By Charlie Johnston
The first Advent occupied hundreds of years as a groaning world awaited the appearance of the Messiah. When He came in a manger, few noticed it at all. When He began His ministry, the ruling class rejected Him as a dangerous fraud. Even those who believed in Him were slow to realize that God had not just sent a man on a white horse: He had come, Himself. When it comes to the startling things of God, we are always slow on the uptake – and make fools of ourselves because we use our ignorance to both be entranced by frauds and to declare the real things to be frauds. It is another reason I always counsel being deliberate. One of the first things you learn about God when interacting with Him seriously is that He is one tricky fellow – but tricky like an affectionate parent who delights both in our comical misunderstandings and in seeing the light go on in our heads as we learn. The bottom line, though, is that for all those years, though most did not know it, the people of the world were looking forward to the manger. Now, in our new Advent, wise men among us look back to the manger – and the wisest seek to show us the way.
Almost everyone senses we have reached some great pivotal point. Bets are placed on which way we will fall. If one were notably clever, instead of placing a bet on which direction we will fall, he would instead bet that we will fall into battle – for that is a sure thing. All that is really uncertain is who will be on offense and who on defense – and how each will be equipped for the battle.
We have replaced the rule of love with the rule of raw power. Because of our fallen humanity – and the need to form functioning communities, there is always a competition for power even under the rule of love in the temporal sphere. But when the lust for power, like a cancer, metastasizes it leaves no room for love at all. People no longer have friends and neighbors, only co-conspirators and fellow refugees. Everything becomes artificial, gray and gloomy. During the height of the Jim Crow era, the Klan did not as brazenly stalk the land as BLM and Antifa have this last year (though, to be fair, much of BLM consists of angry young and middle-aged white women who have never had real trials rather than actual black folks). Turns out lynching is still horrifying even when run by the descendants of victims. And, once again, the tools of government are still maliciously deployed against innocents by sympathetic and corrupt officials.
Jesus said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This is Wisdom. Abraham Lincoln extrapolated that statement by Christ to mean that, in order to survive, the house in question must become all one thing or all the other. We find ourselves at the edge of a great battle in which an uncertain majority is determined to hold fast to the traditional values of faith, family and freedom – to leave each man to his own conscience without compulsion – and a determined minority which is determined to impose an alien pagan sensibility on all from above. The majority is uncertain because it mainly just wants to be left alone, content to let others live their pathologies unmolested. It struggles to understand why, when it is willing to tolerate others’ disorders so long as it does not impede their own freedom, why the others are so unwilling to extend them the same consideration. The minority is typical of utopian schemers through all of history. They are incapable of living and letting live, because they are convinced they have found the millennial formula for enlightened existence – and must impose it on all for it to work. They are unaware that they are doing nothing at all new – just the same, old, ever-narrowing authoritarianism marked by the bread and circuses of deep sexual disorder. Ultimately, to impose their vision, they must be willing to riot, loot, burn and murder. It becomes a frenzy fueling itself. The determined minority is also unaware of two critical things: first, with every new outrage they perpetrate, they alienate another segment of those they seek to rule. Their activism never adds to their capital of goodwill with people, but only depletes it. The second is that the vast majority of revolutionaries dream that they will be counted among the rulers – when they are simply the useful idiots who will become the drones, impelled by the ever narrowing class of rulers. After the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin spoke of the dictatorship of the working class. Within a couple of years, several of his cohorts wryly remarked that the dictatorship of the proletariat had quickly become the dictatorship of one man – Lenin. It is ever so. By the time Stalin took power, the most dangerous position to be in was to be a friend or colleague of the dictator – for their life expectancy was exceptionally short.
No one can say with certainty why it is, but any experienced exorcist will tell you that authentic demonic activity is almost always accompanied by serious sexual depravity and disorder. I personally think it is because it infuriates the satan that God gave man the power to cooperate with Him in the creation and formation of human souls. It speaks to the unique dignity God endowed mankind with – and it enrages the impotent demons. They love to make a mockery of the dignity of this power, to futilely try to prove in the ugliest ways that God erred when He entrusted this majestic power to man. The demons are all eunuchs – and it delights them that they have made it fashionable among progressive pagans to be eunuchs, too. It is one of the signs by which I consider the madness that has gripped the pagan left to be diabolically inspired.
This is all enabled when people focus all their attention inward rather than outward. Whenever it is all about “me” misery shortly follows – and if the person afflicted with such disorder does not turn away from self, it becomes progressively more disordered until simple happiness and joy is no longer possible. One of the favored bumper sticker slogans of the sexually deviant class is, “What’s wrong with love?” In this simple formulation, they redefine and trivialize the definition of love, itself. Aristotle defined love as “willing the good of another.” The new sexual deviants define it as getting their preferred mode of sexual stimulation. What an impoverished definition of love! Love is no longer about what you will do for the beloved, but exclusively on what pleasure you get out of it. The devil chortles with malicious mirth.
The pagan left is gripped entirely by its appetites and lusts – lust for power, lust for sensual pleasure, lust for money, lust for notoriety. They are lost, but now aggressively seek to make all say that their obvious degeneracy is actually superiority. It is simultaneously horrifying and pitiable. All they have to do to find their path back to joy is to humbly look outside of themselves and reach out to those around them. But many have lost that capacity entirely. Oh, they couch their appetites in noble language: they want to feed the hungry, care for the poor, dignify the dying. Yet they don’t care that their programs are always disastrous for those they say they want to serve. It is because they simply want to see themselves as philanthropists, to attribute to themselves Homeric virtue without actually having to do any work or make any sacrifice for it. Their noble sentiments are the fig leaf over their unbridled lust. It is all about self-actualization. Alas, there is no satisfaction there. They are become like serious alcoholics. For the pagan left, even a pittance of power is too much while Stalinesque totalitarianism is not enough. Nothing will calm their frantic appetites. When they lose they are furious – and even murderous. When they prevail they are disappointed and immediately seek MORE. They think others can give them what they can only obtain through a clean heart. They hate us for the misery they have imposed on themselves. Even our cheery comfortable laughter among friends is an intolerable affront to them.
We are entered now into a great battle. Advent is a time of waiting with confident hope. The pagan left hopes to take complete power over all – and if they succeed they will only succeed in spreading their misery to all without relieving their pain a whit. Yet they dream that if they can just fill this hole they have carved in their souls, all will be well. They look forward to seizing complete power with confident hope. Normal people look forward with hope for deliverance from the madness that now stalks the world. They dream of living their faith and conscience without compulsion, in fellowship with their family and friends. They dream that, in the words of Lincoln, their “…nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” The ends of these two factions are incompatible; one must prevail, the other must perish. Soon, either Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be seated in the highest political office in the land. Whichever is seated, it will not change the fact that this is a house divided against itself – and that is the great battle of our age.
The ancients lived their Advent in expectation of the coming of a great temporal king and warrior. But He came as a babe in a manger – and so few noticed Him, for their expectations were all wrong. But His coming made possible the progressive growth of actual liberty instead of endless warfare, of intrinsic human dignity for all instead of a caste system of rulers and ruled – in addition to the weightier matters of redemption and salvation. So while they looked forward to what turned out to be a child in a manger (which is stark repudiation of the term, “product of conception”), we are called, in our new Advent, to journey back to the manger.
In spite of all the troubles, turmoil and toil, your confident hope of deliverance is well founded. It will not be at the hands of a man on a white horse, but at the chubby little fist of a Child in the manger. So I say let us get on with our journey into our New Advent. Onward! Back to the Manger!