At the end of Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King, after Oedipus has gouged out his eyes with his mother’s “long gold pins” that held her robes, and after he’s “seen” the folly of his anger, his hubris, his failure to listen to counsel, the Chorus in the play concludes the tragedy with this lament: “Count no man happy till he dies . . .” Then it’s curtains. Tragedy befalls even kings.
In recent news, Chick-fil-A, a restaurant chain owned by Christians, is once again persecuted for one reason: they’re Christian and won’t capitulate to secularism which mandates that marriage be redefined to mean what it never has meant. So, Denver International Airport’s board, heavily influenced by leftist/secularist ideologies, may bar Chick-fil-A from setting up a business inside the airport, despite the demand for their products. “Count no man happy till he dies.”
In Rowan County, KY this week, County Clerk Kim Davis has been taken to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to people of the same gender, claiming her Christian convictions, based upon the Bible, forbid her condoning so-called same sex marriage, because that would violate her sincerely held religious belief that marriage always has been, and always will be, the sacred union of one man and one woman, under God. Today, she’s in jail for refusing to abide by the arm of secular law. “Count no man happy till he dies.”
As always, God taught his people about what it meant to follow him: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (Jn 15:18-19 ESV).
What do Oedipus, Chick-fil-A, and a Kentucky Christian woman share? First, be clear: Sophocles was a Greek politician, military general, and playwright, steeped in paganism and polytheism. However, for the Christian-owned Chick-fil-A and Kim Davis, they are daring to follow a crucified and risen Lord who told his followers they’d be hated because they’re not of this world. What that means is that they’re not of this world system of godlessness, of paganism, and Gnosticism—all of which attempt to deny the obvious differences between men and women, as well as their complementary roles as designed by God.
There is, to risk overstating the obvious, a reason God commanded our first parents, Adam and Eve, to be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28). They were designed for one another. When homosexuality, pederasty, and other abominations pervade history, God’s judgment falls (Gen 18:23-29). Since God is incapable of change (perfection cannot be improved upon) then God has not “evolved on the issue.” He has not evolved on any issue. In other words, God has not evolved.
What we are witnessing, and what more and more Christians are experiencing, is exactly what we were told we’d experience. Sophocles skirted with the truth when he penned that we should count no man happy till he dies. But another writer, the apostle Peter, martyred for his Christian faith under government persecution, was crystal clear: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pt 12-14).
“Count no man happy till he dies,” penned Sophocles. Wise counsel. However, because of Christ, and because of his conquering through pagan persecution, there is hope beyond the grave…not just for Chick-fil-A’s witness, not just for Kim Davis’ witness, but for all who will call upon the Lord as Christ. May God grant ears to hear that good news, for that news changes everything.