Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Lure of the Left

What makes the left so appealing? I'm not talking politics primarily. Stay here though.

Politics and theology relate more than most either understand or admit. I started writing this and divided things into theology and politics, and then deleted. I had to add a third category at least, that is, culture. You might add social, which is different than the three, and might make a fourth. The social has to do with how we solve unequal results in economics. There is a conservative way of dealing with those consequences and a liberal way. I'm going to leave it at three with this discussion. I personally don't separate the three. I believe a consistent world view sees life the same politically, theologically, and culturally. I have noticed that political liberals are usually consistently liberal in every category. Not conservatives. With them we find a few combinations of the three:
Conservative politically, liberal theologically, and liberal culturally.
Conservative politically, conservative theologically, and liberal culturally.
I'd like to think about the second category.

I'm a blogger. I write blogs. I read blogs. When I read those in the second category and then look at who they quote and who they link in their left or right hand columns, I find that they WILL NOT (or at least very seldom) quote or link to cultural conservatives. If they quote them, they normally do so with disdain. Usually, however, they simply ignore the cultural conservative.

One of the things that caught my attention on this was that I noticed the regular linking and quoting of a young man who was once a member of our church. We had to fire him as a teacher because of a virulent, destructive behavioural problem that affected his performance in a major way. He was extremely immature. After we helped him a whole lot, he pushed the eject button and moved away, looking for the greener grass. After moving away he trashed the church we recommended to him in another state. A year later he is a blogger. He spends hours and hours doing it. Through his techniques of blogging, he has developed a following in a matter of months. Understand that he has done nothing practically to merit respect, but now he is linked on major evangelical and "fundamental" blogs. They like what he has to say. He is conservative theologically and liberal culturally. None of these people linking him know his immaturity, his sin, his novice status, his bad testimony, or his character deficiencies, but they like what he writes on his blog, so he is a favorite. Culturally conservative men with good character and a history of faithfulness to God would never be quoted or linked by these evangelicals and "fundamentalists," but this young guy is. He takes the hottest cultural positions---booze OK, dancing OK, immodesty OK, most television and movies OK, and to him music is essentially amoral. He hardly misses a favored cultural liberalism among those theologically conservative. For that, he is mightily rewarded in blogdom. Even those who don't side with him, in every one of these cultural leftisms, will include him at their table. He has the compromise to make the connection.

I'm using this just as an example. I think it only represents something consistently occurring. This brings me to that original question.

What makes the cultural left so appealing? I added a word, but this was where I was always heading. Cultural liberalism. One could call the cultural left the lustful left. We all are allured by the dark side. It's fun. It feels good. It's easy. It actually allows a conservative either politically or theologically to fit into the world. You can get acceptance here (cultural liberalism) on earth and still get heaven (theological conservatism).

How do they justify all this? One interesting and amazing feature is that these guys often like to identify themselves with the Puritans and Spurgeon. Of course, the latter were cultural conservatives too. But it doesn't matter, "they're dead, so let's use them." They scoff at cultural conservatives like the apostates in 2 Peter 3, mocking while they walk after their own lusts, making space for their lifestyles. They don't argue Scripturally on these issues. They use mockery and ridicule, which are often effective, you may have noticed. The cultural liberal calls this unity. They say we shouldn't divide on cultural issues, only theological. They say that these cultural issues are second or third tier, so that those who separate on these issues are misguided and divisive. The cultural separatists, often called personal separatists, especially are spoiling their fun, what they call liberty to make it sound like something theological.

Much more could be said, but I understand the lure of the cultural left. I'm not going their way, but many, many are and in droves. My own opinion is that this is the major tool of apostasy today, this separation of theology from culture. The next generation of cultural liberals are theological ones.


Anonymous said...

I have a big problem too with those who try to make these kind of distinctions (supposedly conservative doctrinally, but liberal when it comes to any contemporary Biblical issues, like you have mentioned). I can honestly say, online these are the ones I clash with the most.

They willfully will not apply Scriptures to the issue that is being discussed! The Bible addresses drinking (including social drinking), but they will use their pet passages to say that it is okay and will disregard the rest. Same with music, Bible preservation and modern versions, tobacco usage, separation from false brethren or ecumenical groups, etc.

I have found in five or six years of being a Moderator or Admin of IFB message boards, that the same person that is liberal in some of these areas is typically liberal in all. They don't have a clue to what Bible application is all about - whether it be in regards to godliness or separation in some area. It gets so frustrating. Then when you see them continually standing for (or against) everything and nothing in particular (and continually tearing down holiness), and you finally confront their liberal posting - suddenly I'm the bad guy and just don't love enough. Laodicea (the righteousness of the people), the lukewarm apostate church - the endtime wanna-be believer who really doesn't believe or stand for/against anything...

There, that was my rant for the day! ;)

Throwback 13 said...

* I think our political moral decrepitude centers around those that believe that "conservativism is next to Godliness." A man may be conservative, but if he is socially liberal (immoral, in an other word) his other conservative appearing attitudes are shallow or even phony.
* He is not to be trusted in any way.
* Our putting up with a politician we like in other areas, but who is immoral, has brought us to the era of the "Gay life style" and the calling of moral people "Gay bashers!"
* Talking through my thinking cap,
* ... Joel

Jeff Voegtlin said...

I know the blog you're referring to as your example. And I know there are others out there just the same as him. I think one thing that's not really cultural, political or theological about it is presentation. This young fellow you're referring to presents himself very well. His blog looks sharp, and he does have the time to put lengthy "well-researched" (highly footnoted) posts together. And honestly, he can write decently well. I guess some are beguiled by good presentation, even if it's garbage that they're being offered.

Terry McGovern said...

Great post.

"One could call the cultural left the lustful left." Very good observation.

And based on that observation, I beleive the Bible teahces why this type of blog and world view is so popular: (2Ti 4:3) "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own LUSTS shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you would continue to read "garbage" blogs. I just can't seem to find the time to read all of what I should be reading and even less of what I would like to be reading.
But, not to digress, it becomes apparent to me that your "baldness" is much more reader appealing that your "left-hand". Just a thought...
Again, maybe entertaining.


Kent Brandenburg said...

ILA could you let what you think please seep out? Smiles. I know you don't like the nattering nabobs of negativity, smiles, but this actually encourages separatists and also rings true as far explaining what is happening. They can use this. The guys I read that link the left do have some good things to say, after all, they are conservative theologically, and that's where they say some good things. You do have me considering more straight humor at times, however, especially since JackHammer exists. Be well.

Rachman said...

I think you should use your left hand to shave your head.

Kate said...

Good post, Brother Kent!!! Many more fundamentalists are joining the ranks of the lustful left. So sad ...

Satan's apples always have worms ... the lustful lefties will be biting down and getting a mouthful one of these days!