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« Assuming Responsibility | Main | Tertiary Politics »

Mock My Shodesty

Those caught in the crunch between colliding paradigms know how dangerous the fallout can be.  Everything is at risk.  When you’ve invested your entire life into a set of assumptions—say, a Christian Weltanschauung, for example— it’s not easy to sit by and watch it go down in flames.  I know if my grandfather were to emerge from his grave and see what’s going on today, he would probably turn around and climb back in his coffin.  This latest headline and story illustrates what I mean:

Divorce, American-style: No-fault is now the law in all 50 states

No-fault divorce became the law yesterday in New York State, making it now possible to file for a split in any state in the union, without having to show fault by one partner. The Empire State was the last state to pass a no-fault divorce law. Such a move could make breaking up much less expensive for many New Yorkers.

Whether that now will result in a new flood of divorces isn’t clear; some news reports said lawyers were seeing a deluge of new clients yesterday, while others said would-be exes were holding back.

Anyone considering a split needs to look beyond the emotional to the financial, ideally well before the papers are filed. That includes getting copies of all relevant financial and legal documents and storing them where your spouse can’t get them; creating a budget as a single person or single parent; and—of course—closing all joint accounts. For more on divorce financial planning, check out “If divorce strikes” and “Splitting up your retirement funds” from Consumer Reports Money Adviser.

Marriage was an early casualty of the new wave, but I can still vividly recall when it was not well thought of, at least in the Midwest.  Gradually, the sexual revolution gathered momentum, and one-by-one, old taboos began to lose their moorings and fell by the wayside.  Divorce, illegitimate children (or, “born out of wedlock”, as we used to say), abortion, sex education, condom distribution, live-in boyfriends and girlfriends, homosexuality, open discussion of formerly suppressed subjects like STD’s, body parts and intimate sexual topics have all flooded into the national conversation.  The older generation has stood helplessly by with reddened faces and shocked modesty, watching it all unfold. 

Now, many sixty-somethings and up can’t even bear to watch.  The internet has put sex on steroids.  Instant porn of the most foul and degrading perversions possible are within a few clicks on a laptop or cell phone.  Social networking has turned texting into sexting.  Song lyrics use four letter words as the core meaning, obviously sexual gyrations in dancing are standard fare, comedians’ total shows consist of blatant sexual humor, and raw sexual themes define much of the entertainment industry. 

The more Christians protest against this corruption, the greater delight the world takes in making it even worse.  It seems to me that if all this is a product of some gigantic conspiracy, then conspirators are winning big time.  Once they took over the universities and the media, it was only a matter of time until the rest of the culture would follow suit.  If I could figure this out with a smattering of undergraduate courses in sociology, don’t you think thousands of Ph. D.’s in philosophy, sociology, anthropology and many other fields in the humanities knew what was happening a long time ago?  My guess is that they did and that they were 100% in favor of it.

What is a Bible-believer supposed to do?  Run the traitors out of office?  Elect social conservatives across the country?  Clamor for a return to constitutional values?  Adopt aggressive platforms by which we will try to convert the population to our way of thinking?  Well, we can try to legislate morality, but the prospects are dim.  Fiscal conservatives may have a slightly better chance to succeed politically, but I don’t see it happening for social conservatives.  Not being pessimistic by nature, it pains me to opine that Christians are in a trouble.  We need to brace ourselves for a new reality: life in a country that no longer embraces Christian values.  Of course, most Christians have understood this for a long time, but, nonetheless, we continue to boldly proclaim that we are going to take this country back and that we have election strategies that will restore the morality of our forefathers. 

Maybe.  I’m not holding my breath.  No, we should not voluntarily capitulate any of our positions, but neither should we hope for political victories that will lead to a fundamental reordering of society in our image.  What we really need to do is come to terms with our total commitment to Jesus Christ and His kingdom.  This commitment is not a function of our political fortunes, but of our baseline convictions.  It is time for us to walk into our prayer closet, as did Daniel, and throw open the windows to pray in the face of our enemies, despite the certain penalties that we may incur for doing so.  Daniel had no control over the politics of the day, but he did have control over his own devotion to the true God.  That was enough for him.

Will it be enough for us?  Some may agonize over the loss of our place at government’s table.  Others may be nervous at falling out of favor with the powers that be.  The true test of our commitment, however, will be when we are faced with fines or imprisonment.  What will we do if we lose property, fortunes, legal protection or guaranteed rights?  Will we compromise our core beliefs to gain political capital?   How far will we go to avoid being shut out of the reigning cosmos?  Dr. Richard Crocker says, “In the late Roman Empire, subjects were required to make a confession each year that ‘Caesar is Lord.’ If they made that claim, they could practice any religion they wanted, as long as they proclaimed that Caesar was the ultimate authority whom they obeyed. To refuse to make that confession was to risk execution. Early Christians refused to make it. They insisted that ‘Jesus is Lord.’ And so they were, some of them, thrown to the lions.” 

Let us not forget that the whole of the New Testament was written by men who had no role in their government—indeed, they lived in the midst of official hostility to Christianity.  Moreover, let us not forget that great revival, the vast expansion and the missionary vision of the church took place in a climate of adversity.  Does it not make sense, then, that the descendants of these martyrs should expect some form of opposition?

Should we work for political victories?  Absolutely, especially in a democracy that gives us that privilege.  Should such political favor result from these efforts, I will be the first to celebrate.  At the same time, our morale must not rise or fall on the basis of our status in the government.  After all, secular favor has never been a goal of the church.  Our objective is much loftier than anything Washington D. C. can offer us. 

Jesus said that evil men shall grow continually worse.  That doesn’t provide much of a role for righteous-minded people.  We will never run with the evil crowd.  They will never love us.  Instead, let us maintain our allegiance to God, to the Bible and to our principles.  Let us go on, unconcerned with the political ramifications of our positions.  We are free.  The wide swath that spiritual freedom cuts means freedom from political patronage, government approval and the favor of the Caesars of the world.   

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Reader Comments (3)

It seems to me that true, frank, open discussion of STD's would work in favor of reducing harmful sexual behavior; it's hard to contradict real life experience, and real life experience empirically tells us that there are some acts that really shouldn't be shared so freely due to their empirically intimate nature.

It's interesting to note that the most intimate acts literally do cause two to become one flesh; both at the time and later because the boundaries are erased and there is passage between the bodies.

This in fact, could be presented, calmly and without shame or red faces (there is no shame in intimacy, but rather in its degradation), and one could also use the occasion to point out that attitudes aren't necessarily superior because they're "newer" or "current"; old sources can teach us much.

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Garcia

Such great edification. I choose, for now, to answer with love.

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy Manuel

I go totally along with God's word on this: He created EVER-Y-THING - including the material for (ahem) condoms. But He never stipulated the use for this material; he gave man a brain and - free choice - to 'choose' HIM out of his life. And with most of man's inventions - he has chosen the world - without God. As Nan Pamer says - I STAND ON HIS WORD.
If I wasn't s'posed to mention names on here, I apologize. But I dearly love her stand.

May 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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