Our modern civilization of the mammon of unrighteousness is effectively akin to a pool of water, putrid and host to cultures of flesh-eating bacteria, hiding an anaerobic swamp of slothful, covetous sin and creeping things, carefully submerged underneath a thin layer of tepid film, an undisturbed whitewashed veneer of false peace and status quo, empty promises of ‘everything is going according to plan.’
The prefered method to dealing with this mess seems to be to ignore it, to live comfortably with it, to not disturb it, to react against anybody who does, and to paint it with another coat of whitewash and look the other way. After all, breaking the surface of the water will only set the mosquitos into a frenzy, putting everybody at risk of discomfort, not to mention unleashing the rancid stench contained by the top layer of flimsy film. Anybody who uncovers the falsehoods and moral decay of society is necessarily the ‘bad guy’ and spoilsport, who should only learn to live and let die, going along to get along.
The only way to actually deal with the situation is to agitate the environment, to stir up all of the ugly symptoms made by putrefaction and silt, to drain the dark filth of moral leprosy and spiritual deadness, deftly dealing with the root cause, getting hands dirty because somebody has to make that sacrifice and do hard things, like tearing down strongholds, destroying falsehoods and established, institutional principles, so that the way can be made for fresh water to be pumped in, as well as the life-producing effects it brings.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. (Ephesians 5:8-14)
The greek word ‘elegchó‘ for reprove in verse eleven is an imperative to convict, refute, and especially to expose. In order for unfruitful works of darkness to be reproved and repented of, they must first be exposed and quarantined, made distinct through shame and conviction so that they maybe be replaced with fruitful deeds of light and restoration unto God and Neighbor.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
The role of the prophet, well-established throughout scripture, is one of agitation, rightly dividing the word of truth and making straight the very narrow way of salvation and faith; exposing, rebuking, and condemning the wicked works that lead men wantonly into the socialist bondage of coveting the deceitful benefits of magistrates and the providence of their civil institutions. The agitator is against the world, for the world, defying every delicate sensibility to boldly proclaim justice and mercy in an unjust and merciless society. He takes it upon himself to intercept public opinion in the market places and public squares, and oppose it with the opinions and injunctions of the living God, needing no other authority but his conviction, and no other strategy but preaching the Kingdom of God in the face of the kingdoms of men. He wields reason and conversation as apologetic tools, arguing with those who profess themselves wise, but are really fools, believing in the pragmatic gospel of men in bondage.
The concepts of bondage and liberty are not political issues to be delegated to and regulated by the policy of politicians. Rather they are sin issues and repentance issues belonging to the heart of every man who can blame no other but himself for his own slavery, who must begin to take back his personal responsibility towards social virtues in order to begin seeking first the Kingdom of God. This is the posture of every prophet in Scripture. They proscribe the practices of Man, made in God’s image, immorally exchanging his equity and power of choice to false gods and their national economies for temporary comfort, safety, and fiat prosperity. When slothful, covetous men endeavor to make covenants with other gods through Social Security, the agitating prophet assumes the unpopular aim of counterculture. When cannibals enter into the flesh pots of rulers, binding themselves together in mutual surety, compelling each other’s forced contributions to sustain their standards of living, the prophet protests, declaring the practice to be a murderous rejection of God’s will. When parents bastardize their children, selling them into bondage for tax write-offs, placing them on the altars of the Molechs, Baals, and Nebos, outsourcing their responsibilities to nurture, raise and teach their children, agitators boldly proclaim this to be child sacrifice and the destruction of God’s political party – the family.
These are just a few examples of the common obscenities proudly practiced by those who profess themselves to be Christians, who claim that Christ has set them free while they themselves are servants of corruption; while they walk into religious service providers on Sunday mornings, saying ‘Lord, Lord’ with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. Agitation, Agitators, Prophets, and Gadflies are necessary for the preservation of a people beholden to a whitewashed culture full of slothful people, sluggardly asleep in the Valley of Dry Bones.
Agitation is not for cowards. It is not for hypocrites. It is not for the lost. It is for the Christian who knows that Christianity comes at a price, who knows that seeking a Kingdom based on service and charity will be met with the imperialism of the kingdoms who rule by force and fear and wrack and ruin. True believers must not lose their saltiness or hide their light. They must stand on truth alone, not on false peace, and must boldy carry out their duties to the Great Commission, faithfully declaring bondage to be sin, liberty to be righteousness, and the people to be in grave danger of literal damnation characterized by economic, social, and spiritual collapse into weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Awaken those who falsely believe they are free. Do hard things. Be the villain in a society that villainizes true heroes for the sake of leisure, comfort, and fattening their hearts in the day of slaughter. Organize together and make remonstrance and demonstration. Be willing to be labeled as seditious and treasonous for righteousness’ sake. Be willing to be martyred and crucified to establish a real, lasting Kingdom for posterity. Demand the immediate, unconditional, and total liberty for those made in God’s image, declaring ‘Let my people go‘, accepting no compromise. Demand it from the people, including yourself, who have willingly gone with the multitude to do evil, trading your God-given rights and responsibilities for false god-given privileges and contracted obligations. Christians were not called to live comfortable lives. They were meant to be ambassadors of a King to a lost and perverted generation, playing the adulteress to human civil government. Go and do likewise.