The Atlantic recently had a great article about how the left’s tactics are becoming fundamentalist in nature especially on university campuses. They heap up judgment upon judgement bigot, racist, sexist, homophobic, upon anyone who disagrees and have started adopting language similar to sin. It wouldn’t be so bad if the reminder was to seek forgiveness, but this is the interesting point: They are adopting something more and more akin to a Japanese anime where the characters constantly scream unforgivable and then attack!
The problem with accusing and judging everyone with hate and then pronouncing them unforgivable is we are left with minds free to essentially become judge jury and executioner. If you are already sold on the anarchist front then soon following will be your hands that are free to do violence, which is what we have seen. You are left with a recipe for tyranny. I haven’t read the universities’ syllabus for Rebellion 101 but there seems to be a similar short-sighted teaching making the rounds. If we deem detractors sinful and also unforgivable we are endorsing oppression. It seems like more and more are buying into the notion that rebellion is the way to go. Their sense of justice has been violated and therefore we should sign up for the revolution. The sad problem in all of this is that is it pricked by personal discontent and fueled by the echo chamber of the internet.
G.K. Chesterton wrote the book A Man Called Thursday about a group of men who were gathering for a revolution in the streets of England, preparing to throw dynamite into the midst of others to file their protest with the political power. The twist of the book was that the one gathering and recruiting the rebels was really playing them all along. The double reveal is that the rebels were actually undercover cops trying to find the heart of the conspiracy, which they did only to learn that he was in turn finding them to take them out.
The book captures the romanticism of the rebellion. The one fighting for his rights, the glorification of the underdog. We all understand and sympathize but the bigger problem is that our youth are falling for this vain-glory. Is it because we don’t know how to have actual life changing impact that we let social movements decide the fights for us? We sign up as our personal set of beliefs align and in the end we are dupes merely for a political side in a much bigger game.
If it were a true rebellion it wouldn’t fall so far down typical party lines. This rebellion only serves to keep a specific side in power, or to prepare for the next. We are still left with much unchanged and our varying opinions, so we grab our sticks and signs and try to make a difference. But if they are really unforgiven, then to what end we do not know? There must not simply be acceptance but a complete salting of the earth of any other viewpoint, what they have done is unforgivable after-all. But this is when the resistance becomes the oppressor. This is when the fascist invites in all new younger players who truly want to have impact but simply crank the wheel of a certain polity. While the fighting continues, those in power continue while the rest of the populace can pat themselves on the backs for having starting yet another fire.
Christianity comes into play in that we understand the plight of the down trodden, we want to help, but instead of recognizing the way Jesus went about it, we too have become politicized, even radicalized. Rather than realize the faults of the moral majority in the past we have merely switched camps while still playing the same game. But Liberal Democrats are not the heroes of the corruption from the ashes of the Conservative right. They are two sides to the same political coin, of which until last year the sides were switched. The response from Christians is not to find another candidate, but to actually find the savior. When the Angel of the Lord shows up it is not about which side we have chosen but who is submitted to God.
For a Christian actual life change is with the Gospel. There are many social problems, but Christians like a good solider do not concern himself with the affairs of the world in order to please those who have enlisted him. If we want to please God and ironically actually have impact on the lives of the truly down trodden we should realize that that is Gospel not political work.
A real revolution calls people out of a system, not simply fighting for only one side of it. Until our young buy into a life with Jesus as the real revolution they will keep looking elsewhere. Until they truly understand the game being played on the whole world by sin, until they agree that forgiveness is possible, they will continued to peck away at the mountain of granite with a plastic spook, because the megaphone over us all soothes us with the carrot on the stick of social justice and back pats, keeping up with reminders of a utopia that amounts to little more than a neatly veiled political side.
Christians agree on the Gospel but not on politics, so if we engage this way we still are boiled at infighting, even for Christians this is a break point. Everyone is trying to capitalize on the social unrest, look at Pepsi, look at ESPN, look even at Heineken. But if we follow this line we are simply another advertiser trying to get theirs while the world problems are much deeper than that and continue on. Even Christians are being constantly tempted by the revolution, we look at Christ and say “Yes, he it the answer!” But immediately our wondering eyes continue searching for the true answer, that which will really have impact! That which will really fix things, not believing the very words we confess, or because the truth of the Word have not actually taken root in our hearts.
I think part of this comes from a misunderstanding of our worldview, or lack of the concept. We don’t grasp that our faith is supposed to arrest our entire lives. Our faith doesn’t last beyond a Sunday service, so we look for what will really be a catalyst for whatever the particular movement is. We buy into the ideas of social justice of BLM, LGBTQ, Refugees, Death Penalties Politics, Poverty, Health Care etc. everything is pushed to the extremes of dire import that actual debate is futile. We can’t agree on what used to be disagreeable positions so we retreat to bunkers instead of just regular old life. Something is pushing everything to eleven. Is it the enemy just laughing? Is it the vanity that Solomon mentioned? Are people waking up to the futility of life and instead of choosing to eat and enjoy the life that they have been given under the sun, they choose to fight against it? But fighting against it while failing to actually come out from the system itself-we are enraged glowing red cogs, but cogs that haven’t actually come out of the machine.
Actual forgiveness is possible is it never about destroying the other side. We are seeing the world adopting ideas of morality and sin but they fail when trying to come up with an answer. Let’s not repeat that mistake and pretend that God hasn’t actually solved the problem. All our racism, sexism, bigotry real or imagined can be forgiven by Jesus who hung on the cross for it all. That is the answer we offer not another practice in revolution.
I don’t know if we can return to Egypt, or that we should. But a Christian is called to represent the savior and that has nothing to do with our politics. It will impact them for sure but that faith drives us by a love for God that does not destroy the lives of others. We need to stop looking to politics for the answer but to the Word of God, we need to stop looking for a candidate to solve our problems but to Jesus. If your activism operates with the dial at eleven then you are being used to keep the masquerade going. Actual reform raises its own awareness, it doesn’t need to hold a vigil virtue signalling to every passerby.
Stop being a child and romanticising revolution but become an adult and learn to love.
If you want to change the world then love someone in the name of Jesus without caring who is in office and which polices are in control. Without caring who feels different from you and reacting every time you discover that someone does. It is our good deeds that silence the ignorance of foolish men. Stop allowing the attempts at good deeds to be tied back into the system. Revolutionize the system by not given it the power to serve as your power base. Revolutionize it by acting under a completely different banner. Go and love in the name of Christ because he is risen! Share the Gospel which actually grants forgiveness. If the world is becoming more aware of a sin problem then start pointing them to the actual savior.