We live in a time that does not really know how to deal with weakness. This is a dog-eat-dog world where it is every person for self, even if it is camouflage in the clothing of being a social justice worrier. What time do we really have for those who are weak? While some people bury their weaknesses, hiding or denying their limitations or frailties. We see this in dysfunctional from social media to marriages to politics. Other people defend the weakness by denying reality and gaslighting. We see this in our cultural gender dysfunctionality. We saw the same dynamics in the 1980-the 90s in what was then wrongly termed “worship war” when they were cultural wars.
While some hide or deny weakness, others take advantage of the weakness of others to exert control. We have all seen men who intimidate, humiliate, neglect, control, and criticize their wives because of what they see as a weakness to enhance their own pride and control. Peter calls husbands to honor their wives in their comparative designed weakness. There is a societal instruction in this biblical model.
But inherent weakness is not the only dimension in life where similar dynamics are observed. Observe the gaslighting and confused logic permeating the transactions that follow.
The Michigan State Senate recently discussed a bill that backs up the state Supreme Court’s 2022 decision that interpreted existing nondiscrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill presupposes the possibility that a human being can choose their gender and that the choice of sexual orientation is a created human option. All scientific and religious evidence and a growing body of psychological research show that such presuppositions are indefensible.
With these factors before us, consider the following:
McBroom, a Christian who believes the Bible’s directives on homosexuality and gender, told a reporter that he would not have voted for the bill even if the legislators had adopted a religious exemption clause. Here is his rationale. A religious exemption to immoral behaviors [notice, his presupposition] is like saying, “Stealing is okay over here, as long as my community doesn’t have to have it.” Hence…” we can identify that that’s untenable. We’re trying to do that with morality.”1
On the other side of the argument, the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Jeremy Moss, proposed, on the Senate floor, opposition to any consideration of a religious accommodation for a very different reason. He is a gay Jewish man who observed, “There is no conflict between my sexual orientation and my religion. I’m saddened that there is in your religion, but you have that right in this country to practice that.” So here we have two factors. One, he obviously does not know the Torah. Secondly, he proposes a very insidious gaslighting by establishing Mr. McBroom as a bigot whose opinion is not worth hearing and only tolerated because of the antiquated Constitution.
Is the Constitution the Problem?
That is a legitimate question that should be answered with a resounding, NO! While not a perfect document, it has provided for a 200-plus year run of the best government the world has ever seen for, as Jeremy Bethan put it, “the greatest number.” So, what is the problem?
I will propose a two-pronged answer. First, we have become a non-Christian nation. Now, hold on, hear me out. Our second President put it well when he said (I paraphrase a bit) this form of government can only endure with a religious constituency. In his historic setting, religion is understood as adhering to the Judeo-Christian framework. This leads to the number two element of my answer—a people with a cohesive worldview that accepts the Judeo-Christian God and his moral/ethical framework as the societal good. This means that the Constitution must be understood and interpreted grammatically and historically within the framework of such a worldview.
In my youth, 70 years ago, those clamoring to come to America while bringing a richness of their various homelands willingly embraced the “melting pop” of America. That all changed when the civil rights actions of the 50-the 60s began to be highjacked by those who saw an opportunity to use the weakness of others as a platform to build notoriety and wealth. This was followed by the sexually dysfunctional managing a second hijacking to gain recognition and preferential positioning in society.
The invasion of the broad scope of the Judeo-Christian community by liberalism from the late 1800s forward set all this up by fracturing the reasonably cohesive worldview that characterized America from the beginning. While the trial of August Briggs in 18922 for heresy and the fall of Princeton Theological Seminary from the pedestal as the guardian of conservatism were certain landmarks of liberal theology’s dominant influence on the pew dwellers, another intellectual case of non-sense (scientism)3 borrowed from the legitimate rise of science contributed heavily to the demise of the Judeo-Christian world view at the populace level.
A Heavy Heart
Nearly every day, I tell my wife, “I am so sad for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.” As I see the hoards desiring to enter this country with high hopes for a better life, I am also saddened for them. Our political leaders feed them “candy,” then put them on a bus and dump them in cities which then dump them in the worst part of town.
My sadness, however, concerns life on planet earth—with much more suffering to come. My hope for our family and us is that they know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Whatever the conditions they are called upon to tolerate, they have access to a gracious God who dispenses sufficient faith and who will see them on their journey to their eternal home.
A Hopeful Heart
My son and I discussed some of these matters in our regular early morning call today. He is at the stage of life where he is funding five cars, insurance, and a college education for three kids. And, all this, coupled with some of the physical changes that parallel his early 50s and running a business, extruded through the ever-growing maze of government red tape. Weaving this together generated a sigh of frustration as he received a call that bodes trouble on a job. I responded, “Been there, done that in my 50’s and often since. I feel your pain, and I will encourage you to join me on all counts by joining David and Paul.
“He restores our souls!”4 We look at every day as “this is the day the Lord has made,”5 and we, like Paul in a Roman prison, rejoice and are glad6—after all, He loves us with everlasting love. And with Paul, we fight the good fight using the armor of God.7
This is how we have a hopeful heart in a dying culture and in the daily grind of life in a fallen world.
1 Source: World.org cited 03-17-23
2 McRae, Allan, Church History Lectures at Faith Theological Seminary 1963.
3 Psychology from the late 1800s to approximately 1950s was the popular philosophy that interpreted man. From the 1950s forward, psychology took on many acuminate of scientific research empowering it in the populace’s view. Yet, other than statistical analysis of behavior, it severely misses the mark of being scientific. CBT has proven useful in changing thinking and behavior, not the person.
4 Psalm 23
5 Psalm 118
6 Phil 1
7 Eph 6 and II Tim 4