Friday, December 20, 2013

The Wonderful Adventure

The latest interesting thing to capture my attention is this song I heard this morning on the alternative radio station I tune into sometimes. It's called "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. It was kind of catchy, but a song I'd figured'd be okay this time, but if I'd heard it even one more time it'd really grate.

Thing is I really started to try to pay attention to the lyrics, which was kind of difficult because the gal singing it has a tweaky voice, the producer made the whole thing kind of tweaky to begin with -- I naively thought it was a novel Christmas song decrying the commercialism of the season because a line that repeats many times is, "All I wanna do is ::bang bang bang::, and :cha-ching::, and take your money."

The "bang bang bang" part is the stylized sound of a gunshot, three of them in a row, driving the beat. Later in the song is the line, "Some some some I some I murder, some I some I let go."

Yeah, pretty brutal. I'd bet a bazillion young people know this song -- I don't know, just not into it that much. But because the lyrics include lots of items about the wretched way people are treated, it drew my interest. It is interesting because it is indeed about

Contemporary human sacrifice.

Is this gal just making a statement? Is the statement about the rank urban disaffection this music so often exudes? Does she just want to be in the rap scene and sing about violent things to get people to like her because it seems young people just like all that stuff?

But then, all of that mixed together is the interest, including the stuff about it I don't quite know yet. It does in a very profound way just elucidate the World. All over it and in it and through it is that disaffection, amplified by its expression in some kind of compelling artistic work that's fresh and hip and all that.

The other day I was listening to another radio show in the morning -- I had a late day at work so I could listen to a guy I never get to listen to on the car radio, but this time I got to: Alistair Begg. I think this guy is a right-on preacher of the word.

His message this time was about the word "wonderful." He was using that text in Isaiah that speaks of Christ as "Wonderful Counselor" and was elaborating on what that word "wonderful" means. Of course with my blog here titled "Wonderful Matters" I was very interested.

The critically significant takeaway? That the word wonderful in the Hebrew can only apply to things that can only be explained by God. Wow. Blew me away. A wonderful thing can only be a thing that has as its explanation God.

Just thinking about that Paper Planes thing, I so often see young people looking at the world and screaming from the depths of their viscera. Look at all this shit, how can there be a God? It is almost an exhaustive existential smacking against the walls of reality day after day after day. Let's make sense of this by being insanely crazy in a popular song, but, well -- deftly penetrating the actual goings-on of regular human sacrifice at the very same time.

This is indeed the core essence of why I blog here. Anything viscerally meaningful can only be explained by God. Only by Him can you understand anything, even if it is the stuff pouring out of the Paper Planes experience. Much of what I write here and in my webzine may not be considered "wonderful" in the traditional smooshy sense we always use it. But then, as Begg articulates, we just don't know the meaning of the word.

Look at the stuff related to this thing with Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson and his remarks from his interview in GQ magazine, the ones that have caused something of a firestorm about homosexuality. I bring it up because without a grounded perspective based on who God is and what He is about, no one will ever truly get what's going on here.

On two different occasions I was directed to pieces both written by Brandon Ambrosino, one before all the Phil Robertson stuff written in The Atlantic and another he wrote afterwards in Time. From what I gather each of them has been received favorably by more mainstream-minded folk and not so favorably by the gay rights movement, much because Ambrosino appears to provide a more moderate viewpoint, you know, let's all be more tolerant.

The problem is that if you read both pieces you'd see Ambrosino is hedging, essentially saying, in The Atlantic, "Even though people who reject homosexuality are still bigots and homophobes and narrow-minded Neanderthals, we should really work to understand them." In Time, "Even though people who reject homosexuality are still bigots and homophobes and narrow-minded Neanderthals, we should allow them to say their piece."

Yes, Ambrosino will say all kinds of things that take the edge off, like he doesn't want to judge anyone a homophobe if this, that, or the other thing is demonstrated, certainly to try to get the reader to see how splendidly magnanimous he is. But the fact is this valiant attempt to soften the entirety of homosexualism by working the mainstream is extraordinarily wicked.

One of the most crucial parts of this is in the suggestion that it is really all about freedom of speech. The idea: "Those anti-gay folks are bigots and homophobes and narrow-minded Neanderthals, but we must all make sure their freedom of speech is protected." The fact is this isn't just about freedom of speech, and to keep it all in that much less meaningful arena utterly eviscerates the impact of what followers of Christ are trying to say.

It's as if the homosexualists are trying to get the upper hand by proving they are all that righteous and above it all. We are VERY MUCH FOR freedom of speech SO NOW THAT WE'VE PROVEN WE'RE GOOD AND WHOLESOME we can control the debate.

No, true followers of Christ are saying unequivocally,

Homosexual activity destroys people.

Truthfully, it destroys the lives and souls of those who engage in it no matter how much individual autonomy is involved. And for so many to encourage its practice as ruthlessly as they do is the worst moral crime of them all.

How to go about addressing this? There are two ways, really, only two.

The World way and the Kingdom way.

The World is doing it by enabling its expression to ultimately further legitimize its prosecutorial functions. Look at how much Caesar is shoving himself right into the mix of it all. On the one hand his minions are going crazy making grand official declarations of what sexuality is and isn't, or wrestling with whether or not to bastardize marriage by allowing it for same-sex couples. On the other hand they're enforcing the most draconian penalties against other kinds of sexual abuse. Please note that the ministry of condemnation is a good thing. People who wreck the thing sexuality and hurt others doing so are in need of the harrowing force of the law.

The Kingdom way is to consult the guidebook about how God made us, redeemed us, and wants to see us sanctified to do things that bring the greatest contentment in life. The ministry of reconciliation is better, but for it to work it requires insightfully identifying truthful things. At the same this does mean addressing those with homosexual feelings with mercy and kindness and charity. But this mercy kindness charity isn't a milquetoast mealy-mouthed disunderstanding of what things really are, including sexuality.

It is about seeing what is wonderful.

Truly, actually, really wonderful, from a God who wants to see us revel in living out the wonderful adventure before us.

So yeah, part of that is getting into the "freedom of speech" mix. In his desire to appear more tolerant, one of the things Ambrosino says he'd like to see is more of the debate with those who think he's wrong. You can see, however, why he must pepper his writing with all the "But they're still Neanderthals" kind of stuff, because I think he knows if he really got into it with someone who knows about the true teleological purpose and God-arranged meaning of sexuality, he'd get annihilated in any debate. Any homosexualist would, because all they have is "freedom" and "equality" and "advocacy for all" and "well you're just Neanderthals."

I am presently re-reading The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. I do enjoy the Narnia books no matter how much people may say Lewis was into the occult and magic and all that. Eh, they don't quite understand either.

The reason it is so compelling is because it is a beautifully told story about the rapturous experience of being in The Wonderful Adventure. So yeah, courageously taking on the carnivorous giants of political correctness is part of that adventure. We all have that need to contribute to the world what we think is right, even the homosexualists. M.I.A went out of her way to compose and perform and market something to make some statement of some kind about what she sees is pretty important.

Hey, I'm writing here.

I'd kind of like it if some people found what was truly wonderful.