July 19, 2012

Sex, Religion, Politics, and the Weather

That covers most of the stuff folks like to chat about, doesn't it?

First off, the weather. It's hot and humid here in Houston, just like it is every summer. Those of you who don't live on the Gulf Coast have a very different concept of "humid" compared to us Gulf Coasters. We giggle when we hear you use that word, because what you call humid is so dry to us that we break out the lotion to keep our skin from cracking.

So, I was mowing the yard, and sweating "profuciously" as an old friend used to put it, and was feeling a bit cranky. So, I started listening to the Gigolo Aunts on the phone to lift my mood. I got a bit of a smirk when the song "SuperUltraWickedMegaLove" came on, wondering what exactly Messrs. Jared and Douglas Wilson (no relation, AFAIK) would think about that song about seeking love through personal ads. Which brings us to sex. And the big kerfluffle brought on by insensitive and hurtful language used by the Messrs. Wilson in a Gospel Coalition blog post by Jared.

Rachel Held Evans (in the top two of my favorite bloggers) wrote a post criticizing Jared Wilson for the insensitive language used in his post, and brought on a lot of criticism for both Wilsons, and herself. The response from Jared Wilson was only to condescendingly criticize the reading comprehension of his critics, rather than to acknowledge that his post, and Douglas Wilson's book were full of emotionally charged language for women that are survivors of rape and abuse. Plenty has been said about the complementarian v. egalitarian relationship stance around this debate, and about the insensitive language used by Jared Wilson, so I'm not going to jump into that (even though I think the complementarian viewpoint is wrong both morally and scripturally.)

I will, however, take Jared Wilson to task for using anything by Douglas Wilson for source and reference material. That's because Douglas Wilson is nothing more than a racist, plain and simply put. Yep, he sure is, if you look at his apologetics for slavery in the pre-Civil War South. Here's a quote from D. Wilson's book, Southern Slavery as it Was:
Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based on mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. … Slave life was to [the slaves] a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.” (Southern Slavery As It Was, pages 23 to 25)
Sorry, Jared Wilson, but I don't care what topic you're writing about, if you're going to use material from someone that writes such garbage about how well the slaves had it, then you're not only completely calloused and insensitive to anything outside of your own skin, but pretty danged foolish in my book. Associating yourself with anything Douglas Wilson writes automatically invalidates your opinions on any subject with me.

Which brings me to politics. And religion.

It saddens me to no end that we seem to have linked the two inextricably. We have "liberal" and "conservative" churches. Really? It's one thing to have differences of opinion on interpretation and primacy of scripture, but to define them with political terms is a sorry and shoddy conflation to me.

Sorry, Virginia, but there is no Santa Claus, and we have split the Body of Christ asunder with our politics. We, as members of the Body of Christ, haven't figured out how to carry the message of transforming people to willingly take up their crosses and follow Him, so we have split the body with emotionally charged political topics such as "social justice" and "the rights of the unborn." We can't change people's lives with His love, so we resort to emotional blackmail to get you to legislate what we want.
If we, as the seemingly schizoid body of Christ, can't change people enough to address these charged political issues in their own lives to suit our purposes, then what business do we have using legislation to compel a behavior upon those who disagree with us?

"Narrow is the path", it is written. It's generally not a smart idea to walk on the right or left side of a narrow path. But many only wish to take that verse and fit it to our desires, rather than see where our desires need to fit into it.

Where exactly did we, as Christians, go astray from being "determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified"? While the good news for our bodies may be food, shelter, equality, etc., the Gospel for our souls is Christ crucified to defeat sin and death for us, to reconcile us to God Himself.

We love to speak of "rights", yet everything we call "rights" has to be paid for by another human. They all involve a sacrifice by another human, whether from labor, bloodshed, or mutual social agreement, a price is paid for all of them. There is only one right we have that is not paid with a simply human price: the right to become joint heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. An ineffably human and divine price was paid to give that right to us all.

And when we lose sight of that price, we turn the church from a sacred place of worship and thanksgiving to a secular place of political dialogue.

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