What can you do when you hate someone who is completely, entirely, wholly, and necessarily out of range?
When it cannot strike at the Father God, He who dwells in unapproachable light, what can the rage of impotence do? There is really only one option, and that is to strike at an effigy. You cannot reach Him because He is the one who sits upon the circle of the earth. He pulls the heavens aside like they were a curtain, and He looks down upon a host of angry men — who all breathe through their noses — and He laughs.
So one of the oldest tricks in the book, when you cannot reach the detested king, is to burn that king in effigy. When you can’t get at the one you loathe, take it out on a picture.
We can see this in (at least) three ways. The foremost example was when the visible image of the invisible Father took on human form. One of the things God was doing was coming into range deliberately. He was enabling those who could not effectively express their hatred for Him to do so. He came to His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11). If you have seen me, you have seen the Father, He said. Exactly, His enemies replied, and so they killed Him. Their plan would have come off swimmingly had there not been that resurrection business.
So we are a race of God-haters — when the day comes when every rebel mouth will be closed (Rom. 3:19), the problem of their throats as open graves will then be solved (Rom. 3:13). Is there an exception to this problem of our hatred? Not even one. The only exceptions are after the fact, and our phrase to describe such exceptions is found at the heart of the new covenant, and is called forgiveness of sin.
Our problem on this planet is not lack of knowledge. Apart from the grace of regeneration, to the extent we know God, we hate Him. The only way the unregenerate man can love God is by creating an idolatrous figment in his brain, calling it by some orthodox name, and loving that. But to the extent an unconverted man knows God, he instinctively recoils and would strike if he could. If he had an opportunity to murder God, he would most certainly do so. That is why Jesus was murdered. That whole affair was not an unfortunate misunderstanding. As soon as the image of God came within their power, they killed Him.
And in the infinite wisdom of God, we see that He took their spitting anger and hatred, and fashioned that into the rope of redemption, by which He pulled us our wickedness and iniquity. The cross of Jesus Christ is the ultimate emblem of hatred — man’s hatred of God, and God’s hatred of sin. That is also why it is the emblem of ineffable love.
So Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven — back out of range. Now what?
The move is still the same one. Rebels still want to destroy any image of Him they can find. What might be included in that? Well, one of the prime examples would be heterosexual marital love, along with the fruit of such love. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:27).
The current sexuality wars — from abortion to same sex mirage to bureaucratic dingdongery re: restrooms for trannies — are nothing less than open hatred for the image of God as God delivered that image to us. That image — male and female created He them — is established for us before the Bible has finished its first fifty verses. Depending on your translation, we are not even off the first page yet.
The seething desire to remake that image — GLBTQ-wise — is an attempt to make God stop representing Himself to us. We are demanding that God stop showing us that picture. We insist that God must shut up. But this is why the future of atheism is bleak. God never shuts up. Day after day pours forth speech.
But we want to seize control of all things so that we can remake the world in our own image. This is what secularism currently means. This is what progressivism currently intends. The battle is over who will define the world, and we are not choosing between traditionalists and progressives. The choice is between God and man. Shall God define the world, or shall man define the world? Shall God embed His image in the fruitfulness of heterosexual love, or shall the new god announce his image and declare his evangel with Speedoes and feather boas?
This is the meaning of the last generation — beginning in earnest with Roe. There has been the strident and inexorable pushing from the sexual left, followed by the faux-grudging accommodations on the right. So now, when turning around and heading away from the abyss has become a genuine cultural option, a number of ersatz conservatives and organizations have disgraced themselves by joining up with the ultimate clown car campaign. I am speaking of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Falwell, Carson, Breitbart, Drudge, and assorted others. It is as though we were on the eve of the Normandy invasion and somebody had to call up and tell the president that Eisenhower had run off to pursue his dream of becoming a hurdy-gurdy man.
One last point. Another kind of image that those who hate the Father also hate is revelation. This would include the authoritative words of Scripture and the majesty of natural law. A prodigal son would not only deface a picture of his father, but also destroy all his letters. The apostle Peter tells us that false teachers take words of revelation and “twist” them (2 Pet. 3:16). The word there is streblao, which means to put someone on the rack.
False teachers torture propositional truth, however God communicates it. They do this with the clear teaching of Scripture, and they do this with the proclamations coming from the night sky out in the country on a clear night. They put all truth on the rack, and they turn the wheel until they get themselves some assured results of modern scholarship.
The only way out is repentance. There is no political solution. There will be political consequences to the spiritual solution, and those consequences will in fact include reversing our recent cascade of follies. But reversing that cascade is not the answer — it will be the result of the answer. A skid row bum who gets saved will clean up, but he can never be saved by exhortations to clean up. We are not saved by good works, but rather saved to them.
Law. Condemnation. Blood. Despair. Resurrection. Repentance. Jesus. Life.