Over the last 24 hours or so I have been thinking about how the world judges — each other and us. The newspapers and blogs are full of the inauguration and how this changes the current president: what his agenda will be. Well and good. They are judging by their standards, which are pagan and progressive: the same standards that proclaim all Christians as either repressed prudes or psychopaths.
But those have never been the standards of this age.
17Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. 18They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. 19They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20That is not the way you learned Christ! 21For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. 22You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and do not make room for the devil. 28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Now the first thing to take from this passage is that the current state of affairs — with an elite who are frankly antichristian leading a large percentage of the population into vice or worse — is not new. It accurately describes the practices of the Romans (those great pagans, the Germanii and Britanii, were horrified by the sexual licence of the Romans). So the question is not one of accepting their judgment, for the scripture is clear: they are blinded.
Instead it is about what to do.
- Speak the truth, particularly that which we do not like. I am thinking here of the double standard between serial monogamy and a soft harem of lovers: both are wrong. The current secular “good girl” is what the old secular elite called “damaged goods”. We have to say what the law is — and that is celibacy for singles — even though many of us singles do not like being continent and hate being alone.
- Be angry, in fact be furious. Godly anger is good, and those who stop men being angry stop reformation. Anger at injustice drove the British to stop the slave trade (by blockading northern africa, at an untold cost of lives: Sailors on that station died frequently of malaria and yellow fever), supported the civil rights movement and attempted a rebellion in Germany during WWII. Anger will lead to the church being reformed. The trick is not to act with hatred. And to ignore those who call anger violence, because they have never seen true aggression.
- Work. It is not time to mooch. It is not a time to be on a benefit, unless you are literally too old or too crippled to do something. The state is going to go bankrupt — particularly in the EU and US — and you have to support yourself.
- Build others up. I probably made an error yesterday in linking to Banshee. Find things that are in the culture which are worthy and good, Avoid that which is not. The trouble is that “that which is not” is now a significant part of the post-modern discourse. Let is praise God, however, that Beethoven, Bach, Brahms and Orthodox Chant still exist, and there continues to be beauty in this world.
And live in community with each other and our neighbours. For we will be judged. We will be exploited. We may be oppressed. But we should not let this make us move to the standards of the world. as they plunge down an elevator towards judgment.