COVID And Our Anger Toward Authority

New Warhorn Media post by Lucas Weeks:

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I found it interesting that you talked about people who hit left and have no enemies on the right. It’s my experience that most people kiss left and hit right. That is most people I know are ok with someone being to the left of them but if someone is further to their right the claws come out.

For example I can handle people that do advent candles but it’s the people who say no to Christmas I really despise.

Yes I despise liberals but it’s all the people to the right of me that make me look bad so I hate them more.

NOTE: Edited a day later.]

Your statement about advent candles makes a certain point that is true, but it misleads readers who have not listened to the podcast under discussion. In the podcast, I was pointing out the incessant hissy-fits of those crying “tyranny” since the inception of COVID and leading God’s people to condemn their shepherds and divide their churches over masks; those who speak about the “shamdemic” and claim masks are sacraments and idolatry and violations of Scripture’s commands to the Corinthians; those who preach that the pastors and elders who submit to such mandates are making their church into a “whore”; these men never say no to rebellion as long as the rebels are belligerent in the name of “freedom” and “liberty.”

So now, they have built their membership and audience through flattery and will pay the price of having no enemies to the right.

Not just Pastor Spurgeon, but as American society sees it, all of us have no one to the “right” of us other than Amish and German skinheads. But this is not the “right” I was referring to in the podcast.

NOW BACK TO ORIGINAL COMMENTS:

Anyhow, in connection with those “bidders at the auction of popularity” who I warned you against this past week, think carefully about who is truly the lib and who the conservative, who truly the left and who the right? As we consider those who have spent the past year and a half screeching and howling against those they label “tyrants,” It might help to read a little Burke:

But to form a free government; that is, to temper together these opposite elements of liberty and restraint in one consistent work, requires much thought; deep reflection; a sagacious, powerful, and combining mind. …But when the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides of the people. If any of them should happen to propose a scheme of liberty, soberly limited, and defined with proper qualifications, he will be immediately outbid by his competitors, who will produce something more splendidly popular. Suspicions will be raised of his fidelity to his cause. Moderation will be stigmatized as the virtue of cowards, and compromise as the prudence of traitors; until, in hopes of preserving the credit which may enable him to temper and moderate on some occasions, the popular leader is obliged to become active in propagating doctrines, and establishing powers, that will afterwards defeat any sober purpose at which he ultimately might have aimed.

Love,

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My take on things: people’s resentment has been building up for years at the seachange in the wider culture which has been so hostile to conservatism in general and Christianity in particular (though conservatism and Christianity are not the same thing). So, when Covid comes along, all those resentments exploded, e.g. with the bitter opposition to mask mandates. The issue is that that opposition is a proxy for many other things, not least the red-state resentment at nearly everything coming out of Washington.

Any comparison with the UK can only go so far, but the churches here learnt to adapt, with online services and endless Zoom calls. It is more open now. And the other point is that historically, Christians have had to deal with much more challenging situations than ours. I am not sure of the reliability of the following, but I did find it encouraging:

The prominent medieval Egyptian historian Al-Maqrizi, records some details about the fourth Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah, who ruled from 953 AD to 975 AD and moved the centre of power of the Fatimid dynasty from Tunisia to Egypt. Under the Fatimids, the city of Cairo was founded in 969. Al-Maqrizi records that Al-Mu’izz li-Din Allah issued a decree to close all churches of the Coptic Christian community in the land and to forbid the church bells to ring. Capital punishment threatened anyone who dared to meet in a church, or even open a church. For nine long years the churches were closed, the gates grew rusty and the pigeons took residence in the sanctuaries. Some of the faithful Copts travelled across the desert seeking monasteries in the wilderness so that they could meet for prayer and worship. However the majority of the Copts could not afford the time to travel on foot across the desert, so they were forced to stay in their homes on Sundays. After nine years, the Caliph decided to see for himself how the Coptic Christians were now crushed and silenced. In disguise, he set out on a Sunday and walked in the streets of their quarters in Old Cairo. And he heard the sound of their prayers, Bible readings and worship from every house that he passed by. His reaction was another decree, a famous quote: “Open their churches and let them pray as they please. I thought I had closed the church in every street, only to find out that I opened a church in every house.”

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Beautiful. Thanks, Ross.

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This is not a charitable episode in the slightest. All those who have been pushing back the loudest are accused of being rabble-rousers and stereotyped with “Fox News,” and this shown as evidence that these rabble-rousers do no care about things like Christian evangelism because you had an article that did not solicit much interest. Well there are a lot of reasons why an article might not have solicited interest. Maybe people are addicted to politics. Maybe people are just not interested in the article. Then we hear about how much you have learned from liberals supposedly due to their common grace. Well, my experience has been the opposite. That is because liberals are at war with common grace. Then we hear about how rabble-rousing pulpits like these just yell at the world.

Ok. Name five of these pulpits. The truth is that I know the kinds of people you are talking about and their pulpits are not political stumps. They’re doing exegetical preaching.

I have yet to see a Christian ministry opposed to feminism who thinks that it is about chest thumping. Again, a stereotype (and one that I mainly hear from egalitarian women).

The reason people are excited in their defense of liberty and their refutation of error is because liberty has to be zealously guarded or it will be replaced with bondage. People do not drift to liberty. In order to protect liberty, people must boldly and confrontationally insist upon liberty. That is what Paul did in opposing Peter to his face. No one is of a higher authority than Peter, and yet Paul would not give up a single inch of liberty.

Based on this episode, it sounds like you would have told Paul lacks a proper respect for authority and that his public rebuke of Peter diminishes his own authority. This reinforced why I think your concept of authority is wrong.

No one here is angry about authority. We are angry about abused authority. How do you know that? We submit to all kinds of other authority. I have yet to see anyone on my side rage against authority in general. They are opposing being brought into bondage by wicked authorities. One generation is all it takes to lose liberty forever. It is way easier to maintain liberty than it is to take it back once it is lost, and once it is lost it usually takes bloodshed to get back.

So God is incapable of sending rain upon the just and the unjust because the unjust spit up at Him? This is laughable.

Did you ever hear of a man named Mark Driscoll? Doug Phillips? These men were full of their pride before their falls. It was all about chest thumping.

Matt Trewhella, meanwhile brags in his sermon that he hasn’t filed a tax return in 30 years. Yeah, sorry, but that’s not submitting to all kinds of other authority.

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It is easy to laugh at positions that you make up.

God is able to pour rain on the land and the wicked bring forth thistles from it. These thistles are not a good source of fruit.

Also, tangentially related but most conservatives do not believe that the Republican party can do no wrong. The GOP is controlled opposition. They serve as the “antithesis” in the Hegelian dialectic. The progressives (note their choice of term) are the thesis. The republicans are the antithesis. The march of history into evil is the synthesis.

It is understandable that you reject God’s effective use of common grace, given your lack of understanding of it, but really you should study it before you continue dissing.

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I understand common grace.

If you’re ever interested in learning from a conservative, I’d gladly provide you a list of liberal men you could learn a thing or two from.

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I did this about 5 years ago and wasted enough time. I only aim to read good theology now.

Made me think of this song we began singing at church the last year.

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I have to admit I struggled to think of significantly left-leaning people who were full of Christian grace and joy. I can think of some who mimic it and speak differently privately (or maybe I just think they do, or what they say is fine?) It bothers me that I haven’t experienced this.

It should not bother you brother, because the left is defined in large part with a war against nature and the God of nature. Even the preenlightenment pagans were rarely as bad as our postmodern foes since they were at least in large part able to appreciate much of the good in nature and the benefit of not warring against it. The modern left not only hates God, but they deliberately seek to demolish anything good.

I find serious encouragement from many secular people on the right side of the spectrum, but virtually none on the left. Maybe the closest call would be someone like James Lindsay or Tim Poole who have their benefits if you sift through their materials well enough.