If the intolerista case against Trinity Fest (and other of our doings in Moscow) were a used sofa, there would be about seven springs poking up out of it.
A number of them are in a dither because they have culled from some of my posted comments references to “battle” and whatnot, revealing thereby that they do not understand two things. The first is that they do not comprehend that we are talking about spiritual conflict, spiritual warfare, and this (as we have repeatedly made plain) is conducted by means of worship in the heavenly places — as St. Paul teaches us in Ephesians. Our weapons are not carnal. I do not believe I will incur the censure that Hezekiah fell under if I open up our arsenal and show the visitors from Babylon everything. So here is our armory, this is what we deploy: the Word read, the Word preached, the sacraments observed, psalms and hymns sung, the faith confessed, the covenant renewed. This is what we do, and this is what God uses. Those who do not and cannot understand spiritual things will inevitably hear such language, the language of warfare, and interpret it in their own coercive categories. But we are not a people of blood. We receive our children and nurture them (which includes baptizing them and bringing them to the Lord’s Supper). We do not dismember them in the womb in the name of abstract constitutional “rights.” Our war is on sin and guilt, and our only weapon is the gospel. Their war is on innocence, and their weapons are sharp surgical instruments and lies. We receive our children from the hand of the Lord, and we do so gladly. They are agitated that Roe v. Wade may be overturned at some point in the foreseeable future, and that their right to choose (careful! magic word!) to cut their children into pieces may soon be abridged. The obvious lesson to draw from this contrast between accepting life and choose death is that we must be a hateful people, motivated by hate in all that we do. All their “up-is-down” maneuvers would be enough to make George Orwell stare, slack-jawed.
But second, and almost as important, because our opponents are pedestrian and dull of hearing, they are quite unable or unwilling to understand metaphors. Figures of speech routinely floor them. I fully expect my use of the sofa illustration above to be used against me at some point in the future, with the prosecuting attorney saying something like, “And is it not true, Mr. Wilson, that sofas can only be sold in the following zoning districts . . .”
Another thing. More than one of these folks have been trying to resurrect a favorite of theirs, trying to get a particular one-hit wonder back into the top ten again. I refer to the anonymous “Labour of Love,” in which I was taken to task by someone who was so embarrassed by everthing he wrote that he hid his name behind a mist of evangelical cliches. It has been claimed at least once that I have been (sorta) behaving myself since being schooled by this anonymous pietist, but I have to confess that reports of my good behavior have been greatly exaggerated.
In other news, one of the central players in the imbroglio has announced (at least partial) retirement from the fray. She has discovered (kinda late in the day) that feeding the Bear of Moscow, as she put it, makes him, well, bigger. Not that I need to get any bigger, but you know. It is one of those darn metaphors again.
In light of all the current Moscow monkeyshines, David Bahnsen was kind enough to send me a link to an on-line essay by Rich Tucker on the new intolerance. In that essay, Tucker nailed it. “When someone speaks of the importance of tolerance he doesn’t mean, ‘I respect your right to say or do something, even if I disagree.’ What he means is ‘If I’m offended by what you say or do, I’ll take legal action to stop you.'” Isaiah pronounced woe upon those who called “evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Is. 5:20). Who put shrill intolerance in place of tolerance, who identify biblical love as a hate crime, who put choosing to kill instead of life, who prefer dishonest smarminess from Christians instead of plain speech, and then call their little charade parade “liberalism.”