The Chaos Of The Present

But more and more there is a tendency to brand as illiberal, medieval and narrow any man who differs from the current of popular religious thought, and declares it to be non-Christian in its tendencies. There is a great discussion in the pulpit and out of it as to what the Church is to do or not to do. The state of opinion on this subject is singularly chaotic at present.

—Clarence Macartney, “Shall Unbelief Win?” (1922)

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  1. Unbelief has won. Since 1973 the Roe v Wade decision has resulted in 55 million abortions (that were reported). This sacrifice at the altar of Moloch of American children will be avenged by an angry God. Now we have gay marriage and even some advocating incest. This is the beginning of God’s judgment on America. The so-called Moral Majority never existed.

    • “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

      Unbelief has not won. Often, though, people do things because they don’t see the light beyond trial and sorrow. Women abort babies because they don’t feel supported and don’t know what else to do. People define themselves as gay because they don’t fit in with the “straights”. We make it worse by condemning. We call them murderers and homosexuals. Why would they ever come into our churches?

      If, on the other hand, we loved them, supported them, and said, “Hey, my sins are just as bad as yours,” how would that change things?

      In our efforts to maintain right theology we too often draw a line between right and wrong that forces people to stay on the “wrong” side. If “right” theology gets in the way of loving people, we all lose.

      • Deb,

        I agree that strident rhetoric does prevent us sometimes from talking to people and yet, at the same time, it has to be said people are committing crimes against humanity and the culture is manifestly in decline. Do people abort their children out of desperation? Yes. Do they just as often or perhaps even more frequently abort them for convenience? Yes. That’s a reality too.

        I agree that, tragically, “gay” has become an alternative cultural identity for many more than the 3% of Americans who are actually LGBT etc. Why that should be is complicated but I agree that, for a variety of reasons, some who aren’t actually homosexual identify as “gay” because they reject the classic American masculine stereotype. Why they reject it is an interesting question. Christina Hoff Sommers makes a good case that the feminist movement(s) has/have morphed from the case for equal opportunity to an oppressive anti-male crusade. It’s clear to me that, in too many places, it’s no longer safe in our culture for a boy to a boy (or a man to be a man). We medicate boys for being male. We program it out of them. There is a striking rise in the culture of effeminate men, i.e., men who adopt (consciously or not) effeminate speech and manners. I confess that I struggle with this. How much of it is generational (I was raised by the WWI and post-WWII generation and WWII, Korea, and Vietnam had a strong impact on my generation and the quasi-military way we were raised) and how much of it is cultural (I’m a Plainsman with roots in rural areas and urban/suburban areas with strong rural influences)? It’s hard to tell but look at films from the 40s and 50s. How many characters portrayed men with effeminate characteristics, who were not comic? Not many. From the 50s and 60s think of Liberace and Paul Linde. They were comic characters who, today, wouldn’t be so comic because they wouldn’t be exceptional.

        Somehow we need to find a way to affirm what Scripture says about nature, sin and grace for sinners at the same time. I think Jesus gives us the pattern—even Jesus is sometimes rejected as a “hater.” It’s true. I’ve had that conversation—He affirmed the humanity of sinners. When we speak to those whose sins we reject we need to affirm their status as image bearers, God’s love for sinners, our own guilt as sinners (as you rightly say) while we speak the truth in love.

  2. A very good reply to Deb, Dr. Clark (and Deb made some salient points).

    From my own experience, I think that those who scream loudest against “stereotyping” are also some of those who engage in it the most.

    When I was a teen (thank God, from the heart, those days are long gone), I got tarred with the “queer” brush. Why? I was a big, healthy guy who liked art much, much better than sports. Yet all my sinful lusts and, later, proper sexual behavior (decades-long, monogamous, heterosexual marriage with two sons and now a granddaughter) have been hetero. I shudder to think that were I part of this current young generation, I’d probably be pushed by well-meaning people to explore a “gay” orientation (actually, the few “gays” I’ve known struck me as rather unhappy people).

    However, I’m also sympathetic to the folks here who call on us to take seriously the evil drift of our times. Maybe we are on the cusp of a revival fueled by the compassionate among us; but maybe we are also living in a period when God’s severe judgments are about to fall, and we won’t be anything other than a chastened and faithful remnant. I can’t say that I know what it is. I pray it’s the former; but I’ve read the Bible enough to know that the latter is also a possibility.

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