X Marks the Spot

X marks the spot. And, my oh my, are there lots of spots about! There are Xes on the floors at Walmart. There are Xes at Target. There are Xes at Ingles, Kroger, Costco, QT, Dollar General, etc. When you approach a cashier to pay for goods and services, if you look down near your feet, you are probably going to see tape, paint, or another marker indicating the following: X marks the spot. I don’t know about you, but it gives me what my grandfather used to call the heebie-jeebies. In short, the creeps. The times are a-changin’, Dylan wrote. But this time it is a different kind of cultural revolution. It is not the Vietnam War now; it is not LSD and the hippies now; it is not feminism now. It is a cultural revolution in which the foundation is being dismantled and destroyed. Statue by statue, church by church, zip code by zip code, mayor by mayor, governor by governor, carnage fills the headlines. And one of the great questions to be settled is, What will the new foundation be?

To state what many believe, the West is undergoing a transformation. We are now in a place where an organization like Black Lives Matter has the world’s attention. And the buzzwords and catchphrases en vogue in today’s post-Christian, post-everything culture pervade their website. Here is a section direct from BLM’s website:

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be      disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.

We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).[1]

Race, gender, “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” and Communism comprise the majority of BLM’s worldview. As I have read through their website’s resources, it is filled with language of “oppression.”

Individuality is absent; what fills their writing is emphasis upon the group, upon the collective. You are valuable insofar as you are black. Race is key. And if you add certain sexual proclivities, then you receive bonus points, i.e., more value. To simplify it for those who will not do the reading on their own, the worst thing a person can be is white, male, heterosexual, Christian, married, monogamous, and politically conservative. Those are indicators of your status as “oppressor.”

To say that BLM illustrates “identity politics” is supreme understatement. In the absence of the transcendent worldview that teaches that all lives matter (from conception until natural death) because they are created in the image of the infinite-personal creator God, now we live in a world where pigmentation determines people’s worth.

Remember Rev. MLK’s words about the dream that all people would be valued by the “content of their character” rather than the color of their skin? Well, that is rejected by BLM. For BLM, color is what matters.

I wonder why the statistics of the millions of black babies murdered each year don’t find space on their website. Did those black lives not matter? What about the lives snuffed out by black on black crime in Los Angeles, in Chicago, in Oakland, in Detroit, in New York, in Philadelphia, in D.C., and other cities controlled by Leftists? Did those black lives not matter?

My wife and I lost a couple of children several years back. For those of you who have been through the same thing, you know the pain. It is almost indescribable. My wife’s pain through those seasons was horrible to watch. And all I could do was watch, cry, and pray. They remain terrible experiences that scarred us both. Our children’s lives mattered.

But why doesn’t the logic cut both ways for BLM? Where is the outrage at Planned Parenthood facilities being overwhelmingly in neighborhoods where most American blacks live, and aborting generations of black lives? Don’t those lives matter?

Again, look at the numbers: “Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, abortion has killed an estimated 20 million black babies — more than the entire black population of 1960.”[2]

What will replace the foundation that is being torn down statue by statue? What will replace the foundation that tells people they are valuable because they are created in the image of God who redeems their fallenness through the gospel? What will replace the heretofore self-discipline and Judeo-Christian worldview that informed the Founding Fathers’ worldviews, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence? What will replace the traditional family where moms and dads raised children to honor their parents, to respect all people, to wrestle against their own sin, to think critically, and to honor those to whom honor is due?

Will the moniker be, X marks the spot? Will it be that the West destroys itself from casting off all moral restraint? Will the West degenerate to such a level that the arguments that carry the culture into judgment revolve around “gender identity,” “oppression,” and “identity politics”?

I do not claim to speak for others but I, for one, am long past being weary of wearing facemasks and using hand sanitizer while watching thugs vandalize private and federal property and wreak havoc—and yet, I am somehow the bad guy if I don’t don a mask and stand six feet from my neighbor?

In the biblical worldview, we are to love our neighbors and respect their property, not shame them for something they’re not guilty of. In the biblical worldview, we are to love the Lord with heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. But in the godless Communist world of BLM and Leftism, you see paint being splattered across the nation, riots disrupting civilized life, intimidation, violence, defunding of police, “cancel culture,” and unleashed madness.

The foundations are being dismantled block after block across our land by mobs in black shirts, fattened on vitriol and talking points, but malnourished with regard to self-discipline, love for God, or love of neighbor.

X marks the spot used to mean, at least when I was young, the place signifying you’d landed upon the spot for treasure. This was where the goods were to be found. Now the Xes keep us “distanced,” and suspicious of one another, looking askance at each other, sizing one another up. Really? Has it really come to this—skin colors, critical race theories, gender identities, identity politics, and language of oppressors vs. oppressed? I hope not, folks.

There is a better way. It is not utopian. It is not “progressive.” It tells us that we are all (all!) created in the image of God, but that we have fallen through sin. Yet grace has come in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And glory comes on his terms because of him, to all who respond in repentance and faith. Creation, fall, grace, and glory. How is that for X making the spot? You can stand there and if you do, you will find the foundation whose builder is God, and you will finally be home.

[1] https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

[2] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/since-roe-abortion-has-killed-more-black-babies-than-the-entire-black-population-of-the-u-s-in-1960


Moral Breakdown or the Gospel?

This week, some of my family and I took a road trip. During some of the long hours on the highway, we tuned in to some talk radio. As observant citizens know, there is no lack of disturbiurlng headlines. First, a female student at Spring Valley High School in SC was so defiant in class that the police were called to deal with her. Let that sink in. Classroom misbehavior in the government-run school system has reached such lows that police are necessary. That’s how much is tolerated in a culture given over to eschewing personal responsibility. If that’s insufficient, now the student has raised nearly $50,000 via an internet fundraising maneuver. See the tragic paradox? Students who were doing their work, obeying the rules, and even being (ready for this?) self-disciplined are not the protagonists. Nope, they are invisible. The one who gets the attention is the rebel, the defiant, and the one whose behavior is so bad that police have to be called. And nourl-1w she’s making money. We’re amidst moral breakdown. Most people reject the diagnosis that we are all sinners in thought, word, and deed. Most people reject the only remedy—namely, repentance and faith in the gospel. And the moral breakdown continues.

Secondly, Obama spearheaded the release of over 6,000 felons from federal prison this week. Drug dealers were released into America’s neighborhoods at the behest of a nation’s president. Do you think politics might be involved? Do you think class warfare might be involved? Do you think that this decision is consistent with a particular worldview? Should we just wink at evil? Perhaps we can self-reform? If you think the release of felons by executive fiat is wise, will you open your home to these felons? Will you take them in? Perhaps you are looking for a babysitter… Folks, what does it take for a people to think clearly? We’re amidst moral breakdown. Most people reject the diagnosis that we are all sinners in thought, word, and deed. Most people reject the only remedy—namely, repentance and faith in the gospel. And the moralbreakdown continues.

Thirdly, Mattel (the toy maker) may be about to do away with distinctive toys for boys and girls. G.I. Joe is now thought to be sexist. And Barbie dolls are sexist, too. The Left’s solution? Do away with gender-specific toys. Rather than admit that boys and girls are different and complementary, create unisex toys. That’s the lesson Leftists want to teach your children. Do you think a worldview denying the imago dei (the image of God as revealed in Scripture) might be involved here? Do you see what happens when people refuse to acknowledge the obvious? Most people reject the diagnosis that we are all sinners in thought, word, and deed. And most people reject the only remedy—namely, repentance and faith in the gospel. And the moral breakdown continues.

When a nation celebrates villainy but scoffs at repentance, beware. When a nation lauds delinquents but shuns the discerning, beware. When a nation winks at evil and courts nihilism, beware. In a nation where police are mocked and defiance is deified, beware. In a nation where evil is called good and good is called evil, beware. In a nation that refuses to acknowledge that God created us male and female, equally beautiful, equally valuable, complementing one another, beware. Politics is not the solution. Bigger government is not the solution. Political correctness (code speak for silencing free speech) is not the solution. The gospel is the solution.