The Gap, or the Abyss

Do you know that feeling you have when you’ve eaten too much bad pizza? You say to yourself, “Why, oh why did I do that? I thought it would be good, and it wasn’t, but I couldn’t stop myself.”

I had that feeling yesterday after reading a bunch of blogs. I read waaaaayyyy too many blogs, and most of it is pretty dull, but you come across a gem once in a while.

I used to read RS McCain, “The Other McCain”, but gave it up along with a bunch of other mainstream conservative blogs because they weren’t saying anything new or interesting. I went back recently and now McCain strikes me as a little like Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club- a guy who almost gets it. McCain isn’t the thinker or writer that Fernandez is but he has recently gotten on the topic of feminism and thus onto the whole issue of our modern sexual dystopia.

Here he comes up with the horror story of a very sexually, morally and spiritually confused young lady, a girl really, only of note because she is an actress. The witches brew of false teaching and lack of love she has suffered is probably beyond really knowing, but her parents were probably no picnic. I thought that Catholics, particularly those running schools, had chilled a bit by now but it sounds like she got a big dose of the “sex is evil” thing, or maybe it just wasn’t sex-positive enough for her. I’ll go with the former, though, since I grew up around people who were strongly left-wing in every way except about sex.

McCain says “Growing up Baptist, I learned that humans are naturally sinful and can only be saved through grace.” That sounds more Calvinist to me, but I guess there are both Arminian and Calvinist Baptists. And yet McCain seems to bear a lot of condemnation for the poor girl. She is terrified of her body, terrified of her sexual desires, and terrified of her role as a female in the world. She is very angry, and I don’t blame her. The world is a frightening place and our journey through it is filled with danger. People depend on love, with rules obviously, but primarily on love and it sounds like she got a lot of crazy rules- progressive secular rules on the one hand and Catholic religious rules on the other- and little to no love.

Caitlin Stasey is a lost soul. Her “male partner” on the other hand is just an asshole. I looked the guy up, Lucas Neff, and I thought, where have I seen him? And then I saw he is primarily known for the Fox sitcom “Raising Hope”. I was in a room awhile ago with a TV playing a FXX marathon of this show. It’s pretty funny, but Neff has a fairly small and easy role as the straight man for the actors doing the comedy. I suppose he uses his left-wing trash talk to try to raise his Hollywood profile, but I don’t think that really works.

What do we have in a world of lost and tormented souls like the girl? Just Jesus. Not the words of Jesus twisted to support left-wing politics, and not the words of Jesus twisted to shame and humiliate people sexually, but just Jesus.

Mark Driscoll, down in his leathery heart someplace still has a little Catholic in him, and once he chose to illustrate a sermon with a painting by Raphael of the Transfiguration. Reading the Bible in bits can create problems. In one place, Peter observes Jesus undergoing the Transfiguration. In another, he casts demons out of a boy.

In the painting, we see the Transfiguration, while down below the crowd is gathered around the possessed boy.

The painting shows the physical gap. Two events were happening at the same time, some distance apart. In the Bible the gap is a chapter break. If you read the Bible piecemeal, they are totally separate incidents. If you read it as a whole, one sequences directly into the other.

The painting is a stark illustration between the glory of God and corrupt, suffering humanity. It’s a pretty terrible gap. But with Jesus, the gap is easily closed- by him, not by us. He had his meeting with Moses and Elijah, then he walked down the mountain, confronted the boy’s distraught and almost despairing father, and healed the boy.

If I’m anybody in the Bible, I’m the boy’s father. He’s way past the end of his rope, but he’s willing to try anything at this point, even this wandering preacher. Driscoll came down pretty hard on the father. He may not have been the father of the year, but considering the circumstances he was doing the best he could. Other commentators say Jesus wouldn’t have done the healing for the father, but did it because there was a crowd present. Jesus didn’t let the man of with nothing- he challenged him. “What have you got?”, he said, metaphorically. And the father’s answer was, “Pretty much nothing, but can you help us anyway?” And for Jesus that was enough.

For the damned, there is an abyss between God and them. For everybody else, there is only a gap. And you don’t even have to close the gap yourself, Jesus will come over.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Gap, or the Abyss

  1. Appreciate the link. Since the 2012 election, I’ve focused more on culture than on politics, per se. Your use of “mainstream conservative” as a pejorative is disturbing, but I have no desire to argue about that now.

    The Baptist sermons (and Sunday School lessons, and church training) I absorbed as a youth were strongly Calvinistic in their doctrine, although I didn’t realize this at the time. It was just “Christ and him crucified” preaching of the “full gospel” variety, and has since been augmented by my own independent study, etc.

    As for the situation with Caitlin Stasey, she’s simply using the wrong tools to understand her problems. If feminism is the cause of your problem, “more feminism” cannot be the solution to your problem.

    • Mainstream conservatives are like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. *This time* Lucy isn’t going to pull it away! But there never is a this time. I’m almost as old as you, and I was a mainstream conservative for a long time, since I was a boy. I was a Raiders fan for a long time too. But I got tired of losing. So if I slag on mainstream conservatives, I slag on myself.

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