How May & Should Christians Speak About Evil
 
How May & Should Christians Speak About Evil
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   08.06.20

On July 23, 2020, conservative University of North Carolina professor, Townhall writer, and Christian, Mike Adams, was driven to suicide by the vile and relentless bullying of devotees of diversity and teachers of tolerance who fancy themselves “progressive.” They were aided and abetted by spineless Christians who failed to come alongside a brother in Christ because of his “sins” of violating leftist language rules.

Leftists and some Christians were especially peeved by a metaphor Adams employed to criticize oppressive pandemic commandments issued by North Carolina’s Democrat governor Roy Cooper.

On May 29th, Adams tweeted, “This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go.”

Which of the following metaphors is more offensive: Comparing a political leader who oppresses citizens with unjust orders to a slave master or comparing those with wealth who ignore the starvation of the poor to cannibals?

Is one acceptable speech and the other unacceptable? Are both acceptable? Neither?

Of course, the cannibal metaphor was employed by Jonathan Swift in his satirical essay “A Modest Proposal,” which we teach in public schools.

When Reverend Jesse Jackson referred to President Trump as a slave master and knee-takers as slaves, I can’t recall anyone on the left or right batting their exquisitely sensitive eyes. Are only blacks allowed to use slave metaphors, or does it depend wholly on whose ox is being gored with condemnation that determines whether metaphors should send adults to the fainting couch?

While their sanctimonious and empty proclamations of fealty to inclusivity, love, equality, tolerance, subjectivism, autonomy, freedom, and diversity echo systemically throughout American institutions, Leftists reveal their inky underbellies rotted with hypocrisy and depravity when they screech hater and hurl death wishes at those who dare to disagree with Big Brother, Critical Race Theory, or their anarchical sexuality ideology.

But it’s not just leftists, secularists, and atheists who faux-tie their own panties in a twist about bold language from conservatives. Even conservatives get the heebie-jeebies if Christians use bold language.

In a mostly moving tribute to his “close friend” Mike Adams, political pundit David French made sure to include that, although protected by the First Amendment, some of Adams’ writing was “acerbic,” “intemperate,” “insensitive,” “excessively provocative,” and “outright infuriating.” French further said, he “cringed at some,” of Adams’ comments and that “my friend could frustrate me. He could say things I disagreed with. He could say things that outraged me. He could be wrong.”

With “close friends” like French to write a tribute, who needs enemies.

New Testament professor and friend of Mike Adams, Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon, wrote about Adams’ sadness at the socially distancing of David French:

[W]hen [Mike] reached out to David by phone for help in his hour of greatest crisis in June 2020, he viewed David’s brush-off as due to the negative change in David in the Trump era. While he couldn’t be entirely surprised by David’s failure to help, there’s no question that it was a body blow to his gut. He twice initiated mention of David to me in mid-June and on July 1. I didn’t bring David French up as a topic of conversation. Mike did, unsolicited from me. …

Mike felt that David had abandoned him precisely because he didn’t share David’s NeverTrump stance and because of David’s heightened desire to distance himself from Mike’s tweets in order to preserve his (David’s) reputation with people on the Left. …

I would never say that David French single-handedly killed Mike Adams. … David was simply the most painful among many acts of silence and detachment toward Mike by Christian “elites” and “friends” at his end. The primary blame belongs with the vicious Left.

Every Christian on the frontlines of the culture war has experienced the voluntary social distancing of brothers and sisters in Christ who don’t want to be tainted by friendship with cultural lepers. We all know the experience of having friends or colleagues either secretly whisper their thanks for our work, or avoid us entirely, or turn against us. There’s no skin in the game for many Christians when the game gets rough. Instead of marching into battle accoutered with the armor of God, they scuttle into their safe havens accoutered with protective platitudes acceptable to God’s enemies.

Oddly, I’ve seen very little criticism of Andrew Klavan—another Christian who uses satire brilliantly and effectively to mock stupid and evil ideas that deserve mockery. For example, assuming the voice of a presumptuous Hollywood celebrity, Klavan recently wrote,

I take responsibility for being a fatuous, virtue-signaling, useless, celebrity knucklehead. Which is a much better life than yours by the way. For which I take complete responsibility… and then run away before you realize I haven’t done a damn thing for you and your life still sucks.

Before reading Klavan’s satires, all those legions of PC Christians holed up in their bunkers hoping no unbelieving colleague learns they disapprove of homosexuality better stock up on smelling salts.

Not quite a year ago, I wrote an article about the superintendent of a large Illinois high school district who sexually integrated all locker rooms in the five-school district—a decision so wicked that all Christians should have felt enraged.

He was aided and abetted by wealthy Hollywood Matrix director “Lana” Wachowski—a man who pretends to be a woman—homosexuals from outside the district, and a school board member with a vile sexuality podcast for children. In strong language, I wrote about this evil action and the vipers who promoted it.

In response, I received an email from a conservative Christian who identified herself as the “dean of rhetoric” in a “Christian co-school.” She chastised my “language and tone,” saying that she found them “disturbing.” She criticized the “vitriol and loaded language … name calling and hyperbole” and “uncharitable language,” saying it “would never be tolerated” in her rhetoric classes, that she was “disappointed to read” such language, and that she found my “writing style offensive.”

So, a Christian is teaching children that the use of biblical language and tone are sinful even when describing egregious sin.

I asked if she had ever sent an email with as much passion and strong language as the one she sent to me to any of the many political leaders, public school teachers, administrators, or heretical “Christian” leaders who promote sexual deviance to children. No response.

“Progressives” use the phrase “my truth” a lot—a phrase that Boston College philosophy professor Dr. Peter Kreeft describes as both oxymoronic and moronic. Much of what “progressives” affirm as “their truth,” seems to be sexual desires that originate in their dark bellies—or what in The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis calls the seat of mere animal appetites.

Lewis argues that to protect against domination by our imperious appetites, human emotions must be properly trained:

Without the aid of trained emotions, the intellect is powerless against the animal organism…. The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting and hateful.

Do tell, Christian brothers and sisters who favor warm milquetoasty language at all times, how do we train human animals of all sizes to feel disgust and hatred of those things which really are disgusting and hateful while using only warm milquetoasty language?

Lewis continues, describing what education should do:

Until quite modern times all teachers and even all men believed the universe to be such that certain emotional reactions on our part could be either congruous or incongruous to it—believed, in fact, that objects did not merely receive, but could merit, our approval or disapproval, our reverence or our contempt. … Aristotle says that the aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought.

Yes, there are things—desires, ideas, images, words, and acts—for which we should properly feel hatred. The prophet Amos said, “Hate evil, and love good.” In Romans, Paul teaches us “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” For love to be genuine or true, we must abhor what is evil.

Children must be taught to feel love for the good and feel hatred for that which is evil, which is wholly different from hating people. True love requires first knowing what is true and good. Affirming in and to people that which God detests is not love; affirming in and to people that which God detests is detestable.

“Progressives” understand that the emotions must be trained, which is why they use the arts—especially our myth-making machine, Hollywood, and government schools to shape the hearts of America’s children. Tragically, since “progressives” don’t know truth, they’re training America’s children to love evil and hate good.

In our public schools, interactions with friends, and Facebook posts, we have at our disposal many tools for training emotions, among which are rhetorical tools. The Bible warns that the tongue “is a restless evil, full of deadly poison,” and that “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” But such verses do not and cannot possibly mean Christians must never use strong language or sarcasm. We know that because the Bible includes numerous examples of the use of strong language and mockery.

Amos called women fat “cows” and warned that God would take them away by harpoons or fishhooks. Imagine how today’s evanjellyfishes would feel if a Christian were to use that biblical language.

Paul wrote this to Titus: “As one of their own prophets has said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true.” In other words, Paul called Cretans liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons.

Jesus said,

“You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! … You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.”

“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”

Paul said this about sinners,

There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”

In Revelation, those who are not saved are called “dogs.”

Peter describes false teachers—of which we have many in the church today—as “irrational animals … born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant. … They are blots and blemishes. … Accursed children!”

Paul calls the Galatians, “foolish Galatians.”

John the Baptist called the multitudes a “brood of vipers.”

If the dean of rhetoric of the Christian co-school thinks calling a top school leader who sexually integrates the locker rooms of 12,000 minor children “depraved” undermines our witness—as she claimed I did—then logically she must think John the Baptist undermined his witness by calling the multitudes a brood of vipers.

Theologian and pastor Doug Wilson makes clear that the Bible does not mandate the kind of saccharine language that corrupts evangelicalism or prohibit bold, bracing, condemnatory language from which many evangelicals flee:

Evangelical Christians are very sweet people and there’s an upside to that. … But they’re so sweet they can’t be friends with diabetics. And what happens is, if you respond to the prevailing ungodliness with a response that’s tart, or serrated, or pungent, or satiric, you will have more than a few Christians taking you aside saying, “Hey brother, you probably don’t want to talk to them that way. … Would Jesus have responded that way?” And when you reply, “Well, yes, he would have. And here’s how he did it in Matthew 23 where he disassembles the Pharisees.”

[Evangelical Christians] don’t have a category for that. They’re so used to having Christlikeness defined by their ecclesiastical culture instead of having Christlikeness defined by the Bible, it is astonishing for many Christians to discover that this kind of verbal polemical engagement is preeminently biblical. It’s a very common biblical way of expressing righteousness. … If you take the smarmy, sweetie, nice discourse that many Christians think is supposed to be the norm and drive it into the Bible, you can’t find examples of that anywhere.

American philosopher and Catholic, Dr. Edward Feser, shares Wilson’s disdain for the unbiblical and unhelpful contemporary perversion of the Christian obligation to love our neighbors:

Niceness. Well, it has its place. But the Christ who angrily overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, who taught a moral code more austere than that of the Pharisees, and who threatened unrepentant sinners with the fiery furnace, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, was not exactly “nice.”

Feser finds fault with the unbiblical notion that “even a great many churchmen seem to have bought into,” which is that “inoffensive ‘niceness’ is somehow the essence of the true Christian, or at least of any Christian worthy of the liberal’s respect.” He argues that in,

innumerable vapid sermons one hears about God’s love and acceptance and forgiveness, but never about divine judgment or the moral teachings to which modern people are most resistant—and which, precisely for that reason, they most need to hear expounded and defended.

Feser argues against church “teachings on sexual morality” that are delivered “half-apologetically, in vague and soft language, and in a manner hedged with endless qualifications”:

Such “niceness” is in no way a part of Christian morality. It is a distortion of the virtues of meekness (which is simply moderation in anger—as opposed to too much or too little anger), and friendliness (which is a matter of exhibiting the right degree of affability necessary for decent social order—as opposed to too little affability or too much).

Maybe, just maybe, if every theologically orthodox Christian spoke in biblical tones and language about the perversity and corruption that confront our children every day in their TV shows, picture books, and government schools, and defile our society there would be less of it, and maybe, just maybe Mike Adams would still be alive.

Listen to this article read by Laurie: 


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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins became the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children and nine grandchildren....
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