That Decoupaged Chapter

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One of Saul Alinsky’s rules was that the activist should always make his adversary live by his own purported rules. In the case of what Christians are currently up against, one of the secularist rules is their so-called commitment to free speech. They are quite pleased with themselves about that commitment, and preen themselves in the mirror. But at the same time, their inner tyrant wants to control public discourse in such a way as to quit losing all those debates. Thus they have devised an interesting workaround. They still defend free speech, ardently and sincerely, but free speech is now defined as that which contributes to the public good, makes them feel better down to their toes, and releases multi-colored butterflies into the public square. When I was dealing with a crowd of hostiles a couple years ago at Bloomington, one of their chants was “We believe in free speech! But this is hate speech!”

How's this for an argument?
How’s this for an argument?

In other words, in order to feel good about shouting a speaker down, they had to reassure themselves that they were still sound on the fundamentals. They were still obeying their own rule, or so they said, even though they were manifestly not doing so. They have gotten themselves into the epistemic rat hole of shouting down a visiting speaker with the words “we believe in free speech.” Ooohhkay.

Now of course free speech is not an absolute. When we are standing before the throne of Christ, giving an account of all that we have ever said, we will not be able to defend our verbal cruelties, lies, slanders with a lame appeal to “free speech.” God is Lord of the tongue, and He evaluates the jar of our hearts by the droplets around the upper lip of it. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matt. 12:34). And on the basis of that evaluation, He will judge our lives at the Last Day.

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:36–37).

So setting the boundaries and limits of free speech is a prerogative of Deity. This is yet another testimony that the secular state is aspiring to that position, and wants to stand in the position of God to us. Christians, among all people, must be singularly uncooperative with this vain enterprise of theirs.

As I say things that are offensive to the ruling elites, as I declare things that are true to a generation suckled on government school lies, they don’t react well — they spiral into ever increasing cognitive paralysis. For example — oh, by the way, language alert — in response to a recent blog post of mine, a typical defender of the new civility rose to the occasion.

“@douglaswils fuck off hater. Saying slavery is better than 2 people expressing their love physically? Fucking trash.”

Now I should care very much whether my language is acceptable — but I should only care if it is acceptable to God. If it is acceptable to Him, then it will therefore be acceptable to everyone else who matters. And those who find it unacceptable will be the very people that I want to have difficulty with it.

And this brings us to the last point. Because Christians are, by and large, easy to get along with, their tendency is to want to prove themselves cooperative. In the new climate, with the biblical parameters of free speech receding by the minute, they want to continue to express themselves, but in a way that makes it easy for the intoleristas to accommodate them. They bend over backwards to apply Paul’s dictum, “let your speech be gracious.” I want to urge them to apply the whole sentence, “seasoned with salt.”

We should not be saying things that differ with the regnant follies, but which are expressed in such a way as to make it easy for them to make room for what we said. Diffident and tentative, we hesitatingly suggest that perhaps, at the end of the day, when all things are considered, that same sex unions are not ideal, human-flourishing-wise. There. That should clear the censors. There are two problems. The day is not far off when it won’t clear the censors, and secondly, what good will it do when you have already done the bulk of their censorship work for them?

Let me show you a more excellent way. Our task is to challenge the boundaries of what they have defined as civil discourse. Provided my language is scriptural, I should work to make sure that what I say is way out of line as far as they are concerned. The bureaucrats down at the Department of Registered Free Speech Words should be tied up in knots. They issued their new regulations just last week, and then you got up in the pulpit, along with a thousand other faithful pastors, and put your foot right through the side of them. Good job.

Now some might stumble over my appropriation of Paul’s “excellent way” comment, taken from his preface to the most decoupaged chapter of the Bible. Why are you acting like the combativeness you urge is consistent with what Paul said about love? We should do this in imitation of the apostle, actually. Just two pages later, Paul says this: “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!” (1 Cor. 16:22, ESV).

One of the reasons why our secular culture is trying to redefine marriage is because the church first showed the way, by redefining love.

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Alyosha
Alyosha
6 years ago

At this point the progressive rhetoric is jargon/pop-memes cobbled together to illicit a visceral response. The lure isn’t meant to catch the fish, it’s meant to catch the fisherman.

Steven
Steven
6 years ago

The only thing missing from that tweet is #LoveWins

Alex in Wonderland
Alex in Wonderland
6 years ago
Reply to  Steven

Still LOLing at this.
Excellent post.
So from here on out when someone comes here wanting their free speech but not ours, we can say “Ooohhkay” and link back to this post and…laugh…

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
6 years ago

Your vulgar Tweeter reveals more about himself than he intends. I don’t want to look at what he writes too closely but a superficial reading shows that he hates you and that he connects the act of sex with violence. Put those two things together and I think it means you’re like one of Lot’s angels to him.

Levi
Levi
6 years ago

“One of the reasons why our secular culture is trying to redefine marriage is because the church first showed the way, by redefining love.” Spot on. I have addressed this issue in my book on reclaiming biblical love: http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Love-Reclaiming-Biblical/dp/0692442006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436285462&sr=8-1&keywords=forgotten+love

Rev. R. W. Shazbot
Rev. R. W. Shazbot
6 years ago

The language we use, and the reasons for choosing that language, are very important, and very telling. And what was the response of the SBC, America’s largest Protestant denomination, to Obergefell? They put up a website, Equip, to instruct pastors. And what’s the main point? How important it is to not offend gay people. http://erlc.com/equip/same-sex-marriage People who wave Confederate flags must be strongly denounced, but we must only speak words of sugar and spice and everything nice to homosexuals, even as we’re supposedly waging war on same sex marriage. Go watch the four short videos at the top of the… Read more »

RFB
RFB
6 years ago

“How Do We Work To Establish Language, In The Church, That Does Not Alienate Same-Sex Members?” Can anybody play? How Do We Work To Establish Language, In The Church, That Does Not Alienate faithless members?” How about “”How Do We Work To Establish Language, In The Church, That Does Not Alienate slanderers?” How Do We Work To Establish Language, In The Church, That Does Not Alienate faithless members?” or “How Do We Work To Establish Language, In The Church, That Does Not Alienate ruthless members?” or “How Do We Work To Establish Language, In The Church, That Does Not Alienate… Read more »

Alex in Wonderland
Alex in Wonderland
6 years ago

“Tell me again that I’m crazy when I say that in 20 years nearly all evangelical groups will fully approve of gay marriage.”
Well, then. you are crazy, I say 5-7, unless or until ISIS has taken over and we’re trying to please THEM by conveniently not approving of homosexual “marriage”. I see you caught yourself with the “heck at this rate….” Very good.

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

I wonder if the ERLC would use the “all of us are sexually perverted” argument when addressing pedophilia, bestiality, or any other disgusting expression of sexuality. At some point, don’t we just have to say, “This is messed up. This is on an entirely differently level of disgusting from something like sleeping with your boyfriend. Like, ew.”

AMA
AMA
6 years ago
Reply to  Ben

What do you expect from an organization whose leader (Russell Moore) thinks Christians should attend same-sex mirage receptions in order to show love? He’s part of the problem.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
6 years ago

And redefining hate?

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
6 years ago

“Provided my language is scriptural, I should work to make sure that what I say is way out of line as far as they are concerned.”

You should work to make sure your language is scriptural (Psalm 19:14) and being way out of line will take care of itself.

RFB
RFB
6 years ago

You mean sort of like “…men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth…men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error…And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done…They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice…they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

That’s a decent example.

Alyosha
Alyosha
6 years ago

And think about the “Hater” language — which by logical propositions is bigoted hate speech. How many progressive here have ever heard a Christian tell them they hate gays? What do you call writing off an entire religion — *hundreds of millions* of people’s intentions — based on stereotypes?

I’m not motivated by hate just because my sexual predilections don’t run the entire Game of Thrones spectrum.

Rev. R. W. Shazbot
Rev. R. W. Shazbot
6 years ago

Rev. Wilson, maybe we should change the motto on our coins from “In God We Trust” to “Help! Obergefell, and I Can’t Get Up!”

Alex in Wonderland
Alex in Wonderland
6 years ago

Are you saying that “In God We Trust” is too much of that unacceptable “Happy Talk” :)

Mike Bull
6 years ago

“…regnant follies…” :)

Mike Bull
6 years ago

If I were forced to bake cakes for same sex weddings, I’d be tempted to “season” the males ones with a laxative. The wedding would be great but it might put a bit of a damper on the honeymoon.