Charles Spurgeon once said that when God begins to work, it always looks more like an undoing than a doing. And this is why I have decided to try cheering everybody up with a little cultural analysis in the recon postmillery line. So if we really want to know what to do in these troublous times, we really need to hang on to our mercies. As Spurgeon said in another place, “If we cannot believe God when our circumstances appear to be against us, we do not believe in Him at all.”
You say the promises of Isaiah don’t do it for you? You’re an American, and so you need a pragmatic argument for historical optimism? Okay, we can do that too. Here it is. Stupidity is not a plan. According to the wisdom of Stein’s Law, we can say that “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” People who jump off bridges in the mistaken belief that they can fly are due for a reckoning in the short term, and if they are to learn from that reckoning, the bridge will have been over a river. Another way of putting it is this: God believes in creative disruption. It is a tool in His toolbox, and it is one He keeps near the top. Babylon was at the top of its empire game, and the Lord determined that it was time for Nebuchadnezzar to learn the ways of the moo cow.
So it should not be a matter of fundamental discouragement to us that our ruling elite all appear to have lost their minds. As Prometheus says in that Longfellow poem, “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.” And here we are, right on schedule, waiting for the short bus.
Just look at that public service announcement that I so helpfully included here for you. 98% of straight men do not want to date a dude with a dress on, and some ill-advised lipstick, and we are told that this is “because of hatred.” What it ought to do is make us want to check the closets of the 2% for hidden dresses, but that is not the main point right now. On top of all that, the sad girl-thingy who can’t get a date looks like he is about nine-years-old. And then we are hectored about it. “This has to change.”
Well, something has to change. I’ll give them that.
Mercies in the Midst of Our Demento Time
When a situation goes off the rails, there are three kinds of people. First here are the people who are the instigators, who made it go off the rails. Second, there are the responsible types who want to pretend it didn’t go off the rails. And then, third, there are the people who know that something must be done, but are unsure what that is exactly.
Say you are in a crowded mall, which in this illustration will stand in for America. And then say that in this crowded public space, somebody flips out—yelling blasphemies, throwing things, accosting passers-by, beating his chest, lecturing the complacent, that sort of thing. I’m going to help you out with this little parable, and so this guy is our ruling class—the governor of California, the upper echelons of the CDC, the Obergefell decision-makers, and all those sorts—all rolled into one. And one year, that year being 2020, he just went nuts and started yelling.
The surrounding crowd is divided into two camps. The first camp is the group that is so committed to things remaining normal that they will continue to pretend it is normal long, long after it has ceased to be so. Think of an austere British banker with a briefcase ignoring some eccentric on the Tube, ignoring him into the ground. The problem with this attitude, and there are many, is that the commitment to normalcy is not infinitely elastic. But in this parable of mine, it is plenty elastic. There are plenty of normal people, who by sheer dint of will, are projecting normalcy onto the wall of this fun house of ours.
The third group know that this situation is not normal, and that something has to be done, but they are not sure of the protocols. Should we call somebody? Should we call the mall manager? That is the mall manager, somebody says. And so they are thinking things like, how can I get around him from behind, or I wonder if he has a knife. Things like that.
This third group is the group that is actually normal, and it is the mercy of God that there are quite a number of them—even if they are not well-organized. Yet. These people hold onto our mercies in these, our demento times.
A Quick Round Up
Here is a quick round-up, in case any of my readers are in that committed-to-normalcy-no-matter-what second group. We just had an election, and the outcome is still uncertain. We do not know if future historians are going to call it the Coup of 2020 or the Attempted Coup of 2020. This came at the end of a year in which numerous governors of numerous state immolated their state economies, by means of destroying tens of thousands of small businesses. And all for nothing. Feeling somewhat awkward about this devastation they caused, these Smart Ones decided to mail everybody $600. And men can now marry men, women can marry women, and straight men who don’t want their girlfriends to have a penis are helpfully categorized as blinded by their hatred. We must need a new verse to Blowin’ in the Wind. Maybe that would fix our irrational hatred.
Unless our hatreds are the one remaining part of us that is still rational.
Embrace the Power of Hate
Remember that though the church at Ephesus had languished with regard to their first love, a lesson we should of course take to heart, we should also be encouraged to remember that the Lord Jesus commended them for their hatred at least (Rev. 2:6,15). And whatever it was that the Nicolaitans were up to, I think that our frenzied brethren kind of put them in the shade. And whatever the Lord wanted the elders at Ephesus to do with the Nicolaitans, it was not to make them dialog partners.
Put another way, at a certain point in conflicts, discussions are no good anymore.
“A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes” (Prov. 18:6).
Prov. 18:6 (KJV)
But in order to administer the drubbing rightly, we have to make sure our hatred is in order. Otherwise, our hate speech when it comes out, will not be pleasing to God. Because what this place needs is a little more hate speech. We have a dire need, and it is that we need to make hate speech great again.
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
Proverbs 8:13 (KJV)
Instead of pretending that everything is normal, we need to gear up for what we are going to do when these folks are all done cutting themselves with knives, and are lying around the base of their Baal, panting. What are we going to do with them then? Take them down to the brook Kishon? Nah. That’s in the Old Testament.
Maybe we could just settle for the solution proposed in Ambrose Bierce’s definition of grapeshot.
GRAPESHOT, n. An argument which the future is preparing in answer to the demands of American Socialism.