I thought I might wander over here to complain, this morning, about the state of everything. Not that I can’t do that over on Patheos as usual, but there doesn’t seem to be much posting here, so why not.
The thing I want to complain about is Boz Tchvidian pushing “like” on Pete Buttigieg’s Twitter post about the adoption of two babies by him and his person. Matt got into a mud fight about it over on Twitter, into which my name was flung for reasons I don’t really understand. There was a certain amount of “whataboutism” stirred into the mix, which is always a good way to escalate things quickly.
I didn’t really care about all this as it was going on because I was reading a whole John Rebus novel as my preliminary entry into the autumn liturgical season of Hygge–being cozy but welcoming the dark side in a very constrained and controlled way. But then the next day I started to complain about it all and realized that what really bothers me is the total and complete abandonment of humor, chiefly in myself. I need to be funnier than I am, but I can’t because I’m too angry. I’m losing the happy part of the Happy Warrior life I generally lead. So then I asked myself why I was so angry when there is so much that’s ridiculous.
I think it comes down to the question of Mockery. God, as someone in the Bible pointed out a long time ago, is not mocked. You can try to mock him, but he is not mocked. No matter what you do, eventually all the scorn you heap upon him will redound back upon you, unless you fling yourself upon the mercy of the Son who did bear all the mockery of the world for our sake.
In terms of optics, because he is not mocked, those who love him (God I mean) should be prepared to endure a certain amount of mockery and scorn, but the inward spiritual eye and ear should meanwhile be ever more tuned to those that are trying to mock God, even the Confused Christian TM who thinks it’s ok to push like on that Buttigieg post.
The trouble is, Boz has set himself up as something of an expert on abuse. And that’s fine. Abuse is bad. The only people who don’t know this are probably not, as they say, “from here.” The trouble just this moment is that there is so very much public virtue to be derived from explaining to everyone all the time about how very very bad abuse is, even though everyone already knows that it is so very very bad. No one–I must repeat myself–literally no one is saying that abuse is good.
But because the only way to be a good person right now is to rush around explaining that abuse is very bad, we’re running out of abuse to uncover and decry. And so we have come to the point of elevating hurt feelings and general uncouthness to be the same as rape, violence, and murder. The person who has his feelings hurt by a mean or incompetent pastor who should never have found his way into a pulpit is just as badly off as a woman who is sexually assaulted. Thus we have the ever-expansive “spiritual abuse” motif, which basically amounts to spiritual bullying–which is bad, of course, but not the same as being actually beat up and raped.
But here’s the point. If we’re going to really contemplate things that are very bad, one of the baddest of all–ugliest really– it is the common habit of Christians to lie about God’s creative order, his good and beautiful order, the order in which he created us and called us to be his own. Lying is a terrible thing to do. Pushing “like” on a post of two men pretending to be married and pretending to be parents, having used a woman for their own purposes and severed her rightful connection to the children whom she bore, having messed around narcissistically with the biological gifts that God gives us as a way for us to glimpse his divine creative love, and having taken all that and said that it was likable is an attempt to mock God–a God who will not be mocked.
If we’re committing our way to the Abuse Trope, it is abusive. It abuses God’s gifts, it lies, it puts those babies into a place of unquenchable longing for their whole lives. It is very very bad and Christians should not do it.
Pastors shouldn’t bully their congregations, they shouldn’t lie about God, they shouldn’t be wicked. No one with any sense says that they should. And of course, because the human creature, even the pastor, is so blind and deaf, pastors who are doing it probably think that they are not being bad, that they are just exercising “godly leadership” as if that is even a biblical thing. They should repent. But so should those Christians who are trying to say that homosexuality is godly, is not anything other than abuse of the body for idolatrous worship.
Can you be forgiven if you have pushed “like” on such a post? Of course you can. Christians who pinched their bit of incense so long ago out of fear of the lions were forgiven when they repented. You can be forgiven of any grave sin when you beg Jesus to let his blood cover you. I suggest everyone who is trying to say that homosexuality is ok do just that, and do it quickly.