That Acrid Taste of Damnation

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There was a time, back in the olden times, when the aftermath of a horrific event like a school shooting was crowded with politicians making dubious policy pronouncements about things like gun control. Always in poor taste, they were usually on the case within hours, and yet, however bad they were, it was nothing compared to what we do now. Back then, when terrible murders happened, the instantaneous debates about murder weapons were in bad taste, but at least most people could see a connection. That is why the camera hogs could usually get away with it.

But we are way beyond that. Speaking out in terrible taste now seems like the good old days to us. Tennessee had recently outlawed trans-surgery on minors, and so the hot takes after the Nashville shootings were running along the lines of “straight Tennessee had it coming.” This is not politics anymore—this is something else entirely.

This is not a misguided political vision. It is a warp spasm of wickedness.

America’s Inchoate and Disintegrating Soul

This is what damnation tastes like. It is not the full damnation itself, but rather just one drop from the bottle, applied to the tip of the tongue. That acrid taste seems like it could never go away, and yet there is a full bottle of it left. There will always be a full bottle left.

It tastes like spitting loss, biting regret, venomous hatred, curdled resentment, dishonest blame shifting, and devouring lust, and all of it curved back on itself. To use Augustine’s phrase—incurvatus in se—it is like a snake biting its tail. Actually, it is not like a snake biting its tail; it is a snake biting its tail.

Instead of the soul turned outward toward God, the twisted soul bends back in upon itself. The idea is to believe in oneself, to reach deep down within one’s own heart, and there to discover a treasury of infinite riches. So goes the lie. But what we have discovered instead is that we have become a vacuous people with hollow souls, empty minds, and grasping hands.

Thinking ourselves to be urbane sophisticates, cosmopolitan, savvy in the ways of the world, we have discovered instead that the human souls that we once had are coming apart in our hands. They are in tatters, and pieces are all over the floor. When we try to pick up one piece, we drop other pieces, and all of them continue to tear and come apart. Not only so, but just as we buy our jeans pre-ripped these days, so also we try to treat our souls the same way—we try to introduce the artificial destruction early on. Christian parents send their fresh little girls off to a government school so that some bureaucratic flunky can start grooming her into taking hormone blockers, and then cutting off her breasts.

If you are reading this, and you are one of those who has been surgically torn apart by such lies, and you are still miserable, that misery has to do with your relationship to the God you are still rejecting. Your misery has nothing to do with the fact that some people in the red states disapprove of what you have done. They cut off your breasts in San Francisco, and you are not spiritually empty because somebody in Tulsa disapproves. You feel spiritually empty because you are spiritually empty, and Oklahoma has little or nothing to do with it. Not only so, but the surgeon who did this awful thing to you is spiritually empty as well, and the medical profession certified him is as hollow as a jug. Looking to them for answers is like drinking from the dry and broken cisterns of ancient Israel, the ones that were dry in Jeremiah’s day.

Definitions in Free Fall

We are not to be faulted because we are a society with mentally disturbed people in it. We live in a fallen world, and every society has had mentally disturbed people in it, not to mention certain other people so given over to sin that we call them monsters or sociopaths. Our current problem is not with those disturbed people, but rather with all the responsible people who are no longer capable of defining anything, including what it means to be disturbed. Every society has had insane people in it. Our problem today is that our sane people are insane. Our sane people no longer know what sanity is.

When asked to define a woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson famously replied that she “was not a biologist.” Now she was not being interviewed to determine whether she might be eligible for early release from an asylum, but was rather being questioned in Congress because she had been nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States. She was nominated to a position of extraordinarily high responsibility, and she was sworn in despite the unbelievable lameness of that answer. And a society that appoints people like that to the highest court in the land is a society that deserves everything it is going to get—good and hard.

Please allow me to walk you through this. Someone who doesn’t know what a woman is has to be someone who also doesn’t know what a girl is. And if someone doesn’t know what a girl is, such a person also doesn’t know what boys and girls are. If they don’t know what boys and girls are, this means they don’t know what the image of God in man is—because the Word defines that image for us. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27). God created us in His image, male and female. Someone who doesn’t understand that doesn’t know what a human being is.

So why is the image of God in humanity so important?

“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

Genesis 9:6 (KJV)

And so this is why we currently live in a society that doesn’t know what murder is. The people who said that straight Tennessee had it coming are people who don’t know what a girl is, and so they also must not know what it is to murder a girl. They don’t know what it is to murder a girl because they are “not biologists.”

Perhaps some might think that I overstated my case when I said that our society does not know what murder is anymore. Surely there are people throughout the government who know what murder is. Yes, certainly, but for the reasons outlined above, they are either unable or unwilling to say what it is.

The Face of Jesus Christ

Don’t interrupt me here—I am about to preach the gospel.

“Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

Ezekiel 18:31 (KJV)

When you are mired in sin, as America currently is, there is no option other than repentance. That repentance does not extricate us from the bog we have created, but it is the one thing required of us by the only One who can extricate us. The twin summons of the gospel consists of these two imperatives—repent and believe.

Repent of what? Well, look around. The central sin we must repent of is the delusional idea that we are capable of defining ourselves. We must repent of our pretense of neutrality, which we have covered over with the shambolic lies of secularism. When we set up shop to define our own identity, the only thing we succeeded in doing was defining ourselves right out of existence. You cannot define yourself out of girlhood without, at the end of the day, defining yourself right out of humanity, and over the lip of the abyss. The end of all our striving and self-defining is to tumble headlong in the Void. Look at us go.

Believe in whom? Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved—you and your household. When you believe in Jesus Christ, you are trusting in the one who died on a cross, was laid in a tomb, and who came back from the dead in accordance with the Scriptures three days later. That, and nothing other than that, is the gospel.

And so when you believe in this risen Christ, you are believing in the one who is the eternal Word of God. As the Word of God, He has the authority to define you. Not only so, but only the Word of God can define in this way, and so this is how you may find yourself. You can only find yourself by losing yourself in Him, and He will give you back to yourself in a resurrected form. You who were once demented are being offered the chance to walk in newness of life. If you come to His cross, the good news is that your death will be followed by a glorious resurrection. If you refuse to come, you are still a sinner and you still must die, but outside of Christ that death is only followed by more death. If you have tasted just one drop from the bottle of death that I described earlier, you should turn away from all of it with a shudder. Come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.

For more about this gospel, if you want to find your way out of this culture of fun house mirrors, then see below.