Guys, when I woke up this morning, I first started thinking about how stupid the name New American Barbarian is. I typed it a bunch of times this weekend as I wrote about the barbaric legal vandalism of Christian civilization as demonstrated in the saga of Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis.
The feeling wasn’t regret. More like embarrassment. That idea isn’t baked all the way through and the name itself is kinda cumbersome. It’s like when you finish writing a english paper at 2 AM and you think it’s so good you’ll get an A+, but after you hand it in, you’re like, “Dang. That was stupid. Teacher’s probly going to fail me.”
The etymology of New American Barbarian
Our culture hit a steep decline. It’s skidding off the road, plummeting down over a cliff, and bursting into flames. So many preachers and pastors just tisk their tongue and shake their heads. They act like distant bystanders to the cultural slide.
When they try to offer some encouragement to us who want to hold the line and live a godly life, they say something like this: “Well, we’re back to a pagan culture. It’s bad that we returned to the pagan practices you read about in the New Testament. But the good news is that we’re like foreign missionaries in our own country. It just makes our light shine all the brighter! snort Ha!”
No! I disagree. And this is one of the reasons I don’t go to any church anymore. I can’t listen to that malarkey without exploding in anger. (excuse my language.)
All these Evangelicals ever think about is if you’re either saved or you’re unsaved. Yea, they argue vociferously about if you can get unsaved. (Almost as vociferously as they argue about what type of music to play at church.) But to them there’s two main groups: saved and unsaved.
So our American culture is obviously full of unsaved people again. Now the Bible sometimes uses the word pagan, which they translate as unsaved. And they deduce that our culture is pagan again.
That sounds like a sitcom title. Pagan …again! We should film it. The title credits would show snippets of Americans doing all these wicked, sexually immoral things to a cheerful, soaring theme song. The camera would zoom in and they would pause, look up, and strike a smiling pose as yellow letters fade in and out with their names. Then they’d resume their sins.
Each episode of Pagan …again! would begin with all the characters as unsaved. Of course by the end of the show they’d all get saved. I don’t know how. We’d have a team of writers for that. It might be kinda formulaic, but they’d probly get cancer and crash in a drunk driving accident. But they’d say the believers’ prayer on their death bed.
But next week the show starts over and they’re all Pagan …again! Hence the title.
Is that possible? Does a nation go from being a staunch Christian country to pagan again?
I say no. The reason? I don’t see the world as saved or unsaved. I don’t know, maybe I’m not evangelical! But I’m going to paint a different picture for you.
In nature, humans exist in pagan cultures. Then along comes the news about Jesus Christ and his teachings. That pagan culture stands at a fork in the road. It can either reject Jesus or accept Jesus.
I’m not talking about them all getting saved. I’m talking about them incorporating the teachings of Jesus Christ into their life. To me, when a nation’s laws reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ they have fully accepted him. In other words, when the words of the law incorporate the words of Jesus, he has taken root.
So really in my view the categories are different: Pagans and Christians.
That’s still two — so far. Because let me ask you, is the United States Christian anymore? Certainly not. So do we go back to pagan? No. Listen to the words of Jesus:
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
Jesus is talking about a single solitary guy. When a demon is exorcised out of him, that man improves. But that demon comes back with reinforcements. And so those demons can utilize the improvements done on the man toward evil.
Imagine for a second a poor, drunk, demon possessed guy. He’s like a blathering, violent idiot.
Then he’s exorcised. He cleans up his act. He gets an education. He holds a position at church because he is so well spoken and articulate.
But then the demons come back. They sit at the helm of his mind and this time around there are more buttons and many more advanced features. Those demons can wreak more havoc than before.
Think about it. Who spends time with a man clearly out of his mind? Nobody. But who spends time with a well-spoken man who utters blasphemy against God and tempt others to sin? Many do, unfortunately. If that man is dressed in the frock of a pastor or the neatly pressed pants of a politician they will follow him to death.
So now you see what Jesus is talking about. What if we extrapolate this concept to a whole nation?
The North American continent once was home to numerous Indian tribes. When the white Christian settlers came, some Indians attacked their homes, raped their women, scalped their heads, and destroyed their property. These savages used bows and arrows. They rode around on horses and lit fires with torches.
What I’m saying is that their efforts were pretty rudimentary. They didn’t have advanced technology or intellectual capacity to win in a fight against these white Christian settlers. And so they lost and were driven from the land.
What our forefathers planted was a system of justice. It’s all conceptual. It’s based on words. Written words called laws and spoken words called ideas. These words echoed the teachings of Jesus Christ that Europe had mulled over for centuries. That became America.
Words. Keep that in mind.
So our system of life is conceptual and words have power because we consent to the ideas expressed by those words.
Huh? That sounds like psudeointellectual jibberish. What am I saying?
What I’m saying is that when Judge Brennan in Kentucky slams the gavel down and sentences county clerk Kim Davis to prison, they don’t put her in handcuffs. She’s agreed to the authority of Judge Brennan and his words to her are as strong as handcuffs.
Say that Captian Myles Standish set up a tribunal to put a Wampanoag Indian on trial way back in 1620. And lets say he sentenced him to prison. That indian would be like, “Oh heck no!” and take off running. The words of Myles Standish would not be enough to constrain him.
That goes to show you the improvements made by Christians. We live in a conceptual world now where judgments made by the Supreme Court have devastating consequences. Words have power.
And so when Americans reject God they don’t go back to the bows and arrows of the indigenous pre-christian people. We’ve been upgraded. Words are our weapons. The demons who return in force to their old haunts launch a barrage from the arsenal of weapons the Christianity has forged in this land. The greatest of those weapons is the American justice system.
Pagan, Christian, and?
So let me introduce the third category of people in my system. It begins with pagans, then christians, an the third? Apostate.
America is apostate. Pagans who oppose Christianity such as the Muslims fought against it with primitive physical tools such as sharpened metal and fire. (and it’s all been downhill for them since the siege of Constantinople.) But this other category, the apostate, reject Jesus Christ and fight against Christians with the weapons of words in the imaginary conceptual world that Christians live in.
Think back to Kim Davis who right now sits in prison. Really her incarceration came down to the fact she would not sign her name on a piece of paper. She would not utter the words to allow her deputies to sign their names. It’s a war over words. The apostate want her name on their pieces of paper called marriage licenses.
And that’s what my term New American Barbarian encapsulates. The apostate wield words as weapons against Christians. They’re like the Barbarians who sacked Rome.
And you can also see how that term is cumbersome because for most of this article I’ve been using Native American Indian imagery as opposed to Barbarian. In fact, I did think to use the term Ignoble Savage to describe those who descend into apostasy. But the thing is that Indians pretty much got obliterated. So it’s a bad example. The Barbarians however were successful because Rome was in decline. And for that I chose New American Barbarian.
To sum up, we don’t go from Christian back to pagan again. We go to apostate. Pagans have the advantage of being ruthless enough to survive through the animalistic aspects of nature. The apostate however have been too far removed from nature due to the success of Christianity.
Thus, when they reject Jesus, they become brute beasts again thinking of nothing except to gratify their lusts and to fight. Fight like Barbarians, but with words against Christians.