So I am going to be writing about our discredited ruling class, and the rest of us who enable them, but I want to begin with a parable. The subject matter of the parable is not exactly crammed with human interest, but the application of the parable is guaranteed to keep your interest RIVETED for the next ten years or so. That is why you should make sure to read through the third section at the very least.
A certain young man, a true wastrel, was enrolled in an elite private high school. His father, a wealthy banker, was on the board of the school, and his mother was a much beloved teacher there. But, what with one thing and another, the kid was lazy when he wasn’t being a hellion, and a hellion when he wasn’t being lazy. As it also happened, he was also fairly clever, which meant that he got away with murder for some years. But in the spring of his junior year, he got careless one week and was caught violating about five different major policies in one great, big bundle of iniquity. He was caught, red-handed, in drunkenness. plagiarism, fornication, assault, and vandalism. He was caught, and caught sure enough, dead to rights.
Now in any normal situation, if he had been any other student, he would have been promptly expelled. But because of the influential position of his father, and the fact that his mother was so highly thought of, the board had a special marathon board meeting over the entire saga, at the end of which meeting he was suspended for three days, and placed on probation. He was sternly informed by the superintendent that the school was going to have “zero tolerance” for any kind of misbehavior from him at all, and if there was one more misstep, even the teeniest, he was going to be one gone cat.
Now here is wisdom. The dithering involved in all this did not mean that this student wouldn’t be expelled. That was plainly just a matter of time. It simply meant that when he was finally expelled, it would not be for the clear-cut high crimes against the moral order that he had committed, but rather for leaving his shoes deliberately untied, a manifest uniform violation. The last straw, but a small one.
And then the school would be upbraided for having lost all sense of proportion. You expelled a student over that?
Now here is a little bit more wisdom, in case you wanted a little more. If you were foolish enough not to expel the guy for the smelled-like-brimstone violations, and rather chose the opportunity to kick him out later over some little bagatelle, then, by gum, you had better remember what you are about, and the entire history of this thing. You absolutely need to expel him over that untucked shirt, or whatever it was, and you need to do it with vim, gusto, and enthusiasm.
And so how does all this apply to our omni-shambolic generation?
Loss of Credibility Accumulates
We are not taking an exam of one hundred math problems, with each one graded independently from the others. The problems we are facing now are entangled with the ones that went before, and the ones that went before were entangled in the ones before that.
In other words, this particular snarl we have going on right now had a whole series of prerequisites that went into the making of it. It is all part of the same story. This is another way of saying that the student you didn’t expel for the big ticket items and the student you did expel for the trifle are the same student. The ruling class that is lying to us about COVID and Black Lives Matter rallies is the same ruling class that lied to us about the unborn and human sexuality. They are liars. This is what they do. The people running the show now are the same set that were running the show twenty years ago, and forty, and sixty years ago. We got here for a reason. We got here because of who was driving the bus.
“Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?”
Psalm 94:20 (KJV)
All our corridors of power are enameled with iniquitous grease, and that is why it is so slippery in there.
In other words, we are not talking about a righteous nation somewhere that somehow got spooked by a virus, and the very first unreasonable thing they told everybody to do was “put on a mask.” No, they have been delivering boxes full of their rancid fruit for a long time now, and this is just the most recent cherry. I grant that refusing to eat this last rotten cherry is an odd place to draw the line, given all the squashy and covered-with-mold fruit we have swallowed up to this point, but the history does still matter. Better late than never.
The Parable Explained
The American people are the board of the school, deciding whether to expel the student, our ruling class, over the relatively “minor” offense of making everybody wear masks for no good reason. Yeah, that’s outrageous, but it is outrageous the same way it was outrageous for our student to show up at chapel his first day back from suspension with his shirt untucked. The insolence involved is what gives it greater import, and the prior history matters.
But That Student Is Not the Only Sinner Involved in This
Now in this little parable it is obvious that the student has got a sin problem. But learning wisdom in repentance requires us to see and own the sin that the school board has been committing. Let me explain that, because it is where the action is. That is where the duty of our repentance lies.
The school board thought they could keep such a student enrolled, and at the same time keep the school they had built, the way they had built it. But they were just kidding themselves.
“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NKJV)
Love defends what it loves. A love that does not protect the beloved is not love at all. And wishing that an unpleasant situation had not arisen, or even wishing that fervently, is not the same thing as love. If a man is walking downtown with his wife, and they are accosted by some ruffians who mess up her hair, and rifle through her purse, and molest her person, it demonstrates no virtue whatever if her husband just stands there, silently disapproving of every last thing that they do. If he does not protect her, he does not love her. Period.
A teacher with an unruly class might go home and lament to his wife the fact that the kids don’t love “math” or “literature” the way he does. “Why don’t they love what I love?” he might ask. And the answer is that he doesn’t love it any more than they do. If he loved his subject, he would be jealous to protect the teaching of it. Love without discipline isn’t love. He is the husband standing on the sidewalk watching.
And this is how a lot of Americans think they are aghast at what is going on, as they see a bunch of violent punks tearing down statues, looting stores, breaking windows, and assaulting the cops. They wonder why these kids don’t love America. Because you don’t either.
And this is because of the same folly committed by our hypothetical school board earlier, when they thought they could keep the disruptive student and yet somehow not have the disruption. Stop kidding yourself. Stop telling yourself all such outrageous lies.
If you were among those Americans who thought that we could start slaughtering babies by the million in 1973, and somehow keep the same America we had before that fatal moment, then you are delusional. If you thought that we could assimilate something like Obergefell, and manage to keep the old America going, still basically intact, you are hallucinating. Look at these crowds. Actually listen to what they are demanding. Look at all the authorities–municipal, state, and national–who do not intend to defend anything that is under attack. Take a long hard look at how the Democrats are capitulating to whatever is going to be demanded next, and fix it in your bean that you get to keep nothing.
Got it? Still with me? You get to keep nothing. All of it is going to be swept away.
And this is why we cannot simply rewind to ten years ago. A drunk is not going to sober up by dialing his drinking levels back to what they were when he still had his job. He has to lay off entirely. He has to turn away from the entire mess. Another phrase for this is true repentance.
You thought, if you were a moderate squish in the evangelical Reformedish crowd, that you could afford to give up a little old Robert E. Lee statue. “People, people! It is merely for the sake of racial harmony. You need to love your black brother. You are not against racial harmony, are you?” And once again, my beloved chump, you are the husband on the sidewalk who thinks that if he lets them cop just one more feel, then maybe they will leave his wife alone, and he can resume his romantic little anniversary date with her.
Some people apparently don’t know how mobs work. In the current climate, you don’t understand anything if you support taking down any statues, if you think Mississippi was right to change her flag, if you believe Columbus, Ohio should change its name, and if you think that white supremacy in the engineering departments of our universities is a pressing problem. Right now, if someone found a statue somewhere of King Leopold of Belgium, one of the premier skunks of history, I would be opposed to a mob tearing it down. The only exception I am willing make would be that of changing the name of the Washington Redskins, and then only if it were changed to the Washington Swamp Rats.
Another way of saying this is that we are not in a position to reverse direction “just a little bit.” We either reverse direction entirely or we do not. If we do not, you have already seen the previews. If you don’t like the trailers, as I sure don’t, then I would advise you go see a different movie in November.
A Long Train of Abuses and Usurpations
The prophet Jeremiah once raised a question that had an obvious answer, at least obvious to every generation but ours.
“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses?”
Jeremiah 12:5 (KJV)
Our dilemma is a little different. We were first run down by a stampede of horses, starting in 1973, and now we are struggling to keep up with the turtles. The nine black-robed riders started out by mandating the slaughter of infants in all fifty states, moved on to bless and sanctify two dudes off on a honeymoon, and are now standing by while the world is demanding that we all give up our “whiteness,” that whiteness being defined as thinking in a straight line, staying faithful to your wife, and showing up to work on time. Thus far the Smithsonian.
And here is where the parable convicts us. Because we didn’t kick when we should have, when Roe was first handed down, we are now finding that we can’t kick over the “trifles.” We didn’t throw down at the first enormity, which is precisely why we are having such trouble with the last straw. Because we did not move straight to civil disobedience when the glaring immorality of the Court was made manifest in the evil and high-handed Roe decision, we have now been maneuvered into a position where we must defy our ostensible lords and handlers over . . . these stupid masks.
Say the bubonic plague has broken out all over again, and the CDC recommended a pocket full of posey. There are no scientific studies that show that it might help in any way, and there are actually some that indicate the opposite, but there are hordes of pastors telling you that you need to love your neighbor by catering to their superstition, flattering their panic, and praising their servility. And so that they can see that you love them, you need to hang a satchel of posey around your neck, where all can smell you just exuding the love.
“But does posey actually do anybody any good?” you ask. “Just shut up and look like you love your neighbor,” the reply comes. “And devil take the hindmost.”
Discredited Down to the Ground
So let us consider what happens when an authority is discredited? What happens when the ruling class run their reputation for even-handed impartiality through the shredder? What happens is that all the paper comes out the other side shredded. That means you can’t write on it anymore. It becomes useless. After it becomes useless, and please follow me closely here, you can’t use it anymore.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I’m a Republican. –Joe Sobran
But when your authority is fatally compromised, when you have lied time after time after time, then at some point nobody is going to believe anything you say at all. Even the Republicans.
What have we been told? That babies are “just” clusters of cells. That Bruno and Dutch can each have the other for a husband, forever and a day. That the weather is going to kill us all within [a constantly changing number of] years unless we vote in the Left and give them all our money. That godless school systems are what God must want. That two million were going to die of COVID. That you can catch the virus at a Trump rally, but not at a BLM protest. That someone who died in a motorcycle wreck should be listed as a COVID death.
We have essentially been told that because of the twisted knot that we made out of the First Amendment, America is the first nation in the history of the world where God can be mocked. We are Americans, and so it is possible for us to plant thistle and harvest barley. We are Americans, and we invented a massive school system that is entirely godless and yet will not guarantee an army of godless alums. The fact that we are now dealing with an army of godless alums means there must be a glitch somewhere, but surely it is not in our wonderful American invulnerability to all that God-cannot-be-mocked stuff. We are Americans, and we know how to build a secular city that does not necessarily descend into chaos. When the devil was informed that he would not be able to ascend the sides of the north, he responded with that wonderful can-do spirit that landed him in the lake of fire. And if we just imitate him a little bit longer, it is a pretty good bet that our can-do spirit will get the same results.
Responsible Evangelical Leaders
You know, I have been saying for decades now that a whole lot more was going on than simply the questions surrounding Confederate heritage issues . . .
ME: You know, I think that the War Between the States and the history of legal interpretation when it comes to the 14th Amendment had a whole lot to do with how the states came to accept Roe as readily as they did . . .
REL: That is reckless and irresponsible.
ME: Well, think about it for a minute. It used to be that the Bill of Rights restricted the central government. But after the War . . .
REL: That is reckless and irresponsible AND racist. And spoken by a vile human being.
ME: Well, trust me on this one. This is about a lot more than the Confederate flag. Just wait. No way will it stop there. It will soon enough include Washington and Jefferson and the American flag and Columbus, and many more . . .
CHAOS: I am chaos, hear me roar!! I will devour every last vestige of Christendom!! Abraham was a slave owner!! And because Hagar was a slave wife, this means that Abraham, the father of all you “faithful,” was a rapist!!! Everything comes down!! Confederate flags, American flags, and especially crosses!!! Crosses are the worst of the lot!! Anthony Bradley is an Uncle Tom!! We shall hang him and Wilson from the same branch of the same crab apple tree!!! I am chaos, and I never use fewer than two exclamation points!! It is a point of personal pride!!!!!!
ME: See? This is the kind of thing I was talking about this entire time. This is what I was trying to get across . . . can you see it now?
REL: [The sound of crickets practicing Zen]
Christ or Chaos
We must keep insisting that it is Christ or chaos. And trying to return to the pre-chaos state of ten years ago is not turning to Christ.
Going back to the point where the tectonic plates were under a huge strain is not the same thing as escaping the earthquake. Walking out of the 7:15 showing of Some Lame Movie, in order that you might come back to try the 9:30 showing, is not the path of wisdom. After you give birth to one ugly baby, you do have limited options, but one of them is not being eight months pregnant again.
Repentance is turning away from sin. And in the case of our American experiment with secularism, true repentance would mean turning away from that pretense of neutrality. There is no such thing, and there cannot be any such thing. Either Jesus rose from the dead or he didn’t, and if he didn’t then his royal authority is on a par with that of Tiberius Caesar, Henry VIII, or Tamerlane. But if He did rise from the dead, then He is the king of these United States, and we need to stop killing the babies.
We need to stop killing the babies, and we must turn to Him in repentance and seek forgiveness for having slaughtered so many of them. We need to ask Him, on the basis of His shed blood, His burial, His resurrection from the dead on the third day, if He would take us back again.
And if we will not have Him, then the only option left for us is to go headfirst into the maelstrom. How do you like it so far?