Great discussion and suggestion around a topic du jour. Christian, you should not participate in their rituals. Be prepared to answer why you won’t.
Note: I wrote the following in June of last year in my journal. Many words were written in that journal that will not be published. Some were too personal, some too dark. But the following I believe should see the light of day.
Overwhelmed. It is a word that has consumed my life as of late. And I have been struggling to grasp it all. The darkness of the world caught up to me.
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 (RSV)
Our world. Seems like a whirlwind over the past couple decades. I started to see the slope when I entered college. And the world has slid. And slid. And slid. And those of us that go the opposite direction of the cliff are called crazy. But I am quick to point out to those baffled by the illogic of it all that we are arguing with the Dead. How can we expect them to reason?
Our battle? It is with the rulers of the darkness.
And that darkness. Until Christ returns that darkness is here to stay. And while light pushes back darkness, while the Church spreads the Light, at times it can feel that we are outnumbered. That we are outmatched.
But so was Gideon. And that was the point.
For we are not alone in the darkness. We are not to rely on ourselves in the darkness. We are with Christ and He with us.
In this present darkness, I have been thinking about monsters. Dragons, titans, fearsome beasts out to do nothing but destroy. It is hard to not look out into the night and wonder what is looking back. Knowing that our war is against the rulers of the darkness, I look out and know they look back. I shudder and hold to my torch.
Neil Gaiman wrote what he thought was a quote from GK Chesterton in saying:
Fairy tales are more than true;
not because they tell us that dragons exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
This was a bit of an oversummarization of GK1, but it gets to his point. As children we know that our world is scary. We do not have to be taught this. We know, just beyond the edge of the veil of darkness, monsters creep, waiting to devour us. We know the importance of light and staying by it, maybe if for no other reason but to be able to see what comes. Fairy tales teach us that we have a Savior fearless and ready to grab his sword, ready to ride into the darkness and return with the head of a dragon.
Yes, there are dragons just beyond sight, lurking, ready to ambush you. Flaming tongues ready to burn you alive. But behind you stands a Slayer of Dragons. His Sword sharp, His wit sharper. While our mortal frames are frail, we are given strength to battle monsters of an unseen realm.
So here I am. Overwhelmed by the darkness. The coals of my fire casting low flickers of light against the trees. Though my encampment is surrounded by the enemy, though the dragons lurk, I am safe in Christ. He sits by, sword at the ready. And in Him, I can persevere.
GK Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
“The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it—because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.” ↩
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Matthew 5:44 KJV
Indoctrinate your kids—or someone else will.— Brian Sauvé (@Brian_Sauve) August 2, 2023
You have a job, Christian. Indoctrinate your children, raise them in the faith. Sending them to be raised by the world for 30+ hours a week and thinking that you can counter all the world’s indoctrination is stupidity. This is your job. If you don’t do it, someone else will. They are more than willing.
We were at a local beach with our kids a few weeks ago. A weekend out, away from the stress of the world. My daughter, ever the friendly one, was playing with a young boy when I got a sick, deep in my stomach feeling. I approached the lad and asked, “Bud, what’s your name?” He responded, “My name is Ivy and I’m a girl. I can prove it, I have seven Barbies at home.”
Let us be clear, girls do not talk this way and Ivy was not a girl.
Not having encountered this kind of situation yet, I pulled my daughter aside and told her that she cannot call him a girl as this is a lie, but could call the young man Ivy. I allowed my daughter to continue playing with him, but we stayed close. All the interactions were strained and weird.
What I learned at home shook me to my core. My daughter told my wife that she was playing with the young boy and a group of children. They split up boys and girls to play a game. The boy then yelled at my daughter, demanding that she call him a girl or he wouldn’t play with her. He kept scolding her until she caved and said, “fine, you’re a girl!”
Parents. I failed. My gut said to get her away, to protect her, but my heart assumed that this boy wasn’t going to do anything while I was close. Unfortunately he had already done it before I realized what was happening. And I am furious.
This child was taught to manipulate other children. His mother was close by. My daughter felt violated, didn’t know how to tell us there. Didn’t understand why this boy was yelling at her.
This is the insidious part of transgenderism. It would be one thing if they lived their lives and let us live ours. But that isn’t how it works. They must force us to participate in their charade. But to participate is to bear false witness. To lie. My daughter knew this boy wasn’t a girl, but she wanted to play. That’s why we were at the beach. To have fun, to decompress. But this young child decided to prey on her, to force her to lie. And all she wanted was to play so he took advantage of that to force her.
Let me speak clearly, we have learned a lesson in my house. My guard is sharpened.
Parents, this is what is lurking below the waves. Be vigilant. They want you to speak their lies. To deny truth. And they dance in the streets chanting that they are coming for your children. Trust them when they say that. They are.
I overheard someone grumbling at a gas station about the curse of work this morning. It caught me off guard. It brought me back to some the earliest practical theology that stuck with me.
Work came before the fall.
It’s both simple and resounding. Adam had to work in the Garden. This was deemed good. To cultivate, to dominate, to steward. These were tasks for mankind in the perfect, good Creation before sin entered the world.
This is why idle hands get men into trouble. We were not designed to do nothing. It’s why you hear so many say they cannot vacation well. They want to be doing things. I am one of those people. Too long away from working and I start to get anxious. Yes, reading a good book is great, a taking a day by the beach can be relaxing, a week driving around the mountains to mesmerizing, and a week at a music festival charges up the batteries, but…
I was made to work.
I wake up early, usually between 4 and 5am, and work on side projects— like the new mandolin I just started— to get by brain ready for the day. A work friend jokingly said that once the kids move out I’d likely start sleeping in and I responded that I’d still be getting up early and going into the shop to build things.
If I didn’t have my day job as an engineer I would be building other things, whether apps or wooden things. Simply, I could never go more than a week or two without productively doing things.
If you treat work as a part of the curse, that is where your bar will be. If you reset your heart to seeing that work was created by God, you can start to see the importance of your role in the world, even if lowly, and start to bring glory to God in one of the most substantial parts of your life.
In my life I keep quoting this post I made in February. When we are facing the dragons in our lives, it is our Lord that the victory belongs to, not us. If our Lord willed our pens would break and ours swords would become mere cardboard tubes. It is only by His will that victory is had and to Him be the glory.
Sometimes I swing my flimsy sword at the throats of dragons and have the audacity to think my half-hearted thrust mattered in their fall whilst ignoring the Lion’s roaring bellow behind me.
Let me not claim victories that do not belong to me. Let me recognize the power of God, for I am but a jar of clay.
Yet many well-meaning Christians have failed to grasp how the postmodern ethos has infected (to the point of destruction) their own understanding of Christ’s command to “Love your neighbor.” In our hyper-subjective age, this command is emptied of all objective content. The result is that some cannot even conceive of a situation in which a Christian could fulfill this command in such a way that a neighbor who is loved according to God’s standards might not feel loved according to his own.
A warning I give to so many Christians is to mind definitions. We say one thing and say it from the foundational truths of Scripture— and thus the foundational truths of all Creation— and the world says the same exact thing but means something in complete contradiction. If you haven’t seen the effects yet, give it another year or two.
Words must have meaning. If God sets the definition, that is the definition.
All who think this way have fallen for the poisonous lie that hurt feelings, per se, are sufficient proof that you have failed to love your neighbor. Yet if that is so, we make Christ himself out to be a sinner! […] Indeed, Jesus was not murdered because he was too nice but because he did and said things that caused some to despise him—yet in all this he was “without sin” (Heb. 4:15 ; cf. 1 Pet. 2:22 ; 1 John 3:5).
Even so, the idea that we are commanded to make our neighbor “feel loved” is ultimately a form of relativism in Christian drag, a kind of sentimentality that holds to the form of godliness—“love your neighbor!”—while denying its true power.
If feelings are the standard, then there is no standard. There also are no constraining limits. For if making someone “feel loved” is the requirement for being loving, there is no end to what darkened hearts may demand in order to feel sufficiently loved. This is, of course, precisely what is happening everywhere in the West.
If I do not feel loved, you are not loving your neighbor. Let’s put this differently, if you don’t use my pronouns, you are being hateful and bigoted. If you don’t support marriage between these two people, it’s because you hate them. If you don’t let me teach your kids about sex and gender, you hate me.
These are lies to manipulate Christians that are not ready for the bait and switch on the word “love”. It’s a powerful play, really.
They have turned Christ’s command to love our neighbors—along with the many biblical commands to be compassionate and kind—into a blank check for the world to cash.
Christian, you say you love your neighbor? Well to love me you must do jumping jacks for three hours straight. Anything else is abject hatred. It’s one thing when the request is that we work out, but when they ask you to lie or bear false witness? To worship their idols instead of Christ? Love is not theirs to define.
Am I seeking the approval of my neighbor or of God? For if I were still trying to please my neighbor, I would not be a servant of Christ (cf. Gal. 1:10).
Yikes. Some people cannot read more than a word or two.
- Christofascism isn’t a political ideology, movement, etc.
- Christofascism isn’t fascism. Never was.
- Christofascism is an insult coined by a liberal Christian to insult and shame orthodox Christians into shutting up.
Now that you have a summary, read the post.
I learned a new word this week: Christofascism. This term was lobbed my direction. So, like any curious person does, I looked it up. Modern argumentation is heavily reliant on insults and pseudo-insults that make people not want to engage in argument or to recoil and defend themselves. Look at any of the recently concocted phobias. It is a way of saying “there is no debate allowed.” Christofascist looked like one of these terms, so I looked it up. And it’s a curious one.
First, it was coined by Dorothee Sölle in the 1970’s. She was a liberation theologian. To most Christians that know their history, that is a heretical Marxist break-off from Christianity that has spun out many dangerous— and theologically grievous— cults that are in no way orthodox Christianity. Just look through her Wikipedia entry and you’ll see we wouldn’t allow her anywhere near a church conference.
Second, the term was specifically coined to describe “fundamentalists” and frankly, orthodox Christians. Tom F. Driver stated that “[w]e fear christofascism, which we see as the political direction of all attempts to place Christ at the center of social life and history.”
Third, the term was described by George Hunsinger— a reformed theologian— as “a sophisticated theological attack on the biblical depiction of Jesus.” He criticized the theology of opponents of Christofascism as extreme relativism that reduces Jesus Christ to “an object of mere personal preference and cultural location”.
So to be clear, this term was coined by liberation theology Marxists to insult orthodox Christians. And the insult comes down to “you ugly!” It doesn’t actually criticize orthodoxy, it just coins a new term for it.
“You don’t want to be a fascist, do you?! Then you cannot believe in a Jesus that is the only way to Heaven or should be King of all, center of social life and history. That is fascism. Don’t be a fascist.”
I’m gonna break it to you lightly, “NUH-UH!”
These childish neologisms to shut down conversation and shut down debate by guilting people into shutting up are tiresome. Christian, be curious and keep debating.
Twitter has been aflutter around the term Christian Nationalism over the last few weeks. As I am on Twitter and part of the Christian world, I have seen a lot of the good and the bad. As with all dialogue and debate, definition of terms is extremely important. Even those under the blood of Christ can be subject to misunderstandings and erroneous assumptions, as we are still in a fallen world. Add in that this term brought out some ugly souls— folks that need a lot of prayer— that even I would consider to be racist.
As a 500 page book on Christian Nationalism sits next to me, a group of theologians came together and released a draft statement on Christian Nationalism & the Gospel. There is a long history of Christian statements that help clarify where a group stands in the form of affirmations and denials. This followed that history. I have read the majority of it.
If you are seeing Christian Nationalism being discussed or hear me discussing it, this is the definitive definition.
Now I need to read a 500 page book.