It does not matter what argument Christians use to defend themselves - none of them work. Rationality is suspended, evidence deemed irrelevant, the outcome pre-determined.
The argument by which the Left win every battle is simple and single:
God is dead and everything is permitted.
This fact was first noted by Dostoevsky, a long time ago.
The assumption in all modern public discourse is that God is dead - God is not a reason for anything.
And the, correct, inference is that therefore - in an ultimate and bottom-line sense - everything is permitted.
Because God is dead in the West, and in particular in the public domain - the arena of general discourse; therefore everything is permitted, nothing is forbidden.
Because everything is permitted and nothing is forbidden, there is no reason to do or not do, allow or not allow, tolerate or coerce - and this is precisely the backdrop of assumptions which makes a trend to Leftism inevitable.
Even on the few and rare occasions when Christianity beats secular Leftism, it does so using secular Leftist arguments such as free speech, religious freedom, human rights, diminution of suffering, emotional manipulations, legalism and loopholes... and every such victory strengthens the principle that that is how public disputes ought to be settled. The exclusion of Christianity from the public arena is further solidified.
This brings clarity.
Tactics are doomed - so, focus on strategy.
Don't waste time finding the perfect argument - it doesn't matter, may do more harm than good.
Strength of personal faith and life, conversion of the nation - Christian priorities are the essentials, and they must also be the priority.
I think conversion of the nation and Christian priorities won’t come in our current circumstances.
Our present, atheist, culture has immodest dress and sexual behaviour, ’try before you buy’ marriage, or worse.
We have easy access to divorce, effective contraception (‘the pill’) and voyeurism via the internet and the rest of the mass media, where doing the wrong thing (by Christian standards) is mostly encouraged and portrayed as fun and exciting.
It’s affordable (as a nation) for elderly parents to go into care and the children into daycare, allowing us to shift focus onto ‘self’ and our careers, rather than the needs of others. It’s seems affordable to have mass divorce and families living separately.
We are on a very slippery slope, we are a long way down it and it was -very easy- to get here.
God’s standards at the top of the slope are so far back there is now a huge culture gap and I fear many are set on their course and cannot/will not return.
I presume someone like Martyn Lloyd-Jones would have ‘drawn a line in the sand’ and said ‘this is God’s standard, you will not meet it but should at least aim for it’ but mainstream Church, in an attempt to bridge the gap and encourage converts, seems to be heading down the same slippery slope and I fear it’s a gap that cannot be closed without abandoning Christianity itself.
George Orwell in ‘The Art of Donald McGill’ said ‘all societies, as the price of survival, have to insist on a fairly high standard of sexual morality.’
Well I hope our society does survive but I suspect conversion of the nation and Christian priorities will have to come out of the chaos that eventually ensues from our current behaviours.
We will have to learn hard lessons before we repent.
Everything is permitted, except going against Leftism.
But everything is not permitted under Leftism. Just insult a member of a designated victim group - or insult the group in general - or offend the latest insane PC orthodoxy - and you will quickly discover that many thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and expressions thereof are strictly forbidden on pain of dire punishment. So forbidden, indeed, that many people today would rather die than utter a Forbidden Thought in public.
Bruce is correct that, given the repudiation of God by the Zeitgeist, that Christian strength of personal faith and life and conversion are the essentials, and they must also be the priority. Ultimately, nothing else will matter. It was always so, but the current decline in our civilization makes it very dangerous to be merely conventional, to go with the flow.
Brandon is correct that the Left, arguing for unbounded freedom, will not allow political anarchy or anything that would threaten its power, nor will it willingly grant freedom to those who wish to live by Christian priorities. Dostoevsky wrote that a person “cannot live without worshipping something.” The Left will insist on having its own idols and requiring all to bow down before them.
@JP - The point is that the taboo is arbitrary, meainingless, changeable - everything is permitted including arbitrary taboos.
I cannot disagree with anything in this post, but in my happier moments I look at it the opposite way. One feels intense pity when one is volunteering at the local almost-no-kill dog/cat shelter and one sees one's favorite little abandoned chihuahua snap at the nice lady who came by to see if she wanted to adopt the chihuahua. Until one has felt, again and again, like a 20th century pianist full-heartedly studying the works of an older happier age, the sense of pity one necessarily and humanly feels for that never-to-be-adopted chihuahua, one will not easily understand what went wrong with the reward system that the prosperous people of today - including myself, much more than I like to think about - have subjected themselves to. - Stephen C
@Stephen- I agree. This post is about not being sucked-in oneself - but yours is the proper attitude.
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