The Gods of Civil Unrest and Jesus Mobs - Pastor Doug Wilson
Video from Canon Press
As always Doug Wilson uses his wit and wisdom to our benefit. Although this blog is about a year old is more relevant than ever. Listen to the whole blog!
"Prolegomena to the Preamble to the Introduction
I suppose I need to say, right at the outset, that this blog post is something of a beast. You might say it is a little hefty. But this happened for reasons that I think you may eventually come to appreciate. I wanted to give you some words of wisdom and encouragement, such as I have, words that you might need to return to over the next couple of years. There’s no telling when our overlord Big Techies are going to turn me off, and so I wanted to say my bit first.
I understand that a number of you have been languishing out there for a while, listening to sermons from a man who, if he had been a character in The Pilgrim’s Progress, would have been the Rev. Rabbitheart. And I thought, for the incoming troublous times, you needed something a little more bracing than that. You might be in the position of an ancient Persian who surmised that the king and Haman were playing drinking challenge games again.
“And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.” Esther 3:15 (KJV)
As you read through all this, let your prayer be, “Give us stout hearts, and a firm understanding.”
Give us stout hearts, and a firm understanding.
And by the way, if we are turned off, it will only be for a time. We will figure out a way to communicate with you. There will be a cyber-samizdat, and the catacombs will have make-shift servers back in the rocky alcoves.
Preamble to the Introduction
Given that America is filling up with competing mobs now, one of the things that believing Christians ought to do is go back to the Scriptures to see what we can learn about mobs. There is a great deal there, actually, and if we pay the right kind of attention, we can profit more than a little bit.
I want to begin by alluding to the cash payout I want to derive from the Bible study exercise that is coming up in a minute, so that the fastidious kind of concerned citizens know beforehand that they need to keep their guard up.
Furrowed brow: Why won’t you condemn the violence at the Capitol? Me: I do condemn it. It was despicable. Furrowed brow: But you do think there were “root causes” that were behind it? Me: Absolutely. Of course. This has been unleashed by the “anything goes” politics of the last several years. Furrowed brow: See? You are making excuses for it! Me: Not at all. I do not defend it at all. I just claim to understand it better than you do. But not necessarily better than your handlers do. Furrowed brow: And what exactly do you mean by that? Me: For that you will have to wade through what follows, all the way down to the last part. Pay particular attention to the gospel parts, which you particularly need to hear.
So here is my promise to all of you. I am going to come back around near the end of this post in order to take this point, soak it in lighter fluid, set if off while jumping up and down on it, all while making additional explanatory comments.
When the Messiah was born into first century Israel, He was born into a room full of fumes, ready to go off. It was politically volatile, and complicated, but it was also a complexity that could be reduced to two basic groups—those who had been baptized by John, and those who had refused it.
But before we get to that reduction, we have to take a number of other factions into account. That way we know what we are reducing to their version of red state and blue state. There were the Sadducees, well-connected to the aristocracy that controlled the Temple. They were theologically liberal but quite conservative when it came to their own vested interests. There were the Herodians, whose connections were to the political elite, and who had a deep investment in what Rome was seeking to maintain. The Pharisees were a lay renewal movement, highly respected among the people, at least until Jesus got done with them. There were about 6,000 Pharisees in Israel at this time. They were largely merchants who had made enough money to be able to retire to a life of personal devotion, their goal being to get the average Israelite to live up to the holiness standards that the Torah required of priests.
I am (temporarily) excluding from this political roster the immediate followers of Christ—His twelve disciples, other extras, and the women in His entourage, but I am not excluding the crowds who loved Him, and who were not far from the kingdom. This was yet another group. Think of the massive crowds who welcomed Him during His Triumphal Entry. And as I never tire of saying, there is absolutely no reason for identifying this crowd with the mob that was yelling crucify Him a few days later.
But there is another group, almost always overlooked, a bit more surly and anti-establishment, but still clearly in the pro-John-the-Baptist, pro-Jesus camp. This was a group of significant size that was hostile to the establishment that was hostile to Jesus. And by this I mean that they were seriously hostile, and at life-threatening levels. They were “on the Lord’s side,” but had not really internalized all that Sermon-on-the-Mount stuff. The Lord once rebuked a few of His disciples for not knowing what spirit they were of (Luke 9:55), but it should be pointed out that there was quite a large group out there who fit in the same category.
I am going to ask you to bear with the repetition below, because I think it is important for you all to see how often this issue comes up in Scripture. This was not an incidental group of people—they were players. They were a big part of why things unfolded as they did.
The Jesus Mobs
In our first example, Jesus asked His adversaries what they thought of John the Baptist. Remember what I said earlier about John the Baptist as a real dividing line.
“And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.” Luke 20:5–6 (KJV)
Jesus had cornered them by asking a question that forced them to choose between their own actions, and the hostile reactions of a very hostile crowd. All the people will stone us. A few verses down from this, we see that the Jerusalem elites were plotting against Jesus, and they thought they needed to deal with Him secretly because why? Because they were afraid of the people. Jesus was really popular with a lot of people who did not really grasp the implications of what Christ had come to do.
“And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.” Luke 20:19 (KJV)
The gospel writers tell us this over and over. Two chapters later, the same thing is repeated.
“And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.” Luke 22:2 (KJV)
In the gospel of Mark, the same thing is mentioned and emphasized.
“And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine . . . But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.” Mark 11:18,32 (KJV)
And in the next chapter of Mark, we see the same thing repeated.
“And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.” Mark 12:12 (KJV)
And this same pattern does not disappear after the Lord ascended into Heaven. Not at all. When officials went to detain some apostles, they handled them quite gingerly. And why? Because they feared for their lives.
“Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.” Acts 5:26 (KJV)
Now can we all agree that these crowds, as warmly affectionate toward John the Baptist as they might have been, and as doggedly committed to the honor of the rabbi Jesus as they were, were people who had not taken on board the full import of what the Scriptures required of them? I mean, had you gone to one of their rallies, who knows what kind of flags might have been there. And did their presence in the mix in any way discredit what Jesus was up to? Not even a little bit.
Did Andrew or Bartholomew ever need to feel a little sheepish, and urge the Lord to issue a press release immediately to “denounce these unconscionable threats of violence”? Is there any hint of any of any weepy tweets from any of the Twelve, agonizing over how these Jesus mobs, ready to pick up stones mind you, were making their BLM-friendly acquaintances feel?
No. The Lord knew of this group’s cluelessness. He understood their cluelessness. He even used their cluelessness in His debates with that other form of cluelessness, the respectable kind. The kind that is always the last to know. But He never apologized for their cluelessness. “And the Lord spake unto them, saying, ‘I have recently been informed that the chief priests have been receiving credible threats against their lives, and I wanted to hasten to apologize for any forms of violence that are being justified in my name. I would refer you to our most recent press release.'” And just because we live in demented times, I need to remind you that I am not saying that Jesus said that. I am maintaining that He didn’t say that.
So in this powder keg called Jerusalem, what did Jesus do? Did Jesus come in to pour soothing oil on troubled waters? No. He went into the Temple, for crying out loud, and started flipping over tables.
I wonder if the respectable kind of clueless, the kind that is always the last to know, would have categorized the cleansing of the Temple and the storming of the Capitol as the same kind of thing. Actually I don’t wonder at all. We call it the cleansing of the Temple, of course, because it is thousands of years in the past, and we read a bronze plaque about it in the Museum of Heroic Bygone Deeds. What would we call it if it had happened last week? Vandalism? Performance art? Prophecy without a permit?
And at this point someone is going to begin to bluster hard, and say, “You mean to say that you don’t know the difference between Jesus and Viking Man?” And my reply is, “No, no, I am saying that you are the one who can’t tell the difference. You are the head curator of Tombs of the Prophets Museum, and you are the one, if Jesus were here today, would be demanding that He apologize for what Viking Man did.” And Russell Moore would come out from the back ranks of the disciples and try to apologize for it, and then Jesus would shush him.
How do I know that you would demand that Jesus apologize for Viking Man? I mean, Jesus had nothing to do with it. Right. And neither did we, but you are demanding that we apologize for it.
So let me include here a few related observations and exhortations.
Christless Conservatives Given the events of the last few years, there are more than a few disheartened secular conservatives out there. They see the radical left growing in strength and influence, and know that unless it is somehow (miraculously) stopped, their beloved America is done for. They see the squishy Republican establishment, and wonder if they would ever be willing to fight for anything. They see the soft evangelical “culturally engaged” center, lusting after the respect of the world, and willing to lick dirt to get it. As an aside, licking dirt is not a great strategy for gaining respect. They see the teeming crowds that Trump attracted, like sheep without a shepherd, and they wish that energy could be led, but don’t want to be led by it.
To those who are in that position, I simply want to invite you to come to Christ. Call upon Him, and ask Him to bring you to the Father. We can have no salvation without a Savior, no word without the Word, no transcendent anchor without a Lord. And I want to ask you to consider Christ, not only as the Lord of your life, but also as the Lord of our public square.
The alternative is militant atheism in the public square, and by militant atheism I do not mean mild agnosticism. I mean the savage gods of militant atheism. And if you have begun to wonder, as you ought to have done, how “all this” could have happened in America, the answer is that we turned our backs on Christ. Because you have not trusted in Christ, the one who is Lord of all, you are part of the general apostasy, which means you are part of the problem. The left wants the apostasy and lusts after the consequences of the apostasy. The secular right wants the apostasy, but doesn’t really like the consequences. But America, like the prodigal son staring at an empty wallet, is now reckoning with the fact that the consequences have arrived regardless. So as part of your repentance, you need to acknowledge to the Father that secular conservatism conserves nothing.
Come to Christ, and do it now. He will receive and forgive you. We are fast approaching the point where real churches will be the only real resistance. Find and join one.
Syncretistic Christian Conservatism
But not all churches are healthy. Don’t join a diseased one.
There are two kinds of syncretism we must deal with. One of them is fairly obvious, at least to those outside the evangelical world of Trump Love. If you have a flag with Jesus on it, and Jesus is wearing a MAGA hat, then you fall into this category, and you need to put away your grotesque idols. You need to topple these small deities of an Americana amalgam. If your church year revolves around the Fourth of July, then this is your religion, which means that it is your damnation.
The other kind of syncretism looks at what I just wrote and mutters, “He’s just saying that. He’s just ticking the box. He’s just ‘yes butting.’” This is because the other kind of syncretism needs to be able to relegate principled Christian conservatism, which really is out there, and alive and well here at Mablog, to some category that can be easily dismissed by them, so they don’t have to feel bad about their grotesque compromises. I won’t itemize all their compromises, or give you a name for their overall project—but it rhymes with joke.
If in the name of racial reconciliation, you gave the old evangelical soft soap to the BLM riots, then apart from true repentance, you are on your way to Hell. I am tempted to say this because the people with their blasphemous Trump flags could use the company, but there is actually no such thing as “company” in the outer darkness. Still, it is all the same direction—a long, slow spiral into the abyss with no bottom.
Christian cultural engagement means “Jesus, Lord over everything in the world.” It does not mean “Jesus and anything the world might be saying just now.”
Not Feeling Bad About It
When Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus in the Judean rulers, how did they respond to him? They didn’t give him an actual answer, and his question had been a most reasonable one. Shouldn’t we apply the biblical standards for justice to this situation?
What was their response? Good old identity politics! That old reliable, tribalism. “Are you from Galilee too?” You corn pone. Redneck. Clodhopper. Hill ape (John 7:52).
People who don’t want to see a godly rabbi railroaded must be from Galilee. This is how we can dismiss him so easily. No prophet comes from Galilee (never mind the ones that did, and never mind that Galilee of the Gentiles has seen a great light, Isaiah 9:1-2).
And people who don’t want to see elections stolen must go home early every night so they can devote more time to memorizing all of Trump’s mean tweets, for use in their family devotions.
Look. Our cultural and political situation is a rocky and desolate moonscape. There are multiple groups and factions out here. There is a general clamor and a babble of voices. Some of them, faithful voices, believe that God has promised us that the moonscape will be restored to Eden again. The trees will be on both sides of the river, and the leaves will be for the healing of the nations (Rev. 22:2). It is possible for people who understand this, who do not trust in politics, or in Trump, to see that the progressives are the current screaming threat to civic stability. And when the progressives by their tyrannies provoke various carnal reactions elsewhere, which they will continue to do, I am resolved not to feel apologetic over those reactions. Not even a little bit.
I am not one of the Twelve, or part of the Lord’s inner circle. But I am one of those who lined the streets of Jerusalem, shouting Hosanna so many times I could scarcely talk the next day. And I was in the crowd listening that one time when the Lord asked those Temple johnnies, the ecclesiastical fat cats, whether the baptism of John was from Heaven or not. They twisted in the wind for about five minutes on that one, let me tell you! If they said that it was from Heaven, then He was going to follow up with, “Why didn’t you get baptized by him then?” And if they said it was from men, then they were afraid of “getting kilt” by that surly lot just across from us—not our people, but, you know. Those guys.
The Relentless Weaponization of Double Standards
In our day-to-day Christian walk, we all have to guard against double standards. It is a temptation that all of us are prone to. We must never attempt eye surgery on our brother, trying to get the speck out, when we have a beam in our own eye (Matt. 7:3-5). When we come to correct a brother, we have to remember ourselves, and consider ourselves, lest we also be tempted (Gal. 6:1). This should be part of ordinary Christian living. Do not expect others to cut you slack while at the same time cutting no slack for others. This is basic. Golden Rule. This is the law and the prophets.
Up at the beginning I said to my imaginary interlocutor that that I understood the Capitol protest better than he did, but not necessarily better than his handlers did. After saying that, I promised an explanation, and here it comes. This is what the handlers are up to.
We are not dealing with ordinary, life-in-the-village-level double standards. We are not even dealing with egregious double standards, as when those men were going to stone a woman for adultery (John 8:5) when they all were compromised by that same sin (John 8:9). They had enough remaining decency to feel ashamed, and to tip-toe away. So I am not here discussing venial double standards, and not even talking about grotesque double standards.
No. What we are dealing with is double standards embraced openly, eagerly, relentlessly, flagrantly, and insolently, along with an impudent look that says we dare you to say anything about it. That is what the handlers of the left are orchestrating, and they know exactly what they are doing. This is what I mean by the weaponization of double standards. “If any of you shiny establishment Christians take any note of what we are doing out here in the noonday sun, we will promptly call you Trump-loving racists, and then where will you be? You misogynists.”
The double standards are on display, on purpose. We are not discovering their double standards, as though they had been trying to hide them. They have been beating us over the head with their double standards for quite a while now, and they have been doing this because they want us to see what they are doing, and yet pretend as though we somehow didn’t.
“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lost once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” Theodore Dalrymple, for the win
And this is being done in a such a way as that the double standards involved have been ramped up to a point where they CANNOT BE MISSED, kind of like those words that I just put in all caps. They are unmistakable. And this is how we find out who the cowards are. The cowards are those who will not say what everybody sees and knows. The purpose of the glaring double standards is therefore to humiliate, and the deploying of these double standards is intentional.
“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” George Orwell
Our adversaries have been calling upon the gods of civil unrest for decades now. Now that they appear to be descending, I don’t think their devotees will be as pleased as they thought they were going to be. I don’t think they will like living under the new rules, and I don’t think it will go well for them. And this is no threat from me, as though I somehow approve of the savage gods that are being summoned from both left and right.
But they are sticking with their demented plan anyhow.
The Unfolding Cyber Putsch
What was the Mueller investigation based on? How many millions were spent on it? When did intelligence officials at the highest levels of our government begin their attempts to orchestrate their slow-motion coup against a newly-elected president? Are any of them in jail yet? How many small businesses were burned down this last summer? How many riots in how many cities? And how many states changed their election laws illegally, apart from approval from their legislatures? How many abortion clinics are open during lock down in California, and how many churches are closed? How many states petitioned the Supreme Court about gross violations of election laws in key swing states, and were told that they didn’t have “standing”?
So Twitter has just de-platformed the president of the United States, and it is hard to express how breathtakingly outrageous this is. The account of the Chinese Communist Party is still going just fine, imagine that. But on the bright side, they have not yet scheduled a date for Trump’s North Vietnamese struggle session. Remember, the purpose is to humiliate.
And what happens, on Twitter say, if you say anything coherent about any of these things? You are a vile wretch. A waste of skin. A demented toad. A white supremacist. A racist. See? Their purpose is to humiliate. And if you make that point, the point about humiliation, they will reply, “No, no. We just want to give you the opportunity to rejoin all the decent human beings.”
Here’s another example. You really haven’t arrived until you have gotten the treatment from the “all you need is love” Christians. You know, the Christians who believe in decency. These are the professing believers who are deeply and emotionally invested in the totalitolerance hoax that is our generation, and these compromised Christians have a desperate need never to find out that they have been gobbling down lies like those lies were sugar-reinforced Cap’n Crunch, and they were a six-year-old boy on a Saturday morning. In other words, they would rather not find out anything like that.
This is why, whenever they encounter a Christian who seeks to live by the Book, period end, and who wants to review all the prevailing lies in the light of the Book, they can’t handle it. They go sideways at this person’s “lack of love and sensitivity.” And so they bring their concerns up in the comments section of a blog somewhere. “You vile excuse for a sentient mammal, still less a Christian mammal. And dumber than a box of hammers! You’re the effin reason why I left the effin church for so many years! Spritzin on the jim jam! And here’s hoping you choke on it!”
So try to reject all invitations to rejoin the “decent” people.
Now the incongruity between that troll’s behavior and his creed of universal benevolence is simply the human tendency to make your own sin invisible to yourself. But what is invisible to the chump yelling that way, but visible to the recipient, is also visible to the people who foment this kind of thing. And to them it is not a regrettable inconsistency. It is something they need. It is intentional. It is deliberate. It is the strategy. Humiliation is the point.
The cyber putsch is unfolding rapidly. The president has just been permanently removed from Twitter. And it is not just the president, but multiple conservative voices are being de-platformed as we speak, or are having followers culled. Parler, a free speech alternative to Twitter, just had its app removed from the Google store, and Amazon discontinued providing them with server space. This in effect shuts them down, and their crime was allowing for free speech on their platform. But de-platforming is not enough, of course not. The CEO of Mozilla, developers of Firefox, just declared that we need to go well “beyond” de-platforming. Of course we do. There is so much hate around. We must deal with it by stomping on everyone who disagrees with us.
And remember, whenever you have any doubts about whether this election was stolen in the middle of the night, just look at what these people are doing to free speech in the middle of the day. If they won’t allow your so-called “hate speech,” why on earth would Dominion allow you to get out there with your “hate vote”? What principle of theirs would they be violating if they stole the election and then lied their heads off about it?
(I still have no find the claim of the election being stolen a fantasy in search of facts?? Where are the facts?)
Their commitment to free elections is at exactly the same level as their commitment to free speech. They care about electoral liberty the same way they care about religious liberty.
So keep this in front of you at all times. Their commitment to free elections is at exactly the same level as their commitment to free speech. They care about electoral liberty the same way they care about religious liberty. I will give you a moment to chuckle quietly to yourself. So I don’t need to say anything more than that—even though I could.
Doubling Down on Double Standards
There are some people out there, let us call them “whiners,” who complain about the double standards as though they were running the other way. They say, “What would have happened if a black mob had stormed the Capitol?” Okay, let’s play that game.
Suppose Obama was still president, a black mob had stormed the Capitol, one of the protesters was shot dead, and then Twitter suspended Obama’s account permanently because of the protesters had signs with quotes from some of his speeches, and then let us suppose Big Tech began de-platforming the accounts of black organizations all over the country. Try to imagine that. You can’t, can you?
Well, I can’t. Some of our evangelical sob sisters can imagine it though. That is why they are so weepy all the time. They have imaginative gifts.
So Viking Man was the worst day in American democracy, was it?
The above is a photo of the aftermath of a bombing in the Capitol in 1983. The perpetrator, one Susan Rosenberg, was attempting to kill Republican senators. She was charged for this, but this charge was dropped as the result of plea bargaining—in that she had been involved in a bunch of other dirty deeds, for which deeds she was sentenced to 58 years in prison. But she did not serve out that sentence because she was subsequently pardoned by none other than Bill Clinton. You know, Bill Clinton, the centrist Democrat.
So this is not happening because those conducting these continent-wide psych-ops are stupid or blind. No, it is being done so that pretend conservatives and pretend Christians will agree to act as though they were the stupid and blind ones. And many of them do it. Remember, the purpose is to humiliate.
It is as though a villain from a vintage western came up to one of our respectable guys, told him to dance, and started shooting at his feet. Later, when the humiliating and unfortunate incident was over, we tried to encourage that guy, because he was supposed to be our guy after all, and he said, “Oh, no. That’s not it at all. Dance is very much part of our western cultural tradition, and we evangelicals have neglected it for far too long. I made sure to thank that gentleman for reminding me, in his rather direct way, of this important facet of our very imperfect heritage.”
So I condemn the lawless behavior at the Capitol this last week because it was contrary to the law of God. It was both a sin and a blunder. The evangelical effeminate brigade condemns it because they believe that this will somehow win them some sort of “testimony points” with the commies, and that if they demonstrate how nice and responsible they are, and how well they play with others, and how they do not run with scissors, this will somehow be remembered by somebody when the revolution comes, and all true racists are strung up from the lamp posts.
I have some sad news for you, my friend. Guess who will be the true racists then? It turns out that there was a costume party back in 1992, which you attended, and on which occasion you refused to go in blackface, thus declining to express your solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the earth. You people are white supremacist scum.
Few spectacles are sadder than all those so distant responsible Christians, the ones who have been chiding and rebuking me for years over my strictly Pauline views of slavery. Neither have they appreciated my understanding of what actually resulted from the War Between the States. Their version of their concern is that I have been needlessly opening the church up to unhelpful charges of racism. But you know what will actually condemn every last Christian as a vile and incorrigible racist? Just ten more birthdays, that’s all.
The game that is being run on you people is plain and obvious, and you still refuse to see it. May the good Lord hasten the day when He gives you back your eyes.
Say the Proud Boys Did Not Make You Proud
So let us say that the Proud Boys do something that both you and your wife found to be less than enchanting. Not what you would have done. You did not do cartwheels when you heard about it. Should you feel terrible about your complicity? No. Why should you? You are not complicit.
We have to deal with these crowds, surging back and forth all around us. We might agree with something they do, we might be appalled by something else they do. We might debate with some of them, try to teach some of them, and call the cops on others. But we need not feel bad if we are right there in the middle of these tumultuous times, and we are actually part of a complicated Venn diagram. We need not feel bad about it because we worship Almighty God on a weekly basis, in the name of Jesus Christ, and that is where our identity is.
As you do your level best before God to provide for and protect your family, you might find yourself in odd company sometimes. If you join a refugee column fleeing some deep blue weird diversity, it is quite possible that there is a crank conspiracy theorist somewhere else in that same refugee column. Should you feel bad about it? Crawl back to the people who made the refugee column necessary in order to seek their absolution and forgiveness? Not if you are a free man or free woman in Christ. I say this because the terms “man” and “woman” are terms that we have retained in our faith tradition, continuing to use them down to this day.
Jesus dealt with the crowds, in an ongoing way, and some of the crowds He dealt with were pretty dense. But we are followers of Christ, and the one thing He did not do with crowds is entrust Himself to them. So neither shall we.
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” John 2:23–25 (KJV)
Ownership of the Public Square
And this is why we need to follow Christ, Christ above all. There is only one kind of defiant joy in the world that can successfully stand up to this kind of godless pressure. There is only one path for defying the screechers—without becoming a screecher yourself. That path is Christ, the one who has risen from the dead. And He rose from the dead the same place they crucified Him, which is to say, in the public square.
Remember: the reason Christians still own the public square is because Jesus rose from the dead in it. I know that the militant secularists despise this truth, but truth it is, and they should have thought of those objections before they crucified Him there.