As a Christian, I don’t know if it’s good form to give tactical advice to those on the other side of the spiritual warfare battlefield. Since I don’t desire Christianity’s destruction, I probably shouldn’t offer any pointers for how to accomplish this to those want to raze the world’s sanctuaries and tango atop the rubble.
On the other hand, Jesus did promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church, so giving despisers of the faith a more effective strategy to accomplish a goal they’ll never accomplish is a bit of a sanctified brag, a holy boast in the Savior whose supposed weakness is infinitely stronger than the strength of his enemies. So, in response to Scarlett Johansson reading sections of the Bible in a “porn voice” on “Saturday Night Live” writer Mike O’Brien’s upcoming comedy album, let’s go with the other hand.
For Johansson, O’Brien, and those such as Ron Dicker of Huffington Post, who found this comedic collaboration to be delightful, I get it. You don’t like Christianity. You believe its teachings are a blight on progressive society, so you’ve selected humor as your weapon to erode its influence. “Let’s sexify sections of scripture to show Christians that what they hold to be sacred is foolish and should have no role in our world.” This seems to be your battle strategy.
The problem with this strategy, however, is that it doesn’t offer Christians anything of substance in place of what you’re trying to take away from them. True, cultural Christians who have no interest in suffering for the gospel may quickly run away from your bullets of mockery. But if you want to defeat the actual Christian soldiers who are marching off to war, you’ll have to convince them to join your ranks by showing them that you have something worth fighting for. As difficult as it may be to believe, the nothingness of sexual libertinism that you offer is not a suitable replacement for those who trust in the everything-ness of the gospel.
Sex Is a Lame Little God
By having Johansson mockingly moan the words of Moses, you seem to be saying to Christians, “You don’t get this kind of pornographic ecstasy on God’s battlefield, so come join our side and it’s all yours.” While this may be an enticing offer for those who have, since puberty, never worshipped anything other than their libidos, it’s not a terribly attractive option to those who already worship something of slightly higher worth, namely the God who created the heavens and the earth.
Those who serve the God who first served them by taking on human flesh won’t be persuaded when you say, “Okay, but wouldn’t you rather serve nothing but your own flesh instead?” Believers who find immeasurable joy in Christ’s forgiveness and therefore want to live according to his commandments won’t believe you when you promise them greater joy by living a lifestyle that everyone who’s ever had a promiscuous friend knows yields tons of regret and emptiness and nary an ounce of lasting happiness.
Those who rejoice to belong to a fellowship that transcends space and time, tribes and cultures, and unites heaven and earth together won’t trade a life overflowing with eternal meaning for a life of sexual libertinism that epitomizes meaninglessness.
Try This Instead, Scarlett Johansson
So for the O’Briens and Johanssons and everyone sympathetic to their cause, I know we’re on opposite sides of the spiritual battlefield, but let me offer you a better way. Instead of trying to defeat Christianity with nothing, try hacking away at God’s kingdom with something, anything that has some degree of substance.
If you want to mock the Bible, do it like the Koran does in Surah 4:157-158. It dismisses Jesus’s crucifixion in a way that essentially says, “Christians, let go of your weak God and follow Allah the powerful, who would never allow his prophets to suffer a shame like this.” If you want to tear down churches, at least invite people into the mosque you’ve built atop the cathedral’s ruins. If you want to take away the Christian’s deep, meaningful, and true set of beliefs, make sure you’re ready to give him another deep, meaningful, yet untrue set of beliefs in exchange.
As the Islamic conquests of Christian lands has shown, this is a pretty effective way to gain defectors from Christ’s ranks who “went out from us but were not of us,” as 1 John 2:19 puts it.
Or, if trading one religion for another doesn’t win your war (and if your life’s goal is, as it seems, unrestricted access to fornication, it probably won’t), try the nationalistic approach. If you want people to stop believing in the Almighty God, sell them on the Almighty State.
Like the communists, convince them that a government free of Christian dogma and superstition is the only force that can solve humanity’s problems and end the world’s injustices. Tell those who want to be one with God that together as one we can be God himself. Offer citizens pledges of allegiance to the Invincible Government and, as history has shown, some of them might just hand over their Christian creeds.
Not to Say It Will Work
Granted, neither of these approaches will work. Even if you jihad with the best of them, you won’t actually triumph over any of God’s elect. And even if you give all glory and honor to the state, the state will eventually fail, spectacularly, at being God, and Christ will continue building his church atop the ashes of empires. Plus, the more you persecute the church, the more you’ll exacerbate your own defeat.
So no matter how you wage war against the Triune God, you’ll still lose. But if you adopt one of these strategies, at least you’ll lose respectably. At least you can say you offered Christians a powerless something instead of an utter nothing in exchange for the absolute everything that is God’s kingdom.
Aim higher than Mike O’Brien and Scarlett Johansson and, when you consider the war you waged against God, at least you can say you waged it with a higher level of maturity than what you’d find in a “Porky’s” movie.
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