Millennials, Screwtape, and the Homo-Tsunami

Before making the illuminating comments I would like to present this morning, I need to prevail upon you to do a little refresher as necessary.

As the sexual controversies of our day continue to unfold, the need of the hour is for believers to understand what is actually going on, and how we got to this place.

In pursuit of this noble objective, I am going to be talking a little bit about millennials — bless their little round faces — and so I would refer you to this previous post I once wrote about hiring millennials. I do so because at that time, I surrounded my assertions with a host of refined qualifications, but after the fact got the kind of blow-back that ignored all the qualifications, and made me think bulls-eye to myself. Because this post addresses another weak spot in the millennial psyche, I make these prefatory comments in the hope that nobody makes me say bulls-eye to myself again. Self-congratulation is spiritually dangerous, and I would therefore ask you all to work with me here.

Second, I need to remind everyone that justification is not just a theological category. It is also a political and cultural reality. What we call a media “double standard” is actually this process of cultural justification at work. You can read a little bit more about that here. This is important to understand because Christian millennials are trying to combine a biblical list of sins with a pagan concept of cultural justification. It simply cannot work — one will eventually give way to the other, as it is currently in the process of doing. And not in the good direction.

And no discussion of millennial reaction would be complete without a discussion of cultural whining about how people need to be made to feel safe, and how they need to be given permission to heal. Or something. By these criteria, this blog is an extremely unsafe place. It makes you think, and that, in these times, is a recipe for trouble.

All right. A commonplace in these discussions is that approval or disapproval of same sex mirage is a generational thing. There are other factors, obviously, like race, political ideology, and religious commitments. For example, evangelical Christians show the most disapproval of same sex snipe hunts, but if you drill down among the evangelicals you will find that millennial evangelicals are more open to our new marital kinkeries than are the oldsters.

To which, our response should be to take this data as showing us where the teaching and instruction is needed. We must not take it as a democratic decision on which way we must all now go. It is quite true that the attitudes of the millennials will be the mainstream attitudes twenty-five years from now. But this is quite a different issue than deciding whether or not those attitudes of the future are steeped in ignorance. Old fools come from young fools, and one of our tasks is to protect our great-grandchildren from the future regnant bad ideas and all their concomitant follies.

In The Screwtape Letters, the senior devil dispensing advice notes how the word “phase” is indispensable for their diabolical work. But, as Lewis points out, “I used to feel that way” is not an argument, and this reality is not altered by changing it to “we used to feel that way.” The mere fact of a homo-tsunami is not an argument. Yes, it is quite true that we are replacing the old way of thinking about same sex mirage with a new way of feeling about same sex mirage. But the change is not just a rejection of the paradigm of a man and woman in bed, both of them naked and having God’s idea of a good time. The change is also from thinking to feeling.

Taking one thing with another, millennials have been emotionally coddled for years and from virtually every direction. They have been trained to move in response to how it all feels, and not in response to what actually is. What I argue for here on this blog is dismissed in just the ways that Screwtape teaches Wormwood to lead his patient along. Don’t have them think in terms of true and false. The enemy can argue too. Have them think in terms of stark, or realistic, or pragmatic, or in tune with the times.

But if they reject the authority of logical argument — forgetting that right reason is an attribute of God — they are susceptible to a ringing declaration, a very emotional declaration, of “no condemnation.” And this takes us right back to the concept of cultural justification.

The reason what I write here seems harsh to so many millennials is that it is set against the backdrop of what our culture is hellbent on portraying as a glorious, liberating, joyful and happy event. The backdrop of this perverse no condemnation anthropology is being brought to us in the form of mandatory participation in weddings, so let us illustrate it with a wedding image. Say a minister gets to the place where he says “let him speak now or forever hold his peace.” If a man in the congregation clears his throat, stands up, and says, “Um, I do,” then it is not his words that are harsh. It is his very presence. It is the fact that he is even there. He is the offense.

The whole event is structured in order to justify (and glorify) the bride. It will have this impact even if we happen to know that the man objecting is entirely in the right.

So whatever Ahab might think about it, Elijah was not the one who was the troubler of Israel.

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kentwarrenmcdonald
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I am a baby boomer and I will readily “stand in” as an example of the stereotypical boomer who was fully buying into the “if it feels good,do it!” crowd. Those of us who were marching in the streets during the Vietnam war, “Make love! not war!”, radical leftists notwithstanding, are now filling all the teaching posts in our Universities and convincing millennials that America is an imperialistic,racist, and homophobic society that is not worthy of respect. Though I reluctantly joined the military during the Vietnam buildup it was primarily to try to direct my future “away” from where the… Read more »

AeroBob
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AeroBob

Doug, I never knew you were so amillennial, and pessimistic about it as well.

Barnabas
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Barnabas

In my real life social circle I’ve found that Postmillenialism is actually a problem with Millennials. Their idea of the world redemption is virtually indistinguishable from secular progressivism. I suspect that this would always be a temptation of the Postmillennial, to baptize political enthusiasms of his age and also to cling too closely to the State.

Katecho
Member

Well said. I’m persuaded that when God is finished judging our nation, any Postmillennialist that remains will be the deeply principled kind. The failed “Hope and Change” progressive political enthusiasm will be filed in the history books just behind Ponzi Scheme.

holmegm
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holmegm

I like to ask: “so, will the Supreme Court tell the kings and judges that they can’t kiss the Son, lest he be angry?”

Sammy Phillips
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Sammy Phillips

Best. Troll. Ever.

doug sayers
Guest

BJ, this may not help much coming from me but I say stand your ground on this one. We should acknowledge that it can be hard to offer precise human analysis of “where we are”, “how we got here” and “where we are going” without extraordinary revelation; you have to be a little reductionistic and read between the lines. As you say, there are too many exceptions and variables (not to mention the sovereign prerogatives of God) to draw precise conclusions in our breakdown of the times. There’s nothing new under the sun. That being said, Doug’s points about true… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
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Stereotype: a behavior pattern you don’t want to think about. (Thomas Sowell). Obviously stereotyping BJ: he is thinking about it.

Jason Pearson
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Jason Pearson

Lol, “Kids these days”. Didn’t even the super-smart, super-conscientious Socrates enjoy the occasional roll in the hay with the boys? And the great King Solomon liked to push the sexual boundaries a tad, I’ve heard.
Sure, things are trending backward, but we’re not quite to the genteel era of those two fine gentlemen.

Jason Pearson
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Jason Pearson

Just to clarify: The average Nancy-boy flouncing around San Francisco comes nowhere close to being as perverse as either Socrates or Solomon. So as bad as things are, they could be worse.

Besides, neither church nor state have any business regulating marriage. Get a real job already.

Matt
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Matt

“Self-congratulation is spiritually dangerous…” Might be the most hilarious thing you’ve ever said, and there’s no way you actually believe it given your attitudes. The past post about “millenials” was a pile of prejudicial BS, but this one actually isn’t as bad. Opposition to SSM is indeed correlated strongly to age. There are a few things you can say about this. One is that positions don’t necessarily remain static over time. We don’t have a lot of time data on pro/anti-SSM, but there’s nothing requiring that “millenials” believe the same things in the same proportions forever. For a parallel, consider… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Another bullseye volunteer. As an evolutionist, Matt is here to remind us that “positions don’t necessarily remain static over time”. How insightful. But there’s more. We also learn from Matt that “there’s nothing requiring that “millenials” believe the same things in the same proportions forever”. I wonder why Wilson didn’t think of that. Unfortunately, like Eric the Red, Matt seems to have contented himself with describing whatever is. Whether SSM is a mistake or not, Matt can’t say. He gives us no principles or virtues to guide us in what positions we ought to hold. Matt seems to be resigned… Read more »

Matt
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Matt

Literally no idea what you’re going on about. But as to your last point, you can’t blame “millennials” for Roe v Wade.

Eric the Red
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Eric the Red

Matt, I’m not sure Katecho has any idea what he’s going on about; I am reliably informed that God sometimes reads Katecho’s posts three or four times to try to figure out what they’re about. But since my name was brought into it, let me clarify my position: My support for SSM has nothing to do with whether it has majority support. Rather, I’ve never heard what I consider a good rationale for inflicting pain on gay couples of the type they suffer if their relationships can’t have formal recognition from the state. Whether Christ Church also recognizes them is… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
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Jane Dunsworth

I’m pretty sure you can blame millennials every time a millennial has an abortion. I believe that’s what katecho is referring to — the abortion issue wasn’t over and done with in 1973, it’s a live issue every time someone considers having one.

Jeff Jones
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Jeff Jones