Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Mark of the What?

Rod Dreher brought it out of the closet with The Benedict Option.

By “it”, I mean the ongoing discussion in evangelical churches about being “in the world” but not “of the world” in a political climate where the Powers That Be are increasingly disinclined to let anyone opt out of their pro-LGBTQWERTY program, and in which technology has given them the tools to make sure you don’t, at least not without hurting you in a big way.

Wait, what? You say there IS no ongoing discussion about these matters in your local church?

Why am I not surprised?

Waitin’ For the End of the World

Well, I’m not surprised because I’ve been discussing the state of the world with believers and unsaved alike for as long as I’ve been a Christian. It’s one of those subjects that just keeps coming up even if you’re not looking for it. Almost nobody my age has a problem talking about how things have changed since they were a child, and almost nobody thinks they’ve changed for the better.

This could get proverbial in a hurry, so I’ll point out that I have indeed read Ecclesiastes once or twice, specifically:
“Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”
But I don’t think Solomon was talking about noticing that the society around us is spiraling into the abyss. That has happened many times over the course of history, and Step 1 in setting things right is always diagnosing the problem. I suspect he’s disparaging the sort of individual who merely whines about it without doing anything to address the problem or without accepting our own measure of responsibility for having allowed it to occur.

In Need of Course Correction

But regardless what Solomon meant, the fact remains that when I get into these conversations with Christians and worldlings alike, nine times out of ten it quickly becomes clear to me that while the person I am talking to acknowledges without debate that the world around us is indeed getting measurably worse, they cannot in the least comprehend the place that such a steep and accelerating moral decline is bound to take us in the next twenty years or sooner, barring radical course correction.

They just don’t get it. If what we are observing is real, our lives are either going to change in drastic and very painful ways, or else we are going to find ourselves like the Babylonian crowd in Daniel 3, falling down and worshiping the golden image.

I kid you not, these are the options. Or rapture. There are no others.

Dreher, for all his dire warnings of a possible and deeply undesirable future hinted at by the Leftist fatwa in North America, has not yet fully grasped this. He imagines some sort of calculated retreat is possible.

A Plumber with a Clean Conscience

Doug Wilson doesn’t, and it’s his post on this subject that you urgently need to read. In the process of reviewing Dreher’s book, he puts his finger on the obvious time and time again:
“He urges us, for example, ‘back to the trades’ (Loc. 2841). ‘Better to be a plumber with a clean conscience than a corporate lawyer with a compromised one’ (Loc. 2844). But the secularists will not have forgotten the plumbers. They will not be leaving the plumbers alone.”
Yes. This. Exactly. If you doubt Wilson’s prescience, ask yourself who is currently getting the flack for failing to genuflect to the gender-fluidity gods and their pro-homo pantheon. Why, it’s the cake bakers and the pizza makers, not the corporate lawyers at all.

Wilson again:
“The reason the new order is going to be quite different from our parents’ generation is that the price of admission, to any portion of the legal economy, will be compliance with, and applause for, the entire range of gender options for getting it on.”
And again I concur.

A Social Media Prerequisite

A few years ago, I noted a developing tendency in Human Resources departments in my line of business to scrutinize the social media presence of all potential new hires with a view to eliminating from contention anyone who held what they considered a problematic viewpoint on social issues. That would be every Christian with a conscience. It isn’t hard to see how easily such a policy might be adapted to include current employees.

My response was to adopt a pseudonym online, which has kept my business and blogging activities separate to date. Now I read that simply opting out of visible Internet activity is no longer sufficient for the PC machine. Greg Simpson of the talent development consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison says, “Job seekers who are silent or invisible online may be at a disadvantage. They need to engage on social networking sites to increase their visibility and searchability with prospective employers.” How long do you figure before we go from “may be at a disadvantage” to “simply will not be considered”?

Put bluntly, unless you are prepared to publicly virtue-signal your lock-step approval of the social mores of our day, employment with a major corporation will soon be a thing of the past.

This is where we’re headed, and it is only Wilson who gets it. He suggests a Christian black market, where believers pool our resources to keep our heads above water.

Three Options

I paraphrase here, but if the Left continues to have its way with the institutions in our society, we are likely to find ourselves faced one day soon with three options:
  1. Get on board with the PC program. Say the ‘right’ words, even though you don’t believe them and even though they violate your Christian obligation to speak the truth in love. Keep your job and shut your mouth. Feed your family.
  2. Maneuver around the edges of the underground economy while feeling guilty about it.
  3. Maneuver around the edges of the underground economy with a big cheesy grin plastered all over your face.
Can you think of another one? I can’t. See, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were single men. They could look into Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace and say, “Fair enough, I’m good to go.”

Thing is, they weren’t bringing wives and kids along for the ride. Many of us are.

Complete and Utter Denial

How whackadoodle does this all sound? I fully recognize that some of the folks reading this will react exactly like my co-workers react to the suggestion that the transformation of our society over the last thirty years will ultimately seriously affect their lives: with complete and utter denial despite the facts right in front of them — facts that they themselves helpfully point out.

Could you even discuss this subject in your church? Could you imagine asking for a show of hands from your fellow believers as to who among them might be willing and able to contribute something (labour, capital, whatever) to an underground economy on behalf of their fellow Christians?

Uh, I thought not. Me neither.

But I think we need to start thinking about it.

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