In order for us to navigate the next nine miles of bad road gracefully, one of the things we are going to have to do is learn how to work with stipulated definitions. There is a big difference between a word or phrase used in a specific way by someone who is careful to define what he does and does not mean by it, on the one hand, and someone who gets clobbered by a word or phrase for its connotative value alone. The former contributes to actual political debate, advancing that debate, while the latter just uses words as cudgels.
When we do not define carefully, whenever we declare ourselves to be “against” something, we are simply announcing to the world that we are against whatever our internal emotional weather is like whenever we hear that particular “thing” referred to. We tend to confound the concepts of truth and emotional safety.
So as we head into a season of robust debate and brickbat throwing, I think I would be well-advised to share with you all how I am defining my terms. What do I mean when I haul out some of these?
While most of these definitions have a deadly serious point to them, as you can tell by the really earnest look on my face, a few of them I confess are a little bit frolicky. I mean, what’s a salad without a few craisins or bacon bits?Show Outline with Links
A Brief Glossary
Abortion: the blood sacrament of the Left.
America: a much easier target than Christianity, and therefore the preliminary target.
Atheism: The belief that man is god, a god who eventually and invariably takes incarnational shape in the form of the state.
Big Eva: The Three-Self Church in its American form.
Big Tech: Lords who walk the earth, gracing us with their algorithms and suggested purchases. Curators of what we really meant to say.
Big Ed: The consortium of colleges and universities in America that trained all the people who are destroying the country.
Bill of Rights: Because the anti-Federalists like Patrick Henry were concerned that the new proposed Constitution was too susceptible to consolidated federal power, the Bill of Rights was added as a compromise. The Constitution as we have it therefore is a blend of Federalist and anti-Federalist thinking, which probably bought us an addition hundred years of liberty.
Christian Nationalism: The belief that Christ is the Lord of all the nations, and that consequently each nation has an obligation to honor Him as Lord, and to devote themselves to doing what He says. Christian Nationalism is the conviction that we should do what God wants us to do instead of doing what we thought might be a good idea.
Democracy: What is happening whenever the Left wins elections. When the Right wins elections, this is called a “threat to democracy.” It is important that we keep our terms clear.
Equality: See inescapable concept below. It is not whether there will be equality, but rather which kind of equality we will have. Progressives want equality of outcome, which is inimical to every form of liberty, while conservatives want equality of opportunity, which is inimical to the dreams of the slavers.
General equity theonomy: The belief that while the peculiar circumstances surrounding Israel’s status as God’s chosen nation are no longer operative in the time of the new covenant, the moral law found in the Old Testament remains fully authoritative, as well as the general equity of the judicial law that was used in the governance of Israel. The law of God is therefore not the Word of God emeritus. We are under its authority.
Human rights: Rights are bestowed on us by virtue of the fact that we are created in the image of God. God gives us our rights, and so while it is necessary for the state to recognize and protect all such rights, it is crucial that no one begin to think that the state is the giver of or the point of origin for such rights.
Inescapable concept: Summed up by the phrase “not whether, but which.” One example: It is not whether law will be the imposition of a morality, but rather which morality will the law impose.
Laws: Because all laws in all societies reflect the character of the god of the system, humanistic systems will have laws based on the character of man, who is sinful, and unstable. He is unholy, and he changes all the time. The laws therefore will be unholy, and they will change all the time. Laws that are based on the character of God, to the contrary, will be laws that are holy and unchanging.
Liberty: Freedom from slavery. All slavery is grounded on the fact of slavery to sin. So when the gospel spreads among a people, setting them free from their sins, this helps to fit them other forms of liberty—civic, economic, and so forth.
Limited Government: The Christian approach to human government. Because men are sinners, and because men must be ruled by men, it is therefore necessary for all government to be defined, limited, and bounded. No human government, whether family, church, or state, may be considered as absolute.
Marriage: an ordinance created by God in the Garden of Eden, involving a covenant surrounding the sexual one-flesh union between a man and woman. The divine paradigm for marriage is one man, one woman, one time. Same sex mirage is therefore to be placed in the same category as four-sided triangles.
Mere Christendom: The fellowship of nations that have each respectively developed their own distinct versions of Christian Nationalism.
Pornography: a naked bribe, designed to keep millions of dogs contented in their kennels.
Racist: Anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal.
Safe spaces: What women’s bathrooms and shower rooms used to be.
Secularism: The belief that human society can be organized without any legal recognition of the reality of the transcendent and living God. An absurdity that has now been revealed as such.
Separation of church and state: The belief that civil government and ecclesiastical governments are distinct governments established by God, and that, as such, they ought not to be combined, co-mingled, or combined. Separation of church and state is a wholesome Christian development. This is utterly different from the separation of morality and state, or the separation of the ground of morality and state, or the separation of God and state. Christian Nationalism does not propose government by clerics, but rather government by God-fearing civil magistrates.
Separation of powers: A doctrine developed to help keep government limited. When government is divided between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, this helps prevent the government from ganging up on the people. In addition, in the federal system, another layer of governments at the state level are introduced. Such balancing of power is a hat tip to the Christian doctrine of man’s sinfulness.
Terms of abuse: When terms are used to tar political opponents instead of identifying them, scurrilous abuse is being subbed in for analysis and debate. Terms that are rarely used in line with their true definitions are therefore terms of abuse. In this context, such terms would include but not be limited to: racist, white supremacist, fascist, theofascist, Christofascist, extremist, religious extremist, ultraconservative, domestic terrorists, enemies of democracy, and so on. To be clear, there are people alive for whom these terms would be fair and accurate enough, but the terms are overwhelmingly not applied to them. Their use is reserved for mild-mannered suburban moms who speak up at school board meetings about porn in the school library.
Theocracy: Yet another inescapable concept. It is not whether there will be a god of the system, but rather which god will be the god of the system. Christians are obligated to want the god of the system to be the true one. The only alternative is that of living under the authority of an idol.
Transgender: the application of blackface to gender issues.
Conclusion, I Suppose
Many of the definitions above have been around for decades, and some of them for centuries. It was possible, while debating them, for an able debater to bring his opponent to an impasse, where he did not quite know what to say. When this happened, it was possible to say that so-and-so had won the debate.
But what has happened in the last two years is this. God has decided to unroll a real time, three-dimensional, lived-out reductio ad absurdum. These issues are no longer staring at us from the debate stage, but rather they are yelling at us every day from our preferred news feed.
So, as I never tire of saying, it is Christ or chaos. How are you liking your chaos so far?