Extravagant Cultural Experimentation


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Frederic Edwin Church [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

February 15, 2017

When the Founders described America as an experiment, I am reasonably sure they didn’t mean the kind of experimentation in which our current culture is drowning. America is an idea, and our means of government was the first of its kind. Sadly enough, even this experiment is in a deeply deteriorated state. A different kind of experimentation, much less lofty, is on my mind.

We live in a day of cultural experimentation. Similar to the days of the Judges, when “every man did what was right in his own eyes”, we too cut the lifelines and toss aside wisdom to pursue whatever fantasy our consciousness  can conceive. The current generation evidently sees itself as arriving at the peak of wisdom and knowledge.

Let’s consider some of these cultural features.

On Judging

People who accuse others of judging should read the context of that prohibition by Jesus in Matthew 7. The idea is finding fault with someone else, when your own sin is just as big or worse, and you are ignoring it or are blind to it.

Did you know the Scripture actually instructs us to “judge righteous judgment”?

We make judgments all the time about right and wrong. The issue is that we are not to be demeaning and self-righteous. Have any of you noticed that activists render the harshest judging of all? That they expect people to not even think differently than they, let alone say anything? That because we have a different opinion we are “haters”?

Scripture also tells us to restore persons overtaken in a fault, while considering ourselves lest we also would be tempted. James says “if any among us strays from the truth and someone turns him back, let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.” Doesn’t this require some discernment of sin, plus the courage to speak about it as such?

I suspect that often when someone says “you are judging me”, underneath – in their heart – they are saying “I want to do what I want to do”.

Here is another thought that we may not have considered. People say “Who are you to judge?” I would say this is an especially serious question for us to ask ourselves in regard to God and His Word.

  • Who are we to judge God’s assessment of marriage?
  • Who are we to judge His pronouncements of sin?
  • Is it appropriate for people to judge Him as being found wanting? As being out of touch?

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It is not judging to agree with God’s assessment of any situation. There are right and wrong ways to express that agreement. We should always treat people with respect and civility.

I don’t need to judge the subject of marriage. God has judged already, so people who want to fashion a brand-new expression of “marriage” will need to deal with His assessment, not mine. He is the Righteous Judge.

Yet, we are not called on to go around policing everyone. I have enough challenge in my own life walking in truth and righteousness. Sin, though, is still an operative word, and I should not be expected to affirm it in anyone else’s life. Nor will I do so.

If I were to fall into a sinful pattern, I certainly hope that Christians would not come around me and encourage me, out of some skewed idea of “love”, to continue on the path. How is that love?

Do we love God or cultural fantasies?

On Who of Us Is Worthy

Sometimes we hear that, because of failures in our lives, we are not worthy to speak about failures in our culture. Well, none of us is worthy. That’s the whole point of the cross. Sin is sin, and none of us is worthy except through Jesus. What does He say to the repentant?

“Go and sin no more.”

“Stop sinning, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

If being worthy is a prerequisite for speaking truth, then no truth can be spoken. By anyone.

On Gay “Marriage”

Fiction and fantasy abound here. Gay marriage is impossible to exist. It does not matter what name we assign to it. It does not matter what judges or Congress says. We do not get to decide what the nature of marriage is. God set that up a long time ago, and all of human civilization historically has recognized what marriage is.

Jesus is not silent on this subject. He directly quoted the original definition of natural marriage from Genesis, where “a man shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

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Jesus, being God, was involved in the inspiration of Scripture, including the book of Genesis. Then, when He walked as a Man on earth, He reaffirmed that definition. Connected with that definition was the instruction to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth”.

Two men cannot be one flesh.

Two women cannot be one flesh.

Man pairing with men cannot be fruitful and multiply.

Women pairing with women cannot be fruitful and multiply.

When a definition of something is given, the definition of what that thing is not is also given. For example: I might have a table that is blue. That is a positive definition of the color of the table. Included in that definition is the unspoken, yet true, negative definition that it is not red, nor yellow, nor green.

In my garage sits a Chrysler PT Cruiser. It is plainly defined as a product of Chrysler. That definition states silently that it is not a Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, or a Mercedes-Benz (sadly enough).

Do I need to go around proclaiming that “this is not a Chevrolet. This is not a Ford”? Of course not. The fact that I have a Chrysler, and tell people I have a Chrysler, clearly says that the Chrysler is not any of those other things. And isn’t it pointless to stand over a Ford and say “This is a Chrysler”?

When Jesus walked this earth, He gave a plainspoken, narrow definition of marriage. The fact that marriage is plainly defined, excludes by its definition things that do not fit that definition.

Marriage is a covenant with Almighty God and is meant to picture His love for the Church, and to be a direct connection with Him.

The smartest person on this planet is several pay grades below the Almighty God and Creator. And do we even know that the smartest person came up with the fictional, faddish narrative about marriage?

Agreeing that marriage is in trouble and has been disrespected and degraded by adultery and divorce, can you explain how creating a wholly new category of marriage can fix that problem?

We do not have the intelligence or the authority to decide marriage now has become something different. Marriage isn’t defined by cultural wanderings in the wilderness nor by political bludgeoning. The idea of “gay marriage” is an artificial invention which only showed up on the scene in the last 26 seconds of the year of human civilization’s existence.

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Yet, the push behind it is the result of an age-old question first asked in the garden of Eden: “Indeed, has God really said?”.

The owner of a car might say, “I do not want to use oil in the crankcase of the engine. I want to use molasses. I do not want to use gasoline in the tank. I want to use white vinegar. A pox on Big Oil.”

He might think the manual published by the manufacturer of his car is outdated. He may proceed to follow his own inclinations. He may “feel” it is right. He will not be free to change the outcome of following those inclinations. He does not have the authority or the intelligence to decide what is best for his car as opposed to what the manufacturer says.

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Legal doesn’t equal right.

The recent artificially invented pretense of gay marriage is an affront to the sovereignty of God, His purposes, and His design. It is saying “God, You are mistaken. We have recently discovered something that You must not have known. We are more advanced now.”

What indicators are there that the current generation has more wisdom about how life and marriage work than all generations that came before us?

Where does the drive to pursue our own distorted ideas of sexuality and marriage have its roots? Those roots are found in irreverence for God, as shown in the book of Malachi and in the first chapter of Romans. Our basic problem is the loss of the fear of the Lord.

I am not dealing here with people’s temptations to pursue paths that are not in accordance with God’s design and purpose. We all have temptations, and I would guess that each of us has a particular proclivity that we would follow, apart from the grace of God. What I am talking about here is behavior, not temptation.

Nor am I defending the hideously unChristian screamings of a certain Baptist Church, or other “Christians” who follow such tactics. The fact that people like that exist does not render the Word of God irrelevant to this issue.

Where in the Word of God did He once make any positive statement about homosexual practice? His statements are strong in the other direction. You’d think He’d say something affirmative somewhere along the way if He thought it was just fine.

On Free Everything

Could there be a more vivid example of disconnect with reality than the idea government can provide everything people want, for free? Preschoolers might earnestly believe that’s possible. Why and how do adults come to such a conclusion?

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How arrogant to presume that government authorities have the knowledge of what everyone needs, and the resources to provide it. This is fantasy, not to say insanity. It’s a disconnect with how things actually are. Reality seems to elude our political saviors.

Talk like this provides incentive for infantile demands, which abound at every turn.

On Voter ID

Check this list of things that require photo ID in our land.

1. Boarding an airplane
2. Writing a check
3. Cashing a check
4. Using a credit card
5. Driving a motor vehicle
6. Applying for a business license
7. Applying for permission to hold a protest or rally
8. Securing employment
9. Purchasing a house or real estate
10. Renting a domicile
11. Renting a motor vehicle
12. Purchasing a firearm (Includes BB guns in some cases)
13. Applying for a hunting license
14. Applying for a fishing license
15. Purchasing alcoholic beverages
16. Purchasing tobacco or products that contain nicotine
17. Purchasing a motor vehicle
18. Initial registration of a motor vehicle
19. Applying for a building permit
20. Receiving prescription medicine
21. Purchasing OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine
22. Serving on jury duty
23. Getting a bank account
24. Cash transactions above certain limits
25. Sales tax exemption for aged people
26. Participation in a national political party convention (Including the Democratic Convention, by the way).

There are more, but this suffices.

Photo ID is not difficult to obtain, and where is the citizen who does not have it and finds it impossible to obtain? The raising of the issue of “voter suppression” in this day where ID is required in our daily lives, is an attention-grabbing, disingenuous ploy.

What it’s about it is making it easy for non-citizens to vote. That is hypocritical. Progressives have such legalistic standards about so many things, but when it comes to citizenship and the privilege (not right) to vote, standards vaporize.

On Fluid Truth

Are you absolutely sure there is no absolute truth? Isn’t a declaration that there is no truth, a declaration of truth?

What is your authority for believing there is no absolute truth? Are you absolutely sure that statement is true?

Who or what do you claim for final authority? Yourself? Or is there an authority? If not, who knows anything?

On Safe Spaces

Do you believe it is the responsibility of state or federal governments to try to prevent anyone’s feelings from being hurt? If so, on what do you base that idea?  And whose feelings? Everyone’s, or just certain folks who have different ideas than you?

This relates to the “free everything” idea. It’s an infantile demand, and impossible to fulfill.

This could go on, but the point is made. Experimentation is important, but not for the very life of society or for discerning truth.

It’s high time for extravagant common sense.

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