So, my dear friend, Christie, posed some introspective questions to me since my last blog. I’ve marinated on them deeply and prayed about them passionately. I’ve even woken up at night and not been able to go back to sleep (which is not my norm) pondering the ramifications of my positions. But I have finally formulated some answers.
All things to all people
The Apostle Paul said, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
I don’t interpret Paul’s words as saying to purge oneself of your individualism, heritage, and culture; rather, he is calling Christians to try to walk in someone else’s shoes and empathize. Then, you can more productively share the blessings of Jesus through admitting your own struggles, your own sins, your own backsliding, your own doubts.
I think that is the way of being “all things to all people” that Paul is talking about. That is compassion. That is authenticity. That is the power of the Word. It transcends differences and fosters real unity.
Otherwise, a white person could never share the Gospel with a black person, or a black with an Asian, or an Asian with a white. It would limit as opposed to liberate. It would ignore the unique qualities of each human as opposed to helping to open an individual’s heart.
I liken it to my time volunteering at the local pregnancy care center. Women participating in abortion recovery often said that having a post-abortive facilitator was a plus for them, as this woman could better understand her experience with terminating a pregnancy, killing her own child, and struggling with the subsequent guilt and ultimate forgiveness.
But that certainly doesn’t mean that a man couldn’t have led the class. Or that a female facilitator should have gone out and had an abortion just to better relate to her class. Paul’s call is for pragmatic understanding, not literally pretending to be something you are not.
An apology that was needed
Because of the Southern Baptist roots in using the Bible to defend slavery, the leaders at this year’s convention decided to denounce the Confederate Battle Flag. “All the Confederate flags in all the world are not worth one soul of any race,” preached Pastor James Merritt, while proposing an amendment to strengthen the ridiculous resolution.
Well, is pushing propaganda worth souls? Is perpetuating lies, whether historical or modern, worth souls? Is cleansing your white guilt through a hollow emotional display worth souls? Is appeasing the politically correct culture worth souls? Is setting a precedent of bending to the cultural Marxists within the church worth souls?
I would say emphatically, “No!” In fact, I would add that all of this virtue-signaling is extremely dangerous. It is a corrupting cancer not only on our culture, but on the church specifically.
All you have to do is go to most any American church’s website and see them promoting “diversity” like good little PC sycophants, touting their progressive aspirations and the using the Orwellian-speak they’ve been taught to utter often and loudly.
Sure, churches want varied congregants — sometimes a noble goal for helping people to understand the disparate experiences within their community a la empathy and compassion; but other times, it’s a purely business.
The intent should not be to represent “every tribe and nation” at the expense of truth. Preach truth, and promote accurate information about the culture and history, and the Kingdom of God will do just fine reflecting true diversity.
All this making of politically expedient public apologies for a sin you yourself didn’t commit, all this “feel-good,” yet deceitful rhetoric cloaked in unity, where does it end? It doesn’t, unless common-sense Christians fight back.
For goodness sake, now you’ve got Protestant bigwigs John Piper talking about how he doesn’t believe in self-defense, even if that means letting his wife get raped, and making videos to purge himself of his “racist past;” and his son, Barnabas Piper, supporting the existence of the made-up “rape culture.” Total treachery.
J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church (the church from which Mercy Hill was planted) and nominee for SBC president, wrote on Facebook: “Depending on the tone and content of those [monumental convention] moments, it can make you proud to be a Southern Baptist … or, sometimes, feel affirmed in your decision not to be one.” I think it’s obvious by now in which camp I firmly fall.
I’m not sure if it’s even possible to find a Protestant church in America that doesn’t at least lean toward the social gospel. Is that because the seminaries have been infiltrated by leftists, or because churches tow the statist line as not to jeapordize their tax-exempt status, or simply because church leaders have read too much Francis Chan?
Whatever the case, leftism is a cancer, and it has infected the American church. There’s no reason to spread lies and perpetuate feminist-created, progressive-pushed, or historically inaccurate myths, other than to cause disunity, undermine community, and foster distrust. It’s sad and sickening.
The flag was co-opted
The thinking here is that even though the flag may have had noble intentions, that it was taken over by people who hated blacks during Jim Crow. But this minority of creeps also flew the American flag during their protests, so should we also ban Old Glory? And under which flag did slavery exist for longer, that of the U.S. or the C.S.A.? The U.S., of course.
And what about the KKK, which also flies the American flag, as well as the Christian flag? I mean, Christian socialists were all the rage in the KKK during its heyday, so does that mean we start banning Christian symbols, too, due to their association with stupid people?
Sure, many things have been appropriated by haters, but so what? Plenty of good things have been co-opted by idiots — like marriage, the church, parenthood, conservatism, much of our language (like the words “tolerance,” “rape,” and “racism”) — but that certainly doesn’t mean that their original meanings and significance have changed.
Truth is, nobody gave two hoots about the flag or any vestige of Confederate pride for a long, long time. “Dixie” was once the nighttime sign-off song for many radio stations and was the Washington Redskins’ fight song. Bands giving public concerts used to play both “Dixie” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
I went to a high school named after Pulitzer-prize-winning, pro-Southern historian, Douglas Southall Freeman. We were called the Rebels, and our flag was (you guessed it) the Confederate Battle Flag. My nephew’s Boys Scouts troop was the Robert E. Lee Council, and I knew many people who went to Washington & Lee University.
Moreover, the Battle Flag is not only a symbol of Southern heritage, but it is also seen by many others as a representation of the fight for liberty.
For instance, after the final battle in Okinawa during WWII, the Confederate Battle Flag was raised over Shuri Castle, the last Japanese bastion. In 1958 at the end of the Lebanon crisis, the U.S. Marines marched out of Beirut under the Battle Flag.
In 1989, the Battle Flag made its mark in Berlin during festivities ringing in the fall of the Berlin Wall. And in 1992, after the fall of Communism, the Battle Flag flew beside the national flag of Yugoslavia during the independence celebrations in Ljubljana. This hated flag has been flown by rebels in Ukraine to Christians in Africa.
So, when did all this anti-flag stuff come to pass in America and who was it that created this race-bating agenda? Well, the answers in order are the early ’90s and the NAACP.
“Like the old March of Dimes after the polio vaccine had solved the problem of polio, the NAACP had succeeded on every legal front and frankly no longer had a purpose,” wrote Charley Reese, a 50-year journalist who worked mostly with the Orlando Sentinel. “The NAACP was hard up for a reason to stay in existence. It was having a hard time raising money. It had internal scandals. That’s when the NAACP decided to wage war on all things Confederate, and on the Confederate flag in particular.”
And as they say, the rest is history … or revisionist history, in this case. “At some point American progressives need to stop viewing the South as their whipping boy, being perpetually flagellated for its sin,” said New York libertarian Michael Malice in a recent article for The Observer. Can I get an “amen?”
So, here we go again, more haters co-opting historic symbols in order to grow their own power and notoriety. More haters using a flag as a political scapegoat as to increase their annual budget. More haters pushing a cultural genocide of the Southern people just to line their own pockets.
If anyone should be apologizing, it should be the NAACP and their social-justice enablers. They are the ones who have created racial divisions where there were none. They are the ones who invented this bone of contention for their own self-serving and destructive means.
Laying aside rights
Some Christians are calling for me, you, and anyone else with whom they disagree to forego their “rights” for the sake of solidarity. So, first let me provide a definition of rights, which I consider spot on.
“‘Rights’ are a moral concept — the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual’s actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others — the concept that preserves & protects individual morality in a social context — the link between the moral code of a man & the legal code of a society, between ethics & politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.” — Ayn Rand
Now granted, Rand was a devout atheist, but I think she’s got it right, pardon the pun. But then again she’s speaking directly to individual rights, which were born out of the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment — two historic, world-changing occurrences that shaped Western Civilization for the good.
Martin Luther preached that God is each person’s conscience, that we’re all individually made in His image, that every Christian is responsible directly to Him. Hence, salvation is not dependent on priests or the government or any other worldly institution; it’s a personal thing, although your baptism should be made publicly and your faith shared widely.
But this doesn’t mean that individualism and communitarianism have to be mutually exclusive. After all, no man is an island, so uber-individualism will never fulfill most humans and, most specifically, the faithful Christian.
Instead, Christians must accept and protect this blessing, but also let it play out through the Gospel lens. And this is where, to me, John Calvin seems to come in.
“While liberalism and libertarianism are committed to individualism, stressing individual self-sufficiency, for Calvin, God is the ultimate source of all rights and obligations,” explains Avihu Zakai, history professor of at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“Yet, given that, God has ordered human existence socially so that divine rights and obligations are mediated by social institutions, and the individual’s sphere is defined and shaped by the larger community in which he or she lives. Hence, Calvin anticipated contemporary communitarians, for whom individual rights and obligations derived from the social and political institutions to which individuals belong.”
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, & especially for their own household, has denied the faith & is worse than an unbeliever.” — 1 Timothy 5:8
In other words, there is a social nature to individualism. For the Christian, you practice self-interest, not selfishness. You relish your God-given rights, and never hold others’ rights in contempt. You work hard for your family, but you use those fruits as you see fit to help your neighbors, community, and the greater Christian social body. And you share Jesus with anybody and everybody.
Yet, many of the pastors and Christian social-justice warriors who claim it’s not Biblical to embrace individual rights within the faith are more than happy to promote civil rights or equality or special rights carved out for special-interest groups. So identity politics is good, but individual liberty is bad. Hmmmm, I think I smell a rat.
Alethophobia vs. truth
Obviously, so much of this inanity and hate stems from the miseducation of the American populace. I mean, what do you expect when federalized schooling, which got its start during the radical Reconstruction era, is one of the main institutions propagating the extermination of Southern tradition?
It was the “forced acculturation to Northern beliefs and social systems” back then, writes Tulane Professor Richard Marksbury. And today, those old ideologies have morphed into new modern dogmas: progressivism and political correctness.
Truth is the reason why I homeschool my children. We decided to homeschool even before having kids, namely because we understood the toxifying of true history and the perpetuation of cultural Marxism carried out in government schools. Then when we became Christians, that was just more of the impetus needed to home-educate our boys in all things truthful.
And I’m sorry government-schooled friends, I will never relinquish truth simply because people are miseducated as youth or have been re-educated as adults. Historical ignorance is no excuse for being a race baiter or supporting cultural genocide.
It is such cluelessness that has let good people throughout history to be duped by tyrants. Hitler misused the Bible, stirred divisions, and rewrote history to meet his Aryan political ends. Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot created their own cults of personality as religions and then spread faux histories to hoodwink the masses.
“So justice is driven back, & righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, & whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked & was displeased that there was no justice.” — Isaiah 59:14-15
Unfortunately, most of our society, and even our world, is suffering from alethophobia: a gripping fear of truth. And though Christians get the truth about Jesus right, many are stuck on the plantation of political correctness.
Truth is under the law of Christ, not cultural Marxism. I, for one, am not willing to concede the moral principle of truth just to spare someone’s feelings, especially when doing so only worsens matters for the human condition.
And that is my point: Political correctness is evil and has been a destructive force for Western civilization, so I will speak out against it and for truth. I will not be a “domesticated lapdog,” as Tom Woods likes to say, by supporting PC tyranny over public discourse. I will not cow tow to demagogues.
Journalist and anti-PC provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos defines cuckery as ” … prostrating yourself before the powers that be in a desperate attempt to curry favour with your oppressors, in defiance of the facts and your conscience.” I will not be a cuck. I will not goose-step in line with cultural Marxists, whether they be Christian or not.
I know fighting against lies is an uphill battle. Being a champion for truth has never made anyone popular. But I already feel like a foreigner in my own land, so why not, right?!
Never give an inch
“You will never please them and will never placate them … ” penned Yiannopoulos, who also happens to be gay, in a recent article about radical Muslims. “So don’t give an inch (because) they won’t stop taking.” He says that homosexuals have the choices of suicide, adopting Sharia Law, or fighting back.
I think the same analogy works for Southerners, and all common-sense, liberty-loving people for that matter. Just as Southerners are told to bend over and take it, gays are told by the very people who claim to be their advocates to pipe down about all this Muslim hysteria.
Just as a Southerner who fights back is called a racist cracker, a homosexual who casts any doubt or critique on the religion of peace is called an intolerant Islamophobe. The power of the ad hominem attack is strong in this brave new world.
Of course, unlike gays, white Southerners are no where to be found on the “privilege pyramid,” as Yiannopoulos calls it. It is within this progressive caste system that the Southern man must wear the yoke of burden of every “aggrieved minority” around his neck. It’s tight, limiting his freedom, but the benevolent PC dictators will loosen it, only if he behaves.
The cultural Marxists continue to push for lesser-class citizenship of Southerners (well, at least the white ones), always with shrill screams of unity and healing. These instigators say they want to bring about social harmony, but what they really seek is division, vengeance, and power.
Making concessions will never satisfy the enemies of truth. And if progressivism ends up the vanquisher, well, I will just be one chick the PC gestapo has to drag kicking and screaming into their horrid Marxist dystopia.