You might be tempted to think that we live in a time when all sorts of things have busted out all over. You know—riots, woke churches, COVID, masking orders, a rumored new album from Britney*, lock downs, a corrupted FBI, our new technolitarian culture, and much, much more. But in reality, it is all of a piece. It looks like a tangled mess, but it is still just one skein of yarn that the cat got into and then played with uninterrupted for a week. But everything is still connected down inside. There really is just one strand.
- By the way, for those who like to track these things, if you rearrange the letters of Britney Spears’ name, you can spell out Presbyterians. This is not a key element to my argument below, but I thought I should at least mention it.
Those who have truly embraced the gospel of woke, meaning the ones who have truly asked Marx into their hearts, and who then promulgate this ragbag gospel to the churches, are false brothers. The woke gospel is an anti-gospel, as Owen Strachan has ably shown. These purveyors of darkness are the apostles of woke supremacy, which is the only real wuh-supremacy we should be concerned with at present. Of course, if you have friends and loved ones in the PCA, particularly in the St. Louis area, it is worth keeping your eye on wuss-supremacy also. That’s another one. That appears to be a rising hazard.
Okay. There’s another one. Keeping in mind that all of this foolishness is simply the beta-testing for our upcoming climate change regime, the real threat is going to be weather-supremacy. And you thought these COVID restrictions were draconian? A mere child you are. A downy-cheeked youth. An inspiration to us all.
So the false brothers are doing what false brothers always do—swapping out grace for seared consciences, liberty for condemnation, Heaven for Hell, unapproachable light for outer darkness, and Christ for Chemosh. To them, our only response is that of a flat rejection. Our only reply to them needs to be a brusque (or perhaps curt) “Hell, no.” And by this, I am not encouraging frivolous cussing. Hell is in the vocative there.
The fact that it is manifestly rootless has not blunted the edge of their zeal. Their relativism is now a persecuting relativism. In the old days we were lulled into complacency by relativism of soft postmodernism. We could make jokes about it. What do you get when you cross a Unitarian with a JW? Someone who knocks on your door for no particular reason. Or the fact that George Carlin grew up in a rough neighborhood. How rough was it? Well, it was so rough the Unitarians burned a question mark on his front lawn. But we have now transitioned into a hard relativism, a hard postmodernism. In the old days, persecutors at least believed in something outside themselves. But for these persecutors, these zealots of cancel culture, the means have swallowed up the end, and persecution is the point. They still burn that question mark on your lawn, but then they actually crucify people on it.
But Are There Not Some True Christians Caught Up in the Lie?
Yes, there are some true Christian brothers, regenerate and everything, who have been caught up into the woke jargon. What are we to make of them? I am speaking of those who were bedazzled when they heard some commie quote Amos, that part about justice rolling down like waters, and it was quoted with such authority that it made the totalitarianism seem like the compassionate and real minor prophet option.
Their arguments are therefore a jumble of wild inconsistencies. A few years ago, Thabiti wanted white Christians to own their guilt with regard to the murder of Martin Luther King. But that was before the Overton Window—which these days is more like the Overton sliding glass door—moved. That was before King was revealed to be a passionate advocate of what is now regarded—by all the smart people—as white supremacy. Judged by the content of their character, forsooth! Why should modern white Christians lament the fact that James Earl Ray, a white supremacist, mistakenly murdered a fellow white supremacist? The only good white supremacist is a dead white supremacist, right? Aren’t those the new rules? And when are we going to begin renaming all those Martin Luther King boulevards again, to something not so triggering? You know, like Vladimir Lenin Parkway?
The issue is not logic or reason. These are the kind of people who are highly susceptible to emotional contagions. If there were to be another hula hoop craze, they would be right there in the middle of all the excitement, just a rotating. I actually do have some hope for these woke brothers. We just need to get them a good dose of worldview Ambien, and then, when they eventually wake up, for reals this time, this moment of our cultural hysteria will have passed, and they might then be able to come back into the church again, chastened and more than a little embarrassed.
Christ as Sinner?
This embarrassment would be well-earned because the apostles of this woke supremacy are actually telling us that it is our Christian duty to embrace a version of “gospel” that would, if adopted, require us to say that Christ Himself was corrupted and tainted with the guilt and sin of privilege. If privilege is a sin, then what was Christ but a great sinner?
He was male, was He not? Were there not marginalized female voices in the Palestine of His day? And although He was certainly not Anglo Saxon—because we recognize it was the tribe of Judah, not the tribe of the Jutes—we nevertheless live in a time that wants to measure virtue by means of color swatches from Sherwin Williams, and by that measurement was He not white enough to be complicit in the wickedness of our whiteness? And on top of that, He dressed really well. He wore a seamless linen robe that was quite valuable, such that the soldiers gambled for it, and did so in a time when countless others went about in rags. He came from a godly and intact family, and that is yet another grievous offense. So how could Christ die for our sins when He was complicit in this web of oppression Himself?
But it all works out in their system, because these purveyors of guilt don’t want anybody to die for your sins because that might result in actual forgiveness and freedom from guilt, and that would remove all their handles. That would take away their power over you. The fundamental requirement of their system is that they need you to be a vile, wretched, lowly, and very guilty worm. They need this from you so that they might come and preach their idea of gospel to you, which is the message that you are stuck in that condition, there is no escape, and the only thing you can really do is lick dirt and buy their books.
“For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.”
2 Corinthians 11:20 (NKJV)
An Excursus on Pesky Jews
A moment ago I mentioned the apostles of all this woke supremacy, and some on the right have recently made a big deal out of the fact that the initial leaders of the Frankfurt School were pesky Jews, which is true enough. But in that cocktail mix of intersectional villainy, as we reflect on the lives of Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal and Friedrich Pollock, we must needs mention all the ingredients—while not forgetting that they were Jews, certainly. But they were also white. And German. And European. And male. There were no Pacific Islanders, people! Where was the requisite brownness? I simply raise the question. Is it possible that the emphasis on the evils of white supremacy has all along been a white supremacist trick? Perhaps this was the patriarchy that needed smashing. I mean, look at them. A row of dead, white Europeans, followed by crowds of adoring leftist females.
In the meantime, those on the right who are being suckered into a crude antisemitism are proving themselves to be chumps of the first order. At the beginning of the world, Jehovah put never-ending antipathy between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. Those are the only two lines of descent worth worrying about. That conflict is THE antithesis. The unbelieving left wants to deny this antithesis, so that humanity can become one big unified god, which is why they are so savage toward Christians who maintain the antithesis. We divide their god, and our faithfulness offers a standing contradiction of their entire system. And the unbelieving right wants to misplace the antithesis, making it tribal somehow. They agree there is an antithesis between good and evil, but they want to make it racial, or tribal, or ethnic, or national—which is why it is so easy to project nefarious purposes to others simply because of something like ethnicity.
What matters is what you think of Christ, not whether you have a Jewish grandfather. What matters is what you think of Christ, and not whether that other guy has a Jewish grandfather either. When I see how some on the right are starting to analyze the times, it makes my forehead get hot.
And besides, if we simply were condemn a particular ethnicity because of actual damage done, if those are the rules, WASPs still hold the world title. Darwin was one of ours.
But all that was a false scent, at least for today’s pursuit. Let’s get back on the main trail.
The “Great Reset” and the Technolitarians
So while numerous pastors and elders were busy trying to find some parishioner of color, so that they might grovel and apologize to that hapless person for their insufferable whiteness, thus giving the watching world a major exhibit of their insufferable whiteness, at that very same moment the aspiring techno-lords of the earth were running around our new cyber-dungeons, clanging all the doors shut, and trying to make as big a racket while doing it as they could.
They are not even trying to hide what they are doing any more. They are deep into a manifest attempt to establish a ChiCom-style social credit system all over the globe, so that you and your renegade thoughts might be constantly and properly EVALUATED by trained professionals. And what are the elders and guardians of your flock doing in the middle of this naked power grab? When they aren’t helping with the actual power grab, by shutting down worship, or by demanding masks for entry, they are in hot pursuit of getting on board with the great distraction agenda—climate change, or BLM, or victim advocacy, or whatever their next cause du jour might be.
While there is not a one-to-one correlation, and we do rejoice over the exceptions, woke churches and the cowed, battened down churches have a great deal of overlap. The more likely a pastor is to apologize for being white, the more likely it is that he will do so while wearing his mask of docile compliance. You know, he needed something to hide the whiteness.
I mean, think about it. While a large part of the population is starting to kick (and may their tribe increase, and about whom more in a minute), a significant number of the rest are showing all the resistance of a lush pasture full of moo cows.
Engineered hysteria and panic over a virus. Locked down for a year, and some countries are gearing up for another year. Masks everywhere. Double masks some places. Music majors with holes cut in their masks so the clarinet could go in, while the mask over the cheek bones somehow kept the virus from coming out, and said music majors were behaving in this lunatic way on pain of expulsion because some government bureaucrat had decided (in principle) that clarinets must be smaller than viruses. Mandatory vaccines. Vaccine passports. Australian military hauling people off to camps. Canadian pastors arrested. Emergency powers. Big Tech deciding what information is suitable for your tender ears. Naked ideological censorship. And a new variant has now appeared! Shots for everybody! Line up the slaves for their boosters. And all because of a sickness that leaves 99% of the people who catch it alive and well.
So . . . if you would surrender all your liberties to protect yourselves from a really bad flu season, I shudder to think how fast you would capitulate in an actual crisis. If your session of elders starts trembling when the CDC contradicts yet itself again, I hesitate to think how they would behave when confronted with red hot pincers, held in the right hand of an inquisitor who wanted to make them deny something important, like the deity of Christ.
He could probably get what he wanted by threatening to pelt them with wadded up Kleenex. The problem is not that we have different “interpretations” of Romans 13. No, the problem is that our evangelical leadership has carefully cultivated, over the course of a generation, the worldview rigor of a bowl of warm tapioca pudding, the liturgical discipline of a junior high pep rally, and the backbone of a peeled and overripe banana.
Other than that, we are ready for the lions.
The Power of No
If you do not see the collision course we are on, then that is the same thing as saying that you can’t see at all. We are rapidly approaching the point when some issue (or other) will be adjudicated all the way to the top, and neither side will be willing to abide by the decision that is made. Neither side will back down, and it will be an issue of major significance.
It might be anything—vaccine mandates, some squeaker election, martial law in a major city, and you know the kind of thing I mean. We have come pretty close a few times already. And somebody will then say, as Andrew Jackson is purported to have said about a decision from the Marshall court. “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”
We have seen clear indications of this temper already, and when that moment arrives, we will know what it looks like to see large portions of the population become suddenly ungovernable by the current rulers. I do not mean that they will become anarchists, I mean that they will simply ignore the decrees of the current rulers. All the earthmen will throw down their packs and start setting off firecrackers before heading on down to Bism.
Winners of the Previous Game
The ruling elites of evangelicalism, appropriately tagged now as Big Eva, had feathered their nests quite nicely. They were capable players in the previous game and, at least as far as their own interests were concerned, in some ways they had become winners in the previous game. They had a good thing going there for a bit. I think of Eric Hoffer’s progression—first a movement, then a business, then a racket. That ably describes the rise and fall of modern evangelicalism, from the movement days right after the Second World War, to the business days after Jimmy Carter first announced that he was “born again,” and then down to the present, with Christianity Today pretending to be the arbiter of what click bait is true, faithful and orthodox. What a clown show.
There were conservative and faithful voices among them, and they will be commended by the Lord for their efforts in that previous game. Some of them really will hear “well done, good and faithful servant.” But none of this will keep the previous game from having been the previous game. The over-arching downward slide, and the occasional commendation during that time, are all in the rear view mirror.
The world is different now, and what the current convulsions will produce has not yet become fully apparent. But absolutely nothing about what it will become is inevitable in terms of whatever plans the global elites might have planned for us. The Lord shall have them in derision (Ps. 2:4). The future is going to be built along saner lines than that, and the future is going to be built by Christians along saner lines than that. God has given to His saints the weighty responsibility of agency, and the turmoil of the last two years has not been the overthrow of His purposes and plans, but rather the fulfillment of them. He shakes things down, so that which cannot be shaken might remain (Heb. 12:27).
In the course of this earthquake, the entire array of America’s institutional idols have started to sway dangerously, and some have already toppled. How is this not an answer to prayer? Haven’t we been praying for reformation and revival? Did you think that reformation and revival was going to happen alongside the groves of the Ashteroth?
The government school system. Higher education. The military. The health care system. The media. They are all swaying like a third world skyscraper in a level 8 Richter scale earthquake. And a lot of churches were in fact affected, as per the discussion above, but why should Christians lament when the Lord begins His judgments with the household of God (1 Pet. 4:17)? We are supposed to serve Him, not the status quo ante.
At the Same Time . . .
But we still have the task of remaining faithful. These are the times when we must stand fast.
And the Lord did not want us squandering all or most of our moral authority in the previous game, buckling under to aspiring tyrants. If you can’t run with men, how will you run with horses? How will you do in the next game, when the tyrants are real, and the prisons are real, and their powers are no longer in dispute, no longer questioned? Will you think back with regret on the times when you frantically shushed those Christians who were challenging these initial encroachments when they were first assuming these powers?
Obedience now is conducive to obedience later. Courage now is conducive to courage later. Capitulation now is conducive to capitulation later. Selling out now is conducive to selling out later. Weaving excuses now is conducive to weaving excuses later.
But we have to do this, understanding the times. We can’t just turn back the clock of judgment, as though daylight savings could apply. We the people of the United States have openly defied the God of Heaven. We have a Supreme Court that decided Roe, and we let that decision stand. For a generation, we let it stand. We have a Supreme Court that decided Obergefell, and thus invited the wrath of God to descend upon us. Why act surprised when it all starts to happen?
Why is it impossible to consider that God may have given us up in His wrath? All the indicators are present.
“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed.”
Isaiah 10:1 (NKJV)
And according to the first chapter of Romans, what is the wrath of God? The wrath of God is exhibited and displayed when God gives a people up. Repentance and restoration occur when the people say to God, “Thy will be done.” Wrath occurs when God says to the people, “Thy will be done.”
We have, as a people, through our elected and appointed representatives, said to Christ, “Go away. We would not have you rule over us.” The shambles of a civilization that we are looking to pass on to our grandchildren are therefore a shambles created by the godless, for the godless. And what is the destiny of any town, nation, culture, or civilization that rejects Christ? What is their future?
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”
Matthew 10:14-15 (KJV)
When Jesus says “that city,” what on earth would make us think that Chicago, and New York, and Washington, and Los Angeles, are somehow exempted? They are not exempted. Where does Scripture say, “Woe to the godless, except for Americans”? All those cities, and many more, are under severe judgment, and all their wise men have lost their minds.
In the meantime, in the tumultuous times that are coming, we believers will desperately need evangelical and Reformed voices that will speak authoritatively and prophetically into the chaos, into the circus. And where and how will these voices be tested and established? How will these voices be recognized by the remnant church?
I know this is kind of inconvenient, but the qualifying rounds are going on right now.
Today’s NQN Giveaway
As this is the last post of November, I thought we should shoot the moon on the giveaways. Let us have what might best be called a spree. I am going to be giving away five different titles for the next week. I would also remind you that if you get your free e-copy here, and like what you read enough to want to take your relationship to the next level, you can usually get a hard copy of these titles through Amazon. But you will have to pay for those, which is what usually happens when you take any relationship to the next level. Financial responsibility sets in, and the kids need new shoes every year.
Since the Christmas shopping season began last Friday, as I am sure you all know by now, I would like to let you know that the first giveaway item is called A Brief Theology of Christmas Presents. Instead of cursing the darkness of crass consumerist materialism, would it not be better to light the candle of going out and buying a really good present for someone you love? I ask you.
A Brief Theology of Christmas Presents
We are heading into another Christmas season, and it appears to be a time when the Grinches and naysayers and fussers appear to have the upper hand. But if there were ever a year when we must not allow Christmas to be canceled, it would be this one. Here is a small booklet that will help explain to you why Christmas shopping is so important.
The second title that is going for zero dollars is this one, called Bone of My Bones. This is a collection of my wedding homilies. There is a second volume of these homilies in the Mablog Shoppe also, called Flesh of My Flesh, but that remains at the normal preposterous price of one clam.
Bone of My Bones
This is a collection of some of my wedding homilies. The second volume is called Flesh of My Flesh, also available here.
The third giveaway is Letters of Marital Counsel, fictional letters to fictional couples about common and very non-fictional marriage problems.
Letters of Marital Counsel
This book is the third in a series of counseling books, all of them made up of fictional letters. In this book, letters are addressed to an array of married couples who are struggling with different challenges.
The next giveaway is Scripture Stories: Lives and Times. These are biographical introductions to many of the stand-out characters of the Bible, from both Old Testament and New.
Scripture Stories: Lives and Times
And here is a book where I seek to tell the stories of some of the great biblical figures, holding their places down in the larger narrative that God is telling us. This narrative culminates, obviously, in Christ, but certain key figures come before Him, and a handful after.
In this book, I tell the stories of Adam and Eve (Man and Ishshah), Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Ne…
And the last giveaway, at least until next year, is Song of Shulamith, which is a rendering of the Song of Solomon into poetry.
Song of Shulamith
This is a version of the Song of Solomon, set in modern English verse.
And the next image is not a giveaway book. It is our burning couch picture. Make of it what you will.