by Doug Wilson from his blog Blog and Mablog – Fear, Shame, and Guilt at Lunch
High-techy modernism is still an idol, but it is now an establishment idol. It doesn’t rely on exuberant proselytizing to grow. It doesn’t ride on peer pressure (the way it used to). It is just as sinful to bow down to this idol of Science as ever it was, but the idol of Science is not causing tension in the fellowship of the saints the same way that the alternative stuff is currently doing. This is not because of anything inherent in any particular alternative treatment, but rather because as a social movement it is on the ascendant and is growing by proselytizing. The old idol is like a liberal mainstream denominational church, chock full of bad doctrine, but which hasn’t proselytized anyone for seventy-five years. But the devotees of new idol are going door-to-door, literature in hand, and are making themselves the topic of conversation.
You can still see the modernist idol at work in television advertisements for the newest Big Pharma drugs. You know the kind — where the fine print ad copy was written by lawyers with a gruesome turn of mind? “Side effects may include writhing on the living room floor, chewing on the coffee table leg, and vomiting up blood.” I can’t really say I have felt enticed to try MadcowMyrica myself.
Side effects may also include sitting in two claw foot bathtubs in odd, open air locations.
Because the earth is the Lord’s (and the fullness thereof), I may take medication my doctor prescribes, and I can do that lawfully, or I might lawfully try something my sister tried and liked. What I may not do in either case is bow down. In other words, there are people who eat things I don’t eat, and who treat themselves with medicines that I wouldn’t use, who are not in the grip of the problems I am talking about. The thing I am insisting on is that such things ought never to become a barrier to fellowship. That’s it. Now, despite this disclaimer, if someone comes up to me angrily and says, “I don’t care about all those disclaimers . . . you really are talking about me!” Well, yes, I guess I probably am.
So, then, bring this full circle — back to John 6. There are many people who — because they are not feeding on Christ — are disrupting fellowship over food and medical issues through their imperialism, bad manners, unteachable spirit, insecurity, thoughtlessness, provincialism, and dogmatism.
Here is a composite picture, one I will fill out in greater detail at some other time. Picture a young, married couple with a fairly rocky relationship. She is the one with eighty percent (or more) of the manifesting troubles that they are seeking to resolve. He is being a weak husband (which is not necessarily the same thing as being a weak man), and he supports her fully in her health research and food pursuits because he believes (because of their other recurring conflicts), that he owes her support, and because he thinks a good way to make compensatory peace with her is to have a common foe that they can battle together. She is overwhelmed with her responsibilities with the littles, and gets together regularly with other women who are very much in the same position that she is in — and they talk about their issues a lot. The presenting issues become a corporate and social matter this way, and it all spills over into social media. She and her husband are not diligent Bible readers, but to the extent they interact with the Word, they use a way of interpretation that is more a “free association of images” method than it is a “follow the reasoning closely” method. They are not “close” Bible students, and this way of reading Scripture carries over into their way of reading the world. One other symptom is that they have very sloppy entertainment standards that they both share together, and which frequently slops over into a private porn problem that he has.Now if someone “eats healthy” and that is where the similarity with the preceding paragraph ends, then the reason is simple. None of this is about you, and nobody is upset with what you had for lunch. But the fact it is not about you does not mean that it can’t be about anybody. There are many who do fit this description, and the need of the hour is for them to work through John 6 in search of the liberty that is certainly there. And liberty is there because Jesus is there.
Comments open below
(Editor’s note: I know this is rambling and word-salady but if I am reading this right I think he’s trying to say as long as you read your Bible every day then Jesus gives you the freedom to have some choice/difference in medicines and foods than your brother/sister.)
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce