Over the weekend I got into a little exchange with somebody on Facebook over the radicalization that has afflicted a large part of the population, and what I believe to be the appropriate response of Christians to it.
This leftward lurch can be attributed to many things — there is no one single factor. But when you consider the fact that Bernie looks like a live option to a lot of people, particularly young people, and to the rest of the populace Bernie is such a scarecrow that someone like Donald J. Trump looks like the sane option, just like in the election prior, you can see we are up against it.
I said we cannot point to just one simple cause of all this — I attribute it to a ganglion of factors. One cause is slipshod government education, and not surprisingly, a slipshod government education that is socialist in structure. If putting health care in the hands of the government is inept and socialist, then why isn’t it inept and socialist to do that with education? Another reason is a high standard of living surrounded by people with a higher standard of living, and an entertainment industry run by people consumed with envy. Another is the rot of Cultural Marxism that has suffused higher education virtually everywhere. The end result of all this is a large swath of young people who believe they have a right to their moral indignation simply because other people have money and stuff that they don’t, and then they compensate for their greed by feeling guilty over every little change in the weather, which is somehow going to be fixed if other people pay more taxes. And the great bribe at the center of all this is sexual licentiousness which allows you to copulate with whatever you want to, along with the correlative right to execute any inconvenient by-products. You see, inconvenient by-products have these little mouths to feed, and socialism doesn’t know how to do that.
At any rate, in the course of that Facebook discussion, I said this:
The Prog Left is demanding that we adopt their social justice concerns. They demand that we abandon our traditional sexism, defining the BIble as sexist as they do so. To go along with them on the former, and not resist them on the latter, is to be either clueless or complicit. Dylan once said that you don’t need to be a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing, but Christians do need to be willing to say which way the wind is blowing.Me, somewhere on Facebook
I think this is plain enough, but the times are such that we need to take care to make it a good deal plainer.
Where We Are, Albeit Just for the Nonce
I write this way because I think it is important to stay current and relevant with the skateboarding youth of today. How do you do, fellow kids?!
Take your average job, the kind held by your average American. I am not talking about the unusual job, say that of being a shade tree mechanic in east Texas, or a protected job (for now) like being a heterosexual organist for a Missouri Synod Lutheran church. Instead I am talking about the kind of job with the kind of corporation that has an HR department. Got that? That kind of normal, mainstream, nothing-to-write-home-about job. You know, alphabet jobs like the ones at AT&T, GE, HP, GEICO, ABC, BP, 3M, and then all the other non-alphabet jobs that are comparable, over at companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and so on.
For those not paying attention, there is currently a full-court press on, where the secular progressive left is trying to deliver us a new set of laws out of the smoke of their Mount Sinai. They are setting out for us a new set of sins, like sexism and racism, framed for us by their stipulated definitions. According to those stipulated definitions, if you remain a faithful Christian, dedicated to God and His Word, then by definition you are guilty of sexism and racism ALL THE TIME. Shoot, if you are a nominal Southern Baptist who attends church three times a year, but are still married to your high school sweetheart, you are guilty of them ALL THE TIME. In addition, there are a number of positive virtues that their new Moses wants us to accept, filed under the broad heading of social justice.
Their new Moses is grim, just like the historic Moses was, but he has a malevolent sneer that unsettles me. I don’t like his name either, and I forget what it is exactly, but it rhymes with Chemosh, the abomination of Moab.
If you lived in a free country where there was not such a full court press going on, and if you were completely free to study the Bible and to say out loud whatever you believed it taught, there are of course senses in which sexism is sinful, according to the real law from the real Sinai, and there are senses in which racism is sin, according to the real law from the real Sinai, and there really is such a thing as social justice, again according to the law from the real Sinai.
But because real social justice is actually biblical justice, its implementation would includes measures that ensured that women who falsely accuse men of rape would, if found guilty in a fair trial, undergo the same penalty that the accused man would have undergone (Dt. 19:16-19). At which point all the people currently weeping over what they call the lack of social justice would begin chanting that they were “under grace, not under social justice.”
So it is unwise in the extreme to follow a false teacher just because he has figured out how to use some of the same good words that you like, and which you can agree with, if the lighting is right. It is unwise in the extreme to try to buddy up to compromizers and enemies and to distance yourself from your former friends. It doesn’t work. That is not the development of a third way, but is rather a slow-motion way of changing sides.
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
2 Cor. 11:4 (KJV)
These social justice Christians are bringing to us another Jesus. They are partaking of another spirit. They are proclaiming another gospel. And now, just like back then in the first century, a number of gullible Christians “bear with them.”
And this is what I mean by “clueless or complicit.” If they are being chumps, they are clueless. This is not a new thing. True Christians, on their way to Heaven and everything, are capable of giving the time of day to people who shouldn’t ever be given the time of day. This is a problem you can see in the pages of the New Testament, not to mention on the faculty roster of virtually every institution of Christian higher learning. But there are also shrewder professing Christians, not chumps, who know what game is being played, and they are fully willing to play it. They are not being deceived, but are rather have decided to team up with deceivers.
Now it should not be as easy as it is to stampede Christians this way, but unfortunately it still is. But as the Church grows up into her maturity, resistance to such tricks will in fact start to form. A day is coming when we will not be as easy to manipulate as now.
“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”
Eph. 4:13-14 (KJV)
And don’t think you haven’t compromised just because you haven’t surrendered all your former beliefs. The issue is what train you are getting on, not what books you might be reading on that train. You need to be able to read the big picture, which is not the same thing as being able to rationalize in your own mind what you have been doing. If I might modify an image that I think was used by a friend of Bonhoeffer, when remonstrating with one of the temporizers of his day — if you get on an eastbound train, you are not remaining faithful simply because you are still willing to walk westward up the aisle.
As It Happens
Now as it happens, I believe that normal people having to keep their heads down is not going to be a long term problem. Right now, everybody has to mind their Ps and Qs. Not to mention their Ls and Gs and Bs and Ts and Qs. Everybody has to walk softly. They have to conform themselves to the diktats and sensitivity memos of those rulers who are foolish enough to believe that if they ruin enough careers they can turn a boy into a girl.
I think that this frenzy — and it is a frenzy — is going to last another three to five years. People will allow themselves to be cowed for about that much longer, and then, as Dylan put it so pithily in another time, in a completely different situation, the levee’s gonna break.
And when things lurch back into a semblance of normal, the painful thing to watch will be those Christians who capitulated in the first wave of all this foolishness. Especially the ones who are still in their thirties and have to figure out how to make a living in an ordinary world, a world that is not one giant scam fest. These are the ones who, at the first brusque order from the priests of Humanity’s New Dawn, started rolling over with all four paws in the air, wanting a tummy rub. So to speak. But it turns out that the priests of Humanity’s New Dawn were themselves to be embroiled in controversy, when it later turned out that the entire senior management of the sexual revolution had been diligently practicing what they had all been preaching for decades, and were thus entirely consistent. What a bunch of hypocrites, practicing what they preach. The revolution outruns its own headlights. The revolution gets out over the front of its own skis. The revolution devours its own.
However it ends, it is going to end, and quite a number of the “let’s capitulate now” Christians will be standing there with that special heh smile, trying to figure out how to persuade us that they were secretly rooting for the standfast Christians all along.
Call to Action
A post like this wouldn’t be worth much without a call to action. If you are the kind of person who is distressed over the fact that the whole world seems to have gone mad, and that a significant sector of the Christian world appears to be supporting that move enthusiastically, or dithering fecklessly, and you want to know what you can do, here is a short list. Here is your call to action.
- Get in the Word. Read your Bible. Join the Bible Reading Challenge.
- Confess your sins. Get right with God. Learn how He would have you live in relationship with those closest to you. For more on that, come to Grace Agenda this year, which will be a short course on practical Christianity.
- If you are single, and you have any responsibility for that state, get married. As the CrossPolitic guys say, if you are single, get married, if you are married, have kids, and if you have kids, baptize them. The impending distress that caused Paul to counsel remaining unmarried was a very different impending distress than the one we face. His was the result of a long-standing pagan system cracking down with persecution on an upstart Christian faith. Ours is the result of a long-standing Christian system dealing with an upstart pagan resurgence, and we are having to deal with that upstart pagan resurgence because we have been neglecting sex, marriage, and bringing up children in the Lord. And speaking of that, get your kids out of the secular socialist school system.
- Stop sending your tithe money to any institution organization that looks like it might have the wobbles. And stay current on that — there were stalwart institutions just five years ago that no longer are.
- Start supporting entities that you know don’t have the wobbles.
- Relocate in terms of your basic allegiances. This might mean transferring your membership to another church, or it might mean moving to another part of the country. In the next episode, you will need to be around like-minded people. So seek out like-minded people, and make a point of worshiping God with them, week after week.