Week 18 in the year of our Lord 2021

Non-conformity & de-digitalization

7 minutes to read

The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. —Rollo May

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

God is doing a gracious thing by polarizing our society. He is removing the temptation to be lukewarm; to try to affirm Scripture and still please the world. Pick one. The world will no longer have it any other way, and God never did.

While polarization is something to be grateful for today, beware of treating it as an ordering principle. Always keep yourself between the ditches. Polarization in itself is not the goal—the goal is unflinching fidelity to God and his law, and uncompromising rejection of everything opposed.

Take, for instance, the current eagerness with which people are de-digitalizing their lives.

Often this is a good thing.

But treating de-digitalization as an ordering principle—rather than as a wise application of a true ordering principle—is to confuse the tool with the objective.

The objective should be mastery, as opposed to bondage. Freedom to exercise dominion, to rule and order your world; as opposed to slavery under the dominion of the rulers of this age and their one world order.

Digitization is the greatest gift of dominion that God has given us in history so far. It is the closest we have come to imitating him. As with all such gifts, there is an idolatrous way to use it, and a faithful way. It is easy for the heart of man to devise ways to use technology to more efficiently and powerfully magnify his own name. It is more difficult to learn how to use it to magnify God’s. The line of Cain outstripped the line of Seth—but the line of Seth inherited the technological wealth laid up by the wicked.

The reason behind many people’s desire to de-digitalize is not really that digitalization is bad. It is that digitalization is presently largely idolatrous, being controlled by institutions that would use the power to ascend the heights of the north.

To take an analogy, advocating for de-digitalizing your life because of Big Tech corruption is like advocating for removing yourself from politics because of Big Government corruption. The Lord Jesus hasn’t given us that option. We are to act, as his body, in putting those enemies under his feet. Which means, when we succeed, we will need to have an answer to the question of how to replace them.

The problem is not tech. It is Big Tech. The problem is not government. It is Big Government. In both cases, the issue is the arrogation of power into strongholds set up against God, which seize the ability of men to exercise dominion. The problem is centralization.

Digital books, for instance, are a great blessing, and represent an order of magnitude escalation in the ability of a man to exercise dominion over his own world. But digital books that can be remotely deleted by someone who hates that man and his God are a curse, because the dominion has been wrested from him—usually without his realizing until it is too late. (None of this detracts from the blessings of physical books; embodied reality matters.)

Similarly, digital coinage is a great blessing, and also represents an order of magnitude escalation in the ability of a man to exercise dominion…if the digital coinage actually gives a man dominion. Digital coinage that is truly controlled by the man holding it is a great blessing, and bitcoin is the only clear example I know of. On the other hand, digital currency like the dollar, or the pound, or Ethereum, which is remotely controlled by someone who hates that man and his God, are a curse, because the dominion has been wrested from him—usually without his realizing until it is too late. (None of this detracts from the blessings of physical coinage either; embodied reality really matters.)

As we said before, you must keep it between the ditches. Over-digitalization leads to desocialization; to the erosion of relationships which God designed to be embodied, and the replacement of them with something essentially counterfeit. It leads to depression, anxiety, and physical sickness.

In other words, digitalization is just one tool, which must be wisely used. Unfortunately, today, it is the hammer that makes everything look like a nail. Don’t be anti-tech, but count the cost carefully. Don’t find yourself hammering in screws or rivets.

Submission requires a mission.

This is why submission begins with agreement, not disagreement.

Two or more parties must agree, through a vow or covenant, to enter into a shared mission. The vows are made for the purpose of achieving this mission together.

The quality of the relationship is tested by disagreement. Is the “superior” and/or “inferior” acting inline with the agreed-upon mission?

The rebel is the one not keeping their vow. They are the one who has abandoned the previous stated purpose of their relationship, and/or their particular role in fulfilling it.

Not all mission/vow deviations are equal. Always go out of your to way to keep your vows, and correct deviations…even if you aren’t the source of the deviation.

The obvious application of this is to marriage. But for many faithful Christian men, the more serious application today is in the civil world. Magistrates are violating their vows left, right, and center, and accusing citizens who resist them of being rebels.

Not so.

Christians obey Romans 13.

That is why they resist tyrants, who are the ones actually violating Romans 13. Rulers who rebel against the rule of law, and the God who delegated his authority to them, are to be called back to their vows—not to be joined in their rebellion.

Notable: #

A great self-help message from JP about empowering yourself by disempowering yourself and blaming others for it: How to victimize yourself

The Masculinist summarizes the The Real Lord of the Flies, which puts the lie to Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton’s gyneolatrous thesis that women civilize men.

Pastor @arturpawlowski1, who went viral for defending his church, tells @JesseKellyDC why he refuses to be silent in the face of tyranny. “We are a pack of lions and lions never bow before hyenas… I grew up behind the Iron Curtain under the boots of the Soviets.” https://twitter.com/TheFirstonTV/status/1387951154903064577

A short but insightful video on how the loss of the household as an economic unit has left us aimless and miserable: When My Modern Life And History Collide. See also our seminal essay, But Who Does the Dishes?, on the difference between the creational, existential-productive household, and the modern, sentimental-consumptive one.

Alexander Grace: FACT: Women Are ONLY As Good As Their Friends. The context is secular, and the psychological assumptions are evolutionary, but the observational facts are spot on. Bnonn witnessed exactly this psychology in women whom his wife (and he) had been close friends with for years, who were unable to overcome the social pressure of a church bent on wickedness. They caved, ostracized her, and reframed and rationalized it in the most bizarre ways. Men, be aware of your wife’s friends, and where they’re at. In the context of church, one important place where this becomes an issue is women’s Bible studies.

Although women are especially susceptible to wanting to do what everyone else is doing, to accept a consensus behavior and reject anything that threatens it, this is a trait common to man, and especially in our time. Matt Trawhella exhorts you to the contrary in his stirring sermon, Man’s Most Shocking Trait: His Willingness to Conform.

Dr. Sam Bailey presents a truly puzzling video, Secrets of Influenza, in which she documents the bizarre lack of evidence for the accepted aerosol theory of transmission.

Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

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