God created the world. He spoke the heavens and the earth into existence, and this should be the starting point of all our reasoning. As a practical matter, it needs to be our starting point, for had we not been created . . . we couldn’t start.
As the capstone of His creative work, God placed our first parents in a position of authority, establishing them as vicegerents in this world. From that position, when Eve offered the fruit to Adam, he took it and in his rebellion plunged the world into futility and bondage to decay.
So on this side of the Jordan, we must reckon with two fixed realities that are fundamentally characteristic of our world. Those realities are the fact that the world is created, and the fact that it is fallen. Considered from another angle, there are things basically right with the world and there are things basically wrong with the world.
At the same time, as a result of God’s redemptive purposes, there are now two humanities living here. The first humanity fell in our father Adam, and every human being is a member of this first humanity. All of us start there, and some of us remain there. The fall of the created order was brought about by this first humanity, and this humanity participated fully in that fall. Adam was told that the day he ate of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, he would surely die. Ezekiel said that the soul that sins shall die. The apostle Paul said that the wages of sin is death.
The second humanity was established by the grace of God in the midst of the first death-contagion humanity, and new life began to grow there. This was brought about by the second Adam, and by all who have been included in Him by the gift of faith. The first Adam disobeyed at a tree; the second Adam obeyed on a tree. The first Adam was barred by angels from a garden; the second Adam was ushered by angels into a garden. All who follow the first Adam are following him into the wilderness. All who follow the second Adam are following Him out of the wilderness.
So for the time being we have two humanities, and these two humanities are looking at a world that has two aspects—remember, this world is both created and broken. And the two humanities are respectively at odds with these two aspects of the world. Unregenerate humanity is at odds with those aspects of the world that were created by God, and regenerate humanity is at odds with those aspects of the world that are fallen.
I used the expression “at odds” for both, but this does not represent the difference in demeanor when it comes to how this opposition is expressed. Unregenerate man is conducting a resentful rebellion against the world as it was created. The world is broken, but it is not entirely broken—and so the point of the resentment is to smash it further. Unregenerate man is at war with those elements of the world that are still right.
We cannot fight Satan with the sulks.Regenerate man is at war with those elements of the world defined by the fall. His opposition is fierce, but it is not resentful. Christians are to hate sin, but this is very different than resenting it. We are to give it no quarter, but this is not to be confused with being pouty over it. We cannot fight Satan with the sulks.
The different ways that these different humanities wage war can be seen in every field of human activity, but the current battleground is sex and sexuality.
What does the unregenerate world resent? What do they hate? The hate pretty girls with wholesome smiles. They hate those same girls ten years later with a toddler on one hip, stirring a pot on the stove. They loathe heterosexual fidelity. They hate it when men are faithful to their wives, and will try to lure them away with anything—other women, other men, digital images, whatever it takes to break things some more.
What does the regenerate world hate, and hate without resentment? We hate lies, and we hate every form of the lie. We hate the subtle lies that entice with their plausibility, and we hate what the despots do when their lies grow well past the Stupidity Manifestation Threshold, and the lies then have to be promulgated, as Mao would have it, from the barrel of a gun.
When it gets to that point—as it now has in our time—we have come to a time of antithesis clarity. The antithesis has been there the whole time, from the beginning of the world (Gen. 3:15), but there are times when the antipathy is so plain and so clear that all who are willing to see it can it, and see it up close. The exceptions would be those who have been judicially blinded by an evil spirit from the Lord.
But all who want to know the truth about where we are may receive that knowledge for the asking. These are not times for kidding ourselves.