A Letter to My Fellow Mediocrities
A 'Response' to Eric Metaxas' A Letter to the American Church.
Don’t read this. I can tell from your recent book you wouldn’t like it.
This message isn’t addressed to the heroic, courageous Christians of this world. Nor to self-sacrificing patriots, or men with a sense of profound responsibility for the future. What could such people possibly need to hear from the likes of me? I don’t know about you … really, I don’t, and I’m not especially interested, any more than you are in me.
I live in a narrow circle of carefully chosen people who aren’t likely to pick any fights on topics on which I feel strongly — and that’s how I like things. Folks who might challenge me over my favorite musician. Or Ben Stiller movie. Or regional style of barbecue.
But nothing fundamental. Arguments about the profound things are like rock-climbing and dating actresses — stuff you do in your 20s and your 30s, then look back on wistfully later, counting the bullets you dodged.
I care what happens to my narrow social circle. But not so passionately about the 7 billion other people I’m never likely to meet. I mean, I wish them well, in the sense that I hope the manatees don’t go extinct, and Venice doesn’t sink under the waves. That would be a shame.
My Heart Doesn’t Break Anymore. It Just Sinks
But my heart doesn’t break any more. Over anything. Not when I realize that Europe’s future is Islamic. Or that American freedom is doomed. Every leadership group in our country, from big corporations to the military, from the colleges to most churches, has looked at the burden required for preserving ordered liberty and collectively said, “Nah, not so much.” Who am I to argue with them?
We’re no longer a nation that would rebel against George III. We’re not even a nation that pushes back at the DMV.
We might quietly sympathize with the pastors who got persecuted by the government for refusing to agree that worshiping God was “inessential” during the COVID panic. And with soldiers who lost their pensions rather than take a vaccine they didn’t trust, with its source in organs stolen from aborted babies. And with protestors who took the First Amendment at its word on January 6, 2021. But to stand with people like that? To call down upon us the collective rage of an Oligarchy?
Life’s Too Short, and So Am I
Is it worth all the trouble? Life is short, and already full of nuisances. (For instance, my sciatica!) Why stand beside the troublemakers and get put on some government list? When you could just be a silent bystander, and the thugs might leave you alone.
It’s obvious that all the power, most of the money, and every last bit of the ruthless dedication to prevail nowadays is on the side of the post-Christian left. They’re the raging lions rampaging on the savannah. Is it our job to be the crazy wart-hog who spins around and tries to gore them with our little tusks? Your odds are better, trust me, if you just keep running away. They’re likely to catch someone else, and you can live to fight (or better, flee) another day. The guy who gets eaten last … wins.
Our Kingdom Is Not of This World
We just want to preach the Gospel. You know, within limits. If the government decides that babies can be aborted up through the third week after birth, or whatever … well, render unto Caesar, know what I’m saying? If Science says that there are now 47 genders, and big teachers unions insist on recruiting their students to go on drugs and get surgeries to make their bodies match one of the other 46 … isn’t that their parents’ issue?
Or it’s in God’s hands. My point is … it isn’t my problem. Am I my brother’s keeper? Who is my neighbor? It’s certainly not that aborted baby or mutilated teenager or January 6 insurrectionist lying along the road.
Your Permanent Record Will Follow You All Through Life
You get the idea. Just tell people about Jesus, and point them to the Bible, and keep your head down. Don’t make eye contact with anyone from the government … just nod and answer their questions. Better yet if you can volunteer information about any troublemakers inside the Church, who might cause Caesar any problems. That will get noted in your dossier, and it might someday turn out to be your “Get Out of Jail, Free” card. So you can go right on preaching the Gospel, unlike those rash agitators.
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In fact, it makes sense to speak up and distance yourself from any “extremists” who are calling down trouble on the whole Christian community. By meddling, you know, in politics. We’re not called to get involved in making laws or influencing policies. That’s for worldly people, who know what they’re doing and how to run things efficiently. Let Pilate and Herod and the unjust stewards do their jobs, and we can do ours — within the bounds of whatever the people in charge decide.
Christian Nationalists who get it in their heads that there’s some divine, higher Law written in our hearts, which overrides the actual, written, legal laws that are printed in big leatherbound books … these are the kind of radicals who get us peace-loving Christians persecuted. They cause civil wars, they embark on crusades, they provoke the secret police to come bother the rest of us.
Who just want to enjoy our soup (not too hot, not too cold!) and wait for our Reward.
Note: Yes, this is satire. Interestingly, it makes the same point Dr. Michael Brown makes in his column being posted first thing Monday morning, “If You Are a Christian Leader You Should Have a Target on Your Back.” The two columns are complimentary…and a fascinating look at how two sharp minds tackle the same idea.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”