No Shantytown Kingdom

The entire world of unbelief lies under the sway of the wicked one. Given how the god of unbelief operates — which is through accusation — it should not be surprising what kind of energy makes the system go. That energy lies in the strength of accusation. The devil is an accuser, accusing the saints day and night before the throne (Rev. 12:10). The name Satan means adversary, and he makes his accusations from behind the bench of a pretended righteousness.

And a very indignant form of righteousness it is too.
And a very indignant form of righteousness it is too.

Satanic religion is not a matter of severed goat heads, or guttering candles on the floor of some goth teenager’s bedroom. Satanic religion is self-righteous, and aspires to be holier than God (2 Cor. 11:15). When Satan tempted the Lord, one of the ways he did it was by showing him all the kingdoms of this world and their glory (Matt. 4:8). The devil was not in charge of some shantytown kingdom.

The collision between what believers declare and what the world declares is therefore the result of two competing systems of righteousness. Who is righteous and who is not? Who are the justified? Who are the true victims and who are the pretenders? Who are the martyrs and who not? What constitutes true abuse and what does not? Who are the experts? Who will be allowed to speak to these issues authoritatively? And who not?

There are two societies we are dealing with here, the city of man and the city of God, and because we have not yet arrived at the final day, the boundaries between them are still porous. In other words, you can find sectors of the world that have been greatly influenced by Christian definitions and categories, and you can find sectors of the church that have been greatly influenced by unbelieving definitions and categories. Nothing is simple, in other words. Nevertheless, everything is clear enough to be able to distinguish the two systems.

In order to do this, we have to fix it in our minds that categories like “justified” or “victim” are socially-assigned. The reason we are in the midst of a culture war is because we have two different societies, reacting in two completely different ways.

Let us say that some group on a campus near you organizes a slut walk. For some, the category of victim has been authoritatively assigned to the self-described sluts, and you are a hater if you question it. For others, the whole thing is beyond parody. And this is not a difference where you can in any real way split the difference.

This has happened for a number of reasons, but the fundamental reason is because the city of man has come to be, to use Van Til’s expression, epistemologically self-conscious. They have grown into an awareness of their system, and they are intending to govern everyone else in terms of it.

So we live in a time when we have to deal with a toxic combination of factors, all of them revolving around the authority to define. First, postmodern relativism has granted complete lexical authority to our keepers. The dictionary is theirs, or so they say. Sluts are virtuous. Sodomy is normal. Dismembering healthy children is health care. Not only have they claimed the authority to change definitions arbitrarily, their relativism claims the authority to detach any word from its referent. The correspondence view of truth is laughed at, and for a Christian this would mean we are all still in our sins. If “Jesus rose from the dead” does not refer to the historical fact of Jesus rising from the dead, then we of all men are most to be pitied.

Having authority over the dictionary therefore extends to the definition of “victim.” Please note that this is not a collision between an unbelieving worldview that says there are many victims and a believing worldview that says there are no victims. No, the battle is over who the victims are, not whether there are victims.

All societies do two things — they persecute their victims, and they honor their martyrs. So who is in which category?

One of the most striking things about Scripture is that it consistently takes the side of the victim, but it does so in ways that are largely invisible to unbelievers. This is because they are recognizing different sets of victims. And when unbelieving societies persecute, they do so because they feel persecuted.

Lynch mobs feel put upon, and their rage comes from the fact that they do not intend to “take it anymore.” The victim of a lynching is the biblical victim, but the society which tolerates lynching is a society which refuses to grant this biblical definition, and instead assigns victimhood status to themselves.

The line of biblical victims is a long one, beginning with Abel. We see this with Abel, with Isaac, with Joseph, with Job, with David, and so on, culminating of course with the Lord Jesus. But what society does to real victims is something that is entirely invisible to them. The victim is the source of all the trouble. How could we be abusing him? This is why persecutors are such clueless people. They are fixing the problem. They could not be the problem.

A bullying husband tells his wife that she is the one who is crazy, and that no one will believe her. She is losing it. A bullying society works in just the same way. Who would ever want to kill Jesus? And multitudes on Twitter said hahaha and lol. “The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?” (John 7:20).

I mean, that could never happen. Right?

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PerfectHold
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PerfectHold

So if the kingdoms of this world are Satan’s — why does He define them as “glorious”?
You’d think “glory” would be reserved for good & pure stuff.
What kind of glory evanesces from a slut walk?

drewnchick
Member

Exactly. And that’s why self-deception is such a powerful force. Those doing the slut stroll actually do think they are glorious. Weird, huh…

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Some of the sluts are hot (I guess, having not actually looked.)

drewnchick
Member

The closer one gets to Hell, the hotter one gets.

adad0
Member

I miss cow puns already.

drewnchick
Member

Then I guess Rob Steele should have said, “Some of those guys are beefsteaks!”
But that might have been too weird…

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

It’s all in Girard, right? The Devil is our accuser but he doesn’t actually claim to be righteous, does he? Not in Heaven, surely. He masquerades as an angel of light but I doubt he thinks he can fool real angels of light. He seems to only be using God’s righteousness as a tool, like a corrupt prosecutor uses the law. In Job he claims ownership of the world and bitterly resents that one little corner that God roped off. I think we see echoes of that resentment in our opponents.

Katecho
Member

Wilson nails the spirit of the age. This is the same old maneuver from the same play book. So we (should) know exactly what our role is. To lead in repentance, proclaim the Gospel, and resist the false righteousness. God will bring the victory.

drewnchick
Member

Of course it’s righteousness vs. “righteousness.” Satan is the Father of Lies; he tells us all that his ways are merely a subset of God’s Way, and see how pretty it is. It’s never a choice between mansions and shantytowns, awesome sauce and mucking about in the sewer, or white robes and red leotards…not with Satan. Once the mind has been twisted by deceit, it can no longer discern truth from desire, right from earnest, or martyr from victim.

ashv
Guest
ashv

An associated point worth considering: how often do Christians try to react to the false victimhood of the world by declaring how they’re even bigger victims by the world’s standards? We complain about their double standards and don’t recognize their actual single standard: the seed of the serpent is opposed to the seed of the woman.

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

I’ve often found that we use victimhood or perceived threats to our worldview as an excuse for the state of things, or a reason why it’s not worth trying to fight – much like the same perspective among minorities can lead to inaction against “the system”, it often looks the same for us.

“The slothful man saith, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.” Prov. 26:13

RFB
Guest
RFB

Speaking of “victims”, cue the fainting couches: ““They were handing it out and as soon as I saw it you know I started to not be able to breathe, hyperventilating,” the reporter elaborated. “My vision went blurry and I just—kind of just lost control…Thank you, that made me feel better,”

http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6946

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

My caption for the picture. “this is who Jesus loves, this is who Jesus died for. “

adad0
Member

Hard to admit we were in the crowd as well, huh?

Hard to fathom how much we have recieved and under what circumstances:

Romans 5:7-9
7 Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person.
Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person.

8 But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us.

9 We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ.
So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger.

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

For some it is very hard to admit, let alone see.

Laura
Guest
Laura

We’re more like “God, I thank you that I’m not like that sinner.”

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

drewnchick
Member

But once you’ve been reminded that “such were some of you,” the appropriate response for the child of God is to say, with all understanding, “THANK YOU, Father, for redeeming me out from that disgusting crowd of reprobates.” Then, having been washed clean by the Blood of Jesus, we proclaim that same salvation to the unwashed masses and invite them also to come. To call a spade a spade is not the same thing as the pot calling the kettle black, if I may mix my metaphors like that. We HAVE been redeemed! And since we have been redeemed, we… Read more »

adad0
Member

Proverbs 27 5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Mal, as usual, we are not far apart. Rebuke is hard to do properly and is often misunderstood. (public rebuke is harder still) At a minimum, kisses should not be blown to the folks in question. Hating what is evil while clinging to what is good can be hard to do at times. When done the right way, per Romans 12:9-21, “burning coals” get heaped on the folks who need it. There are all kinds of Word… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

A few weeks ago I linked this brilliant look at the culture of victimhood from Jonathan Haidt. http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/ This movement has been gaining steam for probably 150 years or more but at this point I would argue that we find ourselves in a unique position as a culture. What are the limits of the political power to be claimed in the name of victims? Is identifying the “real” victim a sufficient corrective? In an expanding victim culture how does the church manage to carry out legitimate acts of charity, justice, or altruism without becoming just another institution assimilated by the… Read more »

Reality
Guest
Reality

We termed it causal addiction a few years ago. Draw to the world, cause and rebellion all create vast amounts of endorphin’s; they are addicts. Self perpetuating and destructive to all; especially the victim. The victim never gets the privilege to move on; others need that one last fix far to much. All prediction models reflect an increase do to lack of causes to sanction (as you state, nothing left to fight for). We have a party on the Interstate, in Texas, celebrating the execution of a cop a few months back. A cop who sacrificed and saved others (sound… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

“What are the limits of the political power to be claimed in the name of victims?”

Well, this link may not show the “limits” of the political power, but it might show the how potent it can be.

The rest was history.

http://goo.gl/ihljwU

Bonus points if you can name the two to his left (photo right).

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

The link is broken.

wtrsims
Member

Stalin and Trotsky?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Good for you on one of them, Trotsky.

The other one was Trotsky’s brother-in-law, Lev Kamenev, and one of the Malevolent 7.

He fell out of favor with Ioseb Jughashvili which proved unfavorable, and that was before Leon got the icepick memo.

David Trounce
Guest

I sometimes wonder if the modern claim to victimhood is a messianic complex. An attempt at self atonement.

The word itself is entirely religious, being a reference to an animal sacrificed for the atonement of sin.

To qualify as a victim you have to be innocent, and since only one man does qualify, the best we can do is lay claim to the status and hope no one notices the switcheroo.

Laura
Guest
Laura

“To qualify as a victim you have to be innocent”

?

Ian Miller
Member

To be fair, the massive amount of pushback under the umbrella of avoiding victim blaming seems to lend some support to the idea that in the minds of today’s public, victimhood = blamelessness.

Laura
Guest
Laura

Ah. I agree that sometimes, not always, the victim bears some responsibility for what happens. That doesn’t make him not a victim, of course.

There was a detective show on TV in which the detective cautioned against using the term “innocent” victim. Her concern was that if a murder victim turned out to be a prostitute, catching the killer might lose urgency in the public’s mind.

Ian Miller
Member

I’m not even talking about victims bearing responsibility for their own victimhood – I’m talking about the idea that victimhood doesn’t indicate righteousness or moral authority. A woman who is raped is grievously wronged, and can also be a thief, liar, or abuser.

I like the detective show’s idea – it’s echoed in many of my favorite mystery novels – the fact that a murder victim was an evil person does not mean that the murderer should not be caught and punished.

Laura
Guest
Laura

“A woman who is raped is grievously wronged, but can also be a thief, liar, or abuser.”

Change the “but” to “and” and we’re there.

Ian Miller
Member

Done.

David Trounce
Guest

Agreed.

David Trounce
Guest

Yes.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I have to wonder how many of them will still be proud of being sluts when they’re 50.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

“If only someone had just told us how stupid we were being!”

adad0
Member

“First, postmodern relativism has granted complete lexical authority to our keepers.”

But reality has not granted any authority to our alleged “keepers”,

and God has not granted any authority to our alleged “keepers”

This is why the recent attempted “lexonoscopy” of the Proprietor by self pronounced “authorities” was so comical ! ; – )

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Is that Derek Webb at front row center?

insanitybytes22
Member

Competing for the status of victimhood really is an appalling thing, a cruel thing really, that robs people of their power. Even those who have been a bug on someone’s windshield or a bit of collateral damage, need to be lifted up and pulled away from that state of being. The status of victim should not be a status at all, because we actually walk in victory. “The victim is the source of all the trouble.” It’s sad because our current obsession with ‘thou shall not victim blame’ deprives people of their power to heal. It’s hard on the pride,… Read more »

And I'm Cute, Too
Guest
And I'm Cute, Too

All societies do two things — they persecute their victims, and they honor their martyrs.

Does that include you? Is Jamin Wight a “martyr” in your eyes? After all, you honored him by sitting on his side of the courtroom, and not on the side of his victim.

And I'm Cute, Too
Guest
And I'm Cute, Too

For some, the category of victim has been authoritatively assigned to the self-described sluts, and you are a hater if you question it.

So, is that why you treated Natalie in such a creepy fashion in your last meeting with her? Because you saw her as a slut and not as a victim?

http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.jp/2015/10/the-last-meeting.html