Imagine going back 20 years and talking to yourself. Imagine trying to convince yourself the degree to which, in just two decades, the wheels of rationality would have come off society's bus, sending us hurtling towards the cliff to moral oblivion with so little hope of regaining control before the impending catastrophe.
I thought about that as I watched this recent exchange that occurred on the goofy "Dr. Phil" show between conservative commentator Matt Walsh and two transgender activists.
The thing is, I can be persuaded that a debate like that could have happened two decades ago, provided the setting was the old, comical, "Jerry Springer Show." But these impassioned claims from bearded men in blouses that they are women are no longer just sensationalist fodder for lurid trash-television programming. They're now regarded as legitimate, meaningful, reasonable positions being espoused by morally serious individuals in a society that has completely lost its ability to think.
That may seem an exaggerated conclusion: that this anti-science, anti-woman movement called transgenderism is only popular among a very vocal minority. That outside of activist Twitter, the majority of Americans know better. I read a response to the Dr. Phil episode that echoed that position:
The truth is that 90% of Americans agree with Matt Walsh, but are passive and apathetic. The remaining 10% are incredibly passionate and motivated.
Even though I doubt those numbers are accurate, it's largely irrelevant. Passivity, apathy, or fear at the idea of saying the true things that Walsh said on TV has resulted in a cascading waterfall of cultural change.
And the haunting words of Alexander Pope's "Essay on Man" that have so presciently anticipated the persistent advance of the progressive sexual revolution these last many decades tell us it's only going to get worse:
"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
as to be hated needs but to be seen,
yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
we first endure, then pity, then embrace."
As shocking as it may be for us to witness the bizarre consequences of a society in outright rebellion to reality – ESPN giving a courage award to a male Olympic champion for announcing he is a woman, the NCAA permitting a decorated male swimmer to present himself as a woman and obliterate the female record board, a bearded man in a blouse and lipstick on national television pretending to be victimized by someone suggesting he is mentally unwell – none of it should be surprising to the Christian.
God's people have seen it, lived among it, and been instructed how to handle it in Scripture for thousands of years. The Apostle Paul wrote to believers about the degenerate and debased Roman Republic they were living in:
"Just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity." - Romans 1:28-29
There's nothing new under the sun. What is unfolding on our daytime television screens and in our university swimming pools is merely the same moral hemorrhaging of a society unmoored from the permanence of God's authority as history has seen before. If God does not exist, everything is permitted. If His moral order is to be disregarded, then there is no reason wrong can't be right, down can't be up, and boys can't be girls.
That is, ultimately, the battle being waged in American society, and why, with as logical and coherent as Matt Walsh's arguments may be, the bearded man in a blouse will earn the audience's approving applause.
Thankfully, God has told those wise enough to surrender to His authority and divine will how to respond to life in such rebellious times:
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2
Live not by lies. Embrace what is righteous. Shun what is evil. Love your neighbor. Testify to the truth. And trust God to bring an end to the chaos that surrounds us at a time and in the manner of His own choosing.
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