Monday, 15 August 2016

Sins of the High Hand

A Balrog Awakens

Western nations are in the middle of one of the most radical attempts to destroy the institution of marriage ever seen in human history.  It will not succeed.  But, the devastation resulting from the attempt will be the death of Western civilization as we have known it.  The fruits are already swelling, ripening, and falling rotten from the tree.  

The challenge to marriage and the attempts to undermine it will not be overcome by the passing of a few laws.  The worldview which enabled the sustained attack upon marriage in the first place must be repented of by a majority of citizens, and that will take a reformation more profound and widespread than the Reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  It will require what the Puritans used to call "root and branch" repentance.

In the law of God and, therefore, in the Christian faith there are sins, and then there are Big Sins.  To be sure, all sins, no matter how small or inconsequential to our evil eyes, bring alienation from God and enmity between people.  When Adam and Eve engaged in a reinterpretation of the fruit of the one tree that was not to be touched or eaten, doubtless they thought it was a small matter.  What was the fruit of one tree amongst thousands and thousands?  We know how that turned out. But in human society, some sins are more destructive, more damaging to the human condition upon the earth than others.  The redefining of marriage is one of those sins.  It represents what the Bible calls a "sin of the high hand".  It is a sin which is contrary to Nature, contrary to sustained human experience over thousands of years, and a sin of supreme arrogance and wilful rebellion.  It is the sin for which there is no atonement, no repentance, no forbearance.
But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.” [Numbers 15: 30,31]
One commentary describes the sin of a high hand as follows:
In the Ancient Near East one can find pictures of statues of a god or a warrior with his right fist raised up to the sky. This is the picture of a "high-hand." In the passage above (from Numbers 15) it is used of someone who is literally showing a defiant fist to God as if to say, "Try and strike me dead, I am doing my own thing."  This same sentiment is echoed in Hebrews 10:26 which reads, "If we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment…" What we can be sure of is that this sin is not accidental and is done in a flaunting, defiant and open-eyed, unremorseful manner which effectively tells Yahweh that He is irrelevant. 
When an entire culture embraces a sin of the high hand we can be certain that only suffering, death, and destruction will be the result, until the Lord grant a universal, culture transforming repentance.   But if the ordinary patterns of  redemptive history repeat, that will only come about after the lands have been ravaged, pillaged, and laid waste.

With a hand held high against heaven, with a fist pumping in a celebration of libertine "deliverance", the West has sealed its fate. Angelo Codevilla describes the leaven of mayhem now working its way through Western society:
The very notion of "redefining" families is a thinly disguised argument for the proposition that the natural family is no better than any other human arrangement and is probably the worst of the lot.  Thus, practitioners of what were once called "deviant" lifestyles want to pin the family label on relations between homosexuals less because they think there is little difference between homosexual and heterosexual relationships than because they want for homosexual couples whatever deference natural families normally receive.

Yet this desire cannot be fulfilled for logical as well as practical reasons.  If families are not natural and permanent unions of one man, one woman, and their children, in addition to others related by blood and marriage, they are the products of infinitely variable choices.  And if that were the case, how could one deny the label family to sometime unions of one man with man women, of one woman with many men, of many men with men?  Why deny it to any combination of bisexuals, pedophiles and necrophiliacs or to practitioners of sex with other species or with one's own offspring?  Ye to the extent that the label "family" is restricted to some living arrangements and not others, the criterion for restriction must be natural.  The acceptance of nature as the criterion, however, drives us back to one man and one woman united to reproduce and raise children.  [Angelo M. Codevilla, The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility (New York: Basic Books, 1997)  p.155f.]
The Balrog, a demon from the ancient world, has awakened.  He comes forth.  The secular West has not just torn down Christendom, it is now busy destroying itself.  Our Christian duty in such times is to continue to testify faithfully to our lost, unrecoverable generation, even after the example of our fathers, of Noah, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah--and above all, of the Lord Himself.
 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. [Matthew 23: 37, 38]
Thus end all cultures and peoples who, having heard the Word of God and once tasted the good fruits of His kingdom, yet lift up the high hand in stubborn, wilful rebellion.

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