicans are in power

“Submit to Authority!” –> Democrats are in power

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

“Find a small rise somewhere near you, plant your standard there, set your feet about shoulder width, and pick up your claymore with both hands.”
I was certain this was going to be followed by an encouragement to turn your back on the enemy, bend over, and lift your kilt.

adad0
Member

Um,…let’s skirt this issue.
????

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Classic Dad joke. (@) (@)

Jane
Member

You know why it’s called a kilt? That’s what they did to everyone who called it a skirt.

adad0
Member

None the less, I do have the gams, for wearing a kilt! ; – )

Michael Delahunt
Guest
Michael Delahunt

“The Haughs O’ Cromdale” works in stead of “Scots Wha Hae”

insanitybytes22
Member

Hmm, well now, since I married the biggest, baddest boy I could find, I’m hardly in a position to complain. I can certainly also extend some grace and mercy to the shock jocks who seek attention, those who blow hot air and bluster to make a point.

Just the same, our bad boys must have integrity, honor, grace, be rooted in Christian values, because without that they are just rebels without a clue. There are many who consider themselves persecuted for Christ’s sake, when in truth they are actually persecuted simply because they are a genuine horse’s behind.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

…or, as my saintly grandmother might have said, “The south end of a north-bound horse.”

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

Or, as our grandmothers said in the South, the north end of a south-bound horse.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

LOL! No offense was intended to any geographic region of any country.

Nathan Smith
Member

I happened to notice Braveheart was on BBC last night. I wonder if I’m the only one…

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

“No man who cares about originality will ever be original. It’s the man who’s only thinking about doing a good job or telling the truth who becomes really original — and doesn’t notice it.”

Citation left as an exercise for the reader

Jon Swerens
Member

If it’s not Chesterton, it should be.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Close!

adad0
Member

Randman?
Ryan Sather?

????

bethyada
Member

Sounds like Lewis

D. D. Douglas
Guest
D. D. Douglas

Well if it’s not GKC and it’s close, I’ll put even money on Lewis. I might lose this time, but in the long run I’ll be ahead.

Dan Jones
Member

It’s C.S. Lewis.
If you highlight a quote, right click, and select “Search with Google” it’ll pull up an answer without any real exercise at all.

bethyada
Member

In short, in these relativistic times, what it takes to be a bad boy is a willingness to say true things into some kind of a microphone, and to enunciate as you do so.

Well at anytime, saying and doing outrageous things makes one a bad boy. It is just that truth telling in our era is outrageous.

Orwell,

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

David Trounce
Guest

I really enjoyed reading this. It tempts me to preach the Gospel.

Ginny Yeager
Guest
Ginny Yeager

Amen. The smoke from the witch’s philosophire makes our tongues loll and our eyes roll. Nothing like the burnt marshwiggle smell of embarrassingly plain and—horrors–biblical speech to make the cool-mongers scatter and the truth-seekers curious.

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

It’s also acceptable to run up the score.

Lars B
Guest
Lars B

“You are doing what is simply not done. But at the same time, the deep mystery of bad boy attraction sets in. Continuing with the metaphor, which is now rumbling like a well-tuned motorcycle, the minister’s daughter starts to make eyes at you.”

This is why I read you. Right here. ^

don sands
Guest
don sands

Jesus said, “I came to bear witness to the truth.” He brought a sword for sure. Not cultural peace, but peace for sinful wandering hearts, in this age, and perfect peace in the next.